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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 22 Feb. 2024.

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Definition of 'PhD'

IPA Pronunciation Guide

PhD in British English

Doctor of philosophy in british english, phd in american english, ph.d. in american english, examples of 'phd' in a sentence phd, trends of phd.

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  • PhD student
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Definition of PhD noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  • to be/have/do a PhD
  • Anne Thomas, PhD
  • acquire/​get/​lack (an) education/​training/ (British English) (some) qualifications
  • receive/​provide somebody with training/​tuition
  • develop/​design/​plan a curriculum/ (especially British English) course/ (North American English) program/​syllabus
  • give/​go to/​attend a class/​lesson/​lecture/​seminar
  • hold/​run/​conduct a class/​seminar/​workshop
  • sign up for/​take a course/​classes/​lessons
  • go to/​start preschool/​kindergarten/​nursery school
  • be in the first, second, etc. (North American English) grade/ (especially British English) year (at school)
  • study/​take/​drop history/​chemistry/​German, etc.
  • (British English) leave/​finish/​drop out of/ (North American English) quit school
  • (North American English) graduate high school/​college
  • be the victim/​target of bullying
  • (British English) play truant from/ (both British English, informal) bunk off/​skive off school (= not go to school when you should)
  • (both especially North American English) skip/​cut class/​school
  • (British English) cheat in/ (North American English) cheat on an exam/​a test
  • get/​be given a detention (for doing something)
  • be expelled from/​be suspended from school
  • do your homework/ (British English) revision/​a project on something
  • work on/​write/​do/​submit an essay/​a dissertation/​a thesis/​an assignment/ (North American English) a paper
  • finish/​complete your dissertation/​thesis/​studies/​coursework
  • hand in/ (North American English) turn in your homework/​essay/​assignment/​paper
  • study/​prepare/ (British English) revise/ (North American English) review/ (North American English, informal) cram for a test/​an exam
  • take/ (both British English) do/​sit a test/​an exam
  • (especially British English) mark/ (especially North American English) grade homework/​a test
  • (British English) do well in/ (North American English) do well on/ (informal, especially North American English) ace a test/​an exam
  • pass/​fail/ (informal, especially North American English) flunk a test/​an exam/​a class/​a course/​a subject
  • apply to/​get into/​go to/​start college/ (British English) university
  • leave/​graduate from law school/​college/ (British English) university (with a degree in computer science)
  • study for/​take/ (British English) do/​complete a law degree/​a degree in physics
  • (both North American English) major/​minor in biology/​philosophy
  • earn/​receive/​be awarded/​get/​have/​hold a master’s degree/​a bachelor’s degree/​a PhD in economics
  • dissertation

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Nearby words

what does the word phd 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 does the word phd 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 the word phd 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 the word phd 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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Definition of PhD – Learner’s Dictionary

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(Definition of PhD from the Cambridge Learner's Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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“M.D.” vs. “Ph.D.” vs. “Dr.”: Are They Synonyms?

Quick: when you hear the word doctor , what do you picture?

Most would probably describe someone in a white lab coat with a stethoscope hanging around their neck or someone in medical scrubs—someone you would seek out if you have a deep cut that needed stitches.

That word doctor , however, is a title assigned to many who don’t come close to that description, many of whom you wouldn’t want stitching up that cut. Take your English professor, for instance. No offense, Dr. Barrett. 

It can all be a bit confusing, which is why it’s important to know who and why someone might be called a doctor , as well as what all those initials and abbreviations after their name mean. Here we break it all down.

What does Dr. mean?

Let’s start with doctor or D r . for short. While the first definition of the word is “ a person licensed to practice medicine,” that doesn’t mean you want to take medical advice from anyone who calls themselves a doctor . There are many looser definitions of the word that follow and, frankly, make things a bit confusing.

For example, the third definition is older slang for a “cook, as at a camp or on a ship,” while the seventh entry is “an eminent scholar and teacher.” Bugs Bunny didn’t help matters either by plying anyone and everyone with his famous greeting,“What’s up, doc?” 

The term doctor can be traced back to the late 1200s, and it stems from a Latin word meaning “to teach.” It wasn’t used to describe a licensed medical practitioner until about 1400, and it wasn’t used as such with regularity until the late 1600s. It replaced the former word used for medical doctors— leech , which is now considered archaic. 

WATCH: When Did The Word "Doctor" Become Medical?

Physician vs. doctor : are these synonyms.

While the term physician is a synonym for doctor , it’s typically used to refer to those who practice general medicine rather than those who perform surgery, aka surgeons . 

A quack , on the other hand, is defined as “ a fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill.”

What does M.D. mean?

Moving on to initials that carry more weight than a nod from Bugs, let’s look at M.D.s .

