What is a PhD? Advice for PhD students

How long does it take to get a doctorate degree how do you get into grad school are you qualified to do a phd answers to these questions and more.

PhD, doctorate

What is a PhD?

A PhD, which stands for “doctor of philosophy”, is the most advanced academic degree. It’s earned through extensive research on a specific topic, demonstrating expertise and contributing new knowledge to the field.

What does “PhD” mean?

The term “PhD” is often used as a synonym for any doctoral-level qualification. Doctorate degrees can often be split into two categories: MPhil and PhD.

An MPhil is similar to a PhD as it includes a research element (which is usually shorter and less in-depth than a PhD thesis, and often more akin to a dissertation undertaken at undergraduate or master’s level). 

MPhil students focus more on interpreting existing knowledge and theory and critically evaluating other people’s work rather than producing their own research. The precise nature and definition of an MPhil can vary among institutions and countries. 

A PhD, meanwhile, follows a more widely known and traditional route and requires students, often referred to as “candidates”, to produce their own work and research on a new area or topic to a high academic standard.

PhD requirements vary significantly among countries and institutions. The PhD, once completed, grants the successful candidate the title of “doctor of philosophy”, also called PhD or DPhil.

What is a professional doctorate?

A professional doctorate is a kind of degree that helps people become experts in their fields. Instead of focusing mainly on theory and research like a regular PhD, a professional doctorate is all about practical skills and knowledge.

This kind of doctorate is great for students who want to get better at their jobs in areas like teaching, healthcare, business, law or psychology. The courses and projects in these programmes are designed to tackle real problems you might face at work.

For example, you might have heard of the doctor of education (EdD), doctor of business administration (DBA), doctor of psychology (PsyD) or doctor of nursing practice (DNP). These programmes combine learning, hands-on projects and sometimes a thesis paper or essay to show you’re skilled at solving on-the-job challenges.

How long does it take to study a PhD?

The time required to complete a PhD can vary significantly based on several factors. Generally, a full-time PhD programme takes around three to six years to finish. However, it’s important to take into account individual circumstances and the nature of the research involved.

1. Full-time vs. part-time: If you’re studying full-time, dedicating most of your time to your studies, it usually takes about three to four years to complete a PhD. However, studying part-time while managing other commitments might extend the duration. Part-time PhDs can take around six to eight years, and sometimes even longer.

2. Nature of research: The complexity of your research proposal can influence the time required. Certain research questions may involve intricate experiments, extensive data collection or in-depth analysis, potentially leading to a longer completion timeline.

3. Field of study: The subject area you’re researching can also affect the necessary time. Some fields, such as sciences or engineering, might involve more hands-on work, while theoretical subjects might require more time for literature review and analysis.

4. Supervision and support: The guidance and availability of your academic supervisor can affect the pace of your research progress. Regular meetings and effective communication can help keep your studies on track.

5. Thesis writing: While the research phase is crucial, the stage of writing your thesis is equally significant. Organising and presenting your research findings in a clear and cohesive manner can take several months.

6. External commitments: Personal commitments, such as work, family or health-related factors, can influence your study time. Some students need to balance these alongside their PhD studies, potentially extending the duration.

7. External Funding: The availability of funding can also affect your study duration. Some funding might be linked to specific project timelines or research objectives.

So, although a PhD usually takes between three and six years of full-time study, with potential variations based on research complexity, enrolment as part-time or full-time, field of study and personal circumstances. It’s vital to have a realistic understanding of these factors when planning your PhD journey.

How long is a PhD in the UK?

In the UK, the length of a PhD programme typically ranges from three to four years of full-time study. As explained above, there are many factors to consider.

How long is a PhD in the US?

Similarly to the UK, in the United States, the duration of a PhD programme can vary widely depending on the field of study, research topic and individual circumstances. On average, a full-time PhD programme in the US typically takes between five and six years to complete.

Why does it take longer to study a PhD in the US?

PhD programmes generally take longer to complete in the US than in the UK due to various factors in the education systems and programme structures of each country:

1. Programme structure: UK PhD programmes often emphasise early, focused research from the first year, leading to shorter completion times. In contrast, US programmes commonly include more initial coursework in your first and second year and broader foundational training, which can extend the overall duration.

2. Course work requirements: Many US PhD programmes require a lot of course work, which can lengthen the time needed to finish. UK programmes tend to have fewer or no course work demands, allowing students to concentrate primarily on research skills.

3. Research funding: In the UK, PhD funding is often awarded with specific timeframes in mind, motivating completion of the research degree in the agreed duration. In the US, funding approaches can vary, requiring students to secure funding from multiple sources, potentially affecting their progress and completion time.

4. Teaching responsibilities: Some US PhD students take on teaching roles as part of their funding, dividing their time and potentially prolonging their studies.

5. Research approach: Differences in research methodologies and project scopes can affect the time needed for data collection, experimentation and analysis.

6. Academic culture: The US education system values a well-rounded education, including coursework and comprehensive exams. This can extend the time before full-time research begins. UK PhD programmes often prioritise independent research early on.

7. Part-time and work commitments: US PhD candidates might have more flexibility for part-time work or other commitments, which can affect research progress.

8. Dissertation requirements: US PhD programmes generally include a longer and more comprehensive dissertation, involving more chapters and a broader exploration of the research topic.

These variations in programme structures, funding models and academic cultures contribute to the differing completion times between the two countries.

What qualifications do you need for a PhD?

To be eligible for a PhD programme, certain educational qualifications are generally expected by universities. These qualifications serve as indicators of your readiness to engage in advanced research and contribute to the academic community.

First, an undergraduate or bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is typically the most common requirement. This degree provides you with a foundational understanding of the subject and introduces you to basic research methodologies. It serves as a starting point for your academic journey.

Do you need a master’s degree to get into a PhD programme?

In addition to an undergraduate degree, many PhD programmes also require candidates to hold postgraduate or master’s degrees, often in fields related to the intended PhD research. A master’s degree offers a deeper exploration of the subject matter and enhances your research skills. Possessing a master’s degree signifies a higher level of expertise and specialisation.

The combination of both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees demonstrates a solid academic background. This background is crucial before you engage in doctoral study because pursuing a PhD involves more than just knowledge; it requires advanced research abilities, critical thinking and the capacity to provide an original contribution and new insights into the chosen field of study.

While these qualifications are usually requested, there are exceptions. Some institutions offer direct-entry programmes that encompass bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees in a streamlined structure. This approach is often seen in scientific and engineering disciplines rather than humanities.

In exceptional cases, outstanding performance during undergraduate studies, coupled with a well-defined research proposal, might lead to direct entry into a PhD programme without requiring a master’s degree.

Admission requirements can vary between universities and programmes. Some institutions might have more flexible prerequisites, while others could have more stringent criteria. Make sure that you thoroughly research all admission requirements of the PhD programmes you’re interested in to ensure you provide the right information.

Are PhD entry requirements similar in other countries?

PhD entry requirements in Canada and Australia can be somewhat similar to those in the UK and the US, but there are also some differences. Just like in the UK and the US, having a bachelor’s degree followed by a master’s degree is a common way to qualify for a PhD in Canada and Australia. However, the exact rules can vary, such as how much research experience you need or the grades you should have.

In Canada and Australia, as in the UK and the US, international students usually need to show their English language skills through tests like IELTS or TOEFL. And, like in other places, you might need to give a research proposal to explain what you want to study for your PhD.

But remember, even though there are some similarities, each country has its own rules.

How much does it cost to study a PhD?

The cost of pursuing a PhD can vary significantly between international and home (domestic) students, and it depends on the country, university and programme you choose.

United Kingdom (UK)

Home students in the UK often pay lower tuition fees compared with international students. Home students might also have access to government funding or subsidised tuition rates.

International students typically pay higher tuition fees, which can vary widely depending on the university and programme. Fees can range from around £10,000 to £25,000 or more per year.

United States (US)

PhD programme costs in the US can be quite high, especially for international students. Public universities often have lower tuition rates for in-state residents compared with out-of-state residents and international students.

Private universities in the US generally have higher tuition fees, and international students might be charged higher rates than domestic students.

Canadian universities often charge higher tuition fees for international students compared with domestic students.

Some universities offer funding packages that include tuition waivers and stipends for both domestic and international doctoral students.

In Australia, domestic students (Australian citizens and permanent residents) usually pay lower tuition fees than international students.

International students in Australia might have higher tuition fees, and costs can vary based on the university and programme.

Apart from tuition fees, other aspects play a role in the overall financial consideration:

PhD studentship: Many universities offer PhD studentships that provide financial support to research students, covering both tuition fees and a stipend for living expenses.

Stipend and housing: Stipends are designed to cover living expenses. Stipend amounts can vary depending on the university and location. If you’re studying in London in the UK, stipends might be higher to account for the higher living costs in the city. Some universities also offer subsidised or affordable housing options for doctoral students.

Tuition and stipend packages: Some PhD programmes provide funding packages that include both tuition waivers and stipends. These packages are to help relieve the financial burden on students during their doctoral studies.

Research the financial support options provided by the universities you’re interested in to make an informed decision about the cost of your PhD journey.

What funding options are available for PhD candidates?

PhD candidates have various funding options available to support their studies and research journeys. Some of these options include:

PhD scholarships: Scholarships are a common form of financial aid for PhD candidates. They are awarded based on academic merit, research potential or other specific criteria. Scholarships can cover tuition fees and provide a stipend for living expenses.

Bursaries: Bursaries are another form of financial assistance offered to students, including PhD candidates, based on financial need. They can help cover tuition fees or provide additional financial support.

In the UK, specific funding options are available:

Regional consortium: Some regions have research consortiums that offer funding opportunities for doctoral candidates. These collaborations can provide financial support for research projects aligned with specific regional needs.

UK research institute: Research councils in the UK often offer stipends to PhD candidates. These stipends cover living expenses and support research work.

University-based studentship: Many UK universities offer studentships. You can read more about these above.

In the USA, there are also funding options available:

Research assistantships (RAs): Many universities offer research assistantships where PhD candidates work on research projects under the guidance of faculty members. In exchange, they receive stipends and often have their tuition waived.

Teaching assistantships (TA): Teaching assistantships involve assisting professors in teaching undergraduate courses. In return, PhD candidates receive stipends and sometimes tuition remission.

Fellowships: Fellowships are competitive awards that provide financial support for PhD candidates. They can come from universities, government agencies, private foundations and other institutions. Fellowships can cover tuition, provide stipends and offer research or travel funds.

Graduate assistantships: Graduate assistantships include a range of roles, from research and teaching to administrative support. These positions often come with stipends and sometimes include tuition benefits.

External grants and fellowships: PhD candidates can apply for grants and fellowships from external organisations and foundations that support research careers in specific fields. Examples include the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Fulbright Programme.

Employer sponsorship: In some cases, employers might sponsor employees to pursue PhDs, especially if the research aligns with the company’s interests.

You can read about the current available scholarships for international students of all education levels on our website .

What does a PhD Involve?

How does a PhD work?

A PhD includes thorough academic research and significant contributions to your chosen field of study. The timeline for completing a PhD can significantly vary based on the country, college or university you attend and the specific subject you study.

The duration of a PhD programme can vary based on factors such as the institution’s requirements and the academic discipline you’re pursuing. For instance, the timeline for a PhD in a science-related field might differ from that of a humanities discipline.

UK PhD timeline example

Looking at a typical PhD degree in a London higher education institution, we can consider this example timeline.

In the initial year of your PhD, you’ll collaborate closely with your designated academic supervisor. This collaboration involves refining and solidifying your research proposal, which lays the foundation for your entire doctoral journey.

This is also the time to establish a comprehensive plan, complete with well-defined milestones and deadlines. A crucial aspect of this year is conducting an extensive literature review, immersing yourself in existing academic works to understand the landscape of your chosen research area. It’s important to make sure that your research idea is original and distinct from prior studies.

As you begin the second year, you’ll actively collect data and gather information related to your research topic. Simultaneously, you’ll initiate the process of crafting your thesis. This involves combining your research findings and analysis into sections of your thesis document.

This is also the phase where you might have opportunities to share your research insights at academic meetings, conferences or workshops. Depending on the programme, you might even engage in teaching activities. Some PhD candidates also begin contributing to academic journals or books, showcasing their findings to a broader audience.

The third year of a PhD programme often marks the final stage of your research efforts. This is when you dedicate substantial time to writing and finalising your complete thesis. Once your thesis is completed to the highest standard, you’ll submit it for thorough evaluation.

A significant milestone in the third year is the viva voce, an oral examination where you’ll defend your thesis before a panel of experts in your field. The viva voce is an opportunity to showcase your deep understanding of your research and defend your findings.

Why should you do a PhD?

For many people, acquiring a doctorate degree is the pinnacle of academic achievement, the culmination of years of commitment to higher education.

However, the act of pursuing a PhD can be a complex, frustrating, expensive and time-consuming exercise. But with the right preparation, some sound advice and a thorough understanding of the task at hand, your years as a doctoral student can be some of the most rewarding of your life. 

People choose to work towards a doctorate for many reasons. If you are looking to pursue an academic position, such as university lecturer or researcher, then a PhD is usually required.

Many people obtain a PhD as part of a partnership with an employer, particularly in scientific fields such as engineering, where their research can prove useful for companies.

In some cases, however, PhDs are simply down to an individual’s love of a subject and their desire to learn more about their field.

What are some benefits of studying a PhD?

Pursuing a PhD can have many benefits that extend beyond academic achievement, encompassing personal growth, professional advancement and meaningful contributions to knowledge.

One of the most notable benefits of a PhD is the potential for tenure in academia. Attaining tenure provides a level of job security that allows you to delve into long-term research projects and make enduring contributions to your field. It signifies a stage where you can explore innovative ideas and pursue in-depth research, fostering your academic legacy.

While not obligatory, the opportunity to collaborate on research projects with your supervisor is another valuable aspect of a PhD pursuit. These collaborations might even come with financial compensation, offering real-world experience, skill development and practical applications of your research. Engaging in such collaborations can enrich your research portfolio and refine your research methodologies.

A pivotal aspect of a PhD journey is the chance to publish your original research findings. By disseminating your work in academic journals or presenting it at conferences, you contribute to the expansion of knowledge within your field. These publications establish your expertise and reputation among peers and researchers worldwide, leaving a lasting impact.

The pursuit of a PhD can provide a unique platform to build a diverse network of colleagues, mentors and collaborators. Engaging with fellow researchers, attending conferences and participating in academic events offer opportunities to make valuable connections. This network can lead to collaborations, expose you to a spectrum of perspectives and pave the way for future research endeavours.

What is a PhD thesis? And what is a PhD viva?

A PhD thesis will be produced with help from an academic supervisor, usually one with expertise in your particular field of study. This thesis is the backbone of a PhD, and is the candidate’s opportunity to communicate their original research to others in their field (and a wider audience).  PhD students also have to explain their research project and defend their thesis in front of a panel of academics. This part of the process is often the most challenging, since writing a thesis is a major part of many undergraduate or master’s degrees, but having to defend it from criticism in real time is arguably more daunting.  This questioning is known as a “viva”, and examiners will pay particular attention to a PhD’s weaknesses either in terms of methodology or findings. Candidates will be expected to have a strong understanding of their subject areas and be able to justify specific elements of their research quickly and succinctly.

In rare cases, students going for a PhD may instead be awarded an MPhil if the academic standard of their work is not considered fully up to par but still strong enough to be deserving of a qualification.

Can you do a PhD part time? 

Many PhD and MPhil candidates choose to pursue their qualification part time, in order to allow time to work and earn while studying. This is especially true of older students, who might be returning to academia after working for a few years. 

