The Full Wiki

Doctor of Philosophy: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated PhD (also Ph.D.), for the Latin , meaning "teacher of philosophy", or alternatively, DPhil, Dr. phil. or similar, for the equivalent , is an advanced academic degree awarded by universities. In many English-speaking countries, the PhD is the highest degree one can earn and applies to graduates in a wide array of disciplines in the sciences and humanities. The PhD or equivalent has become a requirement for a career as a university professor or researcher in most fields.

The detailed requirements for award of a PhD degree vary throughout the world. In some countries (the US, Canada, Denmark, for example), most universities require coursework in addition to research for PhD degrees. In many other countries (such as the UK) there is generally no such condition. It is not uncommon, however, for individual universities or departments to specify additional requirements for students not already in possession of a master's degree.

In countries requiring coursework, there is usually a prescribed minimum amount of study — typically two to three years full time, or a set number of credit hours — which must take place before submission of a thesis. This requirement is usually waived for those submitting a portfolio of peer-reviewed published work. The candidate may also be required to successfully complete a certain number of additional, advanced courses relevant to his or her area of specialization.

A candidate must submit a thesis or dissertation consisting of a suitable body of original academic research, which is in principle worthy of publication in a peer-refereed context. In many countries a candidate must defend this work before a panel of expert examiners appointed by the university; in other countries, the dissertation is examined by a panel of expert examiners who stipulate whether the dissertation is in principle passable and the issues that need to be addressed before the dissertation can be passed.

Universities in the non–English-speaking world have begun adopting similar standards to those of the Anglophone PhD degree for their research doctorates (see the Bologna process).

The doctorate was extended to philosophy in the European universities in the Middle Ages which generally placed all academic disciplines outside the professional fields of theology, medicine and law under the broad heading of "philosophy" (or "natural philosophy" when referring to science).According to Wellington, Bathmaker, Hunt, McCullough and Sikes (2005), the first Doctor of Philosophy degree was awarded in Paris in 1150, but not until the early nineteenth century, following the practice in Germany, did the degree acquire its modern status as an advanced research degree. As Wellington et al. explain, prior to the nineteenth century professional doctoral degrees could only be awarded in theology (ThD), law (JD), or medicine (MD). In 1861, Yale Universitymarker adopted the Germanmarker practice (first introduced in the 19th century at the Berlin Universitymarker) of granting the degree to younger students who had completed a prescribed course of graduate study and successfully defended a thesis/dissertation containing original research in science or in the humanities.

From the United Statesmarker the degree spread to Canadamarker in 1900, and then to the United Kingdommarker in 1917. This displaced the existing Doctor of Philosophy degree in some universities; for instance, the DPhil (higher doctorate in the faculty of philosophy) at the University of St Andrewsmarker was discontinued and replaced with the PhD (research doctorate). Oxfordmarker retained the DPhil abbreviation for their research degrees. Some newer UK universities, for example Buckinghammarker (est. 1976), Sussexmarker (est. 1961), and, until a few years ago, Yorkmarker (est. 1963), chose to adopt the DPhil, as did some universities in New Zealandmarker.

Doctor of Philosophy degrees across the globe

Ph.D. degrees are awarded under different circumstances and with different requirements in many different countries.

Australia and New Zealand


Admission to a Ph.D. program within Australia and New Zealand requires the prospective student to have completed a bachelor's degree with an honours component or a higher degree, such as a post graduate master's degree by research or a master's degree by course work.

In most disciplines, honours require an extra year of study including a large research component in addition to coursework; however, in some disciplines such as engineering, law and pharmacy, honours are automatically awarded to high achievers of the normal four-year program. To obtain a Ph.D. position, students must usually gain first class honours, but may sometimes be admitted with upper second class honours. Alternatively, a student who fails to achieve first or second class Honours may apply for a research masters course (usually 12–18 months) and upgrade to a Ph.D. program after the first year, pending sufficient improvement.


