Doctorate
Overview
A doctorate is an academic degree
Academic degree
An academic degree is a position and title within a college or university that is usually awarded in recognition of the recipient having either satisfactorily completed a prescribed course of study or having conducted a scholarly endeavour deemed worthy of his or her admission to the degree...

 or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, (e.g. a Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

 [Ph.D.]).

In some countries, the highest degree in a given field is referred to as a terminal degree
Terminal degree
A terminal degree is, in some countries, the highest academic degree in a given field of study. This phrase is in common use in the United States, but is not universal in an international context: the concept is not in general use in the United Kingdom, for example, and the exact definition varies...

, although this is by no means universal (the phrase is not in general use in the UK, for example), practice varies from country to country, and a distinction is sometimes made between terminal professional degrees and terminal research degrees (such as the J.S.D., or S.J.D.
Doctor of Juridical Science
Doctor of Juridical Science, Doctor of the Science of Law, Scientiae Juridicae Doctor , abbreviated J.S.D. or S.J.D., is a research doctorate in law and equivalent to the PhD It is offered primarily in the United States, where it originated, and in Canada...

 in law).

The term doctorate comes from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 docere, meaning "to teach."

The "licentiate" degree shortened from the full Latin title licentia docendi, means "teaching licence".
The doctorate (Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

: doceo, I teach) appeared in medieval Europe
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 as a license to teach (Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

: licentia docendi) at a medieval university
Medieval university
Medieval university is an institution of higher learning which was established during High Middle Ages period and is a corporation.The first institutions generally considered to be universities were established in Italy, France, and England in the late 11th and the 12th centuries for the study of...

.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
A doctorate is an academic degree
Academic degree
An academic degree is a position and title within a college or university that is usually awarded in recognition of the recipient having either satisfactorily completed a prescribed course of study or having conducted a scholarly endeavour deemed worthy of his or her admission to the degree...

 or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, (e.g. a Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

 [Ph.D.]).

In some countries, the highest degree in a given field is referred to as a terminal degree
Terminal degree
A terminal degree is, in some countries, the highest academic degree in a given field of study. This phrase is in common use in the United States, but is not universal in an international context: the concept is not in general use in the United Kingdom, for example, and the exact definition varies...

, although this is by no means universal (the phrase is not in general use in the UK, for example), practice varies from country to country, and a distinction is sometimes made between terminal professional degrees and terminal research degrees (such as the J.S.D., or S.J.D.
Doctor of Juridical Science
Doctor of Juridical Science, Doctor of the Science of Law, Scientiae Juridicae Doctor , abbreviated J.S.D. or S.J.D., is a research doctorate in law and equivalent to the PhD It is offered primarily in the United States, where it originated, and in Canada...

 in law).

The term doctorate comes from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 docere, meaning "to teach."

The "licentiate" degree shortened from the full Latin title licentia docendi, means "teaching licence".

History

The doctorate (Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

: doceo, I teach) appeared in medieval Europe
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 as a license to teach (Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

: licentia docendi) at a medieval university
Medieval university
Medieval university is an institution of higher learning which was established during High Middle Ages period and is a corporation.The first institutions generally considered to be universities were established in Italy, France, and England in the late 11th and the 12th centuries for the study of...

. Its roots can be traced to the early church when the term "doctor" referred to the Apostles, church fathers
Church Fathers
The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were early and influential theologians, eminent Christian teachers and great bishops. Their scholarly works were used as a precedent for centuries to come...

 and other Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 authorities who taught and interpreted the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

. The right to grant a licentia docendi was originally reserved to the church which required the applicant to pass a test, to take oath of allegiance and pay a fee. The Third Council of the Lateran
Third Council of the Lateran
The Third Council of the Lateran met in March 1179 as the eleventh ecumenical council. Pope Alexander III presided and 302 bishops attended.By agreement reached at the Peace of Venice in 1177 the bitter conflict between Alexander III and Emperor Frederick I was brought to an end...

 of 1179 guaranteed the access – now largely free of charge – of all able applicants, who were, however, still tested for aptitude by the ecclesiastic scholastic. This right remained a bone of contention between the church authorities and the slowly emancipating universities, but was granted by the pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 to the University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

 in 1213 where it became a universal license to teach (licentia ubiquie docendi). However, while the licentia continued to hold a higher prestige than the bachelor's degree
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

 (Baccalaureus), it was ultimately reduced to an intermediate step to the Magister and doctorate, both of which now became the exclusive qualification for teaching.

At the university, doctoral training was a form of apprenticeship
Apprenticeship
Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill. Apprentices or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships...

 to a guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

. The traditional term of study before new teachers were admitted to the guild of "Masters of Arts," seven years, was the same as the term of apprenticeship for other occupations. Originally the terms "master" and "doctor" were synonymous, but over time the doctorate came to be regarded as a higher qualification than the master's degree
Master's degree
A master's is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice...

. A hypothesis by George Makdisi that the doctorate has its origins in the Islamic Ijazah
Ijazah
An ijazah is a certificate used primarily by Sunni Muslims to indicate that one has been authorized by a higher authority to transmit a certain subject or text of Islamic knowledge...

, a 180 degree turnaround to an earlier view of him which helds that both system were of "the most fundamental difference," has been rejected by Tony Huff as unsubstantiated.

The usage and meaning of the doctorate has changed over time, and it has also been subject to regional variations. For instance, until the early 20th century few academic staff or professors in English-speaking universities held doctorates, except for very senior scholars and those in holy orders
Holy Orders
The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....

. After that time the German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 practice of requiring prospective lecturers to have completed a "research doctorate" became widespread. Additionally, universities' shifts to "research oriented" education increased the importance of the doctorate. Today such a doctorate is generally a prerequisite for pursuing an academic
Academia
Academia is the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research.-Etymology:The word comes from the akademeia in ancient Greece. Outside the city walls of Athens, the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning...

 career, although not everyone who receives a research doctorate becomes an academic by profession. Many universities also award "honorary doctorates" to individuals who have been deemed worthy of special recognition, either for scholarly work or for other contributions to the university or to society.

Although the research doctorate is almost universally accepted as the standard qualification for an academic career, it is a relatively new invention.

The older-style doctorates (now usually called "Higher Doctorates" in the United Kingdom) take much longer to complete, since candidates must show themselves to be leading experts in their subjects. These doctorates are now less common in some countries, and are often awarded honoris causa. The habilitation
Habilitation
Habilitation is the highest academic qualification a scholar can achieve by his or her own pursuit in several European and Asian countries. Earned after obtaining a research doctorate, such as a PhD, habilitation requires the candidate to write a professorial thesis based on independent...

 is still used for academic recruitment purposes in many countries within the EU and involves either a new long thesis (a second book) or a portfolio of research publications. The habilitation demonstrates independent and thorough research, experience in teaching and lecturing and, more recently, the ability to generate funding within the area of research. The "habilitation" is regarded as a senior post-doctoral qualification, many years after the research doctorate, and can be necessary for a Privatdozent
Privatdozent
Privatdozent or Private lecturer is a title conferred in some European university systems, especially in German-speaking countries, for someone who pursues an academic career and holds all formal qualifications to become a tenured university professor...

 (in Germany) or professor position.

A similar system traditionally holds in Russia. Already in the Russian Empire the academic degree doctor of science (doktor nauk) marked the highest academic degree which can be achieved by an examination. This system was generally adopted by the USSR/Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and many post-Soviet countries.

Types of doctorates

See Doctor (title)
Doctor (title)
Doctor, as a title, originates from the Latin word of the same spelling and meaning. The word is originally an agentive noun of the Latin verb docēre . It has been used as an honored academic title for over a millennium in Europe, where it dates back to the rise of the university. This use spread...

 for more information.

Since the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, there has been considerable evolution and proliferation in the number and types of doctorates awarded by universities throughout the world, and practices vary from one country to another. While a doctorate usually entitles one to be addressed as "doctor," usage of the title varies widely, depending on the type of doctorate earned and the doctor's occupation.

Broadly speaking, doctorates may be loosely classified into the following categories:

Research doctorates

Research doctorates are awarded in recognition of academic research that is (at least in principle) publishable in a peer-refereed academic journal
Academic journal
An academic journal is a peer-reviewed periodical in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as forums for the introduction and presentation for scrutiny of new research, and the critique of existing research...

. In many countries, including the United States, earning a research doctorate also requires successful completion of a regimen of coursework beyond the masters level. The best-known degree of this type, in the Anglophone world, is that of Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

 (Ph.D., or sometimes D.Phil) awarded in many countries throughout the world. Others include the degree of Doctor of Education
Doctor of Education
The Doctor of Education or Doctor in Education degree , in Latin, Doctor Educationis, is a research-oriented professional doctorate that prepares the student for academic, administrative, clinical, or research positions in educational, civil, and private organizations.-Differences between an Ed.D...

