A doctorate in metaphysics can be a useful credential in a field that is sometimes regarded more as mysticism than anything else. While most traditional colleges and universities do not offer degree programs in metaphysics, there are specialized institutions devoted to metaphysics that offer rigorous academic and experiential curricula in the field.

What Is Metaphysics?

Metaphysics has been called the study of the nature of being and the relationships among all things. Related to the natural sciences as well as to mysticism, religion, and other spiritual topics, it encompasses spirituality without necessarily endorsing any particular religion, and also poses such questions as, “What is truth?” and “Do people have free wills?” Its practitioners work in such fields as counseling, homeopathy, aromatherapy and acupressure.

Various Degrees Are Available

There are actually several doctorates you can earn in metaphysics, including Doctor of Metaphysical Science (Msc.D.), Doctor of Metaphysical Counseling (Mc.D.), Doctor of Metaphysical Psychology (Mpsy.D.), Doctor of Metaphysical Theology (D.MT.) and Ph.D. in metaphysical counseling or metaphysical parapsychology.

Identify the Prerequisites

Different schools have different prerequisites for their doctoral programs. Some will evaluate your prior academic background before making a final decision about prerequisites you must meet. Even if you're admitted directly into a doctoral-level program, it may be necessary to complete additional coursework to ensure that you have the proper preparation to tackle doctoral-level work in metaphysics.

Apply, Enroll, and Study

You can generally apply online. It’s possible to earn degrees in metaphysics in significantly less time than at traditional schools that have core requirements unrelated to your major. Most courses are given online, and examinations are generally of the “blue book” variety – that is, the questions are not multiple choice but short-answer or essay, a format that helps the instructor evaluate how well you’ve actually learned the material rather than memorized it.

Tuition, Financial Aid, and Other Costs

Most institutions offer payment plans to ameliorate the burden of paying education expenses, and also offer financial aid programs. although most don't participate in traditional college financial aid programs such as those applied for with FAFSA. Some institutions provide all study materials online and others require that students purchase or borrow some materials on their own. Relative to traditional institutions, though, the cost of textbooks and other materials is minimal.

Legal Considerations

If your ultimate objective in pursuing a doctorate in metaphysics is to enhance your ability to counsel, advise, heal, or otherwise help others, the doctorate itself doesn’t license you to practice in those fields. In many states, you’ll likely also need to secure ministerial ordination to qualify as a spiritual practitioner. Your school should be able to provide more complete information regarding licensing requirements in the state where you intend to practice. In addition, most metaphysical doctoral programs incorporate such ordination in their curricula.