You have a great many decisions to make as a potential applicant to graduate school. The initial decisions may easily come. Many applicants struggle with choosing what degree to pursue, however, whether a master’s or PHD degree is right for them. In case they should first complete a master’s degree, those who choose a doctoral degree sometimes wonder. Do you need a master’s degree to apply to a doctoral program? s a master’s degree an essential perquisite for gaining admission to a doctoral program? Usually not. Does a master’s degree improve your odds of admission? Sometimes. Is it in your best interest to earn master’s before applying to PhD programs? It depends. There are both advantages and disadvantages to earning a master’s before applying to PhD programs. This is especially true at the doctoral level. A master’s program can introduce to you the process of graduate study and help you understand how it is different from undergraduate study.  A master’s program can help you make the transition to graduate school and prepare you for making the transition from college student to graduate scholar. A master’s program can help you see if you are ready doctoral study. Are you ready for graduate school? Do you have the right study habits? Are you motivated? 

Should you earn a master's college degree before your phd

In case you have what it takes for success as a graduate student – and especially as a doctoral student, enrolling in a master’s program can help you see. A master’s program can help you see if you are interested enough to undertake a PhD. With little depth the typical college survey courses present a broad view of a discipline. Small college seminars present a topic in more depth but it will not come close to what you will learn in graduate school. It is not until students are immersed in a field that they truly come to know the depth of their interest. Sometimes new grad students realize that the field is not for them. Others complete the master’s degree but realize that they have no interest in pursuing a doctorate. Con:  A master’s degree is time consuming. 
Typically a full time master’s program will require 2 years of study.  Many new doctoral students find that their master’s coursework doesn’t transfer. Recognize that it will likely not make a dent in your required doctoral coursework in case you enroll in a master’s program. Your PhD will likely take an additional 4 to 6 years after earning your master’s degree. A master’s program may help you improve your academic record and show that you have the stuff that competent graduate students are made of in case your undergraduate transcript leaves much to be desired. Earning a master’s degree shows that you are committed and interested in your field of study. Suppose you hope to attend a specific graduate program. Taking a few graduate courses, nonmatriculated (or nondegree seeking) can help you learn about the program and can help faculty learn about you.  Often those who teach in the doctoral program as a master’s student you’ll have contact with graduate faculty.