Are you considering getting a doctoral degree, but not quite sure if you’re up for the challenge?

Consider how you would answer the following questions.


1. Do you have a desire to become an expert in your field?

Pursuing a PhD or professional doctorate is often motivated by a love for knowledge and a passion for the area of study. Doctoral students have a high degree of personal motivation, a natural curiosity, and a thirst for intellectual growth.

Does your desire to be a specialist in your field outweigh your fears and hesitations? Do you find yourself excited about the prospect of years of intense learning? It may help to write down your personal and professional goals and ask people you trust for advice.

On the other hand, it might come down to trusting your instincts.


A PhD is a reachable dream. Think of your future, the added value in your resume, but most of all, the passion of learning, of pursuing a dream. Just close your eyes and, if you feel the passion inside, go ahead and do it! —Norma V.


2. Are you motivated enough to persevere?

Completing a PhD or professional doctorate requires you to have enthusiasm, optimism, and dedication. Ask yourself if you have the necessary discipline and mental, emotional, and physical stamina to carry you through a journey that will involve both highs and lows.

Make sure you have the full support of family and friends. Find ways to keep things varied, interesting, and realistic, and reward yourself for hitting predetermined goals along the way.



3. Do you have above average time management skills?

A doctoral degree program is an intense and time-consuming effort. Your program could last anywhere between 3 to 7 years, depending on whether you’re a full-time or part-time student.

Do you enjoy multi-tasking? Can you handle multiple challenges and activities at the same time? Will you be able to balance your studies with your career and personal obligations?

Try different time management strategies to see what works best for you. Be prepared for possible setbacks and temporary roadblocks, both personally and professionally. And whether you’re full-time or part-time, you’ll more than likely benefit from becoming best friends with your calendar.


Can you imagine the path in front of you? Can you see how you will help the field? Can you eat, sleep, [and] breathe what you are studying? Can you…tell your family and friends why you are passionate about it? If you answered yes to most or all above, then a PhD is right for you! —Missy R


4. How will you finance and complete your doctoral degree?

It’s essential that you have a plan for completing a doctoral degree from both an academic and financial perspective. Is this the right time to pursue a doctoral degree? Can you commit the time necessary to complete it?

How will you pay for your education? Can you secure financial support or loans? Research what you can expect to earn after graduation, and determine how you will repay any loans.



Capella University offers PhD and professional doctorate degree programs ranging from business to education and nursing to psychology. Learn more about Capella’s doctoral degree programs.