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Zero or One: Can you complete Doctorate Degree without Dissertation? Edit

They say, choose a job and you will never have to work a day in the life. But before the job come your academic selection and that is one of the toughest chores in the world. It’s easy to choose our life partner but choosing one’s career is more tedious.

Everyone expects that a footballer’s son will be a footballer and a teacher’s daughter will be the future professor. Same was the case with my parents (one’s a doctor and another’s a civil servant) and they expected me to choose either one of their careers, while I was a free spirited person. At one point I wanted to be a singer, the next in line was an archaeologist and as I was closer to graduation I wanted to be a professor.

But after all these years I can say that whether it’s choosing a career or saying yes to your man, the choice should come from your heart. Ultimately you are the one who has to get up every morning and enjoy what you are doing, so make sure it matters to you.

I choose what I believed I can do. Even my career consular agreed for that and I chose Psychology for my undergrad. Everything went well, student loan was approved and I even went for my master’s with it. I wanted to have “Dr. “attached to my name even if I couldn’t become a doctor (mom’s wish). But have you seen a life which doesn’t give you the lemon?

Ways you can complete a doctorate without dissertation

The Great Recession impacted us more than we could imagine and by the end of it, we were drowning in debt. This doesn’t give me enough room to have a full fledged doctorate degree. I choose to have a Ph.D. without a dissertation. But that is like finding a pin in a haystack. Not many colleges had them. So I searched for an online course. Mydegreeguide has actually made it easy for me to get what I needed.

An online course can give you the financial stability of not spending your expenses on relocation and many times restrictions like time, money and responsibilities can really give you no choice rather than studying through a distant course.

Many colleges support online Ph.D. without a dissertation. The department of psychology a.k.a my field has only limited online courses like:

  • Behavioral Health Leadership
  • Behavioral Psychology
  • Child, Adolescent and Family Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Couple or Family Therapy
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
  • Mental Illness
  • Neuropsychology

 What to expect in a degree without Dissertation

In traditional practices, a Ph.D. course would not be complete without a thesis or dissertation. But that was used to happen in the past, today you can choose an alternative like a capstone project which shows your knowledge and contribution towards your field. This can reduce the time taken to write a thesis plus, the project varies with colleges and programs.

Get all the aid you want

With or without a dissertation Ph.D. cost a lot and I have not touched the undergrad and master’s expenses. So get the help from where you can. There are financial aids available for online programs. I will list them down below.

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • State Financial Aid
  • PhD scholarship for women
  • Education funding from American Association of University Women

If you are not sure about the grants or just missed the mark, don’t forget to check out your financial aid office at the university you choose. Different Universities have designed different programs and opportunity.

When I searched online I came across many good, accredited universities offering a Ph.D. without dissertation and some of them are Arizona state university, Ashford University, Capella University and many more. Most of them offer a program that requires 54 to 90 credit hours.

In the End

I knew that choosing a Ph.D. was a high stake, we were already loaded with bills, I have a younger brother attending community college. All the decisions were scary but as Paul Tournier said – if it is not fearful, it is not worthwhile. I knew that the path I chose was a difficult one but the destination was hella beautiful.

If a Ph.D. means a lot of hard work, research and endless study it also means a better job, high salary and financial stability. That being said not everyone is up for doctorate. You are the sailor of your career ship. Just remember that whatever you do, whichever path you take, at the end of it when you look back you should be able to say, I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions.