Doctorate Question

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by fritzy202, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. fritzy202

    fritzy202 New Member

    Ok, so my boss keeps bugging me to go for my doctorate, but I'm not so sure. Here is my problem, first I'm getting tired of school due to my pace with school for the last 3 years. That coupled with the fact that I'm truly tired and fed up with writing papers and I don't like research for the sake of writing papers. This makes me think that a doctorate isn't or shouldn't be in my future. I know this group is full of knowledge and resources so here goes:

    Does anyone know of a doctorate program that doesn't require a dissertation or heavy research project? I don't mind completing a project, but have no desire at my age to try to do a heavy research project then try to write a 700 page dissertation. I don't mind doing an oral presentation / defense or a project with a reasonable paper. What is the shortest doctorate program that anyone knows of? I have looked at some that are 97 credits! That would be ridiculous to embark on at my age. My boss wants to be able to check a check box and I honestly think she is planning on moving up to VP and wants me to apply for Dean so that might be her motivation. I'm not interested in a need to be called a doctor and it would be a check box marked off, much like others do with undergrad degrees. I would rather use it to teach undergrad programs at the university level instead of being a Dean...too much paperwork for my liking!

    Does anyone know of a short and sweet doctoral program that doesn't require a dissertation or cost a fortune? I would prefer the subject area to be education, healthcare or health science or possibly health information as these are my preferred subjects. I like psych too, but those are usually PhD programs and in comes the research and dissertations I want to avoid.

    I'm not sure if this is possible, but I thought I would ask.

  2. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    This is the forum for this question. I would strongly consider NCU's EdD. There is a dissertation, but the requirements for an applied doctorate are slightly less than a PhD.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    What you're describing is not a doctorate. The dissertation is what makes the doctorate unique, and is what introduces you to the world of academia and research. In fact, the coursework-then-dissertation approach is only one of two major ways to earn a Ph.D. (In that case, it is a "taught" degree.") The other is a thesis-only approach, often seen in Europe. In fact, at most UK schools, the only way to earn the Ph.D. is thesis-only ("big book" degree). "Taught" degrees are usually given alternate titles (like "DBA"). In either case, however, a thesis is required. (The taught degrees require a "little book" thesis--about 50K words, more in line with what we see in the U.S.)

    But a doctorate without a thesis (or comparable project)? No. Not a real one. Even the schools that offer "practitioner" doctorates and have as their capstone a "doctoral project" will require a substantial piece of work. It will be different, but not easier, smaller, or faster. See Colorado Technical University for an example of what I'm talking about.

    Do a doctorate because you want to do one. Or don't.
  4. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    No dissertation means no doctorate.
  5. fritzy202

    fritzy202 New Member

    So, help me understand this. If I don't want a Ph.D, but something like a DBA, DHA or EdD they all have to include a dissertation? How does a doing a huge research paper benefit you in your day to day work? I would think an applied project that actually utilizes what you have learned into a real world application is more beneficial? What am I missing? I just don't get how a huge research paper prepares me to manage a hospital department or teach an undergrad healthcare management program. The great minds here are much smarter than I am, so please help me understand how this makes sense? If I wanted to become a researcher, then yes I could see the value of a PhD, but to be a teacher or manager I don't get it. Don't get me wrong I have no problem with doing some research and I would love to debate/defend my opinion and/or research, but it is the manual process of actually writing a paper and the technical aspects of formatting a huge paper that doesn't appeal to me. I know it is wrong to feel that way, but I do. My MHA program changed up its focus about halfway through to focus solely on APA formatting instead of content and student-instructor interaction and it ruined the program. It makes me wonder what is more important knowing how to write a paper or knowing how to really do your job well? I don't get how one proves the other. Help me understand this!
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Doctoral degreees are not for everyone. They're not supposed to be for everyone and the vast majority of people, myself included, don't have one or want one. If it doesn't make sense to you then I suggest that you just let it go.
  7. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    Both Rich and Ted are correct. You cannot escape the research and writing. As Rich noted, even professional doctorates like DBA & DMin's require a researched component with practical application. A friend's doctoral dissertation for his D.Min was around 400 pages.
  8. Delta

    Delta Active Member

    There was a forum participant who recently completed his/her doctorate at Valdosta State University in Public Administration:

    DPA Program Requirements

    For the most part, the doctoral experience regardless of area of specialization includes: research, writing, statistics and some form of "capstone" either a dissertation or project.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You're not talking about improving your work. You're talking about doing a doctorate.

