Applying for a doctorate program can be exciting and frightening at the same time. You should understand that a doctorate program can be very demanding. It is important that you understand the extent of coursework that will be required before you apply. Each doctorate program is different so you may need to research the program that you are planning to apply to and learn the specifics so that you know what to expect.
A doctorate will be necessary if you are planning to work in certain professions. If you want to teach your chosen topic or research, then you will need to pursue your PhD. Once you have determined that you do in fact want to obtain your doctorate, you will need to find an appropriate doctoral program. It is recommended that you apply to more than just one program. In fact, some students apply to as many as ten or more programs to increase their chances of being accepted. Getting into a doctorate program can be difficult so be prepared to apply to several.
You can greatly increase your chances of being accepted into a program by completing the GRE tests. Not all doctorate programs require you to complete this test although it is a good idea just to let them know that you are serious about pursuing your degree. If you are in a degree program currently that does not require a GRE score, you will need to ensure that your GPA is well above the accepted level.
Gaining experience working in your chosen field can also be very helpful. Anything that you can do that is related to your field will help. If you can find a position that enables you to assist in studies or in teaching in your field or if you can write an honor’s thesis, this can be very helpful in demonstrating your ability to perform in your field without having to go through rigorous training. Many doctorate programs will look at your experience and anything that you can add will be helpful.
You will want to become familiar with the doctorate program supervisors in the program that you are interested in. In many cases it is the reputation of a supervisor in a doctorate program that carries the most weight. While the program itself is important, the supervisor can greatly help you in being accepted into a specific program. You want to know that your study objectives are in collaboration to the supervisors and their interests in their field. You can write to the faculty of the programs you are considering before you apply just to ensure that your study objectives will be a good fit for their program.
Every doctorate program is different. Each will have its own requirements and it is important that you are prepared to meet the requirements for each program that you plan to apply for so that you are not simply wasting your time. Many programs require a Master’s degree while others may simply require a set of specific undergraduate requirements. Others may have very light requirements. Research the programs that you are interested in thoroughly before applying to give yourself the best chance of being accepted.