Understanding the differences between a Ph.D. and an Ed.D.

A Ph.D. program focuses almost entirely on research, and students in these programs dedicate themselves to extending the body of knowledge on one particular subject. While Ph.D. programs focus on developing new research, Ed.D. programs focus on applying research and knowledge to solving real-world education, leadership and organizational issues. Ed.D. graduates gain the skills needed to design and implement educational processes in academic or practice settings.

The Clarkson College Doctor in Health Care Education & Leadership program is specifically designed for individuals interested in advancing their higher educational leadership opportunities and health care careers. Our aim is to provide individuals with a broad-based, interprofessional education that prepares graduates to teach, practice and perform research in health care education.

Your goals will determine which program is right for you. 

While Ph.D. and other advanced degree options primarily cater to individuals interested in academia, an Ed.D. program benefits a wider range of professionals. Educators, administrators, researchers and practitioners, especially those involved with organizations that focus on teaching and learning, are a perfect fit for the program.

The ideal candidate for the Clarkson College Ed.D. program is an established higher education or health care professional looking to take the next step in their career. Not only are they interested in learning about innovative approaches in health care education and environments, they want to develop skills to implement these practices within their organization.

Each program offers specific benefits.

Ed.D. programs offer real-world applications that research-focused Ph.D. programs do not. Designed for working professionals, Ed.D. coursework demonstrates how to develop policies and practices that are immediately applicable to the workplace. Graduates earn a return on their investment by gaining skills that will prepare them for leadership and executive roles.

The Clarkson College Ed.D. program allows students to design their coursework to meet their work environment. In a sense, a student’s workplace becomes a research lab where they can apply small-scale practices to affect change. Classmates have the opportunity to learn from one another and build relationships with fellow health care professionals.

Advanced job opportunities are waiting for graduates with advanced degrees.

The skills that students develop while enrolled in the Ed.D. program are applicable to numerous careers, whether graduates work at a clinic, non-profit organization, educational institution or government agency. The program teaches skills that are necessary to excel in their current positions and prepares them to take on more leadership roles. Students have opportunities as educators, clinical researchers, community advocates, advanced clinical practitioners and health care administrators.

Ultimately, the best post-graduate degree program is the one that fits each individual’s needs. Each option offers unique benefits, and they will start students on the path to becoming the best health care professional that they can be.