M.D. , which can be used with or without the periods ( M.D. or MD )  is the designation for a medical doctor. This is earned by attending medical school (typically a four-year program after completing at least one undergraduate degree, plus a residency program), and learning to diagnose patients’ symptoms and offer treatment. 

The initials M and D stem from the Latin title  Medicīnae Doctor. There are many different types of doctors, with different specialties, but if you have a physical ailment, visiting a doctor with the initials M.D. is a good place to start.

Specialty doctors may add even more initials to their title, such as DCN (doctor of clinical nutrition), DDS (doctor of dental surgery), or countless others they acquire with additional training. To make things even more confusing, some may add abbreviations from medical associations they belong to, such as FAAEM (Fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine). 

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What does Ph.D. mean?

As for Ph.D. , this stands for “doctor of philosophy.” It stems from the Latin term Philosophiae Doctor.

You can get a Ph.D. in any number of subjects, from anthropology to mythological studies. It’s not an easy feat, however, as to earn one, you must do original research and write a dissertation . 

Ph.D. vs. M.D .: are these synonyms?

There are two big differences between Ph.D. s and M.D .s. When it comes to medicine, M.D.s can prescribe medications, and Ph.D.s can’t. And yes, it’s possible to be both an M.D. and a Ph.D. In fact, some med schools offer programs in which you can achieve both simultaneously. 

You can also get a professional doctorate degree in a number of fields. For example, you might receive a doctorate of education, an  Ed.D . 

So, in a nutshell, both M.D.s and Ph.Ds can be referred to as doctors . If you’re looking for someone to treat what ails you physically, then you want at least an M.D. following their name. If you want to dig deep into a subject and get advice from someone who has done their own research and who likely knows the latest and greatest developments in a particular area, then you’re probably looking for a Ph.D. And if someone has both, even better—depending on your needs, it may be just what the doctor ordered.

Want more synonyms? Get Thesaurus.com’s sizzling synonyms right in your inbox! 

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PhD: so what does it really stand for?

Recently, during some particularly thorough literature research, I stumbled on a list of alternative interpretations of the acronym PhD. Most were funny: protein has degraded, parents have doubts. But one froze my face in a bittersweet grimace: paid half of what I deserve.

When I was still a rookie PhD student, I read with outrage an Economist article entitled the disposable academic , which argued that doing a PhD is mostly needless. Lately, I've come to think of the PhD as more of a heavily spicy meal. It doesn't matter how much you enjoy the process, once you're done, you still have half of the pain ahead.

The years of academic slog to work your way up to a full tenure slot (professorship? ha – dream on!) are not much different from the work of a PhD in terms of relentless benchwork (pipetting hand disease) and unceasing literature research (pound head on desk), served on a fixed menu with professional uncertainty (please hire: desperate). All of which result in, if not professorship, then potential heavy drinking.

PhD students and postdocs are the working class of academic research and paid accordingly. Although postgraduates are crucial to the generation, discussion and dissemination of knowledge, 50% pay (i.e half of what they deserve) is standard for PhDs in natural sciences and not even guaranteed in the arts and humanities. It's depressing to think that the overall salary of a PhD candidate is less than the cost of much lab equipment. Lab devices are meant to last years – but, hell, what about the work of PhD students in a system where knowledge is incremental?

There could be several reasons for this discrepancy. Equipment and consumables are costly and have a substantial impact on future budget setting. The number of PhDs, meanwhile, is inflated and international competition is fierce. PhD candidates are earning a degree, which shouldn't come for free, and demands motivation and not a little self-denial – including financially.

PhD candidates are at their infancy in science and being trained to do something different from their education to date – lessons in theory combined with practical labwork – as they move into more independent, innovative research. And contributing to the advancement of knowledge requires a certain naive idealism, right? But does this mean it's okay to exploit highly educated individuals ( probably heavily in debt )? No.

The possible solutions are simple. The most obvious is: raise the salary of PhD students. A remedy for the resulting scarcity of resources would be stricter selection so that only the best candidates started a PhD. Realistically though, this is never going to happen. It's not because policymakers are greedy but because it would mean a reduction of PhDs and thus a slowdown of science.

A second option wouldn't hinder research, and might even enhance it: cut the salary of professors by half. If there are solid reasons for PhDs being paid half of what they deserve, then the same hold good for professors. They too are doing something different from their previous jobs. After tenure, natural scientists move out of the lab and into an office from where they supervise the research of their team members. The knowledge acquired before (both theoretical and practical) still counts, but the job looks quite different.

