Difference Between EdD & PhD

When it comes to pursuing higher education with a focus on research and education, various doctoral degrees are available, with a PhD being the most well-known. However, the Doctor of Education (EdD) is another degree that is often considered. Understanding the differences between the EdD and PhD can help students make an informed decision about which degree to pursue.

Key Takeaways

  • PhD and EdD are research-based doctoral level degree programs that require original research by the student.
  • PhD is awarded in most fields of study, while EdD remains an education-based degree.
  • PhD is better for those interested in teaching as a profession, while EdD is a better choice for those who want to be a practicing educator or educational administrator.

PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is a degree that reflects the fact that the student has become a doctor in their chosen subject. The term “philosophy” is used to indicate a love for wisdom, as a doctorate can be attained in arts, science, or engineering streams. The primary requirement of a PhD is the submission of an original research paper that is good enough to be published in a journal. The student is required to remain on campus under the supervision and guidance of a professor. A PhD can only be undertaken after completing a bachelor’s level undergraduate degree. The degree is awarded once the student’s thesis or dissertation has been published in a journal and reviewed by a panel of experts. A career in research and teaching often requires students to complete their PhD to progress to higher levels smoothly.

EdD, or Doctor of Education, is a degree that is considered suitable for students who want to make a career in the field of academics and research. Students who pass this doctoral degree have lucrative career options in academics and research in both public and private organizations. The EdD is considered the terminal degree or the highest level degree in a subject and is common in the United States and other countries in North America. Although many people think of it as equivalent to a PhD, there are some differences between the two.

While both PhD and EdD are research-based doctoral level degree programs that require original research by the student, there are some key distinctions between the two. The PhD is awarded in most fields of study, whereas the EdD remains an education-focused degree. Additionally, the PhD is more common in English-speaking countries, especially the United Kingdom and the rest of the Commonwealth. For students who want to become professors one day, a PhD is a better option. The PhD program prepares researchers and educators, while the EdD program produces researching professionals.

In summary, a PhD is a better choice for those interested in making teaching a profession, while an EdD is a better option for those who want to be a practicing educator or educational administrator, such as a school superintendent. However, either of the two degrees is sufficient to be labeled as a doctor and for employment purposes.

Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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