When applying, you should always speak to the admissions team at your university to ensure this is possible and then continue to work with your supervisor to balance all your commitments. 

Can I do a PhD through distance learning?

This is something else that you will need to check with your university. Some institutions offer this option, depending on the nature of your research. 

You will need to be clear how many times you will need to travel to your university to meet with your supervisor throughout your PhD. 

Your PhD supervisor

Choosing the right PhD supervisor is essential if you want to get the most out of your PhD. Do your research into the faculty at the institution and ensure that you meet with your proposed supervisor (either virtually or in person) before fully committing. 

You need to know that not only do they have the right expertise and understanding of your research but also that your personalities won’t clash throughout your PhD. 

Remember, to complete your PhD, you will need a strong support network in place, and your supervisor is a key part of that network. 

Coping with PhD stress

If you do decide to embark on a doctorate, you may well encounter stress and anxiety. The work involved is often carried out alone, the hours can be long and many students can suffer from the pressure they feel is on their shoulders.

Ensuring that you check in regularly with your emotions and your workload is crucial to avoid burnout. If you have other commitments, such as a job or a family, then learning to balance these can feel overwhelming at times. 

Give yourself regular breaks, speak to your supervisor and ensure that you know what university resources and support systems are available to you in case you need to access them. 

Post-doctorate: what happens after you finish your PhD?

Many PhD graduates pursue a career in academia, while others will work in industry. Some might take time out, if they can afford to, to recover from the efforts of PhD study.

Whatever you choose to do, undertaking a PhD is a huge task that can open up a range of doors professionally. Just remember to take some time out to celebrate your achievement. 

How does a PhD affect salary and earning potential?

How much does a professor with a PhD make a year?

Professors with PhDs can earn different amounts depending on where they work and their experience. In the UK, a professor might make around £50,000 to £100,000 or more each year. In the US, it's between about $60,000 and $200,000 or even higher. The exact salary depends on things like the place they work, if they have tenure, and what they teach.

How much does a PhD add to salary?

Having a PhD can make your salary higher than if you had a lower degree. But exactly how much more you earn can change. On average, people with PhDs earn more than those with bachelor’s or master’s degrees. The increase in salary is influenced by many things, such as the job you do, where you work and what field you’re in.

In fields such as research, healthcare, technology and finance, your knowledge and skills from your PhD can potentially help you secure a higher salary position.

In the end, having a PhD can boost your earning potential and open doors to well-paying jobs, including professorships and special roles in different areas. But the exact effect on your salary is influenced by many things, so ensure you weigh the cost against the benefit.

How to choose a PhD programme?

Choosing a PhD programme involves defining your research interest, researching supervisors and programme reputation, evaluating funding options, reviewing programme structure, considering available resources, assessing networking opportunities, factoring in location and career outcomes, visiting the campus if possible and trusting your instincts.

How can I find available PhD programmes?

You can find available PhD programmes by visiting university websites, using online directories such as “FindAPhD”, checking professional associations, networking with professors and students, following universities on social media, attending career fairs and conferences, contacting universities directly and exploring research institutes’ websites.

How to apply for a PhD programme?

To apply for a PhD programme:

Research and select universities aligned with your interests.

Contact potential supervisors, sharing your proposal, CV and references.

Prepare application materials: research proposal, CV, recommendation letters and a writing sample.

Ensure you meet academic and language-proficiency requirements.

Complete an online application through the university’s portal.

Pay any required application fees.

Write a statement of purpose explaining your motivations.

Provide official transcripts of your academic records.

Submit standardised test scores if needed.

Some programmes may require an interview.

The admissions committee reviews applications and decides.

Apply for scholarships or assistantships.

Upon acceptance, review and respond to the offer letter.

Plan travel, accommodation and logistics accordingly.

Remember to research and follow each university’s specific application guidelines and deadlines.

How to apply for a PhD as an international student?

Many stages of the PhD application process are the same for international students as domestic students. However, there are sometimes some additional steps:

International students should apply for a student visa.

Take language proficiency tests such as TOEFL or IELTS if required.

Provide certificates if needed to validate your previous degrees.

Show evidence of sufficient funds for tuition and living expenses.

Check if you need health insurance for your chosen destination.

Translate and authenticate academic transcripts if necessary.

Attend orientation sessions for cultural adaptation.

Apply for university housing or explore off-campus options.

Familiarise yourself with international student support services.

Ben Osborne, the postgraduate student recruitment manager at the University of Sussex explains in detail how to apply for a PhD in the UK .

Giulia Evolvi, a lecturer in media and communication at Erasmus University, Rotterdam explains how to apply for a PhD in the US .

Finally, Samiul Hossain explores the question Is it possible to do a three-year PhD as an international student?

Q. What is a PhD? A. A PhD is the highest level of academic degree awarded by universities, involving in-depth research and a substantial thesis.

Q. What does “PhD” mean? A. “PhD” stands for doctor of philosophy, recognising expertise in a field.

Q. What is a professional doctorate? A. A professional doctorate emphasises practical application in fields such as education or healthcare.

Q. How long does it take to study a PhD? A. It takes between three and six years to study a full-time PhD programme.

Q. How long is a PhD in the UK? A. It takes around three to four years to study a full-time UK PhD.

Q. How long is a PhD in the US? A. It takes approximately five to six years to complete a full-time US PhD.

Q. Why does it take longer to study a PhD in the US? A. US programmes often include more course work and broader training.

Q. What qualifications do you need for a PhD? A. You usually need an undergraduate degree as a minimum requirement, although a master’s might be preferred.

Q. Do you need a master’s degree to get into a PhD programme? A. Master’s degrees are preferred but not always required.

Q. Are PhD entry requirements similar in other countries? A. Entry requirements are similar in many countries, but there may be additional requirements. Make sure to check the university website for specific details.

Q. How much does it cost to study a PhD? A. The cost of PhD programmes vary by country and university.

Q. What funding options are available for PhD candidates? A. Scholarships, assistantships, fellowships, grants, stipends are all funding options for PhD candidates.

Q. What does a PhD involve? A. PhDs involve research, seminars, thesis, literature review, data analysis and a PhD viva.

Q. Why should you do a PhD? A. There are many reasons to study a PhD including personal growth, research skills, contributions to academia and professional development.

Q. What are some benefits of studying a PhD? A. Benefits of graduating with a PhD include achieving tenure, collaborations with colleagues, publication of your work, and networking opportunities.

Q. What is a PhD thesis? A. A PhD thesis is a comprehensive document that showcases the original research conducted by a PhD candidate.

Q. What is a PhD viva? A. A PhD viva, also known as a viva voce or oral examination, is the final evaluation of a PhD candidate’s research and thesis where the panel asks questions, engages in discussions and assesses the depth of the candidate’s understanding and expertise.

Q. Can you do a PhD part-time? A. Yes, part-time options are available for PhDs.

Q. Can I do a PhD through distance learning? A. Some universities offer online PhDs; you can find out more on their websites.

Q. How to choose a PhD programme? A. You can find PhD programmes through research, by contacting faculty, checking resources and considering location.

Q. How can I find available PhD programme? A. You can find available PhD programmes on university sites, through directories and by networking.

Q. How to apply for a PhD programme A. To apply for a PhD programme, research suitable universities and programmes, get in touch with potential supervisors, gather required documents like transcripts and reference letters, complete the online application, pay any necessary fees and submit a statement of purpose and research proposal. If needed, meet language-proficiency criteria and attend interviews. After acceptance, explore funding choices, confirm your spot and get ready for the programme’s start.

Q. How to apply for a PhD as an international student A. To apply for a PhD as an international student, follow similar steps to domestic students, but you need to include securing a student visa and passing language requirements.

Q. What is a PhD dropout rate? A. The dropout rate from PhDs varies but is approximately 30-40 per cent.

Q. How does a PhD affect salary and earning potential? A. A PhD can boost earning potential, especially in research, technology, healthcare and academia. Impact varies by job, industry and location. Experience, skills and demand also influence salary.

Q. How to address a person with a PhD? A. When addressing someone with a PhD, it’s respectful to use “Dr”, followed by their last name, whether they have a PhD in an academic field or a professional doctorate. For instance, “Dr. Smith”.

Q. Is there a difference between a PhD and a doctorate? A. The terms “PhD” and “doctorate” are often used interchangeably, though a PhD is a specific type of doctorate focused on original research. A doctorate can refer more broadly to any doctoral-level degree, including professional doctorates with practical applications.

Q. What is the difference between a PhD and an MD? A. A PhD is a doctor of philosophy, awarded for academic research, while an MD is a doctor of medicine, focusing on medical practice. They lead to different career paths and involve distinct areas of study.

Q. What is the difference between a PhD and a professional doctorate? A. A PhD is an academic research-focused degree, while a professional doctorate emphasises applying research to practical fields such as education or business. PhDs often involve original research, while professional doctorates focus on real-world application.

Q. What is the difference between UK and US PhDs? A. The difference between UK and US PhDs lies mainly in structure and duration. UK PhDs often have shorter durations and a stronger emphasis on independent research from an early stage. US PhDs typically include more initial coursework and broader foundational training before full-time research begins.

Q. What is the difference between a PhD student and a candidate? A. A PhD student is actively studying and researching in a doctoral programme, while a PhD candidate has completed programme requirements except for the dissertation and is close to completion.

Q. What’s the difference between a PhD and an EdD? A. A PhD and an EdD (doctor of education) differ in focus. A PhD emphasises research and academic contributions, while an EdD focuses on applying research to practical educational issues.

Q. What’s the difference between a PhD and a DBA? A. A PhD and a DBA (doctor of business administration) differ in purpose. A PhD emphasises theoretical research and academia, while a DBA is practice-oriented, aimed at solving real business problems.

Q. What’s the difference between a PhD and a PsyD? A. A PhD and a PsyD (doctor of psychology) differ in emphasis. A PhD focuses on research and academia, while a PsyD emphasises clinical practice and applying psychological knowledge.

Q. What’s the difference between a PhD and an LLD? A. A PhD and an LLD (doctor of laws or Legum doctor) are distinct. A PhD is awarded in various disciplines, while an LLD is usually an honorary degree for significant contributions to law.

Q. What’s the difference between a PhD and an MD-PhD? A. A PhD and an MD-PhD differ. An MD-PhD is a dual degree combining medical training (MD) with research training (PhD).

Q. What is the Cambridge PhD? A. A Cambridge PhD involves original research guided by a supervisor, resulting in a thesis. It’s offered at the University of Cambridge .

Q. What is the Oxford DPhil? A. An Oxford DPhil is equivalent to a PhD and involves independent research leading to a thesis. The term “DPhil” is unique to the University of Oxford .

Q. What is the PhD programme acceptance rate? A. PhD acceptance rates vary by university, field and competition. Prestigious universities and competitive fields often have lower acceptance rates.

Q. What is a PhD supervisor? A. A PhD supervisor guides and supports a student’s research journey, providing expertise and feedback.

Q. What is a PhD panel? A. A PhD panel evaluates a candidate’s research, thesis and oral defence. It consists of experts in the field.

Q. What is a PhD stipend? A. A PhD stipend is a regular payment supporting living expenses during research, often tied to teaching or research assistant roles.

Q. What is a PhD progression assessment? A. A PhD progression assessment evaluates a student’s progress, often confirming their continuation in the programme.

Q. What is a PhD defence? A. A PhD defence, or viva, is the final oral examination where a candidate presents and defends their research findings and thesis before experts.

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What Is a PhD?

A PhD is often the highest possible academic degree you can get in a subject. Learn more about whether earning a PhD could benefit your career.

[Featured image] Two PhD students in caps and gowns celebrate their new degrees on a video call.

A Doctor of Philosophy, often known as a PhD, is a terminal degree —or the highest possible academic degree you can earn in a subject. While PhD programs (or doctorate programs) are often structured to take between four and five years , some graduate students may take longer as they balance the responsibilities of coursework, original research, and other degree requirements with raising families or working full time. 

With a PhD, you may find opportunities to work as a university professor, a researcher in a commercial or government laboratory, a consultant, or a subject matter expert (SME). If you have the intellectual curiosity and dedication, earning a PhD can be a rewarding experience. In this article, we’ll go over what it takes to earn a PhD, the requirements to apply for a PhD program, and other factors worth considering.

Learn more: What Does ‘PhD’ Stand For?

PhD: Key facts

Generally, students begin their PhD after earning a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree . However, some doctoral programs may offer you the chance to earn your master’s while pursuing your PhD, so that may not be an admissions requirement.  

What can you get a PhD in?

It’s possible to earn your PhD in a number of academic disciplines, including the natural sciences , humanities , arts, and social sciences . The 2021 Survey of Earned Doctorates, from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, offers a numerical breakdown of actual degrees earned in broad academic fields [ 1 ]:

Engineering: 10,240

Biological and biomedical sciences: 8,149

Social sciences: 4,878

Physical sciences: 4,693

Psychology: 3,797

Computer and information sciences: 2,361

Health sciences: 2,331

Mathematics and statistics: 2,012

Agricultural sciences and natural resources: 1,334

Geosciences, atmospheric sciences, and ocean sciences: 1,064

Education: 4,252

Humanities and arts: 4,137

Business: 1,392

Other fields: 1,610

Depending on the university you attend, you may find that the broad academic fields above break down into more specific disciplines. For example, within a physical science department, you might get a PhD in physics or chemistry. Within an engineering department, you might get a PhD in electrical or mechanical engineering. Philosophy, theology, history, or English might fall within a humanities department, while economics or social work could fall within a social sciences department. Marketing could be a specific PhD major within a business department.

In terms of your PhD coursework and research, you will likely be expected to concentrate in some area of your larger subject. For example, PhDs in biology may focus on biochemistry or biostatistics, whereas a PhD in English may concentrate on twentieth-century American literature. 

Requirements to get a PhD

PhD programs typically require at least two years of advanced coursework, as well as comprehensive exams, and the successful completion of a dissertation. Let’s break that down on a year-by-year basis: 

Years 1 and 2: Take classes to develop advanced knowledge in your subject area. 

Year 3: Study for and successfully pass your comprehensive exams. 

Years 4 and 5: Research, write, and defend your dissertation. 

Once you have successfully passed your comprehensive exams, you’re typically considered “All But Dissertation” or ABD, which signals that you’ve finished everything in your doctoral program except your dissertation. 

Research supervisor 

PhD students often choose a faculty member who specializes in their area of interest to serve as the research supervisor. It can help to identify professors or programs that will support your research endeavors before applying, so you can establish a relationship with your potential research advisor early. 

The average cost of a PhD program in the US is $106,860, though that figure can differ based on the type of institution you attend and what you study [ 2 ].

Reasons to get a PhD

Earning your PhD can be an immensely rewarding experience, but the degree can be a big commitment, requiring significant time, money, and work. 

Here are some more reasons you may want to pursue a PhD:

Become a subject matter expert in a particular field.

Conduct the research you are passionate about.

Develop transferable skills that can help in your professional life. 

Make a difference in the world with new research.

Make connections with scholars in your academic community.

Open up career avenues in academic and research work.

Completing a PhD can reveal to employers that you possess a wide range of competencies that are valued in both academic and non-academic settings. 

PhD salaries

PhD holders earn a median weekly income of $1,909 compared to master’s degree holders, who earn a median weekly income of $1,574, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) [ 3 ]. They may also experience lower percentages of unemployment. The unemployment rate for PhD graduates is 1.5 percent compared to master’s degree holders at 2.6 percent [ 3 ].