In both Australia and New Zealandmarker, Ph.D. students are sometimes offered a scholarship to study for their Ph.D. degree. The most common of these in Australia is the government-funded Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), which provides a living stipend to students of approximately AU$ 20,000 a year (tax free). Most universities in both countries also offer a similar scholarship that matches the APA amount, but are funded by the university. In recent years, with the tightening of research funding in Australia, these scholarships have become increasingly hard to obtain. Due to a continual increase to living costs, many Ph.D. students are forced to live under the poverty line,. In addition to the more common APA and University scholarships, Australian and New Zealand students also have other sources of funding in their Ph.D. degree. These could include, but are not limited to, scholarships offered by schools, research centres and commercial enterprise. For the latter, the amount is determined between the university and the organisation, but is quite often set at the APA (Industry) rate, roughly AU$7,000 more than the usual APA rate. Australian and New Zealand students are often also able to tutor undergraduate classes and do guest lectures (much like a teaching assistant in the USA) to generate income. An Australian or New Zealand Ph.D. scholarship is paid for a duration of 3 years, while a 6 month extension is usually possible upon citing delays out of the control of the student.

Australian-citizen and other eligible Ph.D. and Research Masters students in Australia are not charged course fees as these are paid for by the Australian Government under the Research Training Scheme. International students and Coursework Masters students must pay course fees, unless they receive a scholarship to cover them. In order to attract top international doctoral students, the New Zealandmarker government reduced international doctoral fees to the domestic fee level in 2006.

Requirements for Completion

Completion requirements vary by school, however all require completion of an original research thesis or dissertation that makes a significant new contribution to the field. Most Australian and New Zealand PhD programmes do not have a required coursework component, or a formal oral defense as part of the doctoral examination (largely due to distances that would need to be travelled by the overseas examiners). The PhD thesis is sent to three external examiners, experts in the field of research, who have not been involved in the work. Examiners are nominated by the candidate's University (often by the Head of Department or Research Office), and their identities are often not officially revealed to the candidate until the examination is complete.



In the Latin American docta, the admission to a Ph.D. program at an Argentine University requires the full completion of a Master's degree or a Licentiate's degree. Non-Argentinian Master's titles are generally accepted into a Ph.D. program when the degree comes from a recognized university.


While a significant portion of postgraduate students finance their tuition and living costs with teaching or research work at private and state-run institutions, international institutions, such as the Fullbright Program and the Organization of American States (OAS), have been known to grant full scholarships for tuition with apportions for housing.

Requirements for completion

Upon completion of at least two years' research and course work as a graduate student, a candidate must demonstrate truthful and original contributions to his or her specific field of knowledge within a frame of academic excellence. The doctoral candidate's work should be presented in a dissertation or thesis prepared under the supervision of a tutor or director, and reviewed by a Doctoral Committee. This Committee should be composed of examiners external to the program, and at least one of them should also be external to the institution. The academic degree of Doctor, respective to the correspondent field of science that the candidate has contributed with original and rigorous research, is received after a successful defense of the candidate’s dissertation.



Admission to a Ph.D. program at a Canadian university may require completion of a Master's degree in a related field, with sufficiently high grades and proven research ability. In some cases, a student may progress directly from an Honours Bachelor's degree to a Ph.D. program. The student usually submits an application package including a research proposal, letters of reference, transcripts, and in some cases, a sample of the student's writing. A common criterion for prospective Ph.D students is the comprehensive or qualifying examination, a process that often commences in the second year of a graduate program. Generally, successful completion of the qualifying exam permits continuance in the graduate program. Formats for this examination include oral examination by the student's faculty committee (or a separate qualifying committee), or written tests designed to demonstrate the student's knowledge in a specialized area (see below).

At English-speaking universities, a student may also be required to demonstrate English language abilities, usually by achieving an acceptable score on a standard examination (e.g., Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)). Depending on the field, the student may also be required to demonstrate ability in one or more additional languages. A prospective student applying to French-speaking universities may also have to demonstrate some English language ability.


While some students work outside the university (or at student jobs within the university), in some programs students are advised (or must agree) not to devote more than ten hours per week to activities (i.e., employment) outside of their studies, particularly if they have been given funding. For large and prestigious scholarships, such as those from NSERC, this is an absolute requirement.

At some Canadian universities, most Ph.D. students receive an award equivalent to the tuition amount for the first four years (this is sometimes called a tuition deferral or tuition waiver). Other sources of funding include teaching assistantships and research assistantships; experience as a teaching assistant is encouraged but not requisite in many programs. Some programs may require all Ph.D. candidates to teach, which may be done under the supervision of their supervisor or regular faculty.

