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Research Doctorates[edit]

The article says that research doctorates are awarded (obviously as the name suggests) on the basis of completion of original research that is publishable in a peer-reviewed vehicle and represents "at least a modest contribution" to knowledge in the area to which the research is related. I believe the use of the term "modest" understates somewhat the requirements for a research doctorate. Most universities in the US require an extensive body of original research that makes a so-called substantial or significant contribution to existing knowledge. The contribution can be narrow, but should not be modest as suggested by the article.

Also, it should be emphasized that, contrary to higher doctorates like the LL.D or the Litt.D, a research doctorate like the Ph.D is always awarded by examination. In the US, that takes the form of one or more preliminary/qualifying exams in addition to the final oral exam. (talk) 20:33, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Article overhaul[edit]

Hello. This article has borne edit tags for sometime and I'd like to get it up to par. I've archived a couple years' worth of talk, and I created a new List of doctoral degrees awarded by country to help get some of the lists off this page. If you notice weird things in the next couple weeks, bear with me or simply comment on the talk page here. Any help appreciated. Thanks! --Eustress (talk) 01:36, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I made the bold decision to hide all Country-specific programs that had absolutely zero citations. Most of it has been uncited for a long time and no one has done anything about it. So, if you want the text to return, feel free to do so when you have located the appropriate citations to support the text. For the programs that have remained, there is still much to do, but now section specific tags can be used instead of ones over the entire article. Thank you! --Eustress (talk) 22:09, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Argentina issues[edit]

I recently removed the following phrase because it doesn't make sense, I'm guess due to translation issues. If the original poster (User:Carau) would please present the text here in Spanish (or Castilian), I would be happy to offer translation so it makes sense in English. Thanks. (Text to follow:)

Regarding the recognition of the PhDs programs, the 46 section of the Higher Education Act N° 24.521, sets out that the National Commission for University Evaluation and Accreditation must provide the PhD validation prior completion of a Major or Master degree[1], in Castilan: Especialización o Maestría, all of them by stating a fully agree with the standards set forth by the Department of Education, Science and Technology together with the Universities Council.

--Eustress (talk) 01:54, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

This statement needs to be clarified:

Currently, there are approximately 2,151 postgraduate careers in the country, of which 14% were doctoral degrees.

Does this mean that 14% of these careers require a doctoral degree? Or, perhaps, 14% of these careers/positions are held by those with doctoral degrees? Or something else entirely? Are these postgraduate careers academic positions?

Once we've clarified this statement, it would probably also be informative if we could provide some information about other industries in which those with doctorate degrees in Argentina work. In isolation, the statement could give the impression that there are very few people with doctorate degrees in Argentina or that the employment prospects for those holding this degree are extremely limited, neither of which is true.

Hananekosan (talk) 22:19, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

'Grand PhDs' - diploma mills?[edit]

Should this be included in some way? [1] which is a diploma mill [2] but some unexpected people have their 'degrees'. (Unsigned comment by User:Dougweller)

From my research, it does not appear this "degree" is yet notable, so I would be against its inclusion. --Eustress (talk) 20:14, 11 May 2008 (UTC)


"There are no first degree doctorates but medical students can obtain a "" after one semester of mostly undergraduate research or data evaluation. The "Dr med" is not equivalent to a PhD but to a masters degree. Medical Students going into research can obtain a genuine doctorate (PhD) in some subjects, such as molecular medicine or human biology."
That's technically incorrect. Although German med students can complete the doctoral thesis during undergraduate studies, the Dr. med. is legally not equivalent to a masters degree, but to any other kind of German doctorate. The masters-level professional degree in medicine is the State Examination - taken after 6 to 7 years of undergraduate studies - which must be completed before the doctoral degree can be officially awarded. Also, it is true med students can take a second "genuine" research doctorate, i.e., a Dr. rer. nat., however it is rather uncommon to do so. Most medical researchers and professors did not take a second doctorate, but prefered to proceed to habilitation. Hope this helps. Fred Plotz (talk) 14:35, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. As you can tell, the section is very poorly sourced, so any sourced contributions are welcome. --Eustress (talk) 14:51, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I can provide sources, but they are all German. Don't know if this is very helpful in this respect. Fred Plotz (talk) 14:57, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I can't find any policy on that, but it would be better than what we currently have. The WP:Cite web template has a field to indicate the language (|language= ). Thanks. --Eustress (talk) 15:13, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I'm going to change that and expand the Germany section a little. But it might take a day or two. So long! Fred Plotz (talk) 16:43, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I suggest adding the related ISCED levels (in Germany this is ISCDE 6) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:11, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

"However, the "Dr." does not become part of a person's name and naming the title is, even in official documents, not mandatory." no... if you are a Dr. you can change you name at the "Personalausweis". so it becomes part of a person's name and it is mandatory in official documents.