, various doctorates in engineering, such as the US Doctor of Engineering
Doctor of Engineering
The Doctor of Engineering is an academic degree awarded on the basis of advanced study and research in engineering or applied sciences...

 (also awarded in Japan and South Korea), the UK Engineering Doctorate
Engineering Doctorate
The Engineering Doctorate scheme is a British postgraduate education programme promoted by the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council . The programme is undertaken over four years. Students conduct PhD-equivalent research and undertake taught business and technical courses whilst...

 and the German Engineering Doctorate Doktor-Ingenieur
Doktor-Ingenieur
The Dr.-Ing. is the German engineering doctorate degree, comparable to the Doctor of Engineering, Doctor of Science and Doctor of Science ....

and the German degree of Doctor rerum naturalium (Dr.rer.nat.). The Doctor of Theology
Doctor of Theology
Doctor of Theology is a terminal academic degree in theology. It is a research degree that is considered by the U.S. National Science Foundation to be the equivalent of a Doctor of Philosophy....

, often stylized Th.D., is also a research doctorate, in theology, awarded by universities such as Harvard Divinity School
Harvard Divinity School
Harvard Divinity School is one of the constituent schools of Harvard University, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States. The School's mission is to train and educate its students either in the academic study of religion, or for the practice of a religious ministry or other public...

 and the University of Toronto
University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada...

 among many others. Likewise, the Doctor of Sacred Theology
Doctor of Sacred Theology
The Doctor of Sacred Theology is the final theological degree in the pontifical university system of the Catholic Church....

 is also a research doctorate in theology, but particular to Catholic Pontifical Universities and Faculties.

Criteria for award of research doctorates vary somewhat throughout the world, but typically requires the submission of a substantial body of original research undertaken by the candidate. This may take the form of a single thesis
Thesis
A dissertation or thesis is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings...

 or dissertation, or possibly a portfolio of shorter project reports, and will usually be assessed by a small committee of examiners appointed by the university, and often an oral examination of some kind. In some countries (such as the US) there may also be a formal taught component, typically consisting of graduate-level courses in the subject in question, as well as training in research methodology.

The minimum time required to complete a research doctorate varies by country, and may be as short as three years (excluding undergraduate study), although it is not uncommon for a candidate to take up to ten years to complete.

In UK an equivalent formation to doctorate is the QCF 8.

Higher doctorates

In some countries, especially the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and some Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

n nations, or former USSR and other Eastern Bloc
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

 countries, there is a higher tier of research doctorates, awarded on the basis of a formally submitted portfolio of published research of a very high standard. Examples include the Doctor of Science
Doctor of Science
Doctor of Science , usually abbreviated Sc.D., D.Sc., S.D. or Dr.Sc., is an academic research degree awarded in a number of countries throughout the world. In some countries Doctor of Science is the name used for the standard doctorate in the sciences, elsewhere the Sc.D...

s (DSc/ScD) and Doctor of Letters
Doctor of Letters
Doctor of Letters is a university academic degree, often a higher doctorate which is frequently awarded as an honorary degree in recognition of outstanding scholarship or other merits.-Commonwealth:...

 (DLitt/LittD) degrees found in the UK, Ireland and some Commonwealth countries, and the traditional doctorates in Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 and Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, including Dr. Theol. (Theology), Dr. Jur. (Law), Dr. Med. (Medicine) and, after Denmark and Norway introduced the Ph.D. at a lower level, Dr. Phil(os).. The Danish and Norwegian titles should not be confused with German doctorates.

The French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Polish
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 habilitation
Habilitation
Habilitation is the highest academic qualification a scholar can achieve by his or her own pursuit in several European and Asian countries. Earned after obtaining a research doctorate, such as a PhD, habilitation requires the candidate to write a professorial thesis based on independent...

 (a formal professorial qualification with thesis and exam) is commonly regarded as belonging to this category. However, in some German states, the Habilitation is not an academic degree, but rather a professorial certification ("facultas docendi") that the person concerned holds all the qualifications needed to teach independently at a German university. In other German states, the "Habilitand" is awarded a formal "Dr. habil." degree. In some cases where such degree is awarded, the regarding person may add "habil." to his or her research doctorate such as "Dr. phil. habil." or "Dr. rer. nat. habil." The French academical system used to have a higher doctorate, called "State doctorate" (doctorat d'État) but it was supersed by the habilitation in 1984.

In Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, a title roughly corresponding to the Habilitation is Docent
Docent
Docent is a title at some European universities to denote a specific academic appointment within a set structure of academic ranks below professor . Docent is also used at some universities generically for a person who has the right to teach...

. This was also commonly used in Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 but as of 2005 was changed to a formal "Dr hab." (doktor habilitowany) degree. See below (Poland section) for more details.

Higher doctorates are often also awarded honoris causa when a university wishes to formally recognize an individual's achievements and contributions to a particular field.

Professional doctorates

Professional doctorates are awarded in certain fields where scholarly research is closely aligned with a particular profession, such as law, medicine, or psychology. Examples include the US and Canadian degrees of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine is a professional doctoral degree for physicians in the United States. Holders of the MD degree, Doctor of Medicine, have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as osteopathic physicians in the United States.The American Osteopathic Association’s Commission...

 (D.O.), Medicinae Doctor
Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine is a doctoral degree for physicians. The degree is granted by medical schools...

 (M.D.), Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D), Doctor of Dental Surgery
Doctor of Dental Surgery
There are a number of first professional degrees in dentistry offered by schools in various countries around the world. These include the following:* Doctor of Dental Surgery * Doctor of Dental Medicine * Bachelor of Dentistry...

 (D.D.S.), Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.), Doctor of Pharmacy
Doctor of Pharmacy
A Doctor of Pharmacy is a professional doctorate degree in pharmacy. In some countries, it is a first professional degree, and a prerequisite for licensing to exercise the profession of pharmacist.-Kenya :...

 (Pharm.D.), Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.The degree was first awarded by Harvard University in the United States in the late 19th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree Juris Doctor (see etymology and...

 (J.D.) and Doctor of Optometry (O.D.), and the Czech
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 and Slovak
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 degrees of Doctor of Medicine (MUDr. – Medicinae Universae Doctor) and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (MVDr. – Medicinae Vetenariae Doctor).

Professional doctorates originated in the United States, with the introduction of the MD at Columbia University in 1767, or almost 100 years before a research doctorate (that is, a PhD) was awarded in that country, at Yale in 1861. The JD was introduced in 1870, just a few years after the PhD.

The term Professional Doctorate is used to refer to research doctorates with a focus on applied research, or research as used for professional purposes. Among others, these include the degrees of Doctor of Business Administration
Doctor of Business Administration
The degree of Doctor of Business Administration, abbreviated, or and equivalent to , is a research doctorate in business administration. The D.B.A...

 (DBA), Doctor of Strategic Leadership (DSL) Doctor of Education
Doctor of Education
The Doctor of Education or Doctor in Education degree , in Latin, Doctor Educationis, is a research-oriented professional doctorate that prepares the student for academic, administrative, clinical, or research positions in educational, civil, and private organizations.-Differences between an Ed.D...

 (Ed.D), Doctor of Public Administration
Doctor of Public Administration
The Doctor of Public Administration is a terminal applied-research doctoral degree in the field of public administration , which is a sub-discipline of political science. The D.P.A. requires significant coursework beyond the masters level and a dissertation that contributes to theory or practice...

 (DPA), Doctor of Biblical Studies
Doctor of Biblical Studies
Doctor of Biblical Studies is a doctoral level advanced professional degree in applied theology for practitioners seeking to increase knowledge and understanding of biblical and theological principles for their professional ministry....

 (D.B.S.), Doctor of Law and Policy (Lp.D), Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.), Doctor of Practical Theology
Doctor of Practical Theology
The Doctor of Practical Theology is an advanced professional degree for professionals serving Church, non-profit, public, and private sector organizations, seeking to apply theological principles to their professional practice. The typical degree candidate is a part-time student who continues...

 (DPT), Doctor of Professional Studies
Doctor of Professional Studies
The Doctor of Professional Studies is a work-based professional doctorate pioneered by Pace University.-Development:...

 (DPS or DProf), Doctor of the Built Environment (DBEnv) and some others in various specified professional fields.

In Australia, the term is on occasion applied to the SJD, and on other occasions that degree is also categorized as a research degree.

Honorary doctorates

When a university wishes to formally recognize an individual's contributions to a particular field or philanthropic efforts, it may choose to grant a doctoral degree honoris causa (i.e., "for the sake of the honor"), the university waiving the usual formal requirements for bestowal of the degree. Some universities do not award honorary degrees, for example, Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

, the University of Virginia
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...

, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

.

Professor as a higher degree

An extreme rarity among degrees are the Professorial degrees.

In modern times, the status of Professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 is awarded as a recognition of sustained academic excellence, equivalent in standing to an honorary doctorate, but this is not a degree per se. However, in past times, Professor was sometimes awarded as a degree.