Requirements to apply to a PhD program

PhD programs expect you to meet several requirements before enrolling. Here are some examples of common requirements:

Have an undergraduate degree, usually with at least a 3.0 overall GPA.

Have a master's degree, though some programs may not require it.

Take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and achieve a minimum score.

Submit a sample of your academic writing.

Submit your CV .

Provide letters of recommendation , which should ideally come from academic faculty members who can speak to your research or intellectual abilities.

Requirements differ by program and school, so take time to become familiar with the entry requirements of universities where you’re interested in applying. Admissions staff or departmental staff should be able to give you specific information about their admissions requirements.

If a program is interested in you, based on your application, you may have to complete an interview. The university representatives that interview you will look at your motivation, how prepared you are, and how suitable you are for acceptance into the doctoral degree program.

PhD vs. other terminal degrees

Terminal degrees are the highest degree available in a field of study. While the PhD is the highest academic degree you can earn in a field of study, a Juris Doctor (JD) is the highest degree you can earn in law, and a professional degree , such as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) , is the highest degree you can earn in these medical professions. 

Learn more: What is a Terminal Degree and Do You Need One?   

Professional doctorates are a different category of doctorate degree. They are usually intended for professionals already working in a field who want to pursue advanced training in their area. The main difference between a professional doctorate and an academic doctorate has to do with subject matter and research. While PhDs are interested in conducting new research, professional degree students take existing models and knowledge and apply them to solve problems. Professional doctorates are also designed to prepare learners for careers in a certain industry rather than academia.  

Examples of professional doctorates include:

DBA (Doctor of Business Administration)

DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)

EdD (Doctor of Education)

DPH (Doctor of Public Health)

Is someone with a PhD a doctor?

You can use the salutation "Dr" to address people who hold doctorates, including PhDs and other professional degrees. The word "doctor" comes from the Latin word for "teacher," and PhDs are often professors at universities. While it has become more common to refer to medical doctors as “Dr,” some professors use the honorific when addressing students and in professional settings.

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Learning online can be a great way to explore a field you're interested in, discover career paths , and even decide whether a PhD is for you. Consider one of Coursera's Professional Certificates , available from Google, Meta, IBM, Salesforce, and other industry leaders, and gain job-ready skills that employers are looking for.

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Article sources

NCSES. " 2021 Survey of Earned Doctorates , https://ncses.nsf.gov/pubs/nsf23300/report/field-of-doctorate." Accessed August 1, 2023.

Education Data Initiative. “Average Cost of a Doctorate Degree ,     https://educationdata.org/average-cost-of-a-doctorate-degree.” Accessed August 1, 2023.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Earnings and Unemployment rates by educational attainment, 2021 , https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm." Accessed August 1, 2023.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

Frequently asked questions

What is a phd.

A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3–5 years writing a dissertation , which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.

A PhD is intended to prepare students for a career as a researcher, whether that be in academia, the public sector, or the private sector.

Frequently asked questions: Graduate school

In the US, most graduate school applications require you to include:

  • Transcripts from previous educational institutions
  • Standardized test scores (such as the GRE or MCAT)
  • A graduate resume
  • 2–3 letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose

Some programs may ask you to write a personal statement in addition to, or instead of, a statement of purpose. You may also be asked to an interview .

Always carefully read the application instructions for the specific program you’re applying to.

Most medical school programs interview candidates, as do many (though not all) leading law and business schools.

In research programs, it depends—PhDs in business usually do, while those in economics normally do not, for example.

Some schools interview everyone, while others only interview their top candidates. Look at the websites of the schools you’re applying to for more information on whether they conduct interviews.

In addition to thinking about your answers for the most commonly asked grad school interview questions , you should reach out to former and current students to ask their advice on preparing and what sort of questions will be asked.

Look back through your resume and come up with anecdotes that you could use for common questions, particularly those that ask about obstacles that you overcame. If you’re applying for a research program, ensure that you can talk about the previous research experience you’ve had.

You should also read as much research in your field as possible. Research the faculty at the schools you’re applying to and read some of their papers. Come up with a few questions that you could ask them.

Graduate schools often ask questions about why you are interested in this particular program and what you will contribute.

Try to stay away from cliche answers like “this is a good program” or “I got good grades in undergrad” and focus instead on the unique strengths of the program or what you will bring to the table. Understand what the program is looking for and come up with anecdotes that demonstrate why you are a good fit for them.

Different types of programs may also focus on different questions:

  • Research programs will often ask what topics you’d like to research and who you would like to work with, as well as specific questions about your research background.
  • Medical schools are interested in your personal motivation, qualities such as integrity and empathy, and how you’d respond to common ethical dilemmas.
  • Business schools will focus on your past work experience and future career prospects, and may be particularly interested in any experience you have managing or working with others.

Some students apply to graduate school straight from undergrad, but it’s also common to go back to school later in life. The ideal time to do so depends on various financial, personal, and career considerations . Graduate school is a big commitment, so you should apply at a time when you can devote your full attention to it.

Your career path may also determine when you should apply. In some career fields, you can easily progress without a graduate degree, while in others—such as medicine, business, and law—it’s virtually impossible to move up the career ladder without a specific graduate degree.

Most graduate school applications for American graduate programs are due in December or January for a September start.

Some types of programs, especially law school, are rolling applications, meaning that the earlier you apply, the earlier you’ll hear back. In this case, you should aim to apply as early as possible to maximize your chances.

Medical school follows a completely separate timeline with much earlier deadlines. If you’re applying for medical school, you should speak to advisors at your university for more information.

A good starting point to aim for is about 18 months before you would start the program, or 6–9 months before the applications are due.

In the first few months of the process, research programs and study for any standardized exams you might need.

You can then begin writing your personal statements and statements of purpose , as well as contacting people to write your letters of recommendation . Ensure that you give recommenders plenty of time to complete their letters (ideally around 2–4 months).

In the US, the graduate school application process is similar whether you’re applying for a master’s or a PhD . Both require letters of recommendation , a statement of purpose or personal statement , a resume or CV , and transcripts. Programs in the US and Canada usually also require a certain type of standardized test—often the GRE.

Outside the US, PhD programs usually also require applicants to write a research proposal , because students are expected to begin dissertation research in the first year of their PhD.

A master’s degree usually has a higher upfront cost, but it also allows you to start earning a higher salary more quickly. The exact cost depends on the country and the school: private universities usually cost more than public ones, and European degrees usually cost less than North American ones. There are limited possibilities for financial aid.

PhDs often waive tuition fees and offer a living stipend in exchange for a teaching or research assistantship. However, they take many years to complete, during which time you earn very little.

This depends on the country. In the United States, you can generally go directly to a PhD  with only a bachelor’s degree, as a master’s program is included as part of the doctoral program.

Elsewhere, you generally need to graduate from a research-intensive master’s degree before continuing to the PhD.

This varies by country. In the United States, PhDs usually take between 5–7 years: 2 years of coursework followed by 3–5 years of independent research work to produce a dissertation.

In the rest of the world, students normally have a master’s degree before beginning the PhD, so they proceed directly to the research stage and complete a PhD in 3–5 years.

A master’s is a 1- or 2-year graduate degree that can prepare you for a variety of careers.

All master’s involve graduate-level coursework. Some are research-intensive and intend to prepare students for further study in a PhD; these usually require their students to write a master’s thesis . Others focus on professional training for a specific career.

It’s best to ask in person if possible, so first reach out and request a meeting to discuss your graduate school plans.

Let the potential recommender know which programs you’re applying to, and ask if they feel they can provide a strong letter of recommendation . A lukewarm recommendation can be the kiss of death for an application, so make sure your letter writers are enthusiastic about recommending you and your work!

Always remember to remain polite. Your recommenders are doing you a favor by taking the time to write a letter in support of your graduate school goals.

This depends on the program that you are applying for. Generally, for professional programs like business and policy school, you should ask managers who can speak to your future leadership potential and ability to succeed in your chosen career path.

However, in other graduate programs, you should mostly ask your former professors or research supervisors to write your recommendation letters , unless you have worked in a job that corresponds closely with your chosen field (e.g., as a full-time research assistant).

Choose people who know your work well and can speak to your ability to succeed in the program that you are applying to.

Remember, it is far more important to choose someone who knows you well than someone well-known. You may have taken classes with more prominent professors, but if they haven’t worked closely with you, they probably can’t write you a strong letter.

The sections in your graduate school resume depend on two things: your experience, and the focus of the program you’re applying to.

Always start with your education. If you have more than one degree, list the most recent one first.

The title and order of the other sections depend on what you want to emphasize. You might include things like:

  • Professional experience
  • Voluntary and extracurricular activities
  • Publications
  • Awards and honors
  • Skills and certifications

The resume should aim for a balance between two things: giving a snapshot of what you’ve done with your life so far, and showing that you’re a good candidate for graduate study.

A resume is typically shorter than a CV, giving only the most relevant professional and educational highlights.

An academic CV should give full details of your education and career, including lists of publications and presentations, certifications, memberships, grants, and research projects. Because it is more comprehensive, it’s acceptable for an academic CV to be many pages long.

Note that, outside of the US, resume and CV are often used interchangeably.

No, don’t include your high school courses and grades. The education section should only detail your college education.

If you want to discuss aspects of high school in your graduate school application, you can include this in your personal statement .

A resume for a graduate school application is typically no more than 1–2 pages long.

Note, however, that if you are asked to submit a CV (curriculum vitae), you should give comprehensive details of all your academic experience. An academic CV can be much longer than a normal resume.

Always carefully check the instructions and adhere to any length requirements for each application.

If you’re applying to multiple graduate school programs, you should tailor your personal statement to each application.

Some applications provide a prompt or question. In this case, you might have to write a new personal statement from scratch: the most important task is to respond to what you have been asked.

If there’s no prompt or guidelines, you can re-use the same idea for your personal statement – but change the details wherever relevant, making sure to emphasize why you’re applying to this specific program.

If the application also includes other essays, such as a statement of purpose , you might have to revise your personal statement to avoid repeating the same information.

The typical length of a personal statement for graduate school applications is between 500 and 1,000 words.

Different programs have different requirements, so always check if there’s a minimum or maximum length and stick to the guidelines. If there is no recommended word count, aim for no more than 1-2 pages.

A statement of purpose is usually more formal, focusing on your academic or professional goals. It shouldn’t include anything that isn’t directly relevant to the application.

A personal statement can often be more creative. It might tell a story that isn’t directly related to the application, but that shows something about your personality, values, and motivations.

However, both types of document have the same overall goal: to demonstrate your potential as a graduate student and s how why you’re a great match for the program.

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What is a PhD and Why Should YOU do one?

male and female conducting experiments in lab

In the UK, a PhD stands for ‘Doctor of Philosophy’, sometimes referred to as a ‘doctorate’. It is the highest level of degree that a student can achieve. At some institutions, including Oxford University, a Doctor of Philosophy is known as a DPhil. It is distinct from professional doctorates such as an Engineering Doctorate (EngD).

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree is a minimum requirement and many will also require a master’s degree (such as an MA, MSc or MRes). Some scholarships will be on a 1+3 basis, which is one year of a master’s plus three years of PhD funding.

How to apply for a PhD

Prospective students are usually expected to submit a research proposal to the department they wish to undertake their study in. Some departments will encourage students to discuss their ideas with an academic working in that field first. The proposal will outline what they intend their research to investigate, how it relates to other research in their field and what methods they intend to use to carry out their research. Some PhD’s however, particularly in the sciences, are advertised as studentships where the research aims are more prescriptive.

How long is the course?

A PhD usually lasts three years (four for a New Route PhD – see below), or rather, any available funding usually lasts for that time. Students may be able to take extra time in order to complete their thesis but this will usually be at their own expense. For part-time, self-funded students, it can take up to seven years.

What’s involved

A PhD usually culminates in a dissertation of around 80,000-100,000 words , based on research carried out over the course of their study. The research must be original and aim to create new knowledge or theories in their specialist area, or build on existing knowledge or theories. Many departments initially accept students on an MPhil basis and then upgrade them to PhD status after the first year or two, subject to satisfactory progress. Students who are not considered to be doing work appropriate for the level can instead submit a shorter thesis and gain an MPhil.

There is little taught element, students are expected to work independently, supported by their department and a supervisor. There may be seminars to attend and/or lab work to complete, depending on the subject. During their study, students will try and get academic papers published and present their work at conferences, which will allow them to get feedback on their ideas for their dissertation.

New Route PhD

Introduced in 2001, the New Route PhD is a four-year programme that combines taught elements, including professional and transferable skills, with the student’s research. There are now hundreds of doctoral students studying a variety of subjects at a consortium of universities across the UK.

Career prospects for PhD Students

PhD graduates who go on to work in academia usually start off by undertaking postdoctoral research and then a fellowship or lectureship. Other career options will depend on what the PhD was in – commercial research is an option for some, and many are able to use their specialist knowledge and research skills in areas of business and finance.   

For a real insight into what it’s like to study at PhD level, see our vlog series ,  where we have invited students at various stages of their PhD and locations to film themselves over a month and share their videos with you.

Why do a PhD?

If you are considering doing one make sure that you do it with a purpose. Do one because you want to and know why you want to do it and have a clear idea of what  it could lead to .  How is doing a PhD going to help you achieve what you want to in your future?

Reasons to do a PhD.

  • It’ll be good for your career. No one expects you to have your whole career plan mapped out when you start a PhD, but having some ideas of where you want to get to can be useful. Be aware though that you may not get the career benefits of a PhD straight away.
  • You want to be an expert in a particular area of your subject. If you complete a PhD you will be. No-one, not your supervisor, not your external examiner at the end of your PhD, no-one, will know more about the subject you researched than you do.
  • You want to achieve something. You want to work hard and demonstrate a passion for your subject and show how much time and effort you put in and how motivated you are.
  • Showing your ability to motivate yourself is one of many skills you’ll be able to demonstrate to employers after doing a PhD, which is  handy for entering a competitive job market .

Reasons not to do a PhD.

  • Don’t do it just because your degree research project supervisor asked you if you wanted to do one with them. If you wanted to do one and it’s in an area that interests you then great, go for it. If you hadn’t thought about doing one before they asked, and you’re not sure why you want to do one, make sure you work that out before saying yes to them.
  • Don’t do it because you don’t know what else to do. Many people do a PhD because they don’t know what else to do and think it will give them time to work that out. Doing a PhD is a huge commitment, at least 3-4 years of your life, and hard work, so before you take one on, make sure you understand why.
  • And do it because YOU want to, not because your family, or others expect it of you, or because your family or friends are doing one, or have done one. Make it your decision, not someone else’s.

Why Should YOU Do A PhD?

It is your decision to commit to a significant period of time and work and it needs to be something you approach positively and with enthusiasm but also with realism about the pros and cons of undertaking original research.

Who does a PhD?

The idea of the “perpetual student”, i.e. someone who stays on after an undergraduate and/or masters degree, to do a PhD, is perhaps a traditional view of PhDs. Some of you reading this will fall into the category of those who work through the tiers of higher education in this sequential fashion (it does not necessarily make you a “perpetual student” though!). The PhD population today is very diverse and not made up entirely of 21 to 25-year-olds who have stayed in educational settings for the majority of their lives. Others may be considering a return to education in order to change your career or as part of your professional development within an existing career. Some of you may be considering coming to study in the UK independently or with support from an organisation in your home country. Whatever your situation it is very important that you take time to recognise and understand why you are making this commitment and what it entails.