You can change your Personalausweis so that the Dr. is stated there, but that does _not_ change your name. It is an addition to your name, not a part of your name. See for instance --Biologos (talk) 15:19, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Of course an addition to your name is a change of your name. Your whole explanation doesn´t make sense to me at all. In which country does an academic degree actually change your name? It´s always just "Alex Fuller (PhD)" or (MP) or whatever. Why do you have to mention that for Germany than? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:20, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

I guess it depends exactly what you mean by "name": some people and/or jurisdictions make a distinction between someone's personal name, their title and whatever postnominal letters they might be entitled to. In the UK, for example, the whole thing tends to be left fairly nebulously defined, and as long as you're not trying to misrepresent yourself for fraudulent purposes, nobody usually minds. In Germany, though, I believe the law is rather stricter, and from what I can tell there is a careful legal distinction made between one's personal name, title(s) and postnominal letters. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 10:49, 30 September 2010 (UTC)


I'm sorry that I don't have more time to improve the history section right now. But in my research of the J.D. article, I know that there is more specific information out there on this topic. For example, this source is useful: Herbermann, et al. (1915). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Encyclopedia Press. The article section as it exists is very vague and not useful. I expect that is the reason why it was removed in the first place (I didn't remove it). Zoticogrillo (talk) 02:21, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Professional doctorates[edit]

I've reverted this again because I'm not convinced that the US professional doctorates (such as the MD and JD) are the same thing as the vocational doctorates (such as the EngD and EdD) that have recently been introduced in the UK. They both place more emphasis on professional practice than the PhD does, but the UK vocational doctorates require (indeed, primarily consist of) a substantial component of original research of a level close to that of a PhD, while the US professional doctorates don't, and are essentially graduate-entry professional training degrees with little or no original research component. I don't think it's correct to conflate the two. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 22:58, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

You are in error here. In the US, the doctorates like the EdD and the DBA are considered research doctorates, not vocational or professional doctorates. The dissertation requirements of the EdD and the DBA are intended to be of the same rigor and depth as that of the PhD. They do normally focus on further developing or refining existing theory versus the development of new theory, but in many cases there is overlap in this regard also. I am going to revert your revert because I believe your input in this regard to be more opinionated and regionally based than universally correct (and I will say that this is about the only time I've disagreed with your thoughts, but this time I believe the further distinction to be warranted.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:41, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. The DBA and EdD are not professional doctorates, but neither are they equivalent to the PhD. The DBA and EdD focus on the application of existing knowledge rather than, as does the PhD, the creation of new knowledge. Similarly, for academic accreditation purposes, the PhD is considered a terminal degree regardless of the field in which it was taken, while an EdD (for example) is considered terminal only in the field of education. Wikiant (talk) 18:57, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
That’s where we (our Wiki colleagues) usually get into a shoving match. When it’s said that the EdD and the DBA are not equivalent to a PhD and then purport to back that up by saying the PhD dissertation develops new knowledge and the EdD and DBA dissertation has their focus on the application of existing knowledge we are mixing apples and oranges.

In this context “equivalence” has nothing to do with research focus it has to do with the relative equivalence of the degree once conferred. The US National Science Foundation lists 50 or so research degrees (among them the EdD and DBA) as being equivalent to the PhD and does not distinguish between them.

