Doctoral programs are the highest level degree which one can pursue in a discipline. Doctoral/PhD programs play a vital role in the development of human resource because these programs study extensively the disciplines in which such programs are available and they try to find out the best possible theories to make our lives better. Doctorate degrees are more focused than master's degrees.
It has been found by a recent survey that there are five broad fields where a doctoral/PhD program is most sought after- biological sciences, engineering, physical sciences and mathematics, social and behavioral sciences and humanities. The scenario of doctoral programs have changed a lot in US over the time and today there are almost 4,000 PhD programs in more than 40 sub-disciplines and nearly 245-250 doctorate granting institutions.
These universities or institutions which offer doctoral degrees do so based on the educational record of the student's education in his/her bachelor's and master's degree. To get a Doctoral/PhD degree one has to have considerable amount of knowledge in the discipline. There are some institutions which don't make master's degree the prominent criteria if the student shows adequate proficiency in the field of study, while other schools make a master's degree mandatory in pursuing a Phd.
One of the best parts of PhD programs is that almost all universities grant stipends and tuition waivers to students for a period of four years which is the maximum time one can take to complete one's Doctoral program. The time period may vary with the student's dedication and ability to submit the dissertation. Today itís possible to earn a doctoral/PhD degree online also. A large number of universities have opened the provisions for online doctorate degrees.
There is good news for those who want to pursue higher education and degree. The National Research Council has launched new projects for better US research Doctoral/PhD programs. This new design launched will help universities to improve their infrastructure and quality of such degrees through benchmarking. This will have a positive effect on doctoral programs. You can access the recent developments on Doctoral programs via internet and get to know all about the new program policies.