One example of this is the degree of Sacrae Theologiae Professor (STP), which was awarded by the Pontifical University
Pontifical university
A pontifical university is a Catholic University established by and directly under the authority of the Holy See. It is licensed to grant academic degrees in sacred faculties, the most important of which are Sacred Theology, Canon Law, Sacred Scripture and...

. This degree is now titled Sacrae Theologiae Doctor (STD) in keeping with usual modern practices.

Country-specific practice

Argentina

In Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 the doctorate (doctorado) is the highest academic degree. The intention is that candidates produce true and original contributions in a specific field of knowledge within a frame of academic excellence. The doctoral candidate's work is presented in a dissertation or thesis prepared under the supervision of a tutor or director, and reviewed by a Doctoral Committee. The Committee is composed of examiners external to the program, and at least one examiner external to the institution. The academic degree of Doctor is conferred after a successful defense of the candidate’s dissertation. Currently, there are approximately 2,151 postgraduate careers in the country, of which 14% were doctoral degrees. Doctoral programs in Argentina are overseen by the National Commission for University Evaluation and Accreditation, which is a decentralized agency in Argentina’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Denmark

In Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 there are four levels of degrees: 1) a three-years Bachelor's Degree (e.g. Bachelor of Arts = B.A.); 2) a two-years Candidate's Degree (e.g. candidatus/candidata magisterii = cand.mag.), respectively a three-years extended research graduation, leading to the Magister's Degree (e.g. magister/magistra artium = mag.art.), the latter of which has recently been phased out in order to meet the international standards of the Bologna Process
Bologna process
The purpose of the Bologna Process is the creation of the European Higher Education Area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe, in particular under the Lisbon Recognition Convention...

 – both the cand.mag. and the mag.art. are generally compared to a Master's Degree (MA); 3) a Ph.D. Degree (ph.d.), which replaced the licentiate
Licentiate
Licentiate is the title of a person who holds an academic degree called a licence. The term may derive from the Latin licentia docendi, meaning permission to teach. The term may also derive from the Latin licentia ad practicandum, which signified someone who held a certificate of competence to...

 in 1988, and finally; 4) a Doctors Degree (fx doctor philosophiae = dr.phil.), which is the higher doctorate.

For the Ph.D., the candidate writes a major thesis and has to defend it orally at a formal disputation
Disputation
In the scholastic system of education of the Middle Ages, disputations offered a formalized method of debate designed to uncover and establish truths in theology and in sciences...

. In the disputation, the candidate defends his or her thesis against three official opponents as well as opponents from the auditorium
Auditorium
An auditorium is a room built to enable an audience to hear and watch performances at venues such as theatres. For movie theaters, the number of auditoriums is expressed as the number of screens.- Etymology :...

 (ex auditorio).

For the higher doctorate, the candidate writes a major thesis and has to defend it orally at a formal disputation
Disputation
In the scholastic system of education of the Middle Ages, disputations offered a formalized method of debate designed to uncover and establish truths in theology and in sciences...

. In this disputation, the candidate (called præces) defends his thesis against two official opponents as well as opponents from the auditorium
Auditorium
An auditorium is a room built to enable an audience to hear and watch performances at venues such as theatres. For movie theaters, the number of auditoriums is expressed as the number of screens.- Etymology :...

 (ex auditorio).

Finland

In the Finnish education system, the requirement for the entrance into the doctoral studies is a Master's degree or equivalent qualification. All universities have the right to award doctorates in their assigned fields. The ammattikorkeakoulu institutes (institutes of higher vocational education that are not universities but often called "Universities of applied sciences" in English) do not award doctoral or other academic degrees. The aim of the studies for the doctoral degree is threefold:
  1. The student must obtain sublime understanding of their field and its meaning to the society, while becoming prepared to use the methods of scientific or scholarly study in their field, creating new scientific or scholarly knowledge.
  2. The student must obtain a good understanding of development, basic problems and research methods of their field
  3. The student must obtain such understanding of the general theory of science and letters and such knowledge of the neighbouring research field that they are able to follow the development of these fields.


The way to show that these general requirements have been met is also threefold:
  1. The graduate coursework required by the university.
  2. a show of critical and independent thought in the research field
  3. preparation and a public defence of a dissertation, which may be a monograph
    Monograph
    A monograph is a work of writing upon a single subject, usually by a single author.It is often a scholarly essay or learned treatise, and may be released in the manner of a book or journal article. It is by definition a single document that forms a complete text in itself...

     or a compilation thesis, i.e. a collection of peer-reviewed articles with an extended summary. In the area of fine arts, the dissertation may be substituted by artistic merits and performances as decided by the degree-awarding faculty.


In Finland, the entrance into the graduate studies is not as controlled as in undergraduate studies, where a strict numerus clausus is applied. Usually, a prospective graduate student discusses his plans with a professor of his choice. If the professor wishes to accept the student, the student applies the faculty for a study place. Nonetheless, in some cases, the professor may recruit the student to his group after a successful completion of a master's thesis, for instance. In any case, a formal graduate study place does not guarantee funding. The student must obtain funding either by working in a research unit or through scholarships handed out by private foundations. Typically, it is easier to obtain funding for graduate studies in natural and engineering sciences, while graduate studies in letters are more difficult to finance. Sometimes, it may be possible to combine normal work and research activity.

Prior to introduction of Bologna process
Bologna process
The purpose of the Bologna Process is the creation of the European Higher Education Area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe, in particular under the Lisbon Recognition Convention...

, Finland required at least 42 credit weeks (1800 hours) of formal coursework of doctoral students. The general requirement was removed in 2005, leaving the decision on the scale of coursework needed to individual universities, which may delegate the authority to faculties and even to individual professors. In fields of Engineering and Science, the required amount of coursework varies between 60 and 70 ECTS
European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System
This page describes ECTS-credits. For information about the ECTS grading system go to ECTS grading scale.European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other...

.

The time for the completion of graduate studies varies, as there are no fixed time limits written into the law or to most university regulations. It is possible to graduate even in three years after the master's degree, while much longer periods are by no means uncommon. In any case, the study ends with the completion of a dissertation, which must make a substantial contribution to the field by presenting new scientific or scholarly knowledge. The dissertation can either be a monograph or it can be edited from a collection of 3 to 7 journal articles, including an introduction tying together the individual parts. If a student is unable or unwilling to write a dissertation, he may qualify for licentiate
Licentiate
Licentiate is the title of a person who holds an academic degree called a licence. The term may derive from the Latin licentia docendi, meaning permission to teach. The term may also derive from the Latin licentia ad practicandum, which signified someone who held a certificate of competence to...

 degree of his field by completing the coursework requirement and writing a shorter thesis, usually worth of one year of research.

After the dissertation is ready, it is submitted to the faculty, which names two pre-examiners with doctoral degrees from the outside of the university. These pre-examiners must be noted experts of the field. Their acceptance of the work is necessary for the permission to defend the work. During the pre-examination process, the student may receive comments on the work and if necessary, requirements to modify it. After the pre-examiners approve, the doctoral candidate applies the faculty for the permission to print the thesis. Simultaneously with the printing permission, the faculty names the opponent for the thesis defence, who must also be an outside expert of the field, with at least a doctoral degree. In all Finnish universities, an archaic tradition requires that the printed dissertation must hang on a chord by a public university noticeboard for at least ten days after the printing permission has been given in order for the defence of the dissertation to be possible.

The doctoral dissertation takes place in public, usually in a university auditorium, with the opponent and the candidate conducting a very formal debate, usually wearing white tie
White tie
White tie is the most formal evening dress code in Western fashion. It is worn to ceremonial occasions such as state dinners in some countries, as well as to very formal balls and evening weddings...

, under the supervision of the thesis supervisor. It is customary for the family, friends, colleagues and the members of the research community to attend the defence proceedings. After a formal entrance, the candidate begins the proceeding by a circa 20-minute popular lecture (lectio praecursoria), which is meant to introduce the laymen present to the topic of the thesis. After this, the opponent gives a short talk on the topic of the defence, after which the pair critically discusses the dissertation. The proceedings take two, maybe three hours. At the end of the proceeding, the opponent presents his final statement on the work, and reveals whether he/she will recommend that the faculty accept it. After the opponent has finished, any member of the public has an opportunity to raise questions on the dissertation, although such opponents extraordinary are rare. Immediately after the defence, the supervisor, the opponent and the passed candidate drink coffee with the public. Usually, the attendees of the defence are handed out the printed dissertation and leave with it. In the evening, the passed candidate is obligated to host a dinner in the honour of the opponent. Usually, the candidate invites his family and colleagues and collaborators.