Besides these sources of funding, there are also various competitive scholarships, bursaries, and awards available, such as those offered by the federal government via NSERC, CIHR, or SSHRC.

Requirements for completion

In general, the first two years of study are devoted to completion of coursework and the comprehensive examinations. At this stage, the student is known as a "Ph.D. student." It is usually expected that the student will have completed most of his or her required coursework by the end of this stage. Furthermore, it is usually required that by the end of eighteen to thirty-six months after the first registration, the student will have successfully completed the comprehensive exams.

Upon successful completion of the comprehensive exams, the student becomes known as a "Ph.D. candidate." From this stage on, the bulk of the student's time will be devoted to his or her own research, culminating in the completion of a Ph.D. thesis or dissertation. The final requirement is an oral defense of the thesis, which is open to the public in some, but not all, universities.

At most Canadian universities, the time needed to complete a Ph.D. degree typically ranges from four to six years . It is, however, not uncommon for students to be unable to complete all the requirements within six years, particularly given that funding packages often support students for only two to four years; many departments will allow program extensions at the discretion of the thesis supervisor and/or department chair. Alternate arrangements exist whereby a student is allowed to let their registration in the program lapse at the end of six years and re-register once the thesis is completed in draft form. The general rule is that graduate students are obligated to pay tuition until the initial thesis submission has been received by the thesis office. In other words, if a Ph.D. student defers or delays the initial submission of their thesis they remain obligated to pay fees until such time that the thesis has been received in good standing.



Students who want to earn the PhD degree must complete a Master's degree program which lasts for 2 years after graduation with a Bachelor's degree (5 years in total).

The candidate must find a funding and a formal advisor with an habilitation (Directeur de thèse) throughout the doctoral program.

In France, the Masters program is divided into two branches, a "master professionnel" which orientates the students towards the working world. On the other hand, a Master of Research (Master-recherche) orientates the students towards research.The PhD admission is adopted by a graduate school (in French, "école doctorale"), a PhD Student has to follow some courses offered by the graduate school while continuing his/her research at laboratory. His/her research may be carried out in a laboratory, at a university, or in a company. In the last case, the company hires the student as an engineer and the student is supervised by both the company's tutor and a labs' professor. The validation of the PhD degree requires generally 3 to 4 years after the Master degree. Consequently, the Ph.D degree is considered in France as a "Bac +8" diploma ."Bac" stands for Baccalauréat which is the French High-school diploma.


The financing of Ph.D studies comes mainly from funds for research of French Ministry of Research. These grants often depend of the results and the student's file. However, the student can apply for funds from a company who can host him/her at its premise (as in the case where Ph.D students do their research in a company). Many other resources come from some regional/city projects, some associations, etc.



In Germanymarker an above-average degree (Master, Diplom, Magister or Staatsexamen) is usually required to gain admission to a doctoral program. The degree should usually be in a related field. The candidate must also find a tenured professor or Privatdozent to serve as the formal advisor and supervisor (Betreuer) of the dissertation throughout the doctoral program. This supervisor is informally termed "Doktorvater".

Doctoral programs in Germanymarker generally take one to four years to complete (usually three, up to five in Engineering), strongly depending on the subject. Since there are usually no formal classes to attend, and the doctoral candidate mainly conducts independent research under the tutelage of a single professor, a good deal of doctoral candidates work as teaching or research assistants, and are paid a reasonably competitive salary. This is a considerable difference from the situation in many other countries (such as the U. S.), where doctoral candidates are often referred to as Ph.D. "students". For German doctoral candidates, this rather inaccurate term should be avoided, because they do not take formal courses, but are often considered a full member of staff.

However, external funding by research organisations and foundations is also common. Furthermore, many universities have established research-intensive Graduiertenkollegs, which are colleges / graduate schools that provide funding for doctoral theses.

Other countries

In German-speaking countries, most Eastern European countries, the former Soviet Unionmarker, most parts of Africa, Asia, and many Spanish-speaking countries the corresponding degree is simply called "doctor" (Doktor), and is distinguished by subject area with a Latin suffix (e.g. "Dr. med." for , "Dr. rer. nat" for — Doctor of Natural Science, "Dr. phil." for , "Dr. iur." for , etc.).

