Two doctorate - Your views!

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by chrisjm18, May 25, 2020.

  1. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I noticed that a lot of universities have these weird doctorates, which, I'm my opinion, are nothing but cash cows.

    In addition to the DM (D.Mgt)., the University of Charleston, WV, has a DEL (Doctor of Executive Leadership). Liberty and Regent have a DSL (Doctor of Strategic Leadership). Schools like PACE offer the DPS (Doctor of Professional Studies).

    What happened to the Ph.D. and DBA? Aren't they enough? Can't they just offer either a Ph.D., DBA, or both with a concentration in leadership, strategic leadership, or management?

    In terms of criminal justice/homeland security, St. John's offers a DPS in Homeland Security. APU/AMU (APUS) offers a DSI (Doctor of Strategic Intelligence) and a DGS (Doctor of Global Security). These are probably the worst post-nominal letters I've encountered, along with Liberty's DWS (Doctor of Worship Studies).

    I once considered UCWV's DEL, but I couldn't accept these post-nominal letters.

    I think every field should have one Ph.D. equivalent, not 3 or 5 different degrees.
    JoshD likes this.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    The University of Charleston's program (Doctor of Executive Leadership) existed for a long was originally by Mountain State University (MSU) until it was filed bankruptcy and most assets acquired by the University of Charleston. Henley-Putman University, currently a division of National American University offers Doctorate in Strategic Security (DSS)
  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I did not know the history of UC's DEL program. I once considered Henley-Putnam at NAU when I was shopping around for doctoral programs in CJ and related fields.
    JoshD likes this.
  4. Courcelles

    Courcelles Active Member

    A lot of med schools offer a dual degree plan that awards an MD (or DO) and a Ph.D. Just checking the vet school near me (NC State) reveals a combined DVM/Ph.D. Anyone who finishes one of these programs has two doctorates, though I don't know how many people they actually attract. Of course, anyone going this route would have both doctorates from the same university, which is a bit different than the scenarios discussed here.

    Several law schools offer the SJD, the "Doctor of Judicial Science" or something like that, which require at least a JD (and sometimes an LLM too) for entry. Of course, this is the research qualification in law, so a different animal than two Ph.Ds.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  5. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    The SJD or JSD is a research doctorate in law that is equivalent to a Ph.D. Most of the JSDs I've come across require an LLM.
  6. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    It is, or at least, it has been, unusual for an American trained lawyer to earn the JSD degree. The vast majority of JSD students are legal scholars from foreign law schools seeking to further their careers with an American degree. I don't think this was always the case, though. Law professors in American schools before WWII did seem to have the degree on occasion.

    The reason Americans don't seek the JSD is that it doesn't do anything for them. The basic credential for teaching in a law school is a JD (usually from Yale or Harvard) and a history of publication. Even the LLM isn't really necessary unless you teach tax law.

    American law scholars who decide to pursue a dissertation degree usually earn a PhD in a related field such as criminal justice or psychology.

    This is apparently not the situation in most of the rest of the world, though. Pure speculation on my part, here, but I think one reason for this situation is that American legal scholarship isn't really scholarship at all. I have never seen any sign of an over-arching legal theory in American jurisprudence. The universities do not purport to determine what the the law "should be" so much as report what the law "is" as determined and developed by state and federal legislatures and courts. The best an American scholar can do is collate developments and try to identify trends.

    I suppose American legal "scholarship" reflects the practical American approach to most things. There is very little "airy-fairy" about American law. We are pretty much positivists.
  7. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    It's worth noting that no degree hierarchy is absolute. The system can differ quite a bit between countries as can the convention of post-nominals, titles and other abbreviations. When I was visiting an Austrian university, for example, it wasn't uncommon to see someone's name listed as "Dr.Theo. Neuhaus" indicating that they were, in fact, a doctor but of theology. Compare that to our system of everyone being "Doctor" and with only PhD as a post nominal indicating your highest degree. That cna be in plant science or sociology or media communications.

    It's also an interesting choice that the Doctor of Philosophy be the highest degree in almost every field. Personally, I don't mind seeing that notion being broken down a bit. Perhaps we should see more D.Sc. programs and maybe even another D.Arts.

    My biggest problem, if you will, with this proliferation of non-research doctorates is that I do not want to see degree inflation rise to the point where a doctorate is as expected as a Masters degree is today. It's too much. It's too expensive and it is highly, highly unnecessary. I am hopeful that as student loans reach a crisis point more people will begin thinking "Huh, we don't really need all of this..." and then it will all come crashing down.

    Of course, lately, I've been kind of hoping for the whole damn thing to come crashing down and I start just subsistence farming using my now useless computer components as planters.
    sideman likes this.
  8. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    Does Yale and Harvard put out that many JDs? I genuinely do not know. I do know in my state, at the three law schools (University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University and University of Tulsa) the vast majority of the law school professors have their law degree from somewhere other than Harvard and Yale.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  9. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Oh, doctorate inflation is already a "thing". You could say that the physicians started it but we've called healers "doctor" as a social and professional title since Noah was a midshipman. In the U.S, the stupidity began with the law schools and the asinine LLB/JD renaming. And it was just a renaming. An LLB holder could apply to his law school for a shiny new JD diploma for a modest fee. The JD is, and remains in essence, a professional bachelors degree.

    I worked with a Columbia LLB once who absolutely refused to trade in his 8x11 diploma for a JD bed sheet. He figured it was stupid.

    Then the march to doctor hood really got started. Pharmacists, audiologists, physical therapists...the professional doctorate replaced the well established, non-research professional bachelors degree in field after field.

