What to consider when choosing a doctorate course?

In USA, there are two types of postgraduate: lato sensu and a stricto sensu. In each of them we find a second branch. For the first, we have specializations and MBA’s, and for the second, there are masters and doctorates. Some information, such as these, is paramount when choosing a doctorate course.

For a good evaluation of which is the best option for your case, several factors need to be taken into consideration, such as the type of career you want to pursue, the area of ​​expertise within your profession and even the options of places to do a type course.

Several particularities differentiate each of these modalities. So in this post, we will address these differences. In addition, we seek to delve a bit more about the doctorate, raising some tips for you to select the best course. Check out!

What is the doctorate?

The focus of our post is to help you choose a doctorate course – so before anything else, you need to know what it’s all about. As already pointed out, this is a stricto sensu course and is usually done after graduation and masters, but there are programs and institutions that allow direct access to it.

The choice of research to be developed by a doctoral candidate should aim at an effective contribution in his area. Do not want to solve all the problems and stay focused. A good cut of the subject will save time and, therefore, your work will have the necessary relevance for this type of course.

The completion time of a PhD course may vary depending on the field of study and the type of research, but usually it lasts between 3 and 4 years. In this period, you need to fulfill the hours, with attendance classes, participation in conferences and, of course, writing the thesis.

What is the difference between MBA, specialization, master’s and doctorate?

Now that you already know what a PhD course is, it’s time to understand the different characteristics that make each type of graduate student unique. Let’s look at the main ones:


Turning to the job market, MBA courses have professional enhancement as a goal. The duration is 1 to 2 years and the focus is the management and administration sector. The performance in the job market concomitant with the MBA course is an advantage for anyone who wants to merge theory and practice.


Normally, graduation is a snapshot of everything that exists within a particular area – and specialization serves to reduce such complexity. This modality makes a professional able to act in much more specific areas and is shorter. You can do more than one type course and vary according to your professional performance.


The master’s degree is the first step for those who want to continue their studies (this time, with the focus on the academy). Although there are professional masters, who more or less follow the idea of ​​specialization, people still choose traditional courses when they want to become university professors or researchers.

Doctorate degree

It is the title of doctor that guarantees you the qualification as a researcher. With the MEC increasingly demanding, American colleges have to hire a percentage of masters and doctors for their teaching staff. So that’s one more way to slow down the path to the dreamed-up college professor wave.

How to choose a doctorate course?

1. Check the reputation of the educational institution

Never stop entering the MEC website to see if the institution of your choice is within the minimum requirements to function. In addition, in the case of stricto sensu graduate studies, there is CAPES – an institution that evaluates each masters and doctoral program, assigning them grades 1 through 7.

2. See the topics developed by other doctoral students

It is always good to stay inside of what is being researched in your area. It’s no use wanting to do a doctorate in an institution where your project does not fit. Probably it will not even be approved, since there are lines of research pre-established in each program.

3. Check the faculty’s curriculum

You also need to check which are the areas of the teachers of the chosen course. As with the topics developed by other doctoral students, the projects of the teachers follow a specific line and, in order for their work to be approved, it is necessary to adapt it to these details.

4. Analyze the course structure

This tip can be followed in relation to the physical structure, thinking about laboratories, classrooms and the use of innovative and updated technologies. But we can also think about the possibility of distance classes, financial aid for participation in events and scholarships.

5. Choose an institution thinking about different possibilities

When we choose to continue the studies in the strictly sensu molds, the most common is to first pass the master’s degree and then get to the doctorate, and some specialization may be done before or between the two options.

What differentiates the masters and doctorates, as we have already pointed out, is the choice of the academic career. That is why getting to know new areas and taking each course in different institutions can be a way to increasingly enrich your curriculum.

6. Know the steps of the selection process

It is important to emphasize that, in most institutions, it is required, for masters and doctoral courses, the proficiency in a foreign language. In the largest universities in the country, such as Unicamp, the test of instrumental English may be a prerequisite in some doctoral courses, and a good grade is essential for the classification and continuation of the selection process.

Going beyond graduation becomes, increasingly, a requirement for the job market. Making the right decision is essential to not accumulate diplomas. So choosing a doctorate course that takes your face is essential to ensuring your professional success.

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