    The doctorate is the pinnacle of research in one's discipline. Not field, discipline. It's not about improving your individual performance. It IS about adding to the theoretical constructs in your discipline. THAT, in turn, can be used to improve practice. I hope you get that. If not, please re-read it. It matters.
    You're missing the point about the doctorate. If you want to do an applied project--not your original objection, IIRC--then go do one. Oh, and NCU allows one to do an applied dissertation (where the theoretical contributions do not have to be made to one's discipline). But it is not easier, nor shorter.
    The dissertation process throws you into the literature of your discipline like no other experience. You truly embrace the various thoughts, arguments, etc. of your discipline, then add to them. You become a part of it, instead of remaining an observer (like now). That, in turn, benefits your students tremendously.
    You're right; you don't get it. But you can, if you choose. The doctorate makes you a better teacher because you become part of your discipline.
    Feel however you want. But if you think what you feel is wrong, do something about it. Don't look for validation of something you've already decided is wrong.
    'Nuff said. Do it or don't.
  10. fritzy202

    fritzy202 New Member

    Rich, thanks for the detailed explanation. That really helps me understand the purpose of a doctorate and it puts the research and dissertation into perspective. I guess that I was feeling the pressure from several sides to continue my studies, but since I'm 49 I'm not sure the investment in time and money is worth it, especially with one child just starting college and another one soon to be in college. I will need to be happy with my accomplishments and hope that I'm able to continue my love of teaching without a doctorate. I'm happy to make my contribution to education through my teaching and students! Thanks for your help!
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You're very welcome. Thanks for taking the "tough love" so well. But I have one question for you, regarding your age. How old will you be if you don't do it?

    BTW, you're right near the median age for doctoral learners at Union (at least, when I did mine). Many people use the doctoral experience to re-direct their careers. It's a good opportunity to do something big that defines what you do professionally in the future. (Not me, but I'm fixing that.)

    Good luck!
  12. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    I feel a little bit bad for you that you are being pressured to complete a doctorate.
    If you just need to make progress on it, then I would suggest enrolling in a program that has stepping stones to a PhD.
    NCU has a CAGS, which is a 6 course sequence that results in a certificate. These 6 courses will expand your knowledge in your discipline.
    If you want to continue with the PhD, 5 courses will transfer in. Those 5 will make up your specialization. You will need 15 more for a PhD or 13 more for a DBA/EdD.

    Another option is an EdS at Liberty or others. I think that you can earn one while pursuing a doctorate. The point is that if you need to get your manager off your back about the doctorate, you can do so by beginning the process.
  13. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    I second the idea of an EdS at Liberty. That's where I am right now and I am enjoying the option of bailing out half way and still ending up with a respectable degree. Not sure if I'm going to bail, but it is a comfort to know I have that option. I can tell you a lot about the program if you are interested.

    Only a degree mill can offer the kind of doctorate that is easy with no heavy project at the end. I don't know of any real doctorate program that does not require some sort of dissertation; it's an integral part of the degree.
  14. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    What is the difference between one's field and one's discipline?
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    "Field" is where one works. "Discipline" is an academic area of research supported by extant theory. For example, cost accounting would be a field, but I doubt it would be an academic discipline. Not that one couldn't do research in it, of course, but it would be part of a greater academic discipline (accounting theory, perhaps?).

    It is a challenge to link theory and practice. To do so, it is important to know how each is constructed as they relate to one's research interests.

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