Earning a doctoral degree in any field is not an easy task, and a felony conviction may make the task even harder. In addition, felons may not be able to obtain a license in some professional fields.
Graduate School Application
Having a felony conviction does not prevent anyone from applying to graduate school in any field. However, since almost all college applications ask if you have been convicted of a felony, it may be necessary to explain the circumstances of the conviction. Those circumstances, along with the charges involved, may impact admission to some programs.
Licensure and Certification
A felony conviction may make it difficult, if not impossible, to actually obtain a license or certificate to practice in some fields and states. Each state sets the specific requirements for obtaining a professional license in such fields as medicine, law and education. In most states, certain types of felony convictions makes you ineligible for a license. For example, if you have a conviction for crimes involving moral turpitude, you will not be allowed a teaching certificate in most states.
A felony conviction may be most limiting in medical fields. Before a medical professional can prescribe or distribute controlled substances, he must receive a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) certificate of registration. A felony conviction, especially one that is drug-related, may make this impossible.