In the former Soviet Union, the Doctor of Sciences is the higher of two sequential post-graduate degrees, with Candidate of Sciences (Russian - кандидат наук) being universally accepted as the equivalent of the PhD, while the Doctorate is a (Full) Professors' or Academicians' separate and subsequent degree, indicating that the holder is a distinguished, honoured, and outstanding member of the scientific community. It is rarely awarded to those younger than late middle age or lacking in achievement and is a symbol of success in an academic career.


Norway was one of the first countries to introduce the Doctor of Philosophy degree, inspired by the German university system. The degree doctor philosophiae, abbreviated dr. philos., was first awarded in 1847. The degree was used for all other fields than theology, law and medicine, which had separate degrees: doctor theologiae, doctor juris and doctor medicinae. In the late 20th century new degrees were created in the fields of natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, but it was still possible to obtain the dr. philos. degree in any field. As the dr. philos. degree was one of the four original doctoral degrees and much older than the specific degrees in natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, it was considered more prestigious by some. Both the dr. philos. degree and the other degrees required four years of high-level scientific research which significantly contributed to new knowledge of its field. Most people who started at a doctoral degree had already studied for six or seven years and obtained a Candidate degree (six years) or a Magister degree (seven years).

Following a reform in 2003, all the traditional degrees except dr. philos. were abolished, and replaced by a new doctor of philosophy degree, spelled philosophiae doctor and abbreviated ph.d. The scientific standard of the ph.d. degree is lower, as it in most cases only requires three years of research.

The traditional degree dr. philos., equivalent of four years of scientific research, is still awarded to those who qualify for such a degree without being admitted to an organized doctoral programme.


Doctor Degrees are regulated by Royal Decree (R.D. 778/1998), Real Decreto (in Spanish). 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, and less than 10% of 1st year Ph.D. students are finally granted a Doctor title.

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 projects receives approval from the university, he/she will receive a "Diploma de Estudios Avanzados" (part qualified doctor).

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 presentations is allowed to challenge the candidate with questions on his research. If approved, he will receive the doctorate. Four marks can be granted (Unsatisfactory, Pass, "Cum laude", and "Summa 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. holders, Grandees and Dukes can take seat and cover their heads in the presence of the King.All Doctor Degree holders are reciprocally recognized as equivalent in Germany and Spain ("Bonn Agreement of November 14 1994").

United Kingdom


Universities admit applicants to Ph.D. programmes on case by case basis; depending on the university, admission is typically conditional on the prospective student having successfully completed an undergraduate degree with at least upper second-class honours, or a postgraduate master's degree, but requirements can vary. Oxford, for example, claims "The one essential condition of being evidence of previous academic excellence, and of future potential." Commonly, students are first accepted on to an MPhil programme and may transfer to PhD regulations upon satisfactory progress. This is typically done after one or two years, and the research work done can potentially count towards the PhD degree. If a student fails to make satisfactory progress, he or she may be offered the opportunity to write up and submit for an MPhil degree.

In addition, Ph.D. students from countries outside the EU/EFTA area are required to comply with the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), which involves undergoing a security clearance process with the Foreign Officemarker for certain courses in medicine, mathematics and many natural, engineering and material sciences. This requirement was introduced in 2007 due to concerns about terrorism and weapons proliferation.


In the United Kingdommarker, funding for Ph.D. students is sometimes provided by government-funded Research Councils or the European Social Fund, usually in the form of a tax-free bursary which consists of tuition fees together with a stipend of around GBP 12,940 per year for three years (rising to £14,940 per year in London), whether or not the degree continues for longer. Research Council funding is sometimes 'earmarked' for a particular department or research group, who then allocate it to a chosen student, although in doing so they are generally expected to abide by the usual minimum entry requirements (typically a first degree with upper second class honours, although successful completion of a postgraduate master's degree is usually counted as raising the class of the first degree by one division for these purposes). However, the availability of funding in many disciplines (especially humanities, social studies, and pure science subjects) means that in practice only those with the best research proposals, references and backgrounds are likely to be awarded a studentship. The ESRC (Economic and Social Science Research Council) explicitly state that a 2.1 minimum (or 2.2 plus additional masters degree) is required - no additional marks are given for students with a first class honours or a distinction at masters level.

