What is the difference between Ph.D. and master?

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What is the difference between Ph.D. and master?

Although there are several types of postgraduate degrees available for those who wish to continue their higher education, the most common are Master’s Degrees and Doctorates (Ph.D., EdD, and others).

These degrees vary in complexity and time from each other – but not only that. So it’s important to understand PhDs and Master’s individually, before deciding which one is best for you.

What is a master’s degree?

A master’s degree is a type of postgraduate degree that deepens the knowledge of the licentiate or bachelor’s degree. In general, students who are interested in the academic area choose to take a master’s degree, either to become a professor or to consolidate themselves as a researcher.

For those who are not interested, there are also “Lato sensu” (“in a broad sense”) master’s programs that have a more practical focus and are less connected to scientific research.

This is the case of MBAs (more focused on corporate careers). Some fellowships, short courses, short-term research, specializations, and professional development programs are also sometimes called master’s degrees.

How long is the master’s degree?

Masters courses generally last two years (after obtaining a bachelor’s degree). All master’s programs involve courses and examinations and, depending on the field, an internship or other applied experience – for example, field practice is required when doing a master’s in psychology.

The dissertation may or may not be mandatory for obtaining the diploma. Some programs require written work, while others offer options between a dissertation and a final exam. An important way in which PhD and Master’s programs differentiate is the availability of financial aid.

Master’s Scholarships

Most programs do not offer as much financial aid to master’s students as they do to doctoral students, and it is not uncommon for masters to have to pay most or all of their tuition fees.

Why do a master’s degree?

The importance of pursuing a master’s degree varies according to the area. In general, universities require a minimum master’s degree as a requirement to hire a professor. In addition, completing a master’s degree also confers career authority.

In some cases, by the way, a master’s degree can be much more advantageous than a doctorate – for example, a master’s degree in social work (MSW) can be more cost-effective than a doctorate, considering the time and investments required for each and the difference in payment.

What is PhD?

The Ph.D., in literal translation, means Philosophy Doctor. Despite this, the title is not only awarded to “Doctors in Philosophy”. It is a higher academic degree and, strictly speaking, is the same as a doctorate, with the difference that the acronym Ph.D. is usually used to refer to doctoral programs abroad.

A doctoral program is also intended to further research and grow in the academic field (although it is not limited to that). By deepening, here, it is understood that the doctor is the one who really has knowledge about a certain subject, since, in general, his research needs to be unprecedented and more extensive in relation to the master’s degree.

How long does the Ph.D. last?

Depending on the program, it can take between 4 and 8 years to complete. Typically, Ph.D. programs in the United States include two or three years of study and a thesis – which is an independent research project designed to build new knowledge in your field and be of publication-worthy quality. Some fields, such as applied psychology, may also require an internship of a year or more.

Ph.D. Scholarships

Most doctoral programs offer various forms of financial assistance, from scholarships to funding assistance. Availability and forms of help vary by area (fields where there is research funded by large companies, for example, are more likely to “hire” their students/researchers in exchange for tuition waivers) and by institution.

Unlike what happens in Brazil, abroad it is not necessary to obtain a master’s degree in order to then undertake a doctorate. However, students in some doctoral programs also have the opportunity to earn a master’s degree in the process.

Ph.D. and Masters: Which is Best for You?

There is no easy answer – it depends on your interests, field, motivation and career goals. Read more about your field and consult with professors and professionals to find out which option will best meet your expectations. Always consider the following points before making the decision:

1. What types of jobs do people who have PhDs and Masters in their field have? What are the differences between the two?

2. How much does each program cost? What is the salary outlook after completing the course? Is the salary projection worth the investment?

3. Are you interested enough to engage in how many years of study?

4. Would earn a Ph.D. offer you substantial benefits in your current job or other opportunities?

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