A question that is often asked in contemplating doctoral studies is, “Which PhD program is better, one from the U.K. (or other dissertation only program) or one from the U.S? Often, the answers tend to be too simplistic (i.e. the lack of coursework makes one program inferior; or U.S. programs take too long when many folks have already completed a considerable amount of classes.)
Three viewpoints…all valid
The following article entitled, “American versus British PhD Programs…” shares reflections from three different doctoral students: one chose to study in a British program (University of Edinburgh), another chose a U.S. program (University of Chicago) and a third began his doctoral program in the U.S. (Westminster Theological Seminary) but finished in the U.K. (University of Edinburgh).
I think you’ll appreciate each of their perspectives.
A few observations
A few reasons that clearly stand out in two of the responses is the desire to work with a specific scholar or in a particular field of study in which they were interested. If this is you, this may actually be the determining factor in your choice of schools.
But other factors certainly come into play as each of these students shares: desire to live overseas, or to work independently or the need for grounding in a particular methodology that requires more coursework.
One factor that was not shared, which may require serious consideration is your prospect for work after graduation. Some programs are more respected than others particularly if your desire is to work in a secular university vs. a seminary environment. (And assuming you can get your resume in front of the other 200 graduates! :)) Still, this may play a role in your choice of school.
The bottom line is that there is no easy answer when it comes to choosing a PhD program. A great deal depends on your own personal and professional goals.
Enjoy the article and happy researching!