Let us move to the positives of why YOU should do a Ph.D. Broadly, the positive reasons can be classified into:

You WANT to or You NEED to

Some academic colleagues were asked to give reasons why someone should do a PhD and all came back with statements that had the word “passion” in them. This is having a real passion for your subject and an area of it that you want to investigate further. My colleagues also offered some interesting comments on the reality of making a decision to do a PhD even when you have this passion. Some commented on the need to consider doing the right PhD for you and not just any PhD, and I think it is important that you take this seriously as it can be dangerous to compromise too far and embark on research that you are not interested in just because it will lead to a PhD.

Academic colleagues also wanted you to look ahead and consider where your PhD may take you. Do you want to continue in an academic career or apply for jobs in industry or other organisations where a PhD is a requirement or will help you to work at a different level? Interestingly, research on the career intentions of students, undertaken by Vitae revealed that less than one-third had firm career ideas even in the latter stages of their Ph.D. This statistic is concerning as it may mean that PhD students miss opportunities to add to their range of experience. You don’t need to have an exact career plan in place at the start of your Ph.D., but doing research on where it may take you is valuable. For those already in a career and undertaking a PhD as part of their professional development, or those who are viewing a PhD as part of a career change into academia, they should also look ahead and ensure that plans for the future are realistic and achievable.

A decision to undertake a PhD involves the same steps as any other career decision, you need to find out as much as possible about what a Ph.D. really involves. Alongside considering where your passions lie and where they might lead to, you need to research such things as:

  • The working environment and how you will adapt to any differences with your current situation
  • Working with a supervisor
  • What funding is available and what it covers, i.e. fees only or fees and living costs?
  • Most importantly what behaviours, skills and experiences YOU have that will make you a successful and productive researcher

These points and others are covered in more detail in 7 Ph.D Application Tips .

Find your PhD here

For further PhD tips see:

What Can You Do With a PhD?

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Reader Interactions

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20th August 2020 at 12:31 am

Excellent article. I am know more motivate to get a scholorship for my PHD program. I have to enhance my all effort because it’s not easy to get a fully funded, require more effort and time taken.

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10th March 2022 at 9:58 am

Good morning,

Hope are well? I am thinking of gong for PHD. In any UK universities. Hope to hear from you soonest.

' src=

10th March 2022 at 1:08 pm

Cool, thanks for your advice. It’s an inspiration to let my “passion” be abroad. Best for you.

' src=

9th November 2022 at 8:33 pm

This article is timely and so educative. I’m now better informed on how to make a decision on going for my PhD. Thanks a lot.

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abbreviation or noun

Definition of phd, examples of phd in a sentence.

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'PhD.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

New Latin philosophiae doctor

1839, in the meaning defined above

Dictionary Entries Near PhD

Cite this entry.

“PhD.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/PhD. Accessed 4 Jan. 2024.

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What is a PhD?

There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the PhD. Although most people have a vague understanding of what it is, there are a lot of misconceptions about what doing one actually entails. How long does a PhD actually take? Do you have to be a super genius to do one? This article will clear up the confusion and answer some common questions.

First of all, what does PhD stand for?

PhD is an abbreviation of Philosophiae doctor which is Latin for “doctor of philosophy”. All PhD are “doctors of philosophy” regardless of whether the degree is in physics, biology, anthropology or actual philosophy.

So, what is a PhD?

In the simplest terms, it’s the highest academic degree. It is earned by spending three or more years doing original, independent research to produce a thesis which is orally defended.

What does a PhD entail?

A PhD is first and foremost a research degree so the majority of your time will be spent researching. What exactly this looks like depends on the field you’re studying. You may be in a library, or running experiments in a lab, or in the field. Regardless of where you research, you will be regularly meeting with your supervisor to check your progress. Your supervisor will also give you feedback and help you work through any problems you may encounter. They will also provide encouragement and support as you progress through your PhD.

As a doctoral student, you may also have to complete a certain level of graduate-level courses or take exams to demonstrate your knowledge of certain subjects in your field. You will also be expected to participate in other vital aspects of academic life such as teaching, attending and presenting at conferences, grant writing, and publishing in academic journals.

The final step is the PhD defence. The after submitting your written thesis to your committee, they will set a date for your defence. The defence is an oral exam where you show your mastery of the subject area by explaining, discussing, and defending your thesis to a committee of internal and external examiners. The examiners also ask the candidate questions about their dissertation and the field more generally. If the defence is successful, the candidate is awarded their degree and the title of “Doctor”.

How long does it take to earn a PhD?

It can take anywhere from three to six years depending on the country you study in. European PhDs tend to be shorter as candidates begin working on their research projects right away, while American PhDs are longer and require couple years of coursework and exams before the candidate begins their research.

What qualifications do you need to do a PhD?

Drive, determination, and curiosity first of all! On a more practical side, excellent grades, strong letters of recommendation, and the appropriate qualifications. In most parts of Europe, a Master’s degree is a must for PhD applicants, while many American programs allow students to apply for a PhD straight from their undergraduate degree. You can read more about the requirements and PhD application process here .

How much will it cost?

It’s difficult to say how much a PhD will cost as it is so dependant on where you are from, where you study, and what you study. Some PhD are fully funded, such as those at the top American schools, while others are funded through university scholarships or national grants. In some parts of Europe, PhD students are paid nationally-legislated salaries. Occasionally PhD candidates do have to take out personal loans to fund their studies. You can find out more about what funding is available for PhD students from the posting itself, the departmental website, or the university’s graduate school website.

What can I do with a PhD?

A PhD is an essential qualification for a career in academia or research. It is the first step to becoming a lecturer or professor or a scientist at a university or research institute. However, not all PhDs choose to continue on in academia. The advanced research skills you learn during a PhD are advantageous in a variety of diverse fields such as pharmaceuticals, finance, law, journalism, and tech.

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what does phd career mean

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What is a PhD?

As the highest degree level achievable at university, completing a PhD shows that you've made a meaningful new contribution to your chosen research field

PhDs at a glance

  • Involves three or four years of full-time study, or up to seven part time.
  • Typically undertaken after achieving a Masters degree.
  • Can either be funded or self-funded.
  • Assessed through a written thesis and oral exam.
  • Many Doctoral graduates choose to pursue an academic or research career.

What is the meaning of PhD?

The term PhD or Doctorate of Philosophy is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase 'philosophiae doctor'.

A PhD degree typically involves students independently conducting original and significant research in a specific field or subject, before producing a publication-worthy thesis.

While some Doctorates include taught components, PhD students are almost always assessed on the quality and originality of the argument presented in their independent research project.

How long is a PhD in the UK?

Full-time PhDs usually last for three or four years, while part-time PhDs can take up to six or seven. However, the thesis deadline can be extended by up to four years at the institution's discretion. Indeed, many students who enrol on three-year PhDs only finish their thesis in their fourth year.

While most PhD studentships begin in September or October, both funded and self-funded PhDs can be undertaken at any point during the year.

If you're planning on studying for a PhD abroad, take a look at our individual country profiles .

Do I need a Masters to do a PhD?

The majority of institutions require PhD candidates to possess a Masters degree , plus a Bachelors degree at 2:1 or above. However, some universities demand only the latter, while self-funded PhD students or those with significant professional experience may also be accepted with lower grades.

You may need to initially register for a one or two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Master of Research (MRes) degree rather than a PhD. If you make sufficient progress, you and your work will then be 'upgraded' to a PhD programme. If not, you may be able to graduate with a Masters degree.

If you need an MPhil or MRes before enrolling on your PhD, search Masters degrees .

What does a PhD involve?

A standard PhD degree is typically split into three stages. A three-year PhD may follow this pattern:

  • First year - You'll meet with your supervisor to discuss your research proposal and agree an action plan with deadlines. You'll then complete your literature review, in which you'll evaluate and critique existing works to inform the direction of your project and ensure that your research will be original.
  • Second year - Your focus will shift to gathering results and developing your thesis, and potentially begin writing chapters of your thesis. You may also present your results and ideas at academic conferences, gain teaching experience, collaborate with other students on similar projects, communicate the benefits of your research to the general public through workshops, lectures and presentations, or submit work for publication in an academic journal or book.
  • Third year - Primarily involves writing your thesis, though your research may still be in progress. After your supervisor gives their approval, you'll submit your thesis before undertaking a one to three-hour oral exam ( viva voce ) in which you'll discuss and defend your thesis in the presence of at least one internal and external examiner.

How do I find a PhD?

As a PhD is different to other degrees, you're committing to more than simply an advanced qualification. You've chosen to engage in a large-scale independent research project and so you'll need to take into account a range of factors that will drive your search.

A methodical approach to the process is required and you'll need to consider the subject you're interested in carrying out research in and the type of Doctorate you're looking for, making sure this is the right project for you. Only when you're fully prepared and have a good idea of your research proposal should you search for PhD opportunities .

What other types of Doctorate are there?

Alternative types of PhD include:

  • Higher Doctorate - These are usually granted on the recommendation of a committee of internal and external examiners, which assesses a portfolio of published, peer-reviewed research you've undertaken over the course of many years. This type of Doctorate is usually for those with several years of academic experience. Common award titles include the Doctor of Civil Law (DCL), Doctor of Divinity (DD), Doctor of Literature/Letters (DLit/DLitt/LitD/LittD), Doctor of Music (DMus/MusD), Doctor of Science (DS/SD/DSc/ScD) and Doctor of Law (LLD).
  • Integrated/New Route PhD - This four-year PhD course is offered by over 30 universities and involves taking a one-year MRes before studying a three-year PhD. It combines taught elements with independent research, allowing students to learn different methodologies while building their transferable skills.
  • Professional Doctorate - Geared towards students of vocational subjects such as medicine, education and engineering, professional Doctorates are focused on teaching and so normally involve smaller research projects and thesis component. They're often favoured by those aiming for a career outside of academia and are usually supported by employers.

How much does a PhD cost?

Tuition fees vary, but usually fall between £3,000 and £6,000 per year for UK students and those from the European Union (EU) with settled status. UK Research Councils pay universities £4,596 per year (from 2022/23) on behalf of each funded PhD student, so this gives a good indication of the average figure.

For EU students looking to pursue a Doctorate in 2022/23, you'll need to have gained settled or pre-settled status to be eligible for student finance - see PhD loans .

Non-EU students may pay considerably more for their tuition fees.

Despite this, many PhD students are now part or fully funded - scholarships and bursaries are widely available, and particular attention should be paid to Research Council grants .

PhD studentships and assistantships involving a mixture of research and teaching are also common, with scientific studentships usually paid at a higher rate.

How do I apply for a PhD?

Some students propose their own research area and apply for funding, while in some cases a supervisor may already have funding for a project and advertise it like a job. When making a PhD application, you'll typically be asked to submit:

  • an academic CV
  • your academic transcripts
  • two or three academic references
  • a personal statement
  • a research proposal.

International students without settled UK status looking to study certain courses in medicine, mathematics, engineering and material sciences are required to comply with the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) . This involves undergoing a security clearance process with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. International students may also have to prove their English proficiency.

What can I do next?

Your ability to critically analyse, display intellectual maturity, and research independently and honestly is highly valued within academia and the workplace.

Many students who undertake a PhD get an academic job or become an industry researcher, possibly following the PhD with postdoctoral study, then a fellowship or lectureship.

Other career options will depend on your study area.

Discover what a PhD degree can lead to at your PhD, what next?

Find out more

  • Consider your PhD options at 5 routes to getting a Doctorate .
  • Get help with choosing your PhD supervisor .
  • Explore funding postgraduate study .

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what does phd career mean

What is a PhD?

  • Types of Doctorates
  • A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the highest globally recognized postgraduate degree that higher education institutions can award.
  • PhDs are awarded to candidates who undertake original and extensive research in a particular field of study.
  • Full time PhD programmes typically last three to four years, whilst part time PhD programmes typically last six to seven years.
  • A PhD can lead to an academia teaching role or a career in research. A PhD can also equip you with skills suitable for a wide range of jobs unrelated to your research topic or academia.

Definition of a PhD – A Doctor of Philosophy (commonly abbreviated to PhD , Ph.D or a DPhil ) is a university research degree awarded from across a broad range of academic disciplines; in most countries, it is a terminal degree, i.e. the highest academic degree possible.

PhDs differ from undergraduate and master’s degrees in that PhDs are entirely research-based rather than involving taught modules (although doctoral training centres (DTCs) offer programmes that start with a year of lecture-based teaching to help develop your research skills prior to starting your project).

In most English-speaking countries, those that complete a PhD use the title “Doctor” (typically abbreviated to Dr) in front of their names and are referred to as such within academic and/or research settings. Those that work in fields outside of academia may decide not to use the formal doctor title but use post-nominal letters (e.g. John Smith PhD); it’s unusual though for someone to use both the Doctor title and post-nominal letters in their name.

PhD vs Doctorate

A PhD and a professional doctorate are both research-based terminal degrees.

However, where a PhD focuses on original research mostly around theoretical concepts, a professional doctorate focuses on examining existing knowledge to solve real-life, practical problems.

While there is much crossover between the two, a PhD is generally better suited for an individual to wants to advance the knowledge and understanding in their field, and a professional doctorate degree is better suited to a working professional who wants to better be able to apply knowledge and understanding to their field.

What Are the Entry Requirements for a PhD?

To be accepted on to a PhD programme, students usually need to hold at least a high ( 2:1 and above ) undergraduate degree that is related to the field of research that they want to pursue. A PhD candidate may also be expected to hold a Master’s degree , however, this does not mean you must have one, as it is still possible to enrol into a PhD without a Master’s .

Self-funded courses may sometimes be more relaxed in relation to entry requirements. It may be possible to be accepted onto a self-funded PhD programme with lower grades, though these students typically demonstrate their suitability for the role through professional work experience.

Whilst a distance learning project is possible , most PhD candidates will carry out their research over at least three years based at their university, with regular contact with two academic supervisors (primary and secondary). This is particularly the case for lab-based projects, however, some PhD projects require spending time on-site away from university (e.g. at a specialist research lab or at a collaborating institution abroad).

How Long Does a PhD Take?

Typically, full-time PhDs last 3-4 years and part-time PhDs last 6-7 years. However, at the discretion of the university, the thesis writing-up period can be extended by up to four years.

Although most doctoral programmes start in September or October, they are generally much more flexible than taught-courses and can start at any time of the year.

How Much Does a PhD Cost?

Tuition fees for UK and EU students vary between £3,000 and £6,000 per year, with the average tuition fee of £4,712 per year for 2023/24 programmes.

Tuition fees increase considerably for international students, varying between £16,000 to £25,000 per year, with an average tuition fee of £19,600 per year .

Nonetheless, most students will secure PhD funding in the form of studentships, scholarships and bursaries to help pay for these fees. These funding opportunities can either be partial, which cover tuition fees only, or full, which cover both tuition fees and living expenses.

UK national students can also apply for Doctoral Loans from Student Finance England if they are unable to secure funding.

Finding a PhD has never been this easy – search for a PhD by keyword, location or academic area of interest.

What Does a PhD Involve?

To be awarded a PhD, a doctoral student is required to produce a substantial body of work that adds new knowledge to their chosen field.

A PhD programme will typically involve four key stages:

Stage 1: Literature Review

The first year of a PhD involves attending regular meetings with your supervisors and carrying out a search on previously published work in your subject area. This search will be used to produce a literature review which should set the context of the project by explaining the foundation of what is currently known within the field of research, what recent developments have occurred, and where the gaps in knowledge are. In most cases, this will be an extension of your research proposal should you have produced one as part of your application. The literature review should conclude by outlining the overarching aims and objectives of the research project. This stage of setting achievable goals which are original and contribute to the field of research is an essential first step in a successful PhD.

The supervisor is the main point of contact through the duration of a PhD – but remember: they are there to mentor, not to teach, or do it for you . It will be your responsibility to plan, execute and monitor your own work as well as to identify gaps in your own knowledge and address them.