Political and managerial skills are equally essential, and nurtured for the sake of tenure, not science. Top-tier staff write proposals, manage funds and coordinate subaltern research units and are sometimes scarcely involved with the generation, presentation and discussion of results which is the core purpose of science. Some department chairs merely take note of advancements generated from the institutes they preside over, but co-author papers nonetheless.

Wages of these academic administrators, then, don't deserve to sit even at 50%. And however grim this may sound to today's professors and those postdocs close to a permanent role, the benefits might appeal to future professors much more. Reduction in salaries for tenured staff will create new professorial appointments and reduce the imbalance between the number of temporary researchers and professors, while smaller research units will favour better supervision of PhD candidates and reduce fixed costs.

Today's professors probably already earn too little, after so many years of being underpaid. As one reader wrote in response to that Economist article: "The PhD student is someone who forgoes current income in order to forgo future income." But if some of the surplus resulting from a slash in professorial salaries flowed down to PhDs and postdocs, then entry level professors would be put in a better financial position.

In this light, cuts to science funding (like those we have seen recently in the US) could be an opportunity. Will they slow down scientific advancement? Most probably, yes. But here is a chance for the elite to rethink the way science is done and stop placing merit only on the levels of grant money they gain, the papers they publish, and the prestige they acquire, but instead taking a closer look at the predicament of those who prop this community up.

Advocates of competition see it as a positive outcome of the current shortage of funding and resources. But to defend job insecurity as the main incentive to scientific advancement is offensive. Science would benefit more from a harmonious coexistence of its members than by favouring ruthless competition.

Jorge Cham, creator of the wittily depressing PhD Comics series, revealed that a major motivation for his sketches was to give solace to fellow PhDs struggling as he did through their postgraduate years. He interprets the acronym as piled higher and deeper. You might think of the paper bulk on your desk, but I believe he had something else in mind.

PhD actually stands for philosophiae doctor , or doctor of philosophy. As we say in my native Italian: prendila con filosofia (take it easy, take it as it comes). And waiting for a change in the current system, or for a global PhD manifesto to emerge, one cannot take it any other way.

This blog was written by a current PhD student in Italy

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What is phd everything you need to know, what is phd.

Literally translated, the meaning of Ph.D. is “Doctor of Philosophy”, because when we look at the root of the term, Ph.D. is an abbreviation of “Philosophy Doctor”. However, over time, the meaning of the acronym expanded beyond philosophy.

What does Ph.D. mean?

According to Daniel Costa, local coordinator of Euraxess, PhD is a title awarded to those who reach the end of their studies in a certain area. And it doesn’t have to be in philosophy: the Greek origin of the word “Philosophize” means “love of knowledge”.

This means that “Philosophy Doctor” can be understood as a Doctor in some area of knowledge. Therefore, the title in practice is awarded to people who reach the highest academic level in their field of study – and the meaning of a Ph.D. is, strictly speaking, the same as that of a doctorate.

The difference is that the acronym refers to a specific type of Doctorate, focused on research – thus differentiating itself from others such as MD (Medical Doctor), JD (Juris Doctor, Doctor of Law), or Ed. D (Doctor of Education, Doctor of Education).

Meaning of Ph.D. and other types of PhD

It is more common for doctoral programs to have an academic focus – which is not necessarily the case for programs abroad. In the United States, for example, the government recognizes numerous doctorates with a focus on professional practice.

The level of education is equivalent, but academic and practical programs have different curricula and different purposes. Other doctorates offered include:

  • DBA – Doctorate in Business Administration – Professional Focus
  • Ed.D. – Education Doctorate – Professional or Academic Focus
  • JD – Juris Doctor (Doctorate in Law) – Professional Focus
  • MD – Medical Doctor (Doctor of Medicine) – Professional Focus
  • Th.D. – Theology and Religious Studies Doctorate – Academic Focus

Professionally focused doctorates are practice-oriented. Anyone who obtains a DBA, for example, would be orienting their career towards taking up management positions in business; who obtains an MD, orienting their career to medical practice.

The Ph.D. and Th.D, on the other hand, take a more theoretical approach and aim to advance existing knowledge in a given area. This is because, in order to obtain doctorates with a professional focus, it is not necessary to produce any original research.

Discover 4 benefits of meditation in studies

Whoever is applying for a Ph.D. must conduct research, write it in the format of a dissertation and submit it for evaluation by a committee of experts – who will say whether the research contains any advance in knowledge or not.

Most professionals who obtain this degree direct their careers towards academia – whether as researchers or university professors. However, this is not always the case. European research and higher education institutions, in particular, have been striving to promote more interaction between academia and the labor market.

How long does it last?

Depending on the program, it can take between 4 and 8 years to complete. Typically, Ph.D. programs include two or three years of study and a dissertation – which is an independent research project designed to build new knowledge in your field and be of publication-worthy quality.