    Meanwhile, engineering, whose bachelor degree programs are among the most demanding of any professional program, refuses to follow suit. They're right. Engineers tend to be pretty honest people who like straight talk.
  10. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Oh, I forget where I saw the statistic but I'll post it here if I run into it again. Something like 2/3 of all new law professors in law schools got their JD degrees from Harvard or Yale and maybe Stanford. Columbia and Chicago were in there too, but I seem to recall HYS was the major source of tweed jackets with leather elbow patches.

    Now a caution is in order. These professors usually have little to no significant practice experience. Such experience is generally a bad thing on the so-called "academic" side of the law school. That's the side where the money and tenure are and that's where you will find the Yale-ies. The untenured, part time, poorly paid "clinical" instructors can have their degrees from about anywhere so long as their school is ABA approved. Of course, these instructors also have lots of actual practice experience.
    JoshD likes this.
  11. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Dr. John Cencich at Cal U of PA has a JSD. He's a criminal justice professor. Dr. Sanaz Alasti, an associate professor of criminal justice at Lamar University has a JSD as well. Dr. Alasti earned her LLB and LLM from her native country, Iran.
  12. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    The foreign trained professor with a JSD is not as uncommon but if you survey a significant sample you will see what I mean. And in any event, I wouldn't be surprised to see the JSD become more common among younger law professors as competition for assistant professorships in law schools becomes ever more brutal. But I would be surprised if there's more than a sprinkling as opposed to professors with no other degree than the JD or who hold a PhD. Times do change and degree requirements inflate along with degree titles.
  13. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Law will always be the special flower of US academia.

    Unlike the PharmD and the DPT, the JD is not the top of the pyramid. Nope, after the JD you can earn an LLM and after that you can earn a JSD. The ABA maintains that the JD is equivalent to a PhD so it's supposedly equivalent to to the highest qualification in every field despite being the lowest qualification in its own.

    The JD, as far as professional doctorates go, is also the least likely to have its holder tolerated using the title "Doctor" in any setting outside of, perhaps, a classroom where they are teaching.

    I certainly hope that our degrees don't all inflate to doctorates. It's funny that many other countries have resisted this same urge. But I suppose the logical conclusion if we do get there is that we'll have to then start earning two or three doctorates just to compete.
  14. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I guess law schools might agree with the ABA when it comes to faculty hiring. The same is not true for criminal justice faculty positions. Positions requiring a Ph.D. almost always state "the J.D. is not a sufficient degree for this position." I've even seen schools that don't require a Ph.D. stating that the J.D. alone isn't sufficient for a criminal justice faculty position. Unless they are gonna be teaching legal courses within a criminal justice program, the J.D. isn't an ideal degree for aspiring criminal justice faculty.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I wasn't nit-picking. I was asking about the things you posted, wondering what they meant.

    I didn't express any opinions at all. Whatever disagreement there is, it's over the facts.
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Agreed. I cannot imagine the scenario where having two doctorates is an advantage over having one. In fact, we sometimes struggle to find situations where even having one is an advantage.

    There is a tendency to think that education is good and more education is better. But I think there are limits to that regarding degrees. (Not the education, the credential.) But this applies at all levels when it comes to multiple degrees. Two bachelor's isn't inherently better than one, nor is having two master's. There may be situations where the second degree matters more than the first (or vice versa), but stacking two of them doesn't double the impression of the first.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I think you mean "first professional doctorate." These are a category of degrees distinct from professional doctorates. First professional doctorates are the credential used to enter a profession. And yes, we've seen quite the inflation of what constitutes an entry-level degree. Physician's assistants and physical therapists now take a master's (and in a few cases, a doctorate). Nurse practitioners take a master's and, increasingly, a DNP. Pharmacists, as you note, often take a DPharm instead of the old bachelor's degree. And so on.

    But these are distinct from professional doctorates. They train people to enter a licensed profession and do not typically end with a doctoral thesis (or comparable research project).
  18. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    It's worth noting, though, that the JD is considered by the ABA to be equivalent to a PhD in law. CJ is not law (and vice versa). So I don't think it is any great anomaly. I see M.D.'s teaching in Physician Assistant programs but, unless they have other qualifications, you don't see M.D.'s teaching college level biology. Their doctorate is in Medicine. And while there is some alignment between medicine and biology, the two are not interchangeable. I imagine it's a similar position to the lawyers in this situation. But, university wide, assuming they are teaching a subject in which they are qualified, the JD seems to be reasonably well accepted as PhD equivalent.

    Cornell recently had a president whose highest degree was a JD. That's the top spot at an Ivy League school and they were OK with it. Meanwhile, as you say, that same person might not have been eligible to teach CJ at a small state college somewhere else. Once you're a professor of anything, you can potentially rise through the administration ranks in the university world.
  19. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Active Member

    Having multiple Doctorates is becoming more common because it is a selling point for colleges whether they are nationally, regionally, religiously-exempt or unaccredited. With so many variations of names and specialties to these degrees, being able to legally use the term "Dr." may be the very reason obtaining these degrees are either required or becoming more easier to do so. An example would be University of Sedona / University of Metaphysics. You could easily become a Rev. Dr. there and be able to use both titles based on ministerial ordination and religious exemption. The Doctorate degrees at accredited universities in some cases are probably as easy as Bachelors degrees, just more expensive. It's about appealing to ego more so than a career boost in my opinion.
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
  20. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Oh, yes, when I was in law school, the president of the university had an LLB only. He DID rejoice in the title "Doctor" so I wrote to the President's office asking how come? I got a very nice note back that said that he didn't refer to himself that way but the rest of the university did just because it seemed appropriate. Kind of an informal honorary doctorate, I guess. Understand, though, that if a local used car dealer demonstrated a solid knack for attracting donors and funding, no university would likely hesitate to make him its president!
    Last edited: May 26, 2020

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