Since 2002, there has been a move by research councils to fund interdisciplinary doctoral training centres such as MOAC which concentrate on communication between traditional disciplines and an emphasis on transferable skills in addition to research training.

Many students who are not in receipt of external funding may choose to undertake the degree part time, thus reducing the tuition fees, as well as creating free time in which to earn money for subsistence.

Students may also take part in tutoring, work as research assistants, or (occasionally) deliver lectures, at a rate of typically £25–30 per hour, either to supplement existing low income or as a sole means of funding.


There is usually a preliminary assessment to remain in the programme, and the thesis is submitted at the end of a 3-4 year program. Because students in the UK specialize in a subject at a much earlier stage in their education, the timeline of 4 years to complete a PhD program is equivalent with the North American PhD. History undergraduates at Oxbridge for example refer to themselves as "historians" (their undergraduate exams similar in breadth and depth to PhD-level coursework in North America), while American undergrads are "history majors." Thus, someone with an American undergrad degree pursuing a PhD in the UK typically is required to complete up to two years (MPhil) of coursework before embarking on a PhD programme. At top UK universities the two-year MPhil is "comparable to the first two years of the PhD programme in the best US universities." The PhD timeline in the humanities, therefore, depending on one's starting point, can typically be 2+4, or six years, especially for students coming from countries where less early specialization takes place. These periods are usually extended pro rata for part-time students. With special dispensation, the final date for the thesis can be extended for up to four additional years, for a total of seven, but this is rare. Since the early 1990s, the UKmarker funding councils have adopted a policy of penalising departments where large proportions of students fail to submit their theses in four years after achieving PhD-student status (or pro rata equivalent) by reducing the number of funded places in subsequent years.

Other doctorates

In the United Kingdommarker Ph.D. degrees are distinct from other doctorates, most notably the higher doctorates such as D.Litt. (Doctor of Letters) or D.Sc. (Doctor of Science), which are granted on the recommendation of a committee of examiners on the basis of a substantial portfolio of submitted (and usually published) research.

Recent years have seen the introduction of professional doctorates, most notably in the fields of engineering (Eng.D.), education (Ed.D.), clinical psychology (D.Clin.Psych.), public administration (D.P.A.), business administration (D.B.A.), and music (D.M.A.). These typically have a more formal taught component consisting of smaller research projects, as well as a 40,000-60,000 word thesis component, which collectively is equivalent to that of a Ph.D. degree.

United States


In the United Statesmarker, the Ph.D. degree is the highest academic degree awarded by universities in most fields of study. The Ph.D. degree is often misunderstood to be synonymous with the term doctorate. While the Ph.D. degree is the most common doctorate, the term doctorate can refer to any number of doctoral degrees in the United States. The U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation recognize numerous doctoral degrees as "equivalent", and do not discriminate between them. In law, for example, these entities recognize the degree of Doctor of Juridical Science (J.S.D.) as the equivalent to the Ph.D.

American students typically undergo a series of three phases in the course of their work toward the Ph.D. degree. The first phase consists of coursework in the student's field of study and requires one to three years to complete. This often is followed by a preliminary, a comprehensive examination, or a series of cumulative examinations where the emphasis is on breadth rather than depth of knowledge. The student is often later required to pass oral and written examinations in the field of specialization within the discipline, and here, depth is emphasized. Some Ph.D. programs require the candidate to successfully complete requirements in pedagogy (taking courses on higher level teaching and teaching undergraduate courses) or applied science (e.g., clinical practica and predoctoral clinical internship in Ph.D. programs in clinical or counseling psychology).

Another two to four years are usually required for the composition of a substantial and original contribution to human knowledge in the form of a written dissertation, which in the social sciences and humanities typically ranges from 50 to 450 pages in length. In many cases, depending on the discipline, a dissertation consists of (i) a comprehensive literature review, (ii) an outline of methodology, and (iii) several chapters of scientific, social, historical, philosophical, or literary analysis. Typically, upon completion, the candidate undergoes an oral examination, sometimes public, by his or her supervisory committee with expertise in the given discipline.

