APU Doctoral Handbook
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Last Revision: July 26, 2023

Definition and Purpose of Professional Practice Doctorates

A Professional Practice Doctorate is an applied degree that focuses on the scholar-practitioner model. In this model, you will conduct research related to your professional experience to bridge theory and practice, advance knowledge in the field, and contribute to organizational change. While maintaining the rigor of a doctoral program, the emphasis on application of theory to practice differentiates the applied doctorate from the traditional PhD program.