France

In France, the doctorate (doctorat) is always a research-only degree. It is a national degree and its requirements are fixed by an official text of the minister of higher education and research. Except for a very small number of private institutions, only public institutions of higher education and research can award the doctorate. It can be awarded in any field of study. The master's degree
Master's degree in Europe
This page refers to types of Master's degrees in Europe. Please see Master's degree for more information.In order to facilitate the movement of students between European countries, a standardized schedule of higher education diplomas, also known as the Bologna process, was proposed: an...

 is a prerequisite for pursuing a doctoral program. The official normal duration of the doctoral work is three years. The redaction of a comprehensive thesis constitutes the bulk of the doctorate's work. While the length of the thesis varies according to the discipline, it is rarely less than 150 pages, and often substantially more. There are ~15000 new matriculations for the doctoral program every year and ~10000 doctorates awarded.

Doctoral candidates can apply for a three-year fellowship, the most well known being the allocation de recherche du ministère de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (4000 granted every years, gross salary of 18,369 euros in February 2007).

During the preparation of the doctorate, the candidate has had, since 2002, to follow a limited number of courses, but there is no written examination for the doctorate. The candidate has to write an extensive thesis which is read by two external reviewers designated by the head of the institution. According to the reports of the reviewer, the head of the institution decides whether the candidate can defend his thesis or not. The members of the jury are designated by the head of the institution and must be composed of external and internal academics. The supervisor of the candidate is generally a member of the jury, as well as the reviewers of the thesis. The maximum number of members in the jury is 8. The defense lasts generally 45 minutes in scientific fields and are followed by 1h – 2h30 of questions from the jury or other doctors present in the assistance. Defense and questions are public. At the end of the series of questions, the jury deliberates in private for 20–30 min and comes back to declare the candidate admitted or "postponed". "Postponement" is very rare. The admission of the candidate is generally followed by a distinction: "honourable", which is not highly considered, "very honourable", which is the usual distinction, and "very honourable with the congratulation of the jury" (Très honorable avec félicitations
Très honorable avec félicitations
Très honorable avec félicitations, meaning "Highly Honorable with Praise", is the highest academic distinction awarded for doctorates in the French academic university system, equivalent to the US Summa Cum Laude...

). Because there exist no national criteria for the award of this last distinction, many institutions have decided not to award it. New regulations concerning this distinction were set in 2006. Many institutions have decided not to award any distinction, as it is now permitted by the law.

Confusingly the title of doctor (docteur) is used only by the medical and pharmaceutical practitioners who hold not a doctorate but a doctor's state diploma (diplôme d'État de docteur), which is a first-degree and professional doctorate obtained after at least 9 years of studies. As they do not pursue research studies, they are not awarded a doctorate.

Before 1984 three research doctorates existed : the state doctorate (doctorat d'État, the old doctorate introduced in 1808), the third cycle doctorate (doctorat de troisième cycle), created in 1954 and shorter than the state doctorate, and the diploma of doctor-engineer (diplôme de docteur-ingénieur), created in 1923, for technical research. Since 1984, there is only one type of doctoral degree, simply called "doctorate" (Doctorat). A special diploma has been created called the "accreditation to supervise research" (habilitation à diriger des recherches), which is a professional qualification to supervise doctoral work. (This diploma is similar in spirit to the older state doctorate, and the requirements for obtaining it are similar to those necessary to obtain tenure
Tenure
Tenure commonly refers to life tenure in a job and specifically to a senior academic's contractual right not to have his or her position terminated without just cause.-19th century:...

 in other systems.) Before only professors or senior full researchers of similar rank were normally authorized to supervise a doctoral candidate's work. Now the habilitation is a prerequisite to the title of professor in university (Professeur des Universités) and to the title of Research Director (Directeur de recherche) in national public research agency such as CNRS or INRA
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
The Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique is a French public research institute dedicated to scientific studies surrounding the problems of agriculture...

.

Germany

In Germany, a doctorate is usually a research doctorate. Its duration depends strongly on the field in which it is taken. While a doctorate in medicine may take less than a full-time year to complete, it takes between three and six years in engineering. In Germany, most doctorates are awarded with specific designations for the field of research instead of a general "PhD" for all fields, the most important ones being: Dr. rer. nat.
Doctor of Science
Doctor of Science , usually abbreviated Sc.D., D.Sc., S.D. or Dr.Sc., is an academic research degree awarded in a number of countries throughout the world. In some countries Doctor of Science is the name used for the standard doctorate in the sciences, elsewhere the Sc.D...

(Doctorate in Natural Sciences, i.e. Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths, Psychology often also Computer Science and Information Technology), Dr. phil. (Doctorate of philosophy, i.e. the humanities like Philosophy, philology, History, and social sciences like sociology or Psychology), Dr. iur. (Doctorate in Law), Dr. rer. oec. (Doctorate in Economics), Dr. rer. pol. (Doctor Rerum Politicarum, aka Doctorate in Political Science), Dr. med. (Doctorate in Medicine), Dr.-Ing.
Doktor-Ingenieur
The Dr.-Ing. is the German engineering doctorate degree, comparable to the Doctor of Engineering, Doctor of Science and Doctor of Science ....

(Doctorate in Engineering). There are over fifty such specific designations, many of which are highly specialized and rarely awarded. The degree can be written in front of the first name for addresses (within texts, the abbreviations "Dr." and "Dr.-Ing." are common) and accompanies the person's name (unlike in German-speaking Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, where some doctoral programs issue a PhD). Although the "Dr." does not become part of a person's name one can demand naming the title in official documents. However, naming the title even in these documents is not mandatory. The "Dr." (but not the specification of the field) is commonly used to address someone with this title for instance in formal letters. If someone holds other titles, as in "Prof. (Professor) Dr. Dr.-Ing. [Surname]", it is common to use only the highest title in formal letters, as in "Prof. [Surname]".

Upon the completion of the habilitation thesis (Habilitationsschrift) a different type of a doctorate (Dr. habil. or only: habil.) is awarded. This doctorate is known as the Habilitation
Habilitation
Habilitation is the highest academic qualification a scholar can achieve by his or her own pursuit in several European and Asian countries. Earned after obtaining a research doctorate, such as a PhD, habilitation requires the candidate to write a professorial thesis based on independent...

. It is not considered a formal degree but an additional academic qualification. It qualifies the owner to teach at (German) universities ("facultas docendi"), plus the holder of the "habil." can apply for the authorization to teach a certain subject ("venia legendi"). This has been the traditional prerequisite for attaining the title Privatdozent
Privatdozent
Privatdozent or Private lecturer is a title conferred in some European university systems, especially in German-speaking countries, for someone who pursues an academic career and holds all formal qualifications to become a tenured university professor...

(PD) and employment as a Professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 at universities. With the introduction of Juniorprofessoren – around 2005 in Germany – as an alternative track towards becoming a professor at universities (with tenure), this has changed partially, and the Habilitation
Habilitation
Habilitation is the highest academic qualification a scholar can achieve by his or her own pursuit in several European and Asian countries. Earned after obtaining a research doctorate, such as a PhD, habilitation requires the candidate to write a professorial thesis based on independent...

 is no longer the only career track at universities.

India

In India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 doctorate level degrees are offered by the universities or institutions of national level importance deemed to be universities. Entry requirements for doctorate degrees by most of the universities include good academic background at masters level(post graduate degree). Some universities also consider undergraduate degrees in professional areas such as engineering, medicine or law for entrance to doctorate level degrees. Entrance examinations are held for almost all the universities for admission to doctoral level degrees. The duration of the coursework and thesis for award of the degree is (In most north Indian universities the minimum required time to submit your theses after registration is 2 academic years and in most of the universities in south India its 3 years after PhD registration .

. The most commonly awarded doctoral level degree is Ph.D. There are some other doctoral level degrees such as DBA ( Doctorate of Business Administration), DIT ( Doctorate of Information Technology), LLD (Doctorate in Laws) and D.Sc (Doctorate in Science). Some of the institutions of the national level importance such as Indian Institute of Management call their doctoral level programmes as fellow programme. Recently Pharmacy Council of India has permitted few colleges for Pharm D course (Doctorate in Pharmacy).

Italy

According to the European Higher Education Area Academic Degrees stated by the Bologna Process
Bologna process
The purpose of the Bologna Process is the creation of the European Higher Education Area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe, in particular under the Lisbon Recognition Convention...

 and to the Ministero dell'Educazione Pubblica (MIUR), Italy uses the three levels degree system. The first level degree, called "laurea triennale
Laurea
In Italy, the laurea is the main post-secondary academic degree.-Reforms due to the Bologna process:Spurred by the Bologna process, a major reform was instituted in 1999 to introduce easier university degrees comparable to the bachelors...

" (Bachelor's degree) is obtained after three years of study and a short thesis on a specific subject. The second level degree, called "laurea magistrale
Laurea
In Italy, the laurea is the main post-secondary academic degree.-Reforms due to the Bologna process:Spurred by the Bologna process, a major reform was instituted in 1999 to introduce easier university degrees comparable to the bachelors...