In general, the PhD includes a combination of lectures and carrying out research projects in partnership with the guiding professor. Many programs require students to also serve as teaching assistants, teaching undergraduate students. Some fields, such as applied psychology, may also require an internship of a year or more.

Who can do PhD?

After completing a bachelor’s degree, a student can follow two paths to obtain a Ph.D. Some doctoral programs admit students who have only a bachelor’s degree, while others require a master’s degree beforehand. In both cases, admission to the Ph.D. is required, proving scientific production relevant to the topic and presenting, in many cases, academic and professional history.

What is the meaning of a Ph.D.?

According to Daniel Costa, local coordinator of Euraxess, the meaning of Ph.D. comes from the Latin expression “Philosophize doctor”, a title that was granted to those who reached the end of studies in a certain area. And it didn’t have to be in philosophy: the word “Philosophize” refers to its Greek origin, from “love of knowledge”.

Are there other types of a doctorate?

In the US, the government recognizes numerous doctorates with a focus on professional practice. The level of education is equivalent, but academic and practical programs have different curricula and different purposes. Among them are MD – Medical Doctor (Doctor of Medicine) and JD – Juris Doctor (Doctor of Laws).

How long does the Ph.D. last?

Who can do a phd.

After completing a bachelor’s degree, a student can follow two paths to obtain a Ph.D. Some doctoral programs admit students who have only a bachelor’s degree, while others require a master’s degree beforehand. In both cases, admission to the Ph.D. is required, proving relevant scientific production.

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Whom should we really call a “doctor”?

This is in response to the News article by Roger Collier. 1 These days many health professionals use the title “doctor.” Indeed, The Canadian Press Stylebook now decrees that the title of doctor should be reserved for physicians. Physicians, surgeons, dentists, chiropodists, university professors and, in some countries, pharmacists describe themselves as doctors. This raises the question — are they? To answer this question, one has to examine that title from both linguistic and historical standpoints.

The word doctor is derived from the Latin verb “docere,” meaning to teach, or a scholar. Only by special arrangement do any of the preceding professionals teach. Only university professors with a doctoral degree normally teach at a university. Historically speaking, the title doctor was invented in the Middle Ages to describe eminent scholars. These doctorates date back to the 1300s. Such people were accorded a lot of respect and prestige.

The PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is the highest graduate degree awarded by our universities.

Health professionals receive undergraduate degrees in medicine. These are professional degrees, and not really doctorates. The MD degree is not a part of graduate faculties at North American universities.

It has now become fashionable to award so-called Doctor of Law degrees to undergraduate law school graduates in the form of a Juris Doctor or JD degree, including at the University of Windsor. These, too, are merely undergraduate degrees.

Because of the respect and prestige, medical schools, particularly in Scotland, started to address their graduates as doctors in the 17th century. The argument was that graduates of such schools obtain a bachelor’s degree before joining medical school. There are problems with such logic, namely, a degree past a bachelor’s degree could potentially be a master’s degree, but not a doctoral degree.

A doctoral degree (PhD) is a degree that one earns after a master’s degree. A PhD entitles a person to use the title doctor. These are the social and physical scientists who conduct and evaluate published research. A PhD degree is normally obtained after six to eight years of hard work past the bachelor’s degree.

When we are asked in a physician’s or a dentist’s office what kind of doctor we are, we respond, “the real one.” We are the ones who teach the others.

We hope that this contribution helps in clearing up the confusion in the community about the title doctor.

The Canadian Press should change its policy and stylebook to reflect these facts and this history.

This contribution should not be construed as an attack on any professional or group of professionals. The main purpose here is to educate the public.

Competing interests: None declared.

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Phd candidate vs student, published by steve tippins on may 19, 2020 may 19, 2020.

Last Updated on: 2nd February 2024, 03:03 am

You make the transition from PhD student to PhD candidate after you complete all your coursework and your comprehensive exams (if required). A PhD candidate’s sole task is to conduct their research and write their dissertation. 

In other words, a PhD student is still completing their coursework. They could be on the first day of their PhD program. A PhD candidate has completed all of the requirements for their degree except their dissertation (yes, that’s the infamous “ all but dissertation ” status).

PhD candidacy means you’re a PhD in training. Now you’re ready to spread your wings a little–with some guidance.

Your time as a PhD candidate is your chance to demonstrate that you are ready to be an independent scholar. It’s also your chance to screw up and have that be okay–to have support. Your committee will help you. Since it’s the first time you’ll go through the process of creating and performing a study on your own, there’s no reason to believe you’ll be perfect at it.  That’s why the process is designed so that your committee can give you guidance.