Stage 2: Research

The second year (and prehapse some of your third year) is when you work on your research. Having identified novel research questions from your review of the literature, this is where you collect your data to help answer these questions. How you do this will depend on the nature of your doctoral research: for example, you may design and run experiments in a lab alongside other PhD students or visit excavation sites in remote regions of the world. You should check in regularly with your supervisors to update them and run any ideas or issues past them.

Have the structure and chapters of your thesis in mind as you develop and tackle your research questions. Working with a view of publishing your work will be very valuable later on.

Stage 3: Write up of Thesis

The next key stage of a PhD is writing a doctoral thesis , which typically takes from anywhere between three months to one year. A thesis is a substantial body of work that describes the work and outcomes of the research over the previous two to three years. It should tell a detailed story of the PhD project – focusing on:

  • The motivations for the research questions identified from the literature review.
  • The methodologies used, results obtained, and a comprehensive analysis and discussion of the findings.
  • A detailed discussion of the key findings with an emphasis on the original contributions made to your field of research and how this has been impactful.

There is no universal rule for the length of a PhD thesis, but general guidelines set the word count between 80,000 to 100,000 words.

For your thesis to be successful, it needs to adequately defend your argument and provide a unique or increased insight into your field that was not previously available.

Stage 4: Attending the Viva

A viva voce , most commonly referred to as just a ‘ viva ‘, is an interview-style examination where the PhD student is required to engage in a critical appraisal of their work and defend their thesis against at least two examiners. The examiners will ask questions to check the PhD student has an in-depth understanding of the ideas and theories proposed in their thesis, and whether they have developed the research skills that would be expected of them.

The viva is one of the final steps in achieving a PhD, and typically lasts at least two hours, but this duration can vary depending on the examiners, the university and the PhD project itself.

Once you have done the viva – you’re on the home stretch. You will typically be asked to make some amendments to your thesis based on the examiner’s feedback. You are then ready to submit your final thesis for either:

  • PhD – If you pass the requirements you will be awarded a PhD degree (most common outcome),
  • MPhil – If you failed to meet requirements for a PhD, you may be downgraded to an MPhil degree (uncommon outcome),
  • Fail – No award is given, typically for cases of plagiarism (extremely uncommon outcome).

What Is It Like to Undertake a PhD?

We’re often asked what it is like to undertake a PhD study. Unfortunately, this isn’t a simple answer to this question as every research project is different.

To help give insight into the life of a PhD student, we’ve interviewed PhD students at various stages of their programmes and put together a series of PhD Student Interviews . Check out the link to find out what a PhD is like and what advice they have to offer you.

What Are the Benefits of A PhD?

A PhD is the highest globally recognised postgraduate degree that higher education institutions can award. The degree, which is awarded to candidates who demonstrate original and independent research in a particular field of study, is not only invaluable in itself, but sets you up with invaluable skills and traits.

Career Opportunities

First, a PhD prepares you for a career in academia if you wish to continue in this area. This takes form as a career in the Higher Education sector, typically as a lecturer working their way to becoming a professor leading research on the subject you’ve studied and trained in.

Second, a PhD also enables the opportunity for landing a job in a research & development role outside of the academic environment. Examples of this include laboratory work for a private or third sector company, a governmental role and research for commercial and industrial applications.

Transferable Skills

Finally, in possessing a PhD degree, you can show to employers that you have vital skills that make you an asset to any company. Three examples of the transferable skills that you gain through a PhD are effective communication, time management, and report writing.

  • Communication – presenting your work in written and oral forms using journal papers and podium presentations, shows your ability to share complex ideas effectively and to those with less background knowledge than you. Communication is key in the professional environment, regardless of the job.
  • Time management – The ability to prioritise and organise tasks is a tremendous asset in the professional industry. A PhD holder can use their qualification to demonstrate that they are able to manage their time, arrange and follow a plan, and stick to deadlines.
  • Report writing – Condensing three years of work into a thesis demonstrates your ability to filter through massive amounts of information, identify the key points, and get these points across to the reader. The ability to ‘cut out the waffle’ or ‘get to the point’ is a huge asset in the professional industry.

Aside from the above, you also get to refer to yourself as a Doctor and add fancy initials after your name!

What Can I Do After a PhD?

One of the most desirable postdoctoral fields is working within independent Research and Development (R&D) labs and new emerging companies. Both industries, especially R&D labs, have dedicated groups of PhD graduates who lead research activities, design new products and take part in crucial strategic meetings. Not only is this a stimulating line of work, but the average salaries in R&D labs and emerging start-ups are lucrative. In comparison, an undergraduate with five years of experience within their given field will, on average, likely earn less than a new PhD graduate taking on a R&D position.

It’s a common misunderstanding that PhDs only opens the door for an academic career such as university lecturers and training providers. Although obtaining a PhD opens these doors, the opportunities extend far beyond educational roles. In fact, recent data from the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) indicates only 23% of PhD graduates take a position in educational roles . This low percentage is primarily because PhD graduates have a wide range of skills that make them suitable for a broad spectrum of roles. This is being seen first hand by the increasing number of PhD graduates who are entering alternative roles such as research, writing, law and investment banking.

How Do I Find a PhD?

We appreciate that finding a PhD programme to undertake can be a relatively daunting process. According to Higher Education Student Statistics , over 22,000 PhDs were awarded in 2016/17 within the United Kingdom alone. Clearly there are a huge number of PhD programmes available. This can sometimes be confusing for prospective doctorates, particularly when different programmes are advertised in different places. Often, it is difficult to know where to look or where to even start. We’ve put together a list of useful sources to find the latest PhD programmes:

  • A great place to start is with our comprehensive and up-to-date database of available PhD positions .
  • Assuming you are still at university, speak to an existing PhD supervisor within your department.
  • Attend as many postgraduate open days as you can. Whilst there, speak to current PhD students and career advisors to get an awareness of what PhDs are on offer.
  • Visit the postgraduate section of university websites and the PhD Research Council section of the UKRI website.

Browse PhDs Now

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What is a PhD?

Are you considering a phd degree we take a look at what a phd is, how long it takes and how you can go about getting one..

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What’s a PhD?

What does phd stand for, how long is a phd, how much does a phd cost, how to get a phd, can you do a phd without a master’s, is a phd worth it.

A PhD is the highest postgraduate-level qualification offered by universities in the UK. It’s for those who are looking to build on what they studied during their master’s degree, or for those currently working who wish to research a particular area within their field.

PhDs are research-based degrees. The student comes up with an original research question, often in collaboration with a university professor, and explores that topic in depth. At the end of the degree a final thesis is produced that could range from 40,000 to 120,000 words.

The number of students enrolling in PhD degrees is increasing year-on-year. From 2015/16 to 2019/20 enrolments increased by 2.9%, according to 2019/20 HESA data on student enrolments . This highlights the growing interest in and demand for the postgraduate qualification.

PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy. You’ll often find this abbreviated to just ‘Doctorate’ as a PhD falls under the umbrella of doctorate degrees.

They vary in length, based on what you decide to research and whether you choose to study part-time or full-time. Full-time PhD students often take three or four years, with part-time students taking up to seven. Some universities even offer deadline extensions of up to four years.

You can expect to pay anywhere from £3,000 to £6,000 per year. This applies to all UK and EU students, with other international students paying more. Most PhD students fund their degree through scholarships, bursaries, and grants. Many UK research organisations also offer studentships through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) , which can be another form of funding.

  • Bursaries and scholarships
  • Postgraduate funding

Having a strong interest in a particular subject is the first step to a PhD. You’ll either be applying for an already funded project being offered by a university, or you’ll be pitching your own research proposal. Admissions teams want to see your dedication and enthusiasm, so make sure you’re passionate about the subject first.

Universities tend to list available research projects and who’ll be supervising them on their website. Don’t hesitate to contact any professors you know that are doing research in an area you’re interested in. They may have a PhD position available they haven’t yet advertised.

When applying, you’ll need a:

  • Cover letter
  • Research proposal (if pitching an original research idea)
  • Reference (may be asked to provide three people, who know you in an academic setting or can comment on your research capability)

Use your application as a chance to really convey your passion for the subject. It’s important to expand on your interest, explain why you have that interest and cite examples of you pursuing this interest through past experiences. You’ll be studying for at least three to four years and the admissions teams will want to make sure you’ll be dedicated.

Yes, but this will depend on the course you’re applying for and what previous experience you have. Most PhD degrees will require you to have completed a master’s degree or equivalent, but exceptions can be made if you can demonstrate your capability. Universities want to see that you’re passionate, hard-working, and determined.

This is up to you and your career aspirations. Consider how important it is that you have a doctorate degree and what contribution it’ll make to your future.

Boost your employability

Many choose to do a PhD because it’ll increase their chances of employment. This’ll depend on what you want to study and what industry you want to work in, but doing so could increase your job prospects. Recent data from HESA on graduate activities by level of qualification found that 78.9% of doctorate students were employed upon graduating in the academic years 2017/18 to 2019/20. Only 3.4% were unemployed.

Helps you pursue an academic career

Many students use a PhD as a pathway into academia, progressing into full-time roles at a university or other higher education institution. This could be as a professor, researcher, or other role. PhD students are often employed by the university while they study, helping in lectures, labs, tutorials or as research assistants.

Make a significant contribution to your field

Doctorate degrees offer the opportunity to explore an original research question and advance your knowledge in your chosen field. It's a satisfying position to be in and comes with recognition from your peers. This could also open up a wealth of further research to be explored by either you or your peers.

Develop a range of transferrable skills

Through a doctorate degree you’ll learn a range of invaluable skills, transferrable beyond your studies. These can include:

  • Project management
  • Time management
  • Independence
  • Writing and presentation skills
  • Communication skills
  • Research skills
  • Teaching others

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What is a PhD Degree? [2024 Guide]

As you’re taking a look at potential grad school programs, you might be asking yourself, “What is a PhD degree?”

What is a PhD Degree

Understanding what a PhD is and what’s involved in earning one can help you decide whether to enroll in this type of doctoral program. You might decide that a PhD is a strategic step for you to take to further your career.

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If you choose to pursue a PhD, you’ll be glad to know that you can also earn this type of degree online through an accredited university.

What Is a PhD Degree?

students pursuing PhD degree, doing research

After earning a bachelors degree and a masters degree, you may be considering taking your education even further.

The next step for you might be a Doctor of Philosophy degree, better known as a PhD. As a terminal degree, a PhD can set you apart as an expert in your field. Earning a doctoral degree is not a small undertaking. The process includes multiple steps and can last for several years.

Components of a Ph.D. degree program often include:

  • Advanced courses in your chosen field
  • Classes in research methods, data analysis, and scholarly writing
  • Examination of current literature and studies related to your field
  • Oral or written comprehensive exams
  • Original research project—includes writing and defending a major paper about your research

The dissertation, sometimes known as a thesis, is usually the part of a PhD program that takes the longest. During the dissertation process, you’ll work under the supervision of a faculty advisor, often someone whose research interests correlate with yours. You’ll design a research project, carry it out, and write about your findings. This project is meant to contribute new ideas to your field.

A PhD is particularly suitable for students who love school settings and want to pursue academic careers. For instance, professors often have PhDs. It’s also common for scientists and other researchers to hold this type of degree. Outside of  academia, a PhD could set you apart as a knowledgeable leader in your field.

Benefits of a PhD Degree

students taking PhD degree, in group study

Getting your PhD can be an incredible personal goal worth achieving. Plus, a degree at this level can offer many professional benefits, such as:

  • Career advancement . As a person with a PhD, you may be considered an expert in your field. That could help qualify you for a variety of top roles within your line of work.
  • Higher earnings . A job promotion or a new employer might offer you a higher salary.
  • Networking . You can meet new people and build professional connections as you work toward a PhD.
  • Preparation for becoming a professor . Universities typically prefer to hire faculty members who hold PhDs in their area of expertise.
  • Research opportunities . Before you can earn your PhD, it’s necessary to complete an original research project called a dissertation. After completing your degree, you may have additional opportunities to contribute research to your field.

If you’re willing to put in the work, then getting your PhD could be worth the effort.

How to Know If a PhD Is Right for Me

Woman taking PhD degree online

Before you sign up for a PhD program, it’s helpful to carefully weigh the decision and make sure it’s the right choice for you. You might ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I willing to commit years to the process ? PhDs take at least 3 years, and most take longer than that.
  • Do I want to carry out original research ? This is a research-focused degree, and the purpose is to contribute new ideas or theories to your field.
  • Does an academic career interest me ? Many people get PhDs because they want to work in higher education as teachers or researchers. Those who plan to remain as practitioners often consider professional doctorates instead.

It can also be helpful to speak with faculty members and current students to get a feel for what you can expect from PhD studies.

Applying for a PhD: Education Requirements

Friends applying for PhD Education online

It’s necessary to put in years of study before you can apply for a PhD program. Most students need to hold at least two degrees already. But, in some cases, one may be sufficient.

  • Bachelor’s degree . All graduate programs require students to have earned a four-year undergraduate degree before enrolling in advanced studies. Most PhD programs don’t specify that your bachelors degree must be in the same field as your hoped-for doctoral studies, but it can help you move through a graduate-level program with more ease.
  • Master’s degree . Colleges often expect students to have earned a master’s degree before applying for PhD studies, but some programs do allow students straight out of bachelor’s degree programs. Doing a master’s degree first can provide strong preparation for the advanced coursework, research, and writing that are required in doctoral programs.

It is often required that the degrees you have be from accredited colleges. It may also be necessary to meet a minimum GPA requirement, such as a score of 3.0 or higher. Some colleges prefer PhD applicants who have graduated from previous programs with honors.

Doctor of Philosophy: Admissions Requirements

Man preparing requirements for Doctor of Philosophy

Doctoral programs can be quite selective about whom they admit because they’re looking for capable students who can keep up with the demands of the program and contribute valuable new research to the field.

In addition to meeting the education requirements, you’ll also be required to turn in records that demonstrate your academic potential. Here are some common admissions requirements:

  • College transcripts and professional resume
  • Letters of recommendation from people who know you academically or professionally
  • Statement about relevant background, research interests, or professional goals
  • Proposal that presents the original research project you’d be interested in doing
  • Scores from the GRE or GMAT (not always required)

You might also connect with the department’s faculty members and find someone who would be willing to serve as your academic supervisor for your dissertation. It’s beneficial for this person’s research interests to align with your own.

Some schools have you do this before admission, and others connect admitted students to supervisors later in the enrollment process.

What Does PhD Stand For?

Students taking a PhD degree

PhD stands for “Doctor of Philosophy.” It doesn’t mean that you’ve studied philosophy at the highest levels. Rather, the word “philosophy” in the name refers back to ancient Greek. It implies that you are someone who loves and seeks wisdom and knowledge.

You can get a PhD in many different subject areas—such as a Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics or a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology. PhD students explore their chosen field of study in great depth. They also learn how to conduct original research, and they undertake major research projects. By graduation, they are considered experts in their fields.

What Do You Learn in a Doctoral Degree?

Friends getting Doctoral degree, researching in library

In a PhD program, you’ll learn about your chosen area of study, such as biology or sociology. You will also study a niche area within that field in great depth.

Research is a significant topic in any PhD program. Your courses might include topics on:

  • Advanced statistics
  • Dissertation preparation
  • Literature review
  • Quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Research methodology

These research-focused classes may be tailored to your particular area of study, such as research methodology in the social sciences or advanced statistics in criminal justice research.

What Can You Do with a PhD Degree?