As the Ph.D. degree is often a preliminary step toward a career as a professor, throughout the whole period of study and dissertation research the student may be required or at least offered the opportunity, depending on the university and degree, to teach undergraduate or sometimes graduate courses in relevant subjects.

The Ph.D. can also be awarded as a religious-exempt degree, if having a religious modifier, like Ph.D. in Religion or Ph.D. in Metaphysics.


There are 282 universities in the United States that award the Ph.D. degree, and those universities vary widely in their criteria for admission, as well as the rigor of their academic programs. Typically, Ph.D. programs require applicants to have a Bachelor's degree in a relevant field (and, in rare cases, a master's degree), reasonably high grades, several letters of recommendation, relevant academic coursework, a cogent statement of interest in the field of study, and satisfactory performance on a graduate-level exam specified by the respective program (e.g., GRE, GMAT). Specific admissions criteria differ substantially according to university admissions policies and fields of study; some programs in well-regarded research universities may admit less than five percent of applicants and require an exceptional performance on the GRE along with near-perfect grades, strong support in letters of recommendation, substantial research experience, and academically sophisticated samples of their writing.

Master's degree "in passing"

As applicants to many Ph.D. programs are not required to have master's degrees, many programs award a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree "in passing" or "in course" based on the graduate work done in the course of achieving the Ph.D. Students who receive such master's degrees are usually required to complete a certain amount of coursework and a master's thesis. Depending on the specific program, masters-in-passing degrees can be either mandatory or optional. Not all Ph.D. students choose to complete the additional requirements necessary for the M.A. or M.S. if such requirements are not mandated by their programs. Those students will simply obtain the Ph.D. degree at the end of their graduate study.


Depending on the specific field of study, completion of a Ph.D. program usually takes four to eight years of study after the Bachelor's Degree; those students who begin a Ph.D. program with a master's degree may complete their Ph.D. degree a year or two sooner. As Ph.D. programs typically lack the formal structure of undergraduate education, there are significant individual differences in the time taken to complete the degree. Many U.S. universities have set a ten-year limit for students in Ph.D. programs, or refuse to consider graduate credit older than ten years as counting towards a Ph.D. degree. Similarly, students may be required to re-take the comprehensive exam if they do not defend their dissertations within five years of taking it. Overall, 57% of students who begin a Ph.D. program in the US will complete their degree within ten years, approximately 30% will drop out or be dismissed, and the remaining 13% of students will continue on past ten years.


Doctoral students are usually discouraged from engaging in external employment during the course of their graduate training. As a result, Ph.D. students at U.S. universities typically receive a tuition waiver and some form of annual stipend. The source and amount of funding varies from field to field and university to university. Many U.S. graduate students work as teaching assistants or research assistants while they are doctoral students. Graduate schools increasingly encourage their students to seek outside funding; many are supported by fellowships they obtain for themselves or by their advisers' research grants from government agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Healthmarker. Many Ivy League and other well-endowed universities provide funding for the entire duration of the degree program (if it is short) or for most of it.

Ph.D. candidacy

A Ph.D. Candidate (sometimes called Candidate of Philosophy) is a postgraduate student at the doctoral level who has successfully satisfied the requirements for doctoral studies, except for the final thesis or dissertation. As such, a Ph.D. Candidate is sometimes called an "ABD" (All But Dissertation or All But Defended). Although a minor distinction in postgraduate study, achieving Ph.D Candidacy is not without benefit. For example, Ph.D. Candidate status may coincide with an increase in the student's monthly stipend and may make the student eligible for additional employment opportunities.

Some programs also include a Master of Philosophy degree as part of the Ph.D. program. The M.Phil., in those universities that offer it, is usually awarded after the appropriate M.A. or M.S. (as above) is awarded, and the degree candidate has completed all further requirements for the Ph.D. degree (which may include additional language requirements, course credits, teaching experiences, and comprehensive exams) aside from the writing and defense of the dissertation itself. This formalizes the "all but dissertation" (ABD) status used informally by some students, and represents that the student has achieved a higher level of scholarship than the M.A./M.S. would indicate - as such, the M.Phil. is sometimes a helpful credential for those applying for teaching or research posts while completing their dissertation work for the Ph.D. degree itself.

Ph.D. Candidate is not to be confused with Candidate of Sciences, an academic degree that has been used in certain countries in place of PhD.

