The doctoral degree is the highest academic credential it is possible to earn. Whether it''s a research Ph.D. (DPhil to the Brits), a D.A. (Doctor of Arts), or some other variant, the doctorate degree typically requires four to six years of additional study beyond the master's level. To get a doctoral degree the graduate student must complete a course of study, do original research and write a publishable thesis or dissertation. Not surprisingly, only one in 100 Americans call themselves 'doctor'. Consequently, a doctorate commands respect.
A Doctor of Philosophy degree, abbreviated PhD, is the top academic degree anyone can earn. Because earning a PhD requires extensive study and extreme intellectual effort, less than one percent of the population attains the degree. People show respect for a person who holds a PhD by addressing them as "Doctor" PhD (doctor of philosophy) is the most common degree awarded in academic disciplines at the doctoral level. To earn a PhD, students must complete two things. They must first master a specific subject completely, and then extend the body of knowledge about that subject. A complete assessment is given after three to five years of study and completion of all coursework, and when the student and adviser concur that the student is prepared. The test is intended to check the student''s ability to use knowledge gained through courses and independent study in a creative and original way. Students must demonstrate an inclusive understanding of their chosen field of study. Successful completion of this examination marks the end of the student''s coursework and the beginning of concentration on research. To complete a PhD, each student must present results from their research to the faculty in a lengthy, formal document called a dissertation or thesis. The PhD degree is awarded to those students who complete an original piece of significant research, write a dissertation describing that research, and successfully defend their work before a panel of faculty members who specialize in the discipline. This may take an additional two to three years. To earn a PhD, may take anywhere from five to eight years further than the bachelor''s degree, contingent upon field of study.
If you have the capability and interest, earning a PhD and embarking on a research career can bring rewards unsurpassed in any other profession. You will meet and work with some of the most intelligent people in the world. You will attain for and extend your intellectual capabilities, and perhaps solve problems that have not been solved before. You will explore concepts that have not been explored.