PhD Vs Doctorate: Differences and Other Considerations

PhD Vs Doctorate

The PhD vs doctorate debate has been going for years. Many students and graduates ask us the difference between a PhD degree and a doctorate degree. Truth be told, many people don’t even know that there is a relatively big difference between these two degrees. This is probably why the PhD vs doctorate debate won’t go away anytime soon.

To make sure you make an informed decision, we have compiled all the information about the doctorate degree vs PhD on this page. You will learn what each degree is and the main difference between the two. We will also talk about which degree to choose and whether one is better than the other. Finally, we have a very nice doctorate vs PhD FAQ section; don’t forget to check it out!

What is PhD?

To help you better understand the difference between doctorate and PhD, we will start by explaining exactly what each degree is and how it is attained. The truth is that doctorate and PhD can look pretty similar to most graduates. A PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is the perfect degree for graduates that want to do original research and help advance their field. Here are some of the characteristics of a PhD program:

  • The graduate will identify gaps in knowledge and attempt to fill them using original research that he or she will conduct on his or her own.
  • The graduate can choose to analyze the theory and the concepts in the field.
  • The original research will advance the field of the graduate.
  • The graduate will often research emerging theories and evaluate them.

It is also worth noting that a PhD usually enables the holder to teach his or her own course at the university level.

What is Doctorate?

Next in our professional doctorate vs PhD post, we will talk about the professional doctorate. This degree is perfect for professionals who are already working in their field. You need to have practical experience and a desire to increase your knowledge and solve complex problems. There are many doctorate degrees, including the DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice), DBA (Doctor of Business Administration), EdD (Doctor of Education), and DrPH (Doctor of Public Health). Here are some of the characteristics of a professional doctorate:

  • The graduate will apply his research (or research done by others) to practical applications in a specific field.
  • The graduate will use his research or the research of others to solve complex problems that frequently arise in his field of expertise
  • A graduate can evaluate emerging research and use it to solve a problem.
  • The research should expand the professional knowledge in a particular field.

The Difference Between PhD and Doctorate

So, is a PhD the same as a doctorate? Is PhD and doctorate the same thing? Even though they may have similarities, these two degrees are actually different. The PhD is more focused on the theoretical part of a field, which the professional doctorate focuses on the practical aspect. In addition, there are also some differences when it comes to the degree completion requirements.

While both the PhD and the doctorate candidate will have to write a lengthy – and quite complex — academic paper, the focus on each paper is different. This is what you need to keep in mind when analyzing PhD vs doctorate education.

A PhD dissertation requires the candidate to identify a gap in knowledge and research it. The aim of the dissertation is to add to existing knowledge. Of course, you are allowed – even encouraged – to research an area that has not been researched as of yet.

A doctoral study, on the other hand, requires you to identify a real world problem and research a new, better way to solve it. Your research should lead to novel ways to solve complex issues in your professional field.

Both the professional doctorate thesis and the PhD dissertation will have to be defended orally to a committee. In addition, both the PhD and the professional doctorate candidate will have to start their project with a proposal or prospectus, which will have to be defended orally to the committee.

Doctorate Vs PhD: Which Is Better?

What is the difference between a PhD and a doctorate? Now you know! But which one is better? Truth be told, both the doctorate and the PhD are equally important. Neither of them is better than the other. The difference between a PhD and a doctorate is mainly related to the scope of the research and the problem that the dissertation aims to solve. While the PhD focuses on original research and on the theoretical aspect, the professional doctorate mainly focuses on the practical applications of research (which may or may not be your own).

When it comes to wages, both the professional doctorate and the PhD degree will give you approximately the same opportunities. And yes, both the PhD and doctorate degrees will enable you to transition to a faculty teaching position. This should put the “PhD vs doctorate degree” debate to rest, at least when it comes to wages.

PhD or Doctorate: Which One Should You Choose?

I can choose between PhD or doctorate. Which one should I pick? When it comes to the “doctorate or PhD” debate, we consider that things should be left up to the candidate. If you are more interested in the theoretical part of your field, you should go for a PhD. If you want to solve a complex problem or advance your professional career, you should aim to get a professional doctorate.

However, you should remember the PhD and doctorate differences. The PhD dissertation will research something new, while the doctorate candidate will be allowed to use existing research.

Ultimately, both the PhD and doctorate degree offers you the same benefits. However, in this “PhD versus doctorate” discussion, we need to warn you that getting any of these two degrees requires a lot of hard work. It may take you years to complete all the requirements of the PhD or doctoral program, so make sure you know everything about your chosen program before you start the project. The good news is that, when it comes to doctorate versus PhD problems, we have experts who can help you with any of the two papers. You can now work closely with a PhD or professional degree expert and significantly decrease the time it takes you to get the degree.


What is the “PhD doctorate degree”?

This is a term used mainly on the Internet. It is also incorrect. A PhD is a PhD and a professional doctorate is a doctorate. Instead of using the term “PhD doctorate,” you should use “PhD degree” or “professional doctorate degree,” depending on what you are referring to.

What are the differences between doctorate awarded vs PhD?

There is no “doctorate awarded” degree in existence today. A doctorate is awarded to a candidate upon completion of all the requirements of the doctoral program. The term doctorate refers to a professional doctorate, which is different from a PhD.

Which is higher PhD or doctorate?

Neither one is higher because both the professional doctorate and the PhD are considered terminal degrees. As such, both these degrees are of equal value.

OK, but is a PhD a doctorate degree?

Yes, the PhD is a type of doctorate. As its name – Doctor of Philosophy – clearly suggests, the PhD is a doctoral degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a PhD and a Doctorate?
A PhD is a type of doctorate that focuses on research, while a doctorate is a broader term that encompasses various types of degrees such as a Doctor of Education, Doctor of Business Administration, and Doctor of Psychology.
What are the requirements for earning a PhD or a doctorate degree?
To earn a PhD or a doctorate, you must complete a rigorous academic program, conduct original research, and write and defend a dissertation or thesis. The specific requirements vary depending on the program and field of study.