But besides the simple definition above, what are the implications of being a PhD candidate vs student? Turns out, there are many important differences. Without keeping these in mind when you become a PhD candidate, it’s easy to spin out and get off track and not understand why. 

PhD Candidate vs Student: What Are the Differences?

colleagues comparing notes inside a library

While “PhD Student” and “PhD Candidate” are both steps on the journey to getting a PhD, there are significant differences between them. Here are some of the differences between PhD candidate vs student.

Lack of Structure

When you’re doing coursework, there is structure; there are assignments and deadlines. Of course, in graduate coursework teachers aren’t on top of you to turn in assignments like they would be in an undergraduate program. However, there is a deliverable (final project, test, etc) that you have to complete each quarter. You have things to complete by a certain time in order to move forward. 

Once you become a candidate, there’s no syllabus and there are no due dates. It’s completely up to you to move forward in the process.

Some people find it hard to make the transition to the lack of structure that comes with being a PhD candidate. 

Academic Writing

Academic writing skills become really important when writing your dissertation –more important even than they were during the coursework phase of graduate school. Academic writing is essentially a new language, with very specific meanings and requirements. 

focused student studying on his laptop in a library

For example, you can’t just say “people believe x or y,” you have to say who they are and how you know that, giving citations to back it up. Many words (like “significant”) have very specific meanings and can’t be used the way you might use them in speech. 

As a PhD student, your professors should be teaching this language to you, so that as a PhD candidate, it will come as second nature.

How Many People Do You Have to Keep Happy?

Here’s another difference between being a PhD student vs PhD candidate: as a PhD candidate, you reduce the number of people that you have to keep happy. 

As a student, you have to keep in mind the requirements from each professor teaching your classes, as well as matriculation requirements from the department, preferences and advice given by your advisor, and even the research interests of the people for whom you’re writing papers. 

Over 50% of doctoral candidates don’t finish their dissertations.

what does the word phd mean

Once you become a candidate, it’s just your committee that you have to keep happy, meaning that those are the people who will hold you accountable and outline the requirements for completion of the degree. For that reason, you’ll want to choose your committee members with care.  

Hopefully, by the time you need to choose your committee, you’ll have encountered professors who are intrigued by your research interests and with whom you feel personally and professionally compatible.

Freedom to Choose

woman smiling and taking notes on her laptop

When you become a PhD candidate, you get to work on what you want to work on. You can pursue the topic that interests you instead of whatever goes with the course you’re in. It’s a time to really apply all those skills you were accumulating in the classes. For example, the statistical procedures you learned in stats classes and theories you learned in the courses for your discipline.

This is the stage of culmination, when everything you’ve learned becomes not the goal, but the foundation for your own body of work. It’s one of the exhilarating (and sometimes intimidating) parts of being a PhD candidate vs a student.

Expectations and Support

Faculty often use the “go wander in the woods” approach for PhD candidates. It’s essentially like hearing, “Go find things and come back to me when you’ve got something.” They’ll usually tell you when it’s not enough, but they might not give you much direction about what they’re looking for beyond that.

The reason for this is to encourage independent scholarship. They want you to have the opportunity to build your own case for why and how this topic should be studied.  But this first foray into academic independence can be quite a challenge.

When they tell you to “go wander in the woods,” they’re not even telling you what kind of tree to look for. Sometimes you get specific directions, but sometimes you get vague answers like “go look for more.” This can be frustrating. Many clients come to me because they need more direction, which is understandable.

morning sunlight passing through trees in a forest

In your coursework, you were often given studies to read or asked to find studies on particular topics that relate to the course topic.  Dissertation research is more nebulous.  Your committee members want you to decide which directions to go in and which kinds of studies best relate to your research questions.

They won’t be asking you for the “right answer.” They’ll be asking you, “Why? Justify what you did or plan to do.”

Here’s another difference between PhD candidate vs student: a PhD candidate can put “PhD(c)” after their name, indicating that they have achieved status as a PhD candidate. However, I suggest using caution with this designation. The APA has expressed concern that its use may be misleading to the general public and cause people to believe you have a PhD.

PhD Candidate vs Student: An Interview With a PhD(c)

woman with red hair working on her laptop in the office

Did you notice a change in how professors viewed you, once you moved from “student” to “candidate”?

Yes.  It actually happened during my comprehensive exams.  Before that, when I had been asked a question, the professor already knew the answer and was asking to see if I knew also. In my comprehensive exams, I had become the expert and my committee members were actually asking questions out of interest. 

We were all pieces of a puzzle at that point. Instead of them saying, “tell me about John Dewy’s influence on education in the 1920s,” they asked, “How do you think Dewey influenced the school system’s openness to parental involvement in schools?”  The professor who asked that was genuinely interested, because she was an expert in educational history but had not specifically studied parent involvement in schools, as I had. 

