Saturday, February 15, 2014

Choosing Between Master's vs. Doctoral Programs

So you're thinking about going to graduate school? Maybe you're thinking about pursuing your graduate studies abroad. Well, there are a variety of graduate programs that you can enroll into. Especially in liberal arts and science, there are some very real differences between pursuing a masters or doctoral degree (and it's not just the program length).

Watch this quick video from our Admissions Expert Ms. Kimberly Johnson from Oregon State University, explaining to our students about what you can expect when choosing between a master's or doctoral program.

Here is a quick recap of what the video is talking about. 

1. Provides skills, knowledge, & abilities
2. Solid foundation in specialized field
3. Required coursework
4. More versatile–variety of courses in shorter time period
5. Breadth not necessarily depth
6. Possibility of thesis or non-thesis

1. Very focused & specialized
2. Intensive research training
3. Relevant for careers in a highly competitive field
4. Careers that need highest level of training possible
5. Required to pass field specific major exams
6. Complete dissertation

Finally, don’t do a Ph.D. because you think it’s prestigious! Sometimes, based on your field of interest and country of origin a masters is the farthest you should go. A doctoral program is a major commitment of time and effort. Sometimes learning the skills that you need quickly to gain more real-world experience in your industry can be just as valuable. So don't rush this decision-making process. 

Build a pros and cons list for yourself and weigh the outcomes. Also, ask people about their experience in both a masters and doctoral program. Lastly, make the decision yourself. It may sound obvious but be comfortable with what you plan to do and be confident! 


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