" (Master's degree) is obtained after two additional years of study, specializing in a particular branch of the chosen subject (e.g. particle physics, nuclear engineering, etc.). This degree requires a more complex thesis work, usually involving some academic research or an internship in a private company. The final degree is called "dottorato di ricerca
Laurea
In Italy, the laurea is the main post-secondary academic degree.-Reforms due to the Bologna process:Spurred by the Bologna process, a major reform was instituted in 1999 to introduce easier university degrees comparable to the bachelors...

" (Ph.D.) and is obtained after three years of academic research on the subject and a thesis.

Alternatively, after obtaining the laurea triennale or the laurea magistrale one can attend a "Master" (first-level Master after the laurea triennale; second-level Master after the laurea magistrale) of one or two years, offered by universities and private organisations with a variety of subjects, lengths and costs and usually including a final internship in a private company. An Italian "Master" is not to be confused with a Master degree; it is intended to be more focused on professional training and practical experience than standard degrees.

The title for Bachelor Graduate students is, regardless from the field of study, Dottore/Dottoressa (abbrev. Dott./Dott.ssa, sometimes incorrectly abbreviated as Dr., meaning Doctor
Doctor (title)
Doctor, as a title, originates from the Latin word of the same spelling and meaning. The word is originally an agentive noun of the Latin verb docēre . It has been used as an honored academic title for over a millennium in Europe, where it dates back to the rise of the university. This use spread...

), not to be confused with the title for the PhD
PHD
PHD may refer to:*Ph.D., a doctorate of philosophy*Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*PHD finger, a protein sequence*PHD Mountain Software, an outdoor clothing and equipment company*PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

 level graduate, which instead is Dottore/Dottoressa di Ricerca. A laurea magistrale grants instead the title of Dottore/Dottoressa magistrale. Graduates from the fields of Education, Art and Music are also called Dr. Prof. (or simply Professore) or Maestro. On the other side, many professional titles like ingegnere (engineer) are not automatically awarded upon the graduation on the corresponding field of study but instead are given upon passing a post graduation examination (esame di stato), and the subsequent registration in the relative professional association.

Doctorate by way of dissertation

Until the 1990s, most doctorates in the natural sciences and engineering in Japan were earned by industrial researchers in Japanese companies. These degrees are awarded by the employees' former university, usually after many years of research in industrial laboratories. No matriculation is necessary, only submission of a dissertation with some articles published in well-known journals . This program, called , represented the majority of engineering doctoral degrees from national universities. With the expansion of university-based doctoral programs called , however, the proportion of these degrees earned is decreasing. By 1994, more doctoral engineering degrees were earned for research within university laboratories (53%) than industrial research laboratories (47%). Since 1978, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) provides tutorial and financial support for promising researchers in Asia and Africa to earn their PhD degrees through this route. The program is called JSPS RONPAKU.

Professional Doctorate

The only professional doctorate in Japan is the Juris Doctor. In Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 the J.D. is known as Homu Hakushi (法務博士) and has replaced the bachelor of law as the first entry law degree. The program generally lasts three years. This curriculum is professionally oriented, but unlike in the United States the program does not provide the education sufficient for a license, as all candidates for a license must attend the Legal Training and Research Institute.

The Netherlands / Flanders

The traditional academic system of The Netherlands provides four basic academic diplomas and degrees: propaedeuse, candidate, doctorandus (drs.) and doctor (dr.). After successful completion of the first year of University, the student is awarded the propaedeutic diploma (not a degree). The kandidaat candidate degree, which was all but abolished by 1989, used to be attained after four or five years of academic study, after which the student was allowed to begin work on his doctorandus thesis. The successful completion of this thesis allows one to use the doctorandus
Doctorandus
Doctorandus is a Dutch academic title according to the pre-bachelor-master system. The title is acquired by passing the doctoraalexamen, traditionally a matriculation exam for admission to study at doctoral level....

title, attainment of which means one's initial studies are finished. In addition to these 'general' degrees, a number of specific titles for certain subjects are available, each of which is equivalent to the doctorandus degree: for law: meester ('master') (mr.), and for engineering: ingenieur ('engineer')(ir.).In the last few years, the Dutch have incorporated the Anglo-Saxon system of academic degrees into their own. The old candidate's degree has been revived as bachelor's degree, the doctorandus' by the master's degree.

Those who choose to can enroll in a doctorate system after achieving a masters degree (or equivalent) recognised by the Dutch government. The most common way is to be hired as promovendus (research assistant
Research assistant
A research assistant is a researcher employed, often on a temporary contract, by a university or a research institute, for the purpose of assisting in academic research...

 with additional courses and supervision), perform extensive research, and write a doctoral dissertation (this course is normally four years, although the average duration to completions is about 5.5 years). It is also possible to conduct research without the research assistant status, for example through a business sponsored research laboratory, or in spare time. Regardless of the way, every thesis has to be supported by a promotor (full university professor who has the role of principal advisor) before it can be submitted. The written thesis is subjected to review by a committee of experts in the relevant academic field; who either approve or do not approve the submitted thesis. Failures at this stage are rare as the supervisors will hold back submission (causing delay beyond the 4 years) rather than allow a substandard thesis to be submitted. The supervisors, and especially the promotor lose face with her/his colleagues allowing a substandard thesis to be submitted; thus gaining supervisor approval is in practice the more demanding requirement. After approval by the reviewers, the candidate will print typically 100-300 copies of the thesis and send that to colleagues, friends and family with an invitation to the public defense. The doctoral degree is awarded in a formal, public, defense session (failure during this session is in theory possible but in practice this never happens). The defense last exactly the assigned time slote (45 minutes or 1 hour exactly depending on the University) after which the defense is stopped by the pedel who interrupts ongoing questioning by entering the room and announcing that the time is past in Latin (Hora Est). At this stage the candidate is allowed to stop the defense even midsentence, although in practice a short one sentence wrap up is usually given. If one of the examiners is still phrasing a question, no answer will be given.

The doctor title is the highest academic degree one can attain in the Netherlands. There is only one title "doctor", which is equivalent to PhD. However, the three Dutch universities of technology (Eindhoven University of Technology
Eindhoven University of Technology
The ' is a university of technology located in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The motto of the university is: Mens agitat molem . The university was the second of its kind in the Netherlands, only Delft University of Technology existed previously. Until mid-1980 it was known as the...

, Technical University Delft, and University of Twente) do award a Professional Doctorate in Engineering
Professional Doctorate in Engineering
The Professional Doctorate in Engineering is a name awarded to graduates of engineering programs that develop their students' capabilities to work within a professional context. These programs focus on applied techniques in their respective engineering fields...

 (PDEng
Professional Doctorate in Engineering
The Professional Doctorate in Engineering is a name awarded to graduates of engineering programs that develop their students' capabilities to work within a professional context. These programs focus on applied techniques in their respective engineering fields...

).

In the Netherlands, although the title doctor (dr.) is informally called PhD, there is no such thing as a PhD degree; there is the title doctor (dr.) instead of PhD. Seeing that all other university titles (BSc/BBa/LL.B/BA M.Sc/MBA/LL.M/MA) are protected by law but PhD is not it follows that any person can call himself PhD in the Netherlands without having obtained that title. Calling oneself "Doctor" without having a doctorate is fraud though. For people who obtained a degree in a foreign country to be allowed to use the Dutch title drs. mr. ir. or dr. a request has to be made at the Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs though according to the opportunity principle there is little incentive to punish such fraud. Dutch doctors may use the letter D behind their name instead of the shortcut dr. before their name.

Those who have multiple doctor (dr.) titles may use dr.mult. before their own name. Those who have received honoris causa doctorates may use dr.h.c. before their own name.

In Flanders (the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium) the system is very similar, except the doctorandus title was only awarded to those who actually started their doctoral work. Doctorandus is still used as a synonym for a PhD student. The licentiaat (licencee) tittle was in use for a regular graduate until the Bologna reform changed the kandidaat to bachelor and licentiaat to master.

Pakistan

Research Degrees are PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) awarded after extensive research work. To get admission in PhD you must be admitted to the MPhil program for which you need to pass NTS or GRE and should have good grades throughout your career. Exemption from MPhil is possible if you have MS from a reputable University.

Professional Degree / Terminal Degree is awarded in Pharmacy i.e. Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD, a five (5) year course of study) which requires accreditation of the School / Faculty of Pharmacy by Pakistan Pharmacy Council. It is the only Professional Degree in Pharmacy awarded in Pakistan replacing Bachelor of Pharmacy degree ( a four (4) year course of study.

Poland

The Polish system is similar to the one adopted in Germany, with Ph.D. as a first level doctorate and habilitation
Habilitation
Habilitation is the highest academic qualification a scholar can achieve by his or her own pursuit in several European and Asian countries. Earned after obtaining a research doctorate, such as a PhD, habilitation requires the candidate to write a professorial thesis based on independent...