That moment represented a big shift for me; it meant that as a PhD candidate, I had to then take responsibility for my own learning, because nobody knew as much as I knew about that particular thing.

It’s exhilarating on one hand, because you suddenly realize you’re the expert. On the other hand, it’s scary because we’re used to somebody else knowing the answer, being able to correct us if we’re wrong.

A Narrowing of Scope

woman with a denim jacket holding a stack of books in a library

It sounds like your topic was centered on something very particular, so maybe not a lot of other people have studied what you want to study?

Yes, that’s true.  When you go through a PhD program your research area is pretty narrow. You start out with a general interest in something, but as you go through your classes, specific areas start to stand out.  

I started out with an interest in egalitarianism in public education, but my own past experience combined with some seminal texts to direct me toward parent involvement in schools, specifically.  Some books and articles showed me that how schools treat parents can be an indicator of egalitarianism, maybe a clearer one than any rhetoric about the students.

So, there’s this winnowing effect, as you move forward.  Your professors love to watch this, too.  Especially in the smaller, seminar classes, they seem to be waiting to see what makes your heart beat faster.

woman in a yellow shirt holding folders outside college

Speaking of your heart beating faster, is one distinction of the candidacy phase to have more passion about the work you’re doing?

I think that’s ideal, for sure.  It doesn’t always happen, because some professors are really after students who will jump onto their research platform, because they can piggyback on the students’ research to get more publications. Good committee chairs, though, will want you to find your own path toward something you can happily spend a lifetime studying.

what does the word phd mean

I suspect that one of the reasons people don’t finish their dissertations is because they weren’t really passionate about the topic in the first place.  It’s only one possible reason, but it should give a doctoral student pause.  

It’s really hard to finish a PhD, so you want to knock down any barriers to finishing.  Being passionate about the topic will keep you going when things feel onerous.  It’s like marrying someone with a sense of humor — even when you’re not getting along very well, there’s something you can always appreciate about your spouse.

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome written on a piece of paper

What about “ imposter syndrome ”?  Does that come into play when you become a candidate?

It sure did for me!  To be one of the only people who’s an expert in that field feels like a huge responsibility because people are depending on you. Your research has to be accurate because people will be making policies based on your conclusions.  

Even with good intentions, your conclusions can be erroneous, and there are plenty of historical examples of policies being made on the basis of erroneous conclusions.  The consequences can be enormous.  And that’s all on you! 

So then the questions become, “Am I really up to this?”  “Who am I to drive policy?”  “I’m just a fallible human being, so why would (or should) anyone listen to me?”  Especially right after comps, I was thinking, “How could I be the expert? Nothing really has changed about me; I’m still the same person.  Yesterday, I was a student, but today I’m an expert?” 

woman in a brown jacket holding her laptop and smiling

My observation is that this happens with women more than men, probably because women in authority positions are more often questioned than are men. But even for men, this seemingly sudden transformation can make you worry that you’re not qualified for the responsibility you’re being given.

The thing is, It’s not really as sudden as it seems. You’ve been studying something for, say, four years, so you have a claim to expertise. And you’ve been narrowing your interests all along the way, so you’ve been slowly building up your expertise.

Besides, in many good schools, you get warned a lot about how easy it is to make a mistake in research and how easy it is to make false conclusions. They beat that into you so much that it can become a constant doubt. 

In most primary and secondary schools, and sometimes even in college, they teach you to sit down, shut up, and learn something. For people to suddenly be saying, “tell me what you think,” can be challenging. I suspect that that’s another major reason people who finish their coursework don’t complete their dissertation: they’re not sufficiently prepared for this shift in roles.

Suggestions for PhD Candidates

two women having a conversation at a window side table

Having been through this shift yourself, do you have any advice for students in this stage of their process?

Mostly, I think it’s a matter of taking personal responsibility and seeing yourself in a new light.  It helps me to consider this process as a transformation — like a caterpillar into a butterfly.  The “student” stage is the caterpillar stage, where you’re eating the milkweed, the knowledge, to nourish you.  

Then there comes a time when you’ve got to stop being a consumer and transform into a real researcher.  That’s like the metamorphosis stage when the caterpillar is in the chrysalis, melting down.  (And I have had plenty of meltdowns myself in this stage!)  That’s when you’re on your own, writing the dissertation.

That chrysalis stage is a real slog.  You try as hard as you can, and your proposal still gets rejected — twice.  Or the IRB wants you to structure the study differently, after your committee has already approved it.  Or you can’t get enough participants for your quantitative study or enough data for your qualitative study — whatever.  It’s the biggest challenge of most people’s life!

two women discussing details on a laptop in an outdoor coffee shop

But if you stick with it, you actually do get this huge reward.  As a butterfly, or a PhD, you bring something unique to the world.  You have an important role in society that can potentially change the course of history — even if you don’t envision that in the beginning.

