Is It Possible To Get a Doctorate Degree Without a Dissertation?


Students who don’t want to go through the rigors of working on a dissertation for several months often want to know if they can get a doctorate degree without having to write a dissertation. The question is valid and there are some things to know about what the doctorate degrees you can earn without writing a dissertation mean for your academic career.

Types of Doctorate Degrees

The first thing to know is that a doctorate degree without a dissertation is technically not a PhD. The doctorates that are rewarded are usually in the fields of business (Doctor of Business, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Physical Therapy, etc.). These degrees are awarded as certifications that allow someone to practice certain positions, but don’t require the work of a dissertation.

Work Required for Some Doctorate Degrees

While no dissertation may be required, there is a usually a long and difficult project candidates of these degrees must complete. Usually these include some type of practical work within the field that appropriately applies the theory learned within the discipline. These projects, however, aren’t simple alternatives and usually require several hours of work at accredited institutions as well as several pieces of writing submitted throughout the final year.

Different Requirements Around the World

If you’re considering getting a doctorate degree without a dissertation then you should consider where you imagine yourself starting your professional career. Different countries have different requirements and allow for students to complete specific doctorate programs without writing a dissertation. This, of course, varies so much that it’s impossible to discuss in its entirety.

School and Location Preference

In the U.S., there aren’t many institutions that offer doctorates without a dissertation, but they do exist. Some schools offer the opportunity to publish several research articles in lieu of a dissertation, while other schools allow you to work on a cumulative research project that can take almost the entire year to complete. Again, it’s difficult to list every school that offers options like the ones above, so first consider where you see yourself living in the next few years and start from there.

Is Writing a Dissertation Worth It?

After finding out the details above, you’re probably wondering if perhaps writing a dissertation is worth it? This is a question of preference but you can see that a dissertation can open up a lot more opportunities professionally. Before making your choice you should consider what your academic strengths are. If you feel you aren’t a strong enough writer then know that the amount of writing you do to earn a doctorate without a dissertation won’t be much less (and in some cases could be more). Also, you’re not alone in finding writing a dissertation difficult, and now there are a lot more resources available to help you along the way in completing a great work.