I started a doctorate degree about a year a half ago and I’ve learned a couple of things.

  • The first thing is that the GRE is intimidating.  The test itself is not incredibly difficult, but the expense and over-the-top security measures make it an uncomfortable experience.
  • A doctorate degree is much more complicated than a master’s degree.  You have to choose a committee, you need to decide on a major research topic and whether it will be quantitative or qualitative, then there is the whole IRB thing.
  • Not all faculty members are eligible to be your advisor or to serve on your committee.  Also, not all faculty members get along and should never, under any circumstances serve on the same committee.  You have to figure all of that out.
  • You need to get published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • You need to have an amazing CV, be prepared for interviews and learn how to negotiate your salary.
  • Go ahead an buy the APA manual; it’s worth it.
  • Graduate level classes are EXPENSIVE!!!
  • Check your tuition bill. Chances are you were overcharged for something.
  • You need to get connected to professional organizations in your field of expertise.
  • You need to REALLY want a doctorate degree.  There are many challenges and struggles.  You need to have a clear vision of why you are doing this because it will cost you monetarily and personally.
  • If you wish to teach at a university, do not get your doctorate degree from a for profit organization.

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