And that’s why the committee makes the process arduous.  They want to be sure you’re great at what you do, because there is potentially an awful lot riding on your shoulders.  I’m actually grateful for the rigor they demand.  I want to feel ready for the role I’m taking.

Ultimately, candidacy is time in the chrysalis.  It’s a time of transformation, built on one’s time as a student.  It’s a time in the dark and alone, which makes it challenging, for sure.  But I trust I’ll eventually emerge strong enough to spread my wings.

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Steve Tippins

Steve Tippins, PhD, has thrived in academia for over thirty years. He continues to love teaching in addition to coaching recent PhD graduates as well as students writing their dissertations. Learn more about his dissertation coaching and career coaching services. Book a Free Consultation with Steve Tippins

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What does PHD stand for?

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What Does Phd Mean In Slang & How To Use It

What does phd mean in text, tiktok and social platforms, pretty huge d*ck.

PHD is an abbreviation that stands for “Doctor of Philosophy” and is a postgraduate academic degree. It is not commonly used in text, chat, TikTok, or Snapchat, and it is not appropriate to use it to mean “Pretty Huge D*ck”. If someone uses the abbreviation in this way, it is best to ignore it or respond with something like, “I’m not sure what you’re trying to say, but PHD stands for Doctor of Philosophy, not that other thing.”

Here is an example conversation between two friends

Friend 1: Hey, did you see the new TikTok that Jake made? Friend 2: Yeah, it was pretty funny. He’s such a PHD. Friend 1: What do you mean by that? Friend 2: Oh, sorry. I meant he’s a Doctor of Philosophy. I must have been thinking about something else.

In this conversation, Friend 2 made a mistake by using the abbreviation PHD to mean something vulgar, but quickly corrected themselves.

What does Phd mean from a guy

PhD is a degree that is awarded to individuals who have completed advanced studies and research in a specific field. It stands for “Doctor of Philosophy” and is typically considered a high level of academic achievement. It is not appropriate to use the term “Pretty Huge Dick” in reference to a person’s PhD.

It is impossible for me to determine whether the person in question likes or hates you based on their use of the term PhD. Additionally, I cannot determine whether they are trying to make a move or not without further information. It is always best to communicate openly and directly with someone in order to understand their intentions and to avoid misunderstandings.

Girl: Hey, I noticed you have a PhD in physics. That’s really impressive! Guy: Thanks! I’ve been working on my research for a long time.

In this example, the girl is complimenting the guy on his academic achievement and the guy is responding modestly.

Girl: I’m thinking about applying to graduate school. What’s your advice for someone who wants to get a PhD? Guy: It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s also very rewarding. Just make sure you’re passionate about your research and you’ll be fine.

In this example, the girl is asking the guy for advice on pursuing a PhD and the guy is giving her some general advice.

What does Phd mean from a girl

PhD stands for “Doctor of Philosophy.” It is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities to students who have completed a course of study that typically lasts three to five years. This degree is typically earned in a specific field of study, such as physics, chemistry, or psychology. It is not a term that is used to refer to anything else.

In terms of responding to someone who uses “PhD” in a different context, such as in the phrase “Pretty Huge Dick,” it would be best to ignore the comment and not engage with it. It is not appropriate to use derogatory or offensive language, and doing so can make the person who used the term look foolish.

As for the examples of a conversation between a girl and a guy using “PhD” in different meanings, here are two possibilities

Girl: Hey, I just got accepted into a PhD program in biology! Guy: That’s awesome! Congratulations on your acceptance.

In this example, the girl is using “PhD” to refer to the postgraduate academic degree, while the guy is responding in a supportive and congratulatory manner.

Girl: I heard you have a PhD in physics. Guy: Yeah, that’s right. I just finished my dissertation last year.

In this example, the girl is using “PhD” to refer to the postgraduate academic degree, and the guy is confirming that he has earned this degree in the field of physics. He also mentions his dissertation, which is a long research paper that is required for the completion of a PhD program.

In both examples, “PhD” is being used in its correct and intended meaning, as a postgraduate academic degree. It is not being used in any derogatory or offensive way.

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  1. PhD Definition & Meaning

    The meaning of PHD is the academic degree, title, or rank of doctor of philosophy; also : a person who has earned the academic degree of doctor of philosophy. How to use PhD in a sentence.

  2. 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. The degree is abbreviated PhD (sometimes Ph.D. in the U.S.), from the Latin Philosophiae Doctor, pronounced as three separate letters (/ p iː eɪ tʃ ˈ d iː /, PEE-aych-DEE).

  3. PhD

    PhD definition: 1. abbreviation for doctor of philosophy: the highest college or university degree, or someone who…. Learn more.

  4. What Does 'PhD' Stand For?

    A PhD is a terminal academic degree students typically pursue when they're interested in an academic or research career. A PhD is the highest possible academic degree a student can obtain. 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 ...

  5. What is a PhD?

    PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy. This is one of the highest level academic degrees that can be awarded. PhD is an abbreviation of the Latin term (Ph)ilosophiae (D)octor. Traditionally the term 'philosophy' does not refer to the subject but its original Greek meaning which roughly translates to 'lover of wisdom'.

  6. PhD

    PhD meaning: 1. abbreviation for doctor of philosophy: the highest college or university degree, or someone who…. Learn more.

  7. PHD definition and meaning

    2 meanings: Doctor of Philosophy Also: DPhil. a doctorate awarded for original research in any subject except law, medicine, or.... Click for more definitions.

  8. What Is a PhD?

    Learn more about whether earning a PhD could benefit your career. 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 ...

  9. phd noun

    Collocations Education Education Learning. acquire/ get/ lack (an) education/ training/ (British English) (some) qualifications; receive/ provide somebody with training/ tuition; develop/ design/ plan a curriculum/ (especially British English) course/ (North American English) program/ syllabus; give/ go to/ attend a class/ lesson/ lecture/ seminar

  10. PhD

    PhD: 1 n a doctorate usually based on at least 3 years graduate study and a dissertation; the highest degree awarded graduate study Synonyms: Ph.D. Type of: Doctor of Philosophy a doctorate awarded for original contributions to knowledge

  11. 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. PhDs differ from undergraduate and master's degrees in that PhDs are ...

  12. 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.".

  13. PH.D. Definition & Usage Examples

    Ph.D. definition: . See examples of PH.D. used in a sentence.

  14. PhD

    PhD meaning: an advanced university qualification, or a person who has this qualification: . Learn more.

  15. PhD

    Noun: 1. PhD - a doctorate usually based on at least 3 years graduate study and a dissertation; the highest degree awarded graduate study

  16. PhD vs Doctorate: What's the Difference?

    Doctorate, or doctoral, is an umbrella term for many degrees — PhD among them — at the height of the academic ladder. Doctorate degrees fall under two categories, and here is where the confusion often lies. The first category, Research (also referred to as Academic) includes, among others: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)**.

  17. "M.D." vs. "Ph.D." vs. "Dr.": Are They Synonyms?

    What does Dr. mean? Let's start with doctor or D r. for short. While the first definition of the word is " a person licensed to practice medicine," that doesn't mean you want to take medical advice from anyone who calls themselves a doctor. There are many looser definitions of the word that follow and, frankly, make things a bit confusing.

  18. PhD: so what does it really stand for?

    PhD actually stands for philosophiae doctor, or doctor of philosophy. As we say in my native Italian: prendila con filosofia (take it easy, take it as it comes). And waiting for a change in the ...

  19. What is PhD? Everything you need to know

    What does Ph.D. mean? According to Daniel Costa, local coordinator of Euraxess, PhD is a title awarded to those who reach the end of their studies in a certain area. And it doesn't have to be in philosophy: the Greek origin of the word "Philosophize" means "love of knowledge". This means that "Philosophy Doctor" can be understood ...

  20. Whom should we really call a "doctor"?

    The word doctor is derived from the Latin verb "docere," meaning to teach, or a scholar. Only by special arrangement do any of the preceding professionals teach. Only university professors with a doctoral degree normally teach at a university. Historically speaking, the title doctor was invented in the Middle Ages to describe eminent scholars.

  21. PhD Candidate vs Student

    In other words, a PhD student is still completing their coursework. They could be on the first day of their PhD program. A PhD candidate has completed all of the requirements for their degree except their dissertation (yes, that's the infamous " all but dissertation " status). PhD candidacy means you're a PhD in training.

  22. PHD

    Pothole Dodger (driver on poorly maintained roads) PhD. Poor Helpless and Desperate. PhD. Phenomenally Dumb. PhD. Potential Heavy Drinker. showing only Slang/Internet Slang definitions ( show all 58 definitions) Note: We have 135 other definitions for PHD in our Acronym Attic.

  23. What Does Phd Mean In Slang & How To Use It

    What does Phd mean from a guy. PhD is a degree that is awarded to individuals who have completed advanced studies and research in a specific field. It stands for "Doctor of Philosophy" and is typically considered a high level of academic achievement. It is not appropriate to use the term "Pretty Huge Dick" in reference to a person's PhD.