 (habilitacja) as second. The award of the title of doktor (Ph.D.) is usually preceded by 4–5 years of doctoral study (a post-graduate study offered at most universities, during which candidate is employed by this university and is usually obligated to teach some classes) and a doctoral exam. Doctoral studies usually consist of seminars, lectures, research and teaching. In order to become a doktor habilitowany (i.e. to be awarded a second level doctorate) a candidate has to publish a dissertation that is the culmination of several years of deep field studies, as well as have a recognized research record. While, according to current Polish law, candidates without habilitation
Habilitation
Habilitation is the highest academic qualification a scholar can achieve by his or her own pursuit in several European and Asian countries. Earned after obtaining a research doctorate, such as a PhD, habilitation requires the candidate to write a professorial thesis based on independent...

 are theoretically eligible to become professors, in practice it is extremely rare. Since 1993 only Master-degree holders are allowed to become a doctor, while prior to that time it was possible (but rare) to gain doctorate without Master studies (for example Stefan Banach
Stefan Banach
Stefan Banach was a Polish mathematician who worked in interwar Poland and in Soviet Ukraine. He is generally considered to have been one of the 20th century's most important and influential mathematicians....

).

First, a prospective doctor must have published some works (articles, books). To become a doctor one needs to go through the process called doctoral proceedings (przewód doktorski). This proceedings include the writing of a dissertation (varying in length), which then must be accepted by a panel of professors during a so-called defence of the dissertation (obrona pracy doktorskiej). There are several other requirements, like passing an exam in a foreign language and subject related to the dissertation title.

The title of a first level doctor is abbreviated as dr (without a full stop) before the surname of a person, e.g. dr Kowalski and a second level dr hab.. After becoming a doctor mgr is omitted, e.g. mgrdr, mgr inż.dr inż..

Doktor is also a common form of addressing a physician, but that does not indicate that the person actually holds a doctoral degree. Doctors of medicine have the abbreviation dr n. med. (doctor of medical science) before or after their surname.

Other specific doctoral titles include dr inż. (doctor of engineering) and dr n. farm (doctor of pharmaceutical science). Dr n.hum. means doctor of humanities (incl. psychology and sociology), but is rarely used to differentiate from doctors of other fields. All other doctorates have no indications of their field.

Portugal

  • Doutor (Doctor)

All doctoral programs are of research nature. Usually 3 or 4 years of study are required, mostly as a period of research. The student must write his (or her) thesis presenting a new discovery or original contribution to Science. If approved by his/her "supervisor", the study will be presented to a panel of distinguished scholars. If approved, he or she will receive the doctorate.
  • Title "Dr." and "Doutor"

In Portugal and in the African Countries of Portuguese Official Language it is common to use the title "Dr." (supposedly the abbreviation of "Doutor") in reference to people with "Licenciatura" or "Mestrado" degrees.
Thus "Doutor" is commonly used in the extended form to denote someone with a doctorate. "Professor Doutor" is used with professional career teaching doctorates, usually university professors).

Before the Bologna Process
Bologna process
The purpose of the Bologna Process is the creation of the European Higher Education Area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe, in particular under the Lisbon Recognition Convention...

 reform, a "Licenciatura" was something between a Bachelor ("Bacharelato" in Portugal) and it represented 4 to 6 years of graduate studies.

After the Bologna Process
Bologna process
The purpose of the Bologna Process is the creation of the European Higher Education Area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe, in particular under the Lisbon Recognition Convention...

 reform in Portugal, the new "Licenciatura" degree is equivalent to the old "Bacharelato" (Bachelor with 3 or 4 years). There are also the "Mestrado" (Master degree) and the "Mestrado Integrado" (integrated Bachelor and Master degree with 5 or 6 years, required for access to some professional fields).
Some professionals have, however, different titles. For example: "Eng." (Engenheiro, such as the Master of Engineering), "Arq." (Arquitecto, Architect). The term "Dr." in Portugal is used for people from other professional fields.

Russia

Many post-Soviet countries, including Russian Federation, have a two-stage research degree obtaining path, generally similar to the doctorate system in Europe. The first stage is named "Kandidat
Kandidat
The Candidate of Sciences degree is a first post-graduate scientific degree in some former Eastern Bloc countries, such as Russia and Ukraine, which is awarded for original research that constitutes a significant contribution to a scientific field. The degree was first introduced in the USSR on...

(Кандидат наук) of <...> Sciences"
(literal translation means "Candidate of Sciences",) (for instance, Kandidat
Kandidat
The Candidate of Sciences degree is a first post-graduate scientific degree in some former Eastern Bloc countries, such as Russia and Ukraine, which is awarded for original research that constitutes a significant contribution to a scientific field. The degree was first introduced in the USSR on...

 of Medical Sciences, of Chemical Sciences, of Philological Sciences, and so on). The Kandidat of Sciences degree is usually recognised as an equivalent of Philosophy Doctor (Ph.D.) degree and requires at least (and typically more than) three, four or five years of post-graduate research which is finished by defence of Dissertation or rarely - thesis. Additionally, a seeker of the degree has to pass three examinations (a so-called "Kandidate's minimum"): in his/her special field, in a foreign language, and in the history and philosophy of science. After additional certification by the corresponding experts, the Kandidat degree may be recognized internationally as an equivalent of Ph.D. (An unconditional Ph.D. equivalence has been recognized before the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

, and the additional certification in many countries has become required after the steep increase flow of post-Soviet emigration.) The second stage, Doktor nauk
Doktor nauk
Doktor nauk is a higher doctoral degree, the second and the highest post-graduate academic degree in the Soviet Union, Russia and in many post-Soviet states. Sometimes referred to as Dr. Hab. The prerequisite is the first degree, Kandidat nauk which is informally regarded equivalent to Ph.D....

, "Doctor of <...> Sciences". It requires many years of research experience and writing of a second dissertation. The degrees of Kandidat and Doktor of Sciences are only awarded by the special governmental agency (Higher Attestation Commission
Higher Attestation Commission
Higher Attestation Commission is a name of a national government agency in Russia, Ukraine and some other post-Soviet states that oversees awarding of advanced academic degrees...

); a university or a scientific institute where the thesis was defended can only recommend to award a seeker the sought degree.

Spain

Doctor degrees are regulated by Royal Decree (R.D. 778/1998), Real Decreto (in Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

). They are granted by the University on behalf of the King, and its Diploma has the force of a public document. The Ministry of Science keeps a National Registry of Theses called TESEO. According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), less than 5% of M.Sc. degree holders are admitted to Ph.D. programs.

All doctoral programs are of research nature. A minimum of 5 years of study are required, divided into 2 stages:
  1. A 3-year long period of studies, which concludes with a public dissertation presented to a panel of 3 Professors. If the project receives approval from the university, he/she will receive a "Diploma de Estudios Avanzados" (part qualified doctor, equivalent to M.Sc.).
  2. A 2-year (or longer) period of research. Extensions may be requested for up to 10 years. The student must write his thesis presenting a new discovery or original contribution to Science. If approved by his "thesis director", the study will be presented to a panel of 5 distinguished scholars. Any Doctor attending the public defense is allowed to challenge the candidate with questions on his research. If approved, he will receive the doctorate. Four marks can be granted: Unsatisfactory (Suspenso), Pass (Aprobado), Remarkable (Notable), "Cum laude" (Sobresaliente), and "Summa cum laude" (Sobresaliente Cum Laude). Those Doctors granted their degree "Summa Cum Laude" are allowed to apply for an "Extraordinary Award".


A Doctor degree is required in order to apply to a teaching position at the University.

The social standing of Doctors in Spain is evidenced by the fact that only Ph.D.
Ph.D.
A Ph.D. is a Doctor of Philosophy, an academic degree.Ph.D. may also refer to:* Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*Piled Higher and Deeper, a web comic strip*PhD: Phantasy Degree, a Korean comic series* PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

 holders, Grandees and Duke
Duke
A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

s can take seat and cover their heads in the presence of the King.

Complutense University was the sole university in Spain authorized to confer the Doctor degree on any scholar. This law remained in effect until 1954, when the authorization was extended to the University of Salamanca
University of Salamanca
The University of Salamanca is a Spanish higher education institution, located in the town of Salamanca, west of Madrid. It was founded in 1134 and given the Royal charter of foundation by King Alfonso IX in 1218. It is the oldest founded university in Spain and the third oldest European...

 in commemoration of its septecentenary. This made the degree of Doctor all the more unique and prestigious in social circles. In 1970, the right was extended to all Spanish universities, ending the monopoly of Complutense University over this distinction.

All Doctorate Degree holders are reciprocally recognized as equivalent in Germany and Spain ("Bonn Agreement of November 14, 1994").

United Kingdom

All doctorates (except for those awarded honoris causa) granted by British universities are research doctorates in the sense described above, in that their main (and in many cases only) component is the submission of a thesis or portfolio of original research, examined by an expert panel appointed by the university. The Quality Assurance Agency
Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
Established in 1997, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education works to ensure that higher education qualifications in the United Kingdom are of a sound standard. It protects the public interest by checking how universities and colleges maintain their academic standards and quality...

