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Getting to Know You: Choosing the Right Doctorate Quiz

Today’s doctorate programs offer a gamut of options to choose from. Take our quiz to find out which option makes the most sense for you.

Last updated

Feb 15, 2021

Choosing the right doctorate degree is a personal decision, but there are some essential questions that can help you focus your efforts on finding the right PhD or professional doctorate program. The amount of time you have for school, the field you want to study, your current career, your location, and other crucial elements all weigh heavily into what kind of program you ultimately choose.

Whether you’re looking for a PhD or a professional doctorate, full or part-time study options, or an online, on-campus, or hybrid program, this quiz can help you decide which options suit you best.

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Where you’re at in your professional or academic life can determine what kind of doctorate you should choose. What have you been doing since you graduated with your bachelor’s degree?

If you answered A and have work experience in your field, you’ll want to choose a professional degree or PhD program in the same field as your master’s degree or certificate. You may be able to apply some or all of your studies towards your doctorate.

If you chose B, you should consider a professional degree in your field if one is offered. It will probably be the straightest line from where you are now to where you want to be.

If you answered C and aren’t expecting to change jobs before you pursue your doctorate, you may want to pursue a PhD, since a professional degree typically requires subject knowledge and experience.

If you chose D, a PhD with a master’s component could be your best choice. You’ll be able to get your feet wet in a graduate program while working towards the doctorate you want to earn.

Why are you considering a doctorate degree?

In several fields, including education and nursing, an A answer may lead you to a professional doctorate, which typically requires work experience and is an attractive option for those who want to stay in the same field.

If you chose B, you could go for either a professional degree or a PhD, depending on which field you want to be a leader in. Some fields have specific professional degree requirements, while a PhD can also lead to leadership positions.

Answering C will most likely lead you to a PhD, which may not have the same work experience requirements as a professional doctorate but will enable you to make lasting contributions in the field you choose.

If you chose D, you could go either way, but a PhD might have a slight edge. While professional degrees tend to be field- and career-focused, some PhDs, though not all, can be academic and research-focused.

What is your favorite part of learning?

If you chose A or B, look at PhD programs in your area of interest. Between your dissertation study and writing and your coursework, you’ll take the deep dive into your subject area that you need.

If you chose A or B, look at PhD programs in your area of interest. Between your dissertation study and writing and your coursework, you’ll take the deep dive into your subject area that you need.

If you love collaborative learning and chose C, you could choose a professional degree or PhD, depending on your field of interest. Some PhDs are highly collaborative, while others are less so.

Answering D may lead you to a professional degree in your current field, which you can take with you into the workplace and show others what you’ve learned.

In 4 years, you would like to be:

If you answered A or B and are looking to be done with a doctorate program and making an impact in your career within 4 years, a professional doctorate may be the most logical choice.

If you answered A or B and are looking to be done with a doctorate program and making an impact in your career within 4 years, a professional doctorate may be the most logical choice.

If you answered C or D and can stay in school longer, a PhD could be the best choice.

If you answered C or D and can stay in school longer, a PhD could be the best choice.

Whether you choose a PhD or professional doctorate, how many years could you realistically devote to more school?

If you answered A or B and need a program that’s shorter in length, you’ll probably need existing education and experience in your doctorate field and should seek out full-time and possibly accelerated programs. Some business doctorates offer accelerated offerings, while education professional doctorates may take only a few years if you’ve already earned a master’s degree in your field. Other doctorate fields of study offer similar timeframes.

If you answered A or B and need a program that’s shorter in length, you’ll probably need existing education and experience in your doctorate field and should seek out full-time and possibly accelerated programs. Some business doctorates offer accelerated offerings, while education professional doctorates may take only a few years if you’ve already earned a master’s degree in your field. Other doctorate fields of study offer similar timeframes.

If you answered C you may still need to go full-time for some fields, but you should be able to find a part-time program.

If you chose D, you have your choice of full- or part-time and can choose your program based on your other responsibilities.

You do best in school when you:

While many doctorate programs offer a combination of online and on-campus instruction, if you answered A or B, you should look for a campus or hybrid program. You may have to fulfill some requirements online even with a campus program, but you’ll get the face-to-face interaction you need with both types of instruction.

While many doctorate programs offer a combination of online and on-campus instruction, if you answered A or B, you should look for a campus or hybrid program. You may have to fulfill some requirements online even with a campus program, but you’ll get the face-to-face interaction you need with both types of instruction.

If you chose C, a hybrid program would be ideal but many online programs also offer opportunities for face-to-face interaction via video chat and on-campus meetups.

If you chose D, focus on finding a fully online program. You may find there’s a small in-person component, but the bulk of your work will be done independently.

What does a typical week look like for you?

If you answered A and have a lot of flexibility, you can probably attend a full-time campus program with no problem and may enjoy being on campus, but hybrid and online will also work for you.

If you answered B because you have some things you just can’t move around, hybrid or online full-time programs can enable you to meet those obligations.

If you answered C and have little or no flexibility in your schedule, online will probably work best for you because even hands-on components of online programs will often offer those opportunities for students with full schedules. Part-time could be a good option if available in your program.

If you answered D, you may want to try to work on freeing up the hours you’ll need to pursue an online, part-time doctorate.

How are you with technology, particularly mobile technology and computer apps?

If you answered A, B, or C, you can feel confident in an online or hybrid doctorate program. Even if you answered D, you might be surprised to find out how well programs have adapted to online learning. You don’t have to be a tech genius to excel in a doctorate program online. You just need a good computer and WiFi connection and the ability to follow directions.

If you answered A, B, or C, you can feel confident in an online or hybrid doctorate program. Even if you answered D, you might be surprised to find out how well programs have adapted to online learning. You don’t have to be a tech genius to excel in a doctorate program online. You just need a good computer and WiFi connection and the ability to follow directions.

If you answered A, B, or C, you can feel confident in an online or hybrid doctorate program. Even if you answered D, you might be surprised to find out how well programs have adapted to online learning. You don’t have to be a tech genius to excel in a doctorate program online. You just need a good computer and WiFi connection and the ability to follow directions.

If you answered A, B, or C, you can feel confident in an online or hybrid doctorate program. Even if you answered D, you might be surprised to find out how well programs have adapted to online learning. You don’t have to be a tech genius to excel in a doctorate program online. You just need a good computer and WiFi connection and the ability to follow directions.