Models of supervision

At some universities, there may be training for those wishing to supervise Ph.D. studies. There is now a lot of literature published for academics who wish to do this, such as Delamont, Atkinson and Parry (1997). Indeed, Dinham and Scott (2001) have argued that the worldwide growth in research students has been matched by increase in a number of what they term "how-to" texts for both students and supervisors, citing examples such as Pugh and Phillips (1987). These authors report empirical data on the benefits that Ph.D. students may gain if they publish their work, and note that Ph.D. students are more likely to do this with adequate encouragement from their supervisors.

Wisker (2005) has noticed how research into this field has distinguished between two models of supervision:The technical-rationality model of supervision, emphasising technique;The negotiated order model, being less mechanistic and emphasising fluid and dynamic change in the Ph.D. process.These two models were first distinguished by Acker, Hill and Black (1994; cited in Wisker, 2005).Considerable literature exists on the expectations that supervisors may have of their students (Phillips & Pugh, 1987) and the expectations that students may have of their supervisors (Phillips & Pugh, 1987; Wilkinson, 2005) in the course of Ph.D. supervision. Similar expectations are implied by the Quality Assurance Agency's Code for Supervision (Quality Assurance Agency, 1999; cited in Wilkinson, 2005).

See also

International Ph.D. Equivalent Degrees:

Other Degrees:

Ph.D. in popular culture:


  1. But see also the higher doctorates awarded by universities in the UK, Ireland and some Commonwealth countries.
  2. The term "doctor of philosophy" is not generally applied by those countries to graduates in disciplines other than philosophy itself. These doctoral degrees, however, are sometimes colloquially identified in English as PhD degrees.
  3. See, for instance, (subscription required)
  4. Scholarships in Argentina
  5. GFME: Global Foundation for Management Education
  6. Comisión Nacional de Evaluación y Acreditación Universitaria
  7. Universitetet i Oslo
  8. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  9. Base de Datos TESEO
  11. Raíces de las normas y tradiciones del protocolo y ceremonial universitario actual: las universidades del Antiguo Régimen y los actos de colación. Protocolo y Etiqueta
  12. Boletín Oficial del Estado. Texto del Documento
  13. University of Oxford
  14. FCO Counter terrorism & weapons proliferation staff: Advice for PHD/doctoral level students applying for an ATAS certificate. Accessed 16 September 2008
  15. Postgrad checks worry scientists BBC News, 12 March 2007
  16. Arts and Humanities Research Council
  17. University of Warwick
  18. University of Oxford
  19. ESRC Society Today
  20. Listing of Research I Universities, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching - 282 is the sum of all three categories of doctoral universities.
  21. Wharton Doctoral Programs: Application Requirements
  22. Columbia University in the City of New York
  23. In humanities, ten years may not be enough to get a Ph.D., "The Chronicle of Higher Education" July 27, 2007
  24. Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.)
  25. Policies and Regulations


  • Delamont, S., Atkinson, P. & Parry, O. (1997). Supervising the Ph.D.: A guide to success. Buckingham: Open University Press. ISBN 0-335-19516-4
  • Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (2001). The experience of the results of disseminating the results of doctoral research. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 25 (1) 45-55. ISSN: 1469-9486
  • MacGillivray, Alex; Potts, Gareth; Raymond, Polly. Secrets of Their Success (London: New Economics Foundation, 2002).
  • Phillips, E. & Pugh, D.S. (1987). How to get a PhD : managing the peaks and troughs of research / Estelle M. Phillips and D.S. Pugh. Milton Keynes: Open University Press ISBN 0335155375
  • Simpson, Renate. How the PhD came to Britain: A century of struggle for postgraduate education, Society for Research into Higher Education, Guildford (1983).
  • Wellington, J. Bathmaker, A._M., Hunt, C., McCullough, G. & Sikes, P. (2005). Succeeding with your doctorate. London: Sage. ISBN 1-4129-0116-2
  • Wilkinson, D. (2005) The essential guide to postgraduate study. London : SAGE ISBN 141290062X (hbk.)
  • Wisker, G. (2005) The Good Supervisor: Supervising Postgraduate and Undergraduate Research for Doctoral Theses and Dissertations. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1403903956.

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address