 (for England, Wales and Northern Ireland but not Scotland) states:


Even the relatively new 'vocational doctorates' such as the EngD, EdD
Edd
-Science and medicine:* Experimental Design Diagram* Electron-detachment dissociation, a fragmentation technique* Expected Date of Delivery, the estimated date when a woman will give birth* End-diastolic dimension-Technology:...

, DSocSci
Doctor of Social Science
The Doctorate of Social Science is a higher qualification offered by select universities, which serves as a doctoral level qualification specifically relating to academic work in the field of social sciences....

, DCrimJ and DClinPsych
Doctor of Clinical Psychology
The degree of Doctor of Clinical Psychology is a professional doctorate in clinical psychology, awarded mainly in the United Kingdom. The degree has both clinical and research components, and qualifies the holder to practice as a clinical psychologist in Britain's National Health Service and other...

 require the submission of a body of original research of a similar length to a PhD thesis. In the case of the EngD, however, this might be in the form of a portfolio of technical reports on different research projects undertaken by the candidate as opposed to a single, long monographical thesis. Another important difference is that traditional PhD programs are mostly academic-oriented and normally require full-time study at the university, whereas, in an EngD program, the candidate typically works full-time for an industrial sponsor on application-oriented topics of direct interest to the partner company and is jointly supervised by university faculty members and company employees.

The PhD itself is a comparatively recent introduction to the UK, dating from 1917. It was originally introduced in order to provide a similar level of graduate research training as was available in several other countries, notably Germany and the USA. Previously, the only doctorates available were the higher doctorates, awarded in recognition of an illustrious research career.

The universities of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

, Sussex
University of Sussex
The University of Sussex is an English public research university situated next to the East Sussex village of Falmer, within the city of Brighton and Hove. The University received its Royal Charter in August 1961....

 and Buckingham
University of Buckingham
The University of Buckingham is an independent, non-sectarian, research and teaching university located in Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England, on the banks of the River Great Ouse. It was originally founded as Buckingham University College in the 1970s and received its Royal Charter from the...

 denote the degree of Doctor of Philosophy with the postnominal initials DPhil. The University of York
University of York
The University of York , is an academic institution located in the city of York, England. Established in 1963, the campus university has expanded to more than thirty departments and centres, covering a wide range of subjects...

 also did this for some years, switching to the more conventional PhD quite recently.

In UK the Doctorate is a qualification awarded at NVQ level 5 or QCF level 8 in the national qualifications framework. http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/qualification-and-assessment-framework/89-articles/250-explaining-the-national-qualifications-framework

Higher doctorates in the United Kingdom

Higher doctorates are awarded in recognition of a substantial body of original research undertaken over the course of many years. Typically the candidate will submit a collection of work which has been previously published in a peer-refereed context and pay an examination fee. The university then assembles a committee of academics both internal and external who review the work submitted and decide on whether the candidate deserves the doctorate based on the submission.

Most universities restrict candidacy to graduates or academic staff of several years' standing. The most common doctorates of this type are those in Divinity
Doctor of Divinity
Doctor of Divinity is an advanced academic degree in divinity. Historically, it identified one who had been licensed by a university to teach Christian theology or related religious subjects....

 (DD), Laws (LLD), Civil Law
Doctor of Civil Law
Doctor of Civil Law is a degree offered by some universities, such as the University of Oxford, instead of the more common Doctor of Laws degrees....

 (DCL), Music
Doctor of Music
The Doctor of Music degree , like other doctorates, is an academic degree of the highest level. The D.Mus. is intended for musicians and composers who wish to combine the highest attainments in their area of specialization with doctoral-level academic study in music...

 (DMus or MusD), Letters
Doctor of Letters
Doctor of Letters is a university academic degree, often a higher doctorate which is frequently awarded as an honorary degree in recognition of outstanding scholarship or other merits.-Commonwealth:...

 (DLitt or LittD) and Science
Doctor of Science
Doctor of Science , usually abbreviated Sc.D., D.Sc., S.D. or Dr.Sc., is an academic research degree awarded in a number of countries throughout the world. In some countries Doctor of Science is the name used for the standard doctorate in the sciences, elsewhere the Sc.D...

 (DSc or ScD). Note, however, that the doctorate in medicine (MD or DMed) in most British universities is a research doctorate by thesis, and is shorter than a PhD (usually 2 years (pro rata for full time) rather than 3 for a PhD), and is awarded by a Faculty of Medicine. In order to be eligible to apply for an MD degree in the UK one must already hold a entry level medical degree (MBBS, MBChB, BMed, or an American MD). In the University of London, the consequent gap in higher doctorates is filled with the degree of DSc(Med), which ranks with the LLD, DMus, etc.

Of these, the DD historically ranked highest, theology being the senior faculty in the mediaeval universities. The degree of Doctor of Canon Law
Doctor of Canon Law
Doctor of Canon Law is the doctoral-level terminal degree in the studies of canon law of the Roman Catholic Church.It may also be abbreviated I.C.D. or dr.iur.can. , ICDr., D.C.L., D.Cnl., D.D.C., or D.Can.L. . Doctor of both laws are J.U.D...

 was next in the order of precedence, but (except for a brief revival during the reign of Mary Tudor
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

) did not survive the Protestant reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, a consequence of the fact that the teaching of canon law at Cambridge and Oxford was forbidden by Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

, founder
History of the Church of England
The history of the Church of England has its origins in the last five years of the 6th century in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent, and the Gregorian mission of Saint Augustine. The Church of England emphasises continuity through apostolic succession and traditionally looks to these early events for...

 of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

. The DMus was, historically, in an anomalous situation, since a candidate was not required to be a member of Convocation
Convocation
A Convocation is a group of people formally assembled for a special purpose.- University use :....

 (that is, to be a Master of Arts
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

). The DLitt and DSc are relatively recent innovations, dating from the latter part of the 19th century.

Honorary doctorates in the United Kingdom

Most British universities award degrees honoris causa in order to recognise individuals who have made a substantial contribution to a particular field. Usually an appropriate higher doctorate is used in these circumstances, depending on the achievements of the candidate. However, some universities, in order to differentiate between honorary and substantive doctorates, have introduced the degree of Doctor of the University (DUniv) for these purposes, and reserve the higher doctorates for formal academic research.

Research doctorates in the United States

The most common research doctorate is the Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

 (Ph.D.). This degree was first awarded in the U.S. at the 1861 Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 commencement. The University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

 followed shortly thereafter in 1871, while Cornell
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 (1872), Harvard (1873), and Princeton
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

 (1879) also followed suit. Unlike the introduction of the professional doctorate M.D., there was considerable controversy and opposition over the introduction of the Ph.D. into the U.S. educational system, even through the 1950s, as it was seen as an unnecessary artificial transplant from a foreign educational system (that of Germany), which corrupted a system based on the Oxbridge model of England.

The requirements for obtaining Ph.D.s and other research doctorates in the U.S. typically entail successful completion of pertinent classes, passing of a comprehensive examination
Comprehensive examination
A comprehensive examination , often abbreviated as "comps," is a specific type of examination that must be completed by graduate students in some disciplines and courses of study...

, and defense of a dissertation.

The mean number of years to completion of doctoral degrees for all fields in the US is seven. Students are often discouraged from taking unnecessarily long to graduate by having their financial support (stipend
Stipend
A stipend is a form of salary, such as for an internship or apprenticeship. It is often distinct from a wage or a salary because it does not necessarily represent payment for work performed, instead it represents a payment that enables somebody to be exempt partly or wholly from waged or salaried...

s, research funds, etc.) relinquished and/or by being required to re-take comprehensive exams. Furthermore, doctoral applicants were previously required to have a master's degree
Master's degree
A master's is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice...

, but many programs will now accept students immediately following their undergraduate studies. Many programs simply gauge the potential of a student applying to their program and will give them a master's degree upon completion of the necessary Ph.D course work. When so admitted, the student is expected to have mastered the material covered in the masters degree even though the student does not officially hold a masters degree. Once the person has finished Ph.D qualifying exams he/she is considered a Ph.D candidate, and may begin work on his/her dissertation.

The International Affairs Office of the U.S. Department of Education lists over 20 frequently awarded research doctorate degree titles accepted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as representing degrees equivalent in research content to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. They are:

Doctor of Arts (D.A./D. Arts),
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.),
Doctor of Church Music (D.C.M.),
Doctor of Canon Law (J.C.D./D.C.L.),
Doctor of Design (D.Des.),
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.),
Doctor of Engineering (D.Eng./D.E.Sc./D.E.S.),
Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.),
Doctor of Health Science (D.H.Sc.),
Doctor of Hebrew Letters (D.H.L.),
Doctor of Industrial Technology (D.I.T.),
Doctor of Juridical Science (J.S.D./S.J.D.),
Doctor of Management (D.M.),
Doctor of Music (D.M.),
Doctor of Musical/Music Arts (D.M.A./A.Mus.D./D.Mus.A.),
Doctor of Music Education (D.M.E.),
Doctor of Modern Languages (D.M.L.),
Doctor of Nursing Science (D.N.Sc.),
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.)
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.),
Doctor of Public Administration (D.P.A.),
Doctor of Physical Education (D.P.E.),
Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.),
Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.),
Doctor of Biblical Studies (D.B.S.),
Doctor of Science (D.Sc./Sc.D.),
Doctor of Social Work (D.S.W.), and
Doctor of Theology (Th.D.).

