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Fast Track PhD/ EdD VS. Master's Degree; Choosing PhD or EdD in Education

bellajon10bellajon10 Posts: 1Registered User New Member
edited November 2012 in Graduate School
I have so many questions that I would love to get some insight on.

I am currently finishing up my Bachelor’s degree in Child Development (that leads to credentialing). I have ambitions to pursue a PhD or EdD in the educational field. I feel like my Master’s degree is just a mild stepping stone to getting where I want to be in my educational goals. I was reading up on the Fast Track option and I cannot find too much information on it (without calling every school). Is there a list of schools that allow the Fast Track option that is attainable? If not, does anyone know what schools do offer this option?

Also I would really like some insight about if it is the right approach or not. What would you consider some of the pro’s and con’s to the fast track option?

Which is better in the educational field to obtain a PhD or an EdD?

I realize that some of you may not have answers or feedback to all the questions but I truly appreciate the insight that you are willing to offer in any of these topics.

Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
Post edited by bellajon10 on

Replies to: Fast Track PhD/ EdD VS. Master's Degree; Choosing PhD or EdD in Education

  • juilletjuillet Posts: 5,277Registered User Senior Member
    I'm not in education but I have some friends who are. From my understanding, generally speaking an EdD is more of a practice degree that is targeted towards people who want to go do practical things in education - leadership, superintendent, administration, that kind of thing. PhDs are more of a research degree for people who want to go into educational research and be a professor preparing other teachers and educational leaders. However, that's only generally speaking - some universities may offer research-oriented EdD programs or PhDs for practical educational jobs.

    You don't have to call every school. This is what research is for. Like every other graduate student, you need to do research on the programs that are suitable for you - usually there are no lists maintained anywhere; you have to do the work yourself. The best thing is to visit the websites of programs in which you are interested and see if an MEd is required. I had to do the same thing because I was interested in getting a PhD without doing the MPH first.

    Pros are you get done more quickly and you don't have to pay for an MEd. Cons are it's harder to change your mind if you are already in the program; you may not be sure exactly what you want to do.
  • pghbioteacherpghbioteacher Posts: 15Registered User New Member
    Hi bella-

    As someone who has been teaching for some time now, hopefully I'll be able to provide you with insight.

    The major difference is that PhD programs are often full-time programs (at least for a couple of the semesters during which you're an enrolled student). EdD programs, however, are usually part-time programs that are not as research-driven, but rather coursework driven. EdD programs generally culminate in a capstone Thesis, but it's quite different from the process that leads to a PhD thesis.

    EdD programs are typically designed for individuals who are practicing teachers or administrators, while PhD programs are designed for students who can commit to full-time study.

    As for which is better- It depends entirely on your ultimate career goals. If you would like to be a practicing educator, then I would highly recommend finding a job where you can use your degree, and then enroll in a part-time EdD program. If you want to teach at a research-oriented university, then definitely pursue your PhD.

    I hope this clears up your questions.
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