Biochemists with PhD degrees, working in the lab

Many people earn PhD degrees because they want to teach at the college level. This degree is often required for tenured faculty positions at universities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that most postsecondary teachers earn between $46,690 and $172,130 each year. Research scientists often hold PhDs as well. Examples include medical scientists, biochemists, and physicists.

Additionally, there are some career paths that require a doctorate for licensure. For instance, clinical and counseling psychologists usually need to receive training at the doctoral level before they can practice independently.

Do You Need a Masters to Get a PhD?

Woman with masters degree, pursuing PhD

Whether you’ll need a masters before you can begin the PhD process will depend on the program you choose.

Many PhD programs require a master’s degree as an admissions requirement. Completing a master’s program can provide a strong research and writing foundation that can help you during this advanced program. Other programs, though, let students enroll with only a bachelors degree.

There might be additional classes required to prepare you for working at the graduate level, so it may take a bit longer to complete your studies. For more information on whether you need a master’s to get a PhD , you can consult the admissions requirements of each program you’re considering.

Can You Get a PhD Online?

Man taking PhD degree Online

There are many online PhD programs available for aspiring students looking for flexibility. Some PhD programs are offered entirely online. You can take all of your classes online, and you can also receive guidance from your faculty advisor and defend your dissertation from afar.

Other programs are mostly online but require some in-person experiences. You might be asked to come to campus for a week or two of intensive study. Also, you may be asked to show up in person for your dissertation defense. Either way, online PhD studies are often more accessible for working professionals than fully on-campus programs.

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD?

students taking PhD degree, attending class in university

Students often spend 3 to 5 years completing a PhD program. Online programs sometimes include features like year-round classes and short course terms that encourage quick completion.

The shortest PhD programs typically do not involve writing a dissertation. There may be a different final assignment, such as a capstone project, instead. You might be able to finish one of those programs in about 3 years. Not all students finish within 5 years. Some spend around a decade on this massive undertaking. Some PhD programs set an upper limit for completion, such as 7 or 8 years.

Is a PhD a Doctor?

People with PhD degrees

People with PhDs are considered experts in their fields, and the degree includes “Doctor” in its name. For that reason, PhD holders often use the title “Doctor.” A college professor, for example, might go by Dr. Smith.

Even still, there’s a difference between MD vs. PhD. A person who holds a PhD is not a medical doctor. Medical doctors earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree before becoming licensed to practice medicine. In most contexts, though, people refer to professionals with PhDs as “doctors.”

What Jobs Can You Get with a PhD?

College professor guiding students in class

People with doctorate degrees work in both academia and professional practice. Being a college professor is quite popular among people who hold PhDs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that a PhD can also be helpful for obtaining jobs in higher education administration, particularly as a dean or a provost.

PhD graduates may work in research as well. Research jobs are available with colleges, government agencies, and private institutions. Researchers are needed in many different fields, including biology, mathematics, computer science, and economics. PhDs also help people rise to the top in their industries, perhaps as chief executives.

How Much Does a PhD Cost?

People attending PhD program

Some graduate schools charge just $300 to $400 per credit hour. Others may charge $2,000 per credit hour or more.

Per-credit-hour rates between $600 and $1,000 are quite common. It’s helpful to keep in mind that state universities often charge less for in-state residents than nonresidents. Your total number of credit hours may depend on how many years you spend working on your dissertation.

Some universities offer tuition-free PhD programs for qualifying participants. The students may even receive a stipend in exchange for research or teaching assistance. This arrangement is more common for on-campus programs than online ones.

What’s the Difference Between a Doctorate vs. PhD Degree?

Is a PhD a doctorate degree ? For your terminal degree, you may have the choice between a PhD degree and a professional doctorate. While they are both doctoral degrees, they do have some differences.

Professional doctorates are sometimes a year or two quicker than PhDs, but that’s not always the case.

Is a PhD Worth It?

Man pursuing PhD degree online

Yes, a PhD is worth it for many students. For one thing, holding a PhD could be the key to fulfilling your professional dreams.

If you want to be a professor, for instance, there’s a good chance that you’ll be required to have this advanced degree. Even if that’s not your ultimate goal, a PhD could be beneficial. The more education you have, the more your job security usually increases.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s an inverse relationship between education and unemployment. As education increases, unemployment rates decrease.

Getting Your PhD Degree Online

student getting PhD degree online

An exciting future as an expert in your field may await. You can earn a PhD to increase your knowledge, prove your capability, and contribute new ideas to your area of study. Getting this degree is an impressive accomplishment, and it may open new doors for your career. For convenience and accessibility, you might take a look at online PhD studies.

Many accredited colleges offer robust online PhD programs. You’ll get to take advanced courses and work with respected professors. An online program can also offer opportunities for completing a thesis or a doctoral project. You could graduate prepared to make a difference in your field.

Why not start exploring your options today?

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What Is A PhD Student? A Definition

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What is a PhD student

All PhD students are conducting some sort of research and many of them will be also teaching and assisting in their departments. Very few PhDs are completed on a  part-time  basis, so most PhD students are studying on a full-time basis. PhD students have often been getting ready to embark on their doctoral studies  for a very long time. While many of them may have taken up paid research positions, but this is not always the case so searching for funding is an on going activity for some PhD students. 

Here we take a look at many of the factors that make up what a PhD student actually is...

They're quite mature...

PhD students are all mature students , as they have already completed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees already. Most PhD students will have done a masters in preparation for starting a PhD , this is often an MPhil or a Masters by Research . All of this previous study means that PhD students have strong study skills and have spent time building academic qualifications in the lead up to their PhD. Many students go straight through an undergraduate and masters level to a PhD, but many other students have already started working, and their PhD is a way to grow an already established career. 

Our PhD bursary winner & funding opportunity

Mohammad Abdollahi is a 35-year-old Iranian student studying a PhD in Operational Research at the University of Essex. He was delighted when he found out he’d been awarded a Postgrad Solutions Study Bursary worth £500. As an international student coming to the UK with his wife and two children, it has proved to be an invaluable funding resource as he explains. “It was good news and exciting – I was overwhelmed with joy!”

what does phd career mean

PhD students are always researching

PhDs are all research degrees and most students who are embarking on a PhD have already completed some form of research. The research comes in many forms, such as scientific, sociological, archaeological, medical or historical and this research guided by their PhD supervisor . This is one of the most important relationships during a PhD as it is their guidance that shapes a PhD student's thesis . 

Many PhD students are teaching

Many PhD students will supplement their income by teaching or working as assistants in their department or work at the university. In some institutions it is expected that PhD students will do this and in other universities it is an optional extra that is not required. Teaching responsibilities may include assisting with lectures or tutorials and helping with undergraduate supervision. 

They are mostly full-time students 

This can be one of the big attractions for some undergraduates when they see PhD students still living a student lifestyle. However, most PhD students would not think that their lifestyles are something to aim for and the academic work they need to do does take up most of their time. The vast majority of PhD students are full-time and  part-time PhD students  find it difficult to maintain their studies over the six to eight years it may take to complete their research. They are, however, often very passionate about their studies. 

Some of them are getting paid to study

PhD students select their topic for research in one of two ways. They might decide on their research topic and then find a PhD supervisor or they may apply for one of the many advertised research positions. Searching for a supervisor can be a difficult route, especially if you change institutions between your masters and your PhD. Using the network of contacts you have built up during your previous studies or career is the key to finding a supervisor. The advantage of the second route is that the funding for the research is already in place and the student will receive a stipend as well. 

PhD students do worry about funding

Getting funding in place is a major worry for a large proportion of PhD students and it is often the case that many students start their PhDs without full funding in place. This is often why students might start on a part-time basis. PhD funding can come from a huge range of sources including the  government , grants and scholarships and most students  begin their search  with their university department.

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Benefits of Doing a PhD

L K Monu Borkala

  • What is PhD?
  • What does a PhD entail?
  • Benefits of doing a PhD

You all must have heard about PhD and the value attached to a PhD. So, what is a PhD and why is it given so much weightage?

To begin with, a PhD is a research degree that confers the highest academic qualification on the person.

World over, a PhD is regarded as the highest degree in any academic field. PhD is an acronym for Doctor of Philosophy, and students who attain a PhD can attach Dr. before their names.

However, this does not mean that you can treat patients but means that you have attained a doctorate in the particular field of study.

What Does a PhD Entail?

A PhD usually takes up to three to four years to complete and includes an entire thesis and research work based on the field of work.

Students pursuing a PhD must contribute a new and original contribution in the particular area of study.

So, What Does It Take to Become a PhD?

If you intend to pursue a PhD in a particular area of study, then you must be willing to dedicate 4 to 5 years of committed learning and research in the field. Here is what you will have to do while pursuing a PhD

  • Thorough research and deep investigation into the subject matter
  • Critical and analytical analysis of research material
  • Development of new content to form original ideas and theories on the particular subject
  • Writing a thesis on your findings
  • Explanation of thesis through oral examinations with experts.

Pursuing a PhD is not an easy task. It requires years of research and investigation before the thesis is accepted.

Therefore, after years of hard work, it is a given that doing a PhD will have innumerable benefits. Let’s look at why earning a PhD is an advantage.

1. Improves Writing Skills

Pursuing a PhD improves writing skills. While doing your PhD you have to submit your thesis and dissertations on the particular subject.

Writing a thesis is not simple, It requires excellent writing skills and knowledge. As you do your PhD, you will be guided by mentors who will coach you on your special writing skills. These writing skills develop as you go along the way.

A PhD paper will be published for academic purposes, which is why having good writing skills is important.

2. Enhances Soft Skills

Soft Skills

Soft skills are skills that are a requisite for life. Whether you are pursuing a career or not. Soft skills include communication skills, analytical skills, critical thinking skills, and teamwork among other skills.

While pursuing a PhD, these soft skills get honed. Doing a PhD means that a lot of your skills will be put to test. You will automatically hone your skills and be a master by the end of your PhD.

3. Personality Development

A PhD is a prestigious degree. It is the highest degree anyone can attain. So, it is a given that doing a PhD will require a lot of skills, hard work, and dedication .

These skills required to do a PhD also help to build a great personality. With all the knowledge you gain while researching for your PhD, you become more learned. This in turn develops your overall personality.

4. Gain Vast Knowledge

While pursuing a PhD, you will introduce yourself to a world of information. PhD entails years of research and long hours of deep-rooted investigations.

While doing this, you simultaneously expand the horizons of your knowledge power. The knowledge you gain while studying for a PhD is extensive.

This knowledge can be used at any stage in your life, for practical application , and while writing your thesis.

With more knowledge in your hands, you will be able to contribute your findings on various subjects.

5. In-Demand Jobs

PhD holders have vast knowledge of the subject matter which gives them a better advantage when it comes to securing a job of their choice .

A PhD degree benefit is that they will be in a better position to secure a job of their choice rather than to settle for what is given to them.

6. Great Deal of Respect

One of the benefits of doing a PhD is that it earns you a great deal of respect in society.

When people around you come to know that you are a PhD you automatically earn their respect because they are aware of the knowledge you have and the hard work you have put in to achieve the status.

7. Asset to The Country

Very few people are able to complete PhD degrees. This is because of the difficulty level and time taken to complete a PhD.

Therefore, if you are one of the few who are able to complete a PhD, then you will be considered a valuable asset to your country.

8. Developing Critical Thinking Skills

Another PhD advantage is that it allows you to develop critical thinking skills which is important in every walk of life, especially in your career.

Every job requires a workforce with exceptional critical thinking skills to be able to achieve the objectives or goals of the job. While pursuing a PhD, you hone your critical thinking skills throughout the whole process.

9. Large Network Base

People network

One of the benefits of doing a PhD is that for research purposes you will acquaint yourself with innumerable people including scholars, mentors, peers, and guides. These acquaintances may be able to help you at any later point in your career.

During this process of obtaining your PhD your acquaintances may develop into stronger bonds that lead to business associations at a later stage.

10. Communication Skills

Communication is important when it comes to your career or life as a whole. As we all live in a society, it is important to communicate with otters in order to live a fulfilling and fruitful life.

As mentioned above, pursuing a PhD will introduce you to a host of people. Interacting, working and talking with these people will improve your communication skills .

Not only will you learn to communicate but will also learn to communicate effectively with different genres of people.

11. Increased Job Opportunities

Another reason why earning a PhD is an advantage is because it increases your chance of securing your dream job.

In a job interview where there are two or more than two candidates eyeing the job, the PhD holder will definitely make it as the top choice for the job, surpassing a master’s degree and even a candidate with years of experience.

12. Changes Your Perspective

A PhD holder has spent years trying to deeply understand theories and decipher new and original ideas for his/her thesis.

During this course, you spend hours and years in research. This time spent on research can change your perspective on certain issues and can even be a life-changer for some.

13. Matter of Pride

Attaching the symbol Dr. in front of your name can instill pride and honour to yourself. It is a matter of great honour to be referred to as Dr. in the society. That is why earning a PhD is of great advantage.

14. Contributes New Information to Society

While writing your thesis, you will be extensively researching on a particular subject matter. The thesis you write will cover new and original information which is not copied from other writers’ works.

Through your thesis, you will be giving society original and new information which has never been read before.

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15. Enough Finances to See You Through

A PhD can be taken up at any point in your life. There is no age limit for doing your PhD. Therefore, if you wish to pursue your PhD in the middle of your career, you do not have to worry about the continuation of your finances to feed your family.

PhD degrees are usually supported by the parent institute you are pursuing the PhD from. This support amount is usually enough to conduct all your research, write your thesis and live comfortably.

Pursuing a PhD may seem tough and a long process, but the benefits you get after completing the PhD is encouragement enough to pursue a PhD degree.

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What Is a PhD?

  • Posted On: Thu Nov 23 2023
  • Posted By: Prashant Thapa

Welcome to the world of higher education, where academic achievements reach their peak with a Doctor of Philosophy, or PhD, which is commonly referred to as a PhD. We are a company that's dedicated to offering a wide variety of online courses, and we understand the importance of learning about what a PhD involves. 

In this blog, we'll explore the world of PhDs, including their history, the journey to earning one, the different fields of study, the benefits they offer, the challenges they present, and whether pursuing a PhD is the right choice for you. We'll also highlight how online courses can be a valuable resource in your academic journey.

What is a PhD?

A PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is the highest level of academic achievement. It is earned by conducting extensive research on a specific topic, demonstrating expertise, and contributing new knowledge to your field.

What does "PhD" mean?

The term "PhD" is often used to refer to any doctoral-level qualification. Doctoral degrees can usually be divided into two categories: MPhil and PhD.

An MPhil is somewhat similar to a PhD but involves a shorter and less in-depth research project, often resembling a research project you might have undertaken at the undergraduate or master's level. MPhil students tend to focus more on understanding existing knowledge and theories and critically evaluating the work of others, rather than producing their own original research. The exact definition of an MPhil can vary between different institutions and countries.

On the other hand, a Ph.D. follows a more widely recognized and traditional path, where students, often called "candidates," are required to conduct their original research in a new area or on a new topic at a high academic standard.

The specific requirements for obtaining a PhD can vary significantly between different countries and academic institutions. Once completed, a PhD grants the successful candidate the title of "Doctor of Philosophy," often abbreviated as PhD or sometimes referred to as DPhil.

The Ph.D. Journey

Stages of a phd program, coursework and comprehensive exams.

The journey to a PhD begins with coursework and comprehensive exams. PhD candidates take graduate-level classes to acquire a strong foundation in their field. They are then tested through comprehensive exams, which assess their knowledge of the subject matter.