Professional doctorates in the United States

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 numerous fields of study have professional doctorates, such as law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, teaching, naturopathic medicine
Naturopathic medicine
Naturopathy, or Naturopathic Medicine, is a form of alternative medicine based on a belief in vitalism, which posits that a special energy called vital energy or vital force guides bodily processes such as metabolism, reproduction, growth, and adaptation...

, osteopathic medicine
Osteopathic medicine
Osteopathic medicine is a branch of the medical profession in the United States. Osteopathic physicians, known as DOs, are licensed to practice medicine and surgery in all 50 states and are recognized in forty-seven other countries, including most Canadian provinces.Frontier physician Andrew Taylor...

, dentistry
Dentistry
Dentistry is the branch of medicine that is involved in the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body. Dentistry is widely considered...

, advanced practice registered nurse, optometry
Optometry
Optometry is a health care profession concerned with eyes and related structures, as well as vision, visual systems, and vision information processing in humans. Optometrists, or Doctors of Optometry, are state licensed medical professionals trained to prescribe and fit lenses to improve vision,...

, chiropractic
Chiropractic
Chiropractic is a health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. It is generally categorized as complementary and alternative medicine...

, pharmacy
Pharmacy
Pharmacy is the health profession that links the health sciences with the chemical sciences and it is charged with ensuring the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs...

, physical therapy
Physical therapy
Physical therapy , often abbreviated PT, is a health care profession. Physical therapy is concerned with identifying and maximizing quality of life and movement potential within the spheres of promotion, prevention, diagnosis, treatment/intervention,and rehabilitation...

, psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

, health science, public health
Public health
Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals" . It is concerned with threats to health based on population health...

 and many others that usually require such degrees for licensure
Licensure
Licensure refers to the granting of a license, which gives a "permission to practice." Such licenses are usually issued in order to regulate some activity that is deemed to be dangerous or a threat to the person or the public or which involves a high level of specialized skill...

. Some of these degrees are also termed "first professional degree
First professional degree
A professional degree prepares the holder for a particular profession by emphasizing competency skills along with theory and analysis. These professions are typically licensed or otherwise regulated by a governmental or government-approved body...

s," since they are also the first degree in their field.

Professional doctorates were developed in the United States in the 19th century during a movement to improve the training of professionals by raising the requirements for entry and completion of the degree necessary to enter the profession. These first professional degree
First professional degree
A professional degree prepares the holder for a particular profession by emphasizing competency skills along with theory and analysis. These professions are typically licensed or otherwise regulated by a governmental or government-approved body...

s were created to help strengthen professional training programs. The first professional doctorate to be offered in the United States was the M.D.
Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine is a doctoral degree for physicians. The degree is granted by medical schools...

 in 1767 by Columbia University which was nearly one hundred years before the first Ph.D. was awarded in the U.S. in 1861. The Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.The degree was first awarded by Harvard University in the United States in the late 19th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree Juris Doctor (see etymology and...

 (J.D.) was subsequently established by Harvard University for the same reasons that the M.D. was established. A Doctor of Pharmacy is awarded as the Terminal/Professional degree in Pharmacy replacing BS in Pharmacy. It is the only Professional Pharmacy Degree awarded in the US and the Pharmacy School needs accreditation of American Council on Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Pharmacy programs vary in length between 4-6 years depending if a matriculating student has earned a BS/BA or not.

Recently there has been a trend for introducing professional doctorates in other fields as well, including the Doctor of Audiology
Doctor of Audiology
The Doctor of Audiology is a first professional degree for an audiologist. The Au.D. program is designed to produce audiologists who are skilled in providing diagnostic, rehabilitative, and other services associated with hearing, balance, and related audiological fields. There is an emphasis on...

 in 2007. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses are expected to completely transition to the Doctor of Nursing Practice by 2015 and physical therapy to the Doctor of Physical Therapy
Doctor of Physical Therapy
The Doctor of Physical Therapy or Doctor of Physiotherapy is a post-baccalaureate three-year degree conferred upon successful completion of a professional clinical doctoral level professional or post-professional physical therapist education program for the licensed physical therapist...

 by 2020.
Profession Professional doctorate in the United States First awarded
Allopathic Physician Medicinae Doctor and Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine is a doctoral degree for physicians. The degree is granted by medical schools...

 (M.D.)
1767
Osteopathic Physician Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine is a professional doctoral degree for physicians in the United States. Holders of the MD degree, Doctor of Medicine, have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as osteopathic physicians in the United States.The American Osteopathic Association’s Commission...

 (D.O.)
1892
Chiropractor Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.)
Dentist Doctor of Dental Surgery
Doctor of Dental Surgery
There are a number of first professional degrees in dentistry offered by schools in various countries around the world. These include the following:* Doctor of Dental Surgery * Doctor of Dental Medicine * Bachelor of Dentistry...

 (D.D.S) and Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.)
Occupational Therapy Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.)
Physical Therapy Doctor of Physical Therapy
Doctor of Physical Therapy
The Doctor of Physical Therapy or Doctor of Physiotherapy is a post-baccalaureate three-year degree conferred upon successful completion of a professional clinical doctoral level professional or post-professional physical therapist education program for the licensed physical therapist...

 (D.P.T)
Podiatrist Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.)
Pharmacist Doctor of Pharmacy
Doctor of Pharmacy
A Doctor of Pharmacy is a professional doctorate degree in pharmacy. In some countries, it is a first professional degree, and a prerequisite for licensing to exercise the profession of pharmacist.-Kenya :...

 (PharmD),(PD),(DrPh)and(DPh)
Government Doctor of Public Administration
Doctor of Public Administration
The Doctor of Public Administration is a terminal applied-research doctoral degree in the field of public administration , which is a sub-discipline of political science. The D.P.A. requires significant coursework beyond the masters level and a dissertation that contributes to theory or practice...

 (D.P.A.)
Veterinarian Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) and Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris (V.M.D.)
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Doctor of Nursing Practice or Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNP or DNAP) 2005
Optometrist Doctor of Optometry (O.D.)
Audiologist Doctor of Audiology
Doctor of Audiology
The Doctor of Audiology is a first professional degree for an audiologist. The Au.D. program is designed to produce audiologists who are skilled in providing diagnostic, rehabilitative, and other services associated with hearing, balance, and related audiological fields. There is an emphasis on...

 (Au.D.)
1996
Lawyer Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.The degree was first awarded by Harvard University in the United States in the late 19th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree Juris Doctor (see etymology and...

 or Doctor of Law or Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.)
1870
Physician Assistant Doctor of Science Physician Assistant (DScPA)
Health Science Doctor of Health Science
Doctor of Health Science
The Doctor of Health Science is a post-professional academic degree for those who intend to pursue or advance a professional practice career in Health Arts and Sciences, and Health Care Delivery Systems, to include clinical practice, education, administration, and research. Individuals who...

 (D.H.Sc.)
Public Health Doctor of Public Health (Dr.PH.)
Minister/Clergy Doctor of Ministry
Doctor of Ministry
The Doctor of Ministry degree is, according to The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada , a doctoral level degree oriented toward ministerial leadership often in an area of applied theology, such as missions, evangelism, church leadership, pastoral psychology or the...

 (D.Min.), Doctor of Practical Theology
Doctor of Practical Theology
The Doctor of Practical Theology is an advanced professional degree for professionals serving Church, non-profit, public, and private sector organizations, seeking to apply theological principles to their professional practice. The typical degree candidate is a part-time student who continues...

 (D.P.T. or D.Th.P.) or Doctor of Biblical Studies
Doctor of Biblical Studies
Doctor of Biblical Studies is a doctoral level advanced professional degree in applied theology for practitioners seeking to increase knowledge and understanding of biblical and theological principles for their professional ministry....

 (D.B.S)
Psychologist Doctor of Psychology
Doctor of Psychology
The Doctor of Psychology degree is a professional doctorate earned through one of two established training models for clinical psychology...

 (Psy.D.)
Law and Policy Doctor of Law and Policy (L.P.D.)
College Teaching Doctor of Arts (D.Arts/D.A.)
Management Doctor of Management (D.Mgt.)
Management Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership (DM)
Management Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership/Information Systems Technology (DM/IST)

See also

  • List of fields of doctoral studies
  • First professional degree
    First professional degree
    A professional degree prepares the holder for a particular profession by emphasizing competency skills along with theory and analysis. These professions are typically licensed or otherwise regulated by a governmental or government-approved body...

  • Eurodoctorate
  • Compilation thesis
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK