What Is a Doctoral Residency?

Doctoral students collaborating while attending a seminar at their residency

As a part of a doctorate degree program, students are required to attend residency. During residency, doctoral candidates meet and network with other candidates and faculty to acquire in-depth knowledge about their area of study. Doctoral residency provides students with opportunities for success as they begin or continue their doctoral journey and work on writing their dissertation.

Doctoral Residency Overview

During doctoral residency, students learn about the doctoral journey, work with experts on their dissertation topic and network with faculty and other students. Residencies differ with each program, providing specific tools and resources that allow each student to gain a better understanding of their area of study.

What Is the Structure of a Doctoral Residency?

It’s common for doctoral students to attend two residencies while earning their doctoral degree, but the exact requirements vary for each school. Residencies usually last about a week each and provide students with an irreplaceable experience while starting their journey to earning a doctoral degree.

Residencies typically take place at the beginning of a doctoral program, allowing each student the opportunity to set themselves up for personal success throughout their program. Students may also earn credit toward their degree for attending a doctoral residency.

During these residencies, students will work with faculty and staff who are experts in research and the dissertation process to focus on key components to successfully complete their educational journey. During face-to-face seminars, students will master the resources available to them and begin to develop their dissertation. This will also help them establish a solid network of people to collaborate with and support throughout earning their degree.

What Is the Purpose of a Doctoral Residency?

Earning a doctorate is a major accomplishment and the skills that students learn along the way are invaluable, even after completing the doctoral journey. While every part of this journey provides students with skills and achievements, doctoral residency aims to help students be successful while completing their courses, dissertations and more.

Connecting With Other Students, Faculty and Experts

As mentioned, attending your doctoral residency is a great way to connect with other students, faculty and experts in your desired field. Being able to meet other students who are beginning or still working on their dissertation may help you refine your own ideas. Having these connections to those who understand what you’re working on will not only help you to find opportunities to collaborate, but also help you in the overall process of writing your dissertation. 

Additionally, connecting with faculty and experts can not only help you with your dissertation, but in the professional world as well. Connecting with professionals will help you to learn how to present your ideas in a skilled way. You will also be able to learn more about your field of interest and possibly learn about opportunities that you can pursue after you complete your doctorate.

Mastering the Resources Available

Attending your doctoral residency will also help you to understand all the resources at your disposal as a doctoral student. While you’ll always have faculty members and staff to help you during your dissertation, most schools also offer additional resources just for doctoral students working on their dissertation.

For example, Grand Canyon University has created the Doctoral Community (DC) Network™, an online community specifically designed to help doctoral students complete their dissertation and program of study. Doctoral residency will teach you how to make use of resources like these to best help you on your doctoral journey while completing your degree.

Doctoral Residency at Grand Canyon University

At GCU, you can expect to attend at least two residencies in Phoenix. Residencies take place over five days and include an online portion that takes place over the course of three weeks.

GCU also offers an optional Dissertation Intensive Writing Retreat, which is separate from residency but helps students in all stages of the dissertation process. Students build momentum in their doctoral dissertation process and have the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation on this retreat, as it’s an opportunity to completely focus on dissertation writing and learn from faculty, staff and peers.

Grand Canyon University’s College of Doctoral Studies is committed to helping doctoral students complete their residencies and earn their degree. To learn more about the doctoral programs and resources available to doctoral students at GCU, click the Request Info button at the top of the page.

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. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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