3 Qualities of Successful Doctoral Learners

By Jessalyn Johnson

Doctoral Learner walks on campus

Earning a doctoral degree requires hard work and responsibility. This can be difficult to manage, especially with a life outside of your educational career to also focus on. It is important for doctoral learners to maintain consistency in their studies, work and home life.

So, how can they do this? Successful doctoral learners have certain qualities that they may have come to possess over the course of their experience that help them to balance school and the rest of their obligations. Here are three qualities of successful doctoral learners:


When taking on the responsibility of a doctoral degree, it is important to be motivated to excel in your academic field. It can be stressful and hard to come by the proper motivation to get you where you need to be. However, by keeping a balance between each aspect of your life, you will allow yourself to remain stress-free and stay motivated and on track.

Actively staying motivated will keep you from procrastination, and you will be more likely to complete quality coursework in a timely manner. Also, making this a habit can be a great motivator in itself.


It is important to set goals when entering a doctoral program. When you take the next step in your academic career, you should have specific goals you are trying to accomplish both within your program as well as after your program is completed.

Being goal-oriented will keep you focused and help you to accomplish each task with the knowledge that you are working towards completing the goals you have put in place for yourself. Along with your large scale goals, set smaller ones to accomplish on the way. This will motivate you to work hard, even for the small things.


Being passionate about your degree program is another one of the qualities of successful doctoral learners. This is key to success. Passionate learners are willing to work hard and go the extra mile.

When choosing your educational path, make sure you are going into a field you know you want to make a difference in. Passion can have a huge impact on your performance within a subject, and choosing the right one will help you stay both motivated and goal-oriented as you work towards your doctoral degree.

To learn more about Grand Canyon University’s doctoral programs offered by the College of Doctoral Studies, visit our website or click the Request More Information button at the top of this page.

Written by Jessalyn Johnson, a sophomore majoring in English and professional writing at GCU.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.

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