The other mixing of fruit and possibly veggies in your statement is the categorical distinction between the PhD’s focus on developing new knowledge and the EdD and DBA’s focus on applying existing knowledge – I’d point out two areas there that give me concern, 1.) there is frequently overlap between areas and locus of study between the various degrees and 2.) extrapolations and derivatives of existing theory by definition add new knowledge versus merely variants in a applied state. The overlapping Venn diagrams of the scope and depth of the various studies frequently have more overlap than excusive distinction, meaning some EdD and DBA dissertations provide new learning from machinations of existing theory and some PhD dissertations are unique only in their rehash of previously trodden ground. And I’ve come to this conclusion by sitting on dissertation committees for both PhDs and DBAs in business over the years. I can’t say much about the EdDs other than I know quite a few and most take umbrage to being told that their level of scholarship is not “equivalent” to that of the PhDs (a concept however held almost universally by PhDs and a source of endless debate on and around campus, but one supported by little in the way of facts and data.) It’s also very interesting to see those ensconced in research and the scientific methodologies give way to emotion when the debate moves in the direction of level grading their respective degrees.

There is undoubtedly more relevance to qualifying equivalence between schools and programs than the specific dictates of their various degree formats, e.g., which is higher in contribution to new learning, the dissertation of an EdD from Harvard versus that of a PhD in education from Podunk State U., or that of a DBA from University of Southern California versus a PhD from University of Kansas – point is you just don’t know until you look at the work, because nothing firmly and in an exclusionary manner drives you one way or the other. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:49, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I think I agree with pretty much all of this. I wasn't trying to draw undue distinction between the PhD and research-oriented doctorates like the EdD and DBA, indeed, I was trying to say that they should be considered roughly analogous. The UK versions (which seem to be fairly similar to their US counterparts) are, except that the research component of the 'vocational' doctorates like the EdD, DBA and EngD is supposed to have a more practical and practice-oriented slant to it, and may typically be presented in the form of a portfolio of smaller project reports rather than a single thesis, but is still required to be of an analogous standard to a PhD. However, my understanding of the US degrees of JD and MD (and so forth) is that they're primarily graduate-level professional training degrees without a substantial research component, and so probably shouldn't be placed in the same category. Have I understood this correctly? Or do the JD and MD also have a PhD-level formal research component? -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 22:05, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
While not intending to set off another firestorm regarding the difficulty, complexity, rigor and substantial achievement inherent in becoming a MD, JD, DPharm, DAud, etc., because each is quite an accomplishment in its own right with a challenging practicum combining scholarly work and training, they typically do not have a substantial research component and, in the US, are considered professional degrees and not placed into the categorization of research degrees.
A good natured, but hearty, jab: imho research is WAY overrated... particularly when it's wrong! ;) I'd rather change the law or save a life any day. So many PhD's are just a bunch of inflated nerds. Zoticogrillo (talk) 17:49, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Easy there. There are only two professions I can name that create their own demand. That is, the more you have the more you need. One is soldiers. The other is lawyers. Wikiant (talk) 18:08, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
And I thought I had heard them all.  :) Zoticogrillo (talk) 19:05, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm sure there is something really interesting in analysing the differences between the US professional doctorates and the UK vocational doctorates. I'm sure this has been touch on by scholars in published works, and I hope someone looks for them. I am of the (humbly informed) opinion that it doesn't make any sense to compare degrees that are the product of very different educational systems. Zoticogrillo (talk) 21:56, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

We do tend to spend a great deal of time gathering information regarding the componentry, philosophy, and overall makeup of somewhat disparate international educational systems (regardless of the positive work done by many to harmonize the various systems’ outputs) and then in attempting to normalize the data. I think that’s where the compelling read of Wikipedia comes in, most contributors are well informed, albeit frequently regionally and experientially based and biased, and are really trying to inform, share and enlighten. Passion creeps in, on both sides, when specific fields or degree types assert superiority and / or dominance, but that’s part of high-flying over-achievers getting together for a bit of intellectual parrying, jousting and (usually) good natured bashing of their colleagues. Ya gotta love it, or not, I suppose.

I've just reverted several edits to the Doctorate#Professional doctorates section by an anonymous user with ip address because I felt that they parochialised the text to a purely US-centric view. In particular, examples of professional doctorates outside the US (such as the Czech Republic and the Netherlands) were replaced with their US counterparts, and the distinction between the different sorts of MD (which in some countries is a professional degree with no research component, and in others is a higher doctorate with a substantial research component) was lost. Also, the second paragraph was trimmed to remove remarks and citations about the way some other countries