Research Proposal and Literature Review

After successfully completing their coursework, candidates must develop a research proposal. This proposal outlines their intended research topic, objectives, and methodologies. Additionally, they conduct a comprehensive literature review to understand the existing body of work related to their research.

Data Collection and Analysis

Once the research proposal is approved, candidates embark on data collection, experimentation, or fieldwork, depending on their field of study. This phase involves gathering data, analyzing it, and drawing meaningful conclusions.

Dissertation Writing and Defense

The final stage is the preparation and defense of the dissertation, a substantial document that presents the research findings, methodology, and contributions to the field. The defense involves a rigorous examination of the work by a panel of experts.

Time and Dedication

The journey to a PhD is a long and demanding one. It typically takes several years to complete, with candidates dedicating themselves to research, writing, and defending their dissertation. The time commitment and mental energy required can be significant, making it essential to have a deep passion for the subject matter.

Specializations and Fields

Diverse areas of study.

PhD programs exist in a wide range of fields, including:

  • Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc.
  • Engineering: Electrical, Mechanical, Civil, etc.
  • Social Sciences: Psychology, Sociology, Economics, etc.
  • Humanities: History, Literature, Philosophy, etc.
  • Arts: Fine Arts, Music, Performing Arts, etc.
  • Health Sciences: Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, etc.

This diversity allows individuals to pursue their academic interests and contribute to their chosen disciplines.

Importance of Choosing the Right Field

Selecting the right field of study is crucial when pursuing a PhD. Your field should align with your passion, long-term career goals, and your potential to make a meaningful impact. It's a decision that requires careful consideration and self-reflection.

Company's Role in Offering Diverse Online Courses

As a company that specializes in online education, we understand the importance of providing a diverse array of online courses. We aim to cater to a broad audience, offering resources and support for individuals pursuing a wide range of educational and career goals. Our online courses cover various fields, allowing you to explore your interests and make informed decisions about your academic journey.

Benefits of Earning a PhD

Career opportunities.

Earning a PhD can open doors to various career opportunities, including academia, research, and industry. Professors, researchers, and experts in various fields often hold PhDs. Moreover, a PhD can lead to leadership positions in organizations and offer a competitive edge in the job market.

Personal and Professional Growth

The pursuit of a PhD is not just about career prospects; it's also a journey of personal and professional growth. You'll develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and a deep understanding of your field. The sense of accomplishment that comes with earning a PhD can be immensely rewarding.

Success Stories

To illustrate the benefits of a PhD, let's explore some success stories of individuals who pursued this academic journey. These individuals have made significant contributions to their respective fields, leaving a lasting legacy. Their stories serve as inspiration for anyone considering a PhD.

Challenges of Pursuing a PhD

Common obstacles and hardships.

While the journey to a PhD is highly rewarding, it is not without its challenges. Some common obstacles include:

  • Time and Commitment: PhD programs are time-consuming and demand unwavering commitment.
  • Financial Strain: Tuition, living expenses, and research costs can strain your finances.
  • Stress and Mental Health: The pressure to produce original research can be mentally taxing.
  • Work-Life Balance: Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be challenging during a PhD program.

Tips and Support

Overcoming these challenges requires determination and a support system. Seek guidance from mentors, advisors, and peers. Additionally, many universities and institutions provide resources to help PhD candidates navigate these difficulties.

Is a PhD Right for You?

Self-assessment and reflection.

Deciding to pursue a PhD is a significant life choice. Before embarking on this journey, take time for self-assessment and reflection. Consider your interests, career aspirations, and personal commitments. Make sure that a PhD aligns with your goals and values.

Guidance for Those Considering a PhD

If you're unsure about pursuing a PhD, seek guidance from academic advisors, professors, and professionals in your field. They can provide insights and help you make an informed decision.

Company's Resources for Informed Decisions

At our company, we understand the importance of making informed decisions about your education. We offer resources and guidance to help you explore your options and choose the right educational path. Our online courses are designed to support your academic and career aspirations.

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what does phd career mean

PHD Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It?


You’ve likely seen the abbreviation PHD — but what is the meaning of PHD? We’ll tell you. Read on as we explore this common acronym.

what does phd career mean

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There are several ways to abbreviate words in the English language — hence why there are so many acronyms and abbreviations found in the dictionary today. 

While some terms are pretty self-explanatory, like “Feb,” which stands for “February,” there are some acronyms that could use a bit of explaining — such as Ph.D.

Although Ph.D is an abbreviation with more than one meaning, it commonly refers to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D): spelled with a capitalized “P,” lowercase “h,” and uppercase “D.”  

Interested in learning more? We can help. Read on as we explore the abbreviation Ph.D to uncover its meaning, origin, and more. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.

what does phd career mean

What Does PhD Mean?

Ph.D — aka Doctor of Philosophy — is defined by Dictionary.com as the highest degree awarded by a school in a field of academic study. A doctorate is typically awarded to an individual who has completed three or more years of graduate study and a dissertation approved by a committee of professors. 

Common abbreviations used for the doctor of philosophy include: 

  • Ph.D. 

After completing the Ph.D degree or dissertation, a graduate can use Dr. or Ph.D. For example:

  • Dr. Suzie Johnson or
  • Suzie Johnson (Ph.D) or
  • Dr. Suzie Johnson (Ph.D) 

What Is the Origin of Ph.D?

Abbreviated from the Latin term philosophiae doctor meaning “doctor of philosophy,” the Ph.D is the highest degree in most fields, with the notable exceptions of medicine and law that have their own doctorates. The degree originated in 19th century Germany when the word “philosophy” had the much broader meaning of “love of wisdom.”

Though universities have existed in Europe long before the 19th century, the degrees that medieval universities awarded to students had more in common with the MD than with the Ph.D, as they required mastery of already existing knowledge. 

In 1861, Yale University became the first institution of higher education in the United States to award the degree, conferring it on three recipients; Arthur W, Wright, James M. Whiton, and Eugene Schuyler. A few decades later, Canada accepted Ph.D as their highest level of honor, and in 1917, the doctoral of philosophy was introduced in all disciplines of the subjects.  

How Can I Use Ph.D in a Sentence?

Now that you understand what Ph.D means, let’s take a look at some examples of this acronym in a sentence:

“After telling him I earned an academic degree, he bragged for the rest of the night about having a Ph.D .”

“I can’t decide what academic field to get my Ph.D in.”

“Tom can’t work full-time because he is a Ph.D student and has to work on his thesis.”

“My mom is thinking about going back to school to complete a Ph.D program in psychology.”

“I am in the second year of my Ph.D program.”

“Whether you like physics, chemistry, or psychology, you can find a Ph.D program on campus,”

“Look, I understand that you’re my supervisor, but I am looking to get my Ph.D degree and ultimately become a doctor of medicine; in other words, I have to study and can’t pick up more than one shift per week.” 

“Have you taken the exams yet to get your Ph.D ?”

“Did you know that some Ph.D programs accept a portfolio of published papers?”

“To get a Ph.D , it’s important to study hard and get good grades.”

“Gosh, I didn’t realize how many seminars and workshops I’d have to attend to get a Ph.D !”

“A Ph.D comes with a pretty hefty fee, so be sure to apply for scholarships.”

What Is a Doctorate?

Simply put, a doctorate is any qualification that awards a doctoral degree. To qualify for one, you need to produce work at a high level that makes a significant new contribution to knowledge in your academic field. Doing so earns you the title “Doctor.”

Many people believe a doctorate and a Ph.D are the same. However, this is not the case, as a Ph.D is a type of doctorate, such as a Doctor of Philosophy. Other doctoral degrees or types of doctorate include:

  • Doctor of Education
  • Doctor of Theology
  • Doctor of Medicine
  • Doctor of Musical Arts
  • Doctor of Literature
  • Doctor of Divinity
  • Doctor of Civil Law
  • Doctor of Science

According to the American Psychological Association, the Ph.D is intended for students interested in gaining new knowledge through scientific research, or teaching experience. 

Does PHD Stand For Anything Else?

Although the abbreviation PHD is most commonly associated with the Doctorate of Philosophy, it does have a few other meanings:

  • Pizza Hut Delivery
  • Press Here, Dummy
  • Permanent Head Damage
  • Pretty Heavy Drinker
  • Please Hire Desperate
  • Preparing His Disciples
  • Player Hating Degree
  • Power Hungry Dog
  • Premium Hot Dog
  • Pretty Heavy Dude
  • Poor, Hungry, and Determined

A Final Word

So, what does PHD mean, you ask?

Simply put, PHD is an abbreviation that stands for many words; however, it’s most commonly used to abbreviate “Doctor of Philosophy.”

We hope this guide has provided you with all of the information you need to understand the meaning of PHD fully. To discover more interesting words and strengthen your overall vocabulary, be sure to check out our website , where you’ll find definitions, grammar tips, and more!  

  • A Brief History of the PhD | NeuWrite West 
  • Ph.d. Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com
  • The First American Doctor of Philosophy Degree: A Centennial Salute to Yale, 1861-1961 | The Journal of Higher Education


Kevin Miller is a growth marketer with an extensive background in Search Engine Optimization, paid acquisition and email marketing. He is also an online editor and writer based out of Los Angeles, CA. He studied at Georgetown University, worked at Google and became infatuated with English Grammar and for years has been diving into the language, demystifying the do's and don'ts for all who share the same passion! He can be found online here.

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What does PhD mean?

The term "PhD" is the abbreviation of "Doctor of Philosophy" in English, which means "Doctor of Philosophy" in French. A PhD is the highest level of academic degree and is typically earned after completing an extensive research program and defending a thesis. This title is mainly used in English-speaking countries, but it is also recognized and used in international academic settings. The PhD can be obtained in various fields of study such as sciences, arts, social sciences and humanities.

How to get a PhD?

Earning a PhD requires completing an extensive and rigorous graduate study process. This process varies by country and institution, but generally includes the following steps:

  • Obtaining an undergraduate degree (bachelor's degree) in a relevant field of study.
  • Enrollment in a doctoral program at a university or research institution.
  • Followed by advanced courses, seminars and training specific to the field of study.
  • Carrying out independent research under the supervision of a thesis director.
  • Writing and submission of an original thesis that represents a significant contribution to knowledge or understanding of the area of ​​study.
  • Presentation and oral defense of the thesis before a committee of experts.

Obtaining a PhD can take several years, typically three to five years or more.

Why get a PhD?

There are several reasons why individuals choose to pursue a PhD:

  • Deepening knowledge: The PhD offers the opportunity to explore a subject in depth and gain specific expertise in an area of ​​study.
  • Academic career: A PhD is often a prerequisite to become a teacher-researcher at university level and to access advanced research positions.
  • Recognition and prestige: The title of doctor is associated with a high level of expertise and recognition in the academic and professional community.
  • Skills development: Pursuing a doctorate helps develop research, critical analysis, problem-solving, and communication skills that are transferable to many professional fields.

When do you get a PhD?

When an individual earns their PhD depends on several factors, including the length of the program, the time spent on research, the complexity of the thesis, and the requirements of the institution. It can take three to five years or more to obtain a PhD. Some students pursue their studies full-time, while others complete their studies part-time alongside other commitments.

Where can you get a PhD?

A PhD can be obtained at many universities and research institutions around the world. Each country has its own criteria and requirements for obtaining a doctorate. Therefore, it is important to research the programs and institutions that best match one's interests and career goals.

Who issues a PhD?

A PhD is generally awarded by universities and research institutions that are accredited to offer doctoral programs. Institutions evaluate the quality of the research and thesis submitted by the student before awarding the PhD degree.

What are the advantages of a PhD?

Obtaining a PhD offers many advantages, such as:

  • Career Opportunities: A PhD opens career prospects in academia, research, industry and the public sector. It provides access to high-level positions and provides leadership and management opportunities.
  • Recognition and credibility: The title of doctor is recognized and respected in society. It confers credibility and expertise in the field of study.
  • Higher salaries: People with a PhD tend to receive higher salaries than those with a lower level degree.
  • Personal development : Pursuing a doctorate helps develop transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and communication, which contributes to personal and professional development.

What are the differences between a PhD and a doctorate?

The terms “PhD” and “doctorate” are often used interchangeably to refer to the same level of degree. However, there can be subtle differences between the two. In general, the term "PhD" is more often used in English-speaking countries, while "doctorate" is often used in French-speaking countries. The exact distinction between the two can vary between countries and institutions.

Figures and examples:

Exact figures for doctorates awarded worldwide may vary each year. However, according to UNESCO data, around 190 doctorates were awarded in science in 000 worldwide.

For example, according to a 2021 study of French doctors, it was found that doctorate holders have a lower unemployment rate than the national average and earn on average a higher salary than individuals with a bachelor's degree. lower level.

Related searches on “What does PhD mean?” »

1. what is the average duration of a doctoral program.

The average length of a doctoral program varies between countries and fields of study. However, in general, one should expect to dedicate three to five years full time to complete a doctorate.

Reference: Section 3 Atlases / Atlas The modules developed so far are responsible for thematic mapping, 3D visualization, classification, analysis, searches and queries. GIS, graphics programs and…

2. What are the admission requirements for a doctoral program?

Admission requirements for a doctoral program vary between institutions and countries. However, they typically include completing an undergraduate degree with good grades, submitting a cover letter, references, and sometimes passing an admissions test.

Reference: Development of the HPSC approach The steps laid out in this thesis support sports club during the development and implementation process of interventions, targeted to sports …

3. What are the differences between a PhD and an MBA?

A PhD and an MBA are two types of advanced degrees that differ in focus and content. A PhD focuses on researching and gaining expertise in a specific field, while an MBA focuses on management skills and preparation for leadership positions in companies.

Reference: FAQ I came to France for a PhD/Doctoral stay; I am registered in my university of origin, but I won't… Students. Question. If I study in PhD in a research …

4. What are the career opportunities for PhD holders?

PhD holders have access to a variety of career opportunities, including higher education, research, industry, consultancy and public bodies. They may hold positions such as university professor, researcher, consultant, senior executive, public policy expert, etc.

5. How to choose the right doctoral program?

Choosing the right doctoral program depends on the individual's research interests, career goals, and available resources. It is important to consider the reputation of the institution, the quality of researchers and infrastructure, as well as funding and collaboration opportunities.

6. What is the average salary of a PhD holder?

The average salary of a PhD holder varies widely depending on field of study, experience, country and sector of employment. However, in general, those with a PhD tend to receive higher salaries than those with a lower level degree.

7. What is the number of doctoral students in the world?

The exact number of doctoral students worldwide can vary each year. In 2019, UNESCO reported that there were approximately 1,7 million students enrolled in doctoral programs across the world.

8. What is the difference between a PhD and an MD?

A PhD and an MD are two types of advanced degrees that differ in their field of study and goals. A PhD focuses on research and acquiring academic expertise, while an MD is a professional degree granted to doctors.

Sources consulted:

  • Section 3 Atlases / Atlas The modules developed so far are responsible for thematic mapping, 3D visualization, classification, analysis, searches and queries. GIS, graphics programs and … (accessed 2023-09-04)
  • Development of the HPSC approach The steps laid out in this thesis support sports club during the development and implementation process of interventions, targeted to sports … (accessed 2023-09-04)

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5 corporate career predictions for 2024.

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Woman presses the button with number 2024 - copy space and bokeh for preparation merry Christmas and ... [+] happy new year concept.

2023 has been a volatile and exciting year for everyone’s careers: continued progress of AI at trailblazing speed, layoffs at companies despite continued profitability in many sectors, and historic outcomes for union workers the auto and entertainment industries, to name a few. Not to mention the macro trends like geopolitical unrest , the recession that never came (instead, the 2023 stock market finishing out at record highs ), interest rate hikes turning a corner to interest rate cuts , and continued increase in consumer spending despite mediocre consumer confidence index score for most of the year. 2024 will undoubtedly be another year of excitement and volatility: possible unfreezing of IPO markets, a US Presidential election promising to be a tight race, and a muted outlook by most major finance institutions . What could 2024 mean for your career?

Here are five predictions on workplace trends and how they can impact your career and management strategy:

1. Recruiting practices will continue to adopt AI, and it will only make human feedback even more important.

We are still in the test phase of how much we can trust AI to make decisions on the selection of humans. As much as companies will adopt AI at the entry point of the recruiting funnel , hiring managers will seek out personal connections and back-door references before making the decision. Networking and attending in-person events will become more important to stand out.

2. Skillsets will be more transferable than ever as hiring managers look beyond industry experience for functional expertise.

Companies across sectors are grappling with shared macro headwinds: AI adoption, changing consumer habits, especially as more Gen Z join the workforce , and supply chain reliability and management across geographies, making cross-industry career change more feasible than before. Showing adaptability, agility, and awareness of broader macro and micro-economic trends will become key attributes, regardless of expertise or function.

3. Job hopping will continue to be destigmatized.

2023 has shown that even highly skilled workers are not protected from layoffs, and companies make fast pivots to adapt to changing environments and strategies; short tenures on resumes will continue to be a rising trend. Regardless, having a compelling narrative for each chapter of your resume will remain important, even if the number of years in each job declines significantly.

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If you are an employer mandating RTO practices, you need a convincing rationale to keep your best employees. Especially with continued job hopping (see #3), employees will lower their threshold to look for a new job. If you are in management, you must be more transparent with your employees on decisions that impact their work environment. Best employees will have options and will seek them actively.

5. Continued emphasis on work-life balance, burnout prevention, and mental wellness means many employees will opt out of the aggressive corporate climb.

Promotion as a sign of success is losing its luster as middle managers are compressed with having to manage both teams and management. With pensions becoming a rarity and retirement age increasing, employees will emphasize the sustainability of their careers, meaning taking on more scope with relatively small pay increases will not be attractive. If you are an employee, dig into what career development means at your company. If you are in management, consider other incentives for high-performing employees that align their strengths to their growth rather than making team management a default.

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What to know about the latest plagiarism accusations against Claudine Gay.

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Claudine Gay sits at hearing table, speaking into a microphone.

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New plagiarism allegations that surfaced on Monday against Claudine Gay threatened to mire Harvard deeper in debate over what constitutes plagiarism and whether the university would hold its president and its students to the same standard.

The accusations were circulated through an unsigned complaint published Monday in The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative online journal that has led a campaign against Dr. Gay over the past few weeks.

The new complaint added additional accusations of plagiarism to about 40 that had already been circulated in the same way, apparently by the same accuser.

Dr. Gay has strongly defended her work. “I stand by the integrity of my scholarship,” she said in a statement on Dec. 11, when the initial plagiarism charges were being circulated by conservative activists online and the Harvard Corporation was considering whether she should remain as president. “Throughout my career, I have worked to ensure my scholarship adheres to the highest academic standards,” Dr. Gay said.

The documents by the unnamed accuser that The Free Beacon links to on its website show 39 examples in the first complaint, rising to 47 in total in the second complaint. Separately, Harvard’s investigations have found instances of inadequate citation in her dissertation and at least two of her articles.

She has not been accused of stealing big ideas, but rather of copying language in the papers of other scholars, with small changes to substitute words or phrases or to arrange them differently. Often the language in question is technical boilerplate.

The new complaint against Dr. Gay is preceded by a five-page chronology, written in a tone ranging from somber to sarcastic — under the jaunty salutation, “Happy New Year!” The chronology notes that the unnamed accuser submitted the first batch of allegations to Harvard on Dec. 19.

In one paragraph, the accuser, who seems to be familiar with Harvard’s policies on plagiarism, explains why he or she was unwilling to be identified by name: “I feared that Gay and Harvard would violate their policies, behave more like a cartel with a hedge fund attached than a university, and try to seek ‘immense’ damages from me and who knows what else.”

The New York Post has reported that it approached Harvard with plagiarism accusations against Dr. Gay in October, and said that Harvard responded through a defamation lawyer.

The accuser goes on to wonder why Harvard was so intent on exposing him or her: “Did Gay wish to personally thank me for helping her to improve her work even if I drove her harder than she wanted to be driven?”

The sentence is an allusion to a phrase in the acknowledgments of Dr. Gay’s 1997 dissertation, where she says that her family “drove me harder than I sometimes wanted to be driven.”

It is one of the phrases she is accused of copying, from the acknowledgments of a 1996 book, “Facing Up to the American Dream: Race, Class, and the Soul of the Nation,” by the Harvard political scientist Jennifer L. Hochschild, who was thanking another academic.

Anemona Hartocollis is a national reporter for The Times, covering higher education. More about Anemona Hartocollis


What does 777 mean? This is one angel number that means it might be time to slow down.

Posted: January 2, 2024 | Last updated: January 2, 2024

In your life, are things seemingly moving so fast-paced that you don't even have a chance to think? While this is happening, is the number seven making repetitive and frequent appearances on everything from invoices, receipts to timers? 

These repeating number sequences, or angel numbers , can be used as guides for deeper spiritual exploration as each numeral has its own significance. 

In a conversation  Elizabeth Summers , esoteric numerologer, USA TODAY breaks down the number seven, its angel number meaning and how it may affect your relationships and career.

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What are angel numbers? Beginner's guide to angel numbers and what they (could) mean.

What does 777 mean? 

The angel number 777 is connected to the individual self, said Summers. Unlike others which are more focused on relationships, such as 222 , the angel number 777 is about taking time to focus on yourself and to be alone. 

It's about tuning out the noise and figuring out where you're headed.. This angel number calls you to sit with your actions and ponder things yet to come. 

"The number seven is a thinking vibration," said Summers. "There's also spiritual vibration, and it is a loner vibration." 

If you're seeing a lot of repeating sevens, it may be time to slow down and be still. This can be hard for some people, especially those who are action-driven, said Summers. However, the angel number 777 has an energy of inner peace and clarity. 

"It's all has to do with a slow-down period," she said.

The more you can be alone with your thoughts, the more you may realize you need less in your life, whether it be in your career or even relationships.

The number seven is also associated with the tower card in tarot, which signals to assess who you are and what you should do with the situations at hand.  

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The angel number 777 is not the best when it comes to relationships, said Summers, especially since it is gives off a solitary energy.

The appearance of this angel number can signify to make choices within your relationships. B e selective with who you listen to and who is in your life. 

When it comes to 777, it is more about self-improvement, making sure you can find your own identity and worth outside of relationships. Once you have a good sense of self, you can deal with partnerships, said Summers. 

What does 222 mean? Angel number meaning and symbolism in your life, love and career.

The quietness of the angel number 777 translates to career. It's about working alone in your own space outside of the hustle and bustle of the office. 

This angel number gives off an analytical and detail-oriented energy when it comes to work. 

Writing is also associated with angel number 777, said Summers. So, it may be time to sit and jot down that new pitch for work or start drafting the novel you always said you wanted to write.

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Peace of mind and contentment are two positives associated with the angel number 777, said Summers. It also has an intuitive energy. 

The number is associated with spirituality, more related to getting in touch with your inner self; to raise your own consciousness about what you want and need on your journey.

Seven is related to evolution, growing and changing to reach your full potential.

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On the flip side, with the presence of angel number 777, it is easy to want to isolate yourself.

"I t is not the best number for relationships," said Summers. "If (the number 7 is) the person's personality, they'll spend most of their lifetime alone." 

While it is good to have alone time, it's also important to not burn bridges or remove yourself completely from others. 

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000  |  111  |  222  |  333  |  444  |  555  |  777  |  888  |  999

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What does 777 mean? This is one angel number that means it might be time to slow down.

The angel number 777 is associated with contentment, self and quietness. It signals to slow down and take time for yourself.

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  1. What is a PhD and Why Should YOU do one?

    what does phd career mean

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    what does phd career mean

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  1. Doctor of Philosophy

    Doctor of Philosophy A Doctor of Philosophy ( PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil; Latin: philosophiae doctor or doctor philosophiae) is the most common degree at the highest academic level, awarded following a course of study and research.

  2. What Does 'PhD' Stand For?

    PhD stands for "Doctor of Philosophy," which refers to the immense knowledge a student gains when earning the degree. While you can actually get a PhD in philosophy, "Doctor of Philosophy" doesn't always refer to someone who has a terminal degree in that discipline.

  3. What is a PhD? Advice for PhD students

    Share What is a PhD? A PhD, which stands for "doctor of philosophy", is the most advanced academic degree. It's earned through extensive research on a specific topic, demonstrating expertise and contributing new knowledge to the field. What does "PhD" mean? The term "PhD" is often used as a synonym for any doctoral-level qualification.

  4. What is a PhD?

    What is a PhD? A PhD is the highest postgraduate qualification level that can be awarded in academic study. This is usually completed over three to four years of full-time study, and involves research into an original contribution in your chosen field. PhD is an acronym that stands for Doctor of Philosophy. The name for PhD comes from the Latin ...

  5. What Is a PhD?

    A Doctor of Philosophy, often known as a PhD, is a terminal degree —or the highest possible academic degree you can earn in a subject.

  6. What is a PhD?

    A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3-5 years writing a dissertation, which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.

  7. What is a PhD and Why Should YOU do one?

    In the UK, a PhD stands for 'Doctor of Philosophy', sometimes referred to as a 'doctorate'. It is the highest level of degree that a student can achieve. At some institutions, including Oxford University, a Doctor of Philosophy is known as a DPhil. It is distinct from professional doctorates such as an Engineering Doctorate (EngD).

  8. PhD Definition & Meaning

    : the academic degree, title, or rank of doctor of philosophy He was awarded a PhD in economics. Jane Smith, Ph.D. also : a person who has earned the academic degree of doctor of philosophy The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Watson School of Biological Sciences graduated its first PhDs (14 of them) in June 2004 … Horace Freeland Judson

  9. What is a PhD?

    A PhD is a doctoral research degree and the highest level of academic qualification you can achieve. The degree normally takes between three and four years of full-time work towards a thesis offering an original contribution to your subject.

  10. What is a PhD?

    A PhD is an essential qualification for a career in academia or research. It is the first step to becoming a lecturer or professor or a scientist at a university or research institute. However, not all PhDs choose to continue on in academia. The advanced research skills you learn during a PhD are advantageous in a variety of diverse fields such ...

  11. What is a PhD?

    The term PhD or Doctorate of Philosophy is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase 'philosophiae doctor'. A PhD degree typically involves students independently conducting original and significant research in a specific field or subject, before producing a publication-worthy thesis.

  12. What is a PhD?

    Definition of a PhD - A Doctor of Philosophy (commonly abbreviated to PhD, Ph.D or a DPhil) is a university research degree awarded from across a broad range of academic disciplines; in most countries, it is a terminal degree, i.e. the highest academic degree possible.

  13. What is a PhD?

    A PhD is the highest postgraduate-level qualification offered by universities in the UK. It's for those who are looking to build on what they studied during their master's degree, or for those currently working who wish to research a particular area within their field. PhDs are research-based degrees. The student comes up with an original ...

  14. What is a PhD Degree? [2024 Guide]

    Getting your PhD can be an incredible personal goal worth achieving. Plus, a degree at this level can offer many professional benefits, such as: Career advancement. As a person with a PhD, you may be considered an expert in your field. That could help qualify you for a variety of top roles within your line of work. Higher earnings. A job ...

  15. PhD Careers

    A PhD in Maths and Computing could benefit jobs in Finance, Investment or Web Development, complimenting skills in logic, problem solving and data. A PhD in the Physical Sciences demonstrates experience with software and data. This could set graduates up to work in Software Engineering, Data Science or even Sound Engineering.

  16. Is a PhD Worth It? The Pros and Cons of Getting a Doctorate

    3. You'll experience extreme stress and frustration. Pursuing a PhD may seem like a noble and interesting endeavor, and extended life as a student can appear more attractive than wading into the job market. You must be aware, however, that getting a doctorate can be a very stressful and frustrating experience.

  17. What Is A PhD Student? A Definition

    PhD students are all mature students, as they have already completed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees already. Most PhD students will have done a masters in preparation for starting a PhD , this is often an MPhil or a Masters by Research. All of this previous study means that PhD students have strong study skills and have spent time ...

  18. Benefits of Doing a PhD: How It Helps Your Career?

    Share Summary What is PhD? What does a PhD entail? Benefits of doing a PhD You all must have heard about PhD and the value attached to a PhD. So, what is a PhD and why is it given so much weightage? To begin with, a PhD is a research degree that confers the highest academic qualification on the person.

  19. What is a PhD?

    What does "PhD" mean? The term "PhD" is often used to refer to any doctoral-level qualification. Doctoral degrees can usually be divided into two categories: MPhil and PhD. ... Benefits of Earning a PhD Career Opportunities. Earning a PhD can open doors to various career opportunities, including academia, research, and industry. Professors ...

  20. What Does An PHD Researcher Do

    Get Alerts For PHD Researcher Jobs. The primary job of a Ph.D. researcher is to plan and conduct experiments and analyzing their outcome. You will collect, organize, and analyze data and opinions to solve issues and predict trends. Other tasks you will perform include doing fieldwork to collect samples, writing reports, research papers, and ...

  21. What Does PHD Mean?

    Abbreviated from the Latin term philosophiae doctor meaning "doctor of philosophy," the Ph.D is the highest degree in most fields, with the notable exceptions of medicine and law that have their own doctorates. The degree originated in 19th century Germany when the word "philosophy" had the much broader meaning of "love of wisdom.".

  22. Serious question: why does anyone do a PhD? : r/AskAcademia

    Similarly, a PhD student is expected to know a lot more theory/background knowledge in the field and research skills compared to an undergrad. PhD students are also expected to do research contributing to their dissertation, which means they must work with their advisor to keep focused on their topic and their scope.

  23. What does PhD mean?

    What does PhD mean? The term "PhD" is the abbreviation of "Doctor of Philosophy" in English, which means "Doctor of Philosophy" in French. A PhD is the highest level of academic degree and is typically earned after completing an extensive research program and defending a thesis. ... Academic career: A PhD is often a prerequisite to become a ...

  24. 5 Corporate Career Predictions For 2024

    5. Continued emphasis on work-life balance, burnout prevention, and mental wellness means many employees will opt out of the aggressive corporate climb. Promotion as a sign of success is losing ...

  25. Having a God Complex: What Does This Mean?

    Medically reviewed by Kira Graves, PhD. The term "God complex" is used to describe a person who believes they have exceptional power or authority and is superior to others. It is not considered a ...

  26. The Latest Plagiarism Accusations Against Clauide Gay, Explained

    The New York Post has reported that it approached Harvard with plagiarism accusations against Dr. Gay in October, and said that Harvard responded through a defamation lawyer. The accuser goes on ...

  27. What does 888 mean? Its angel number meaning in relationships, career

    As a result, 888 is a forceful angel number. It prompts you to take control of your life. Additionally, the angel number 888 is associated with karma — the principle, in simple terms, meaning ...

  28. What does 111 mean? Why you keep seeing it and how it signals new

    From 11:11 on the clock to a total of $1.11 on your receipt, this angel number can signal a new journey of self is on the horizon, said Wilder. The angel number is also associated with confidence ...

  29. What does 777 mean? This is one angel number that means it might ...

    This is one angel number that means it might be time to slow down. The angel number 777 is associated with contentment, self and quietness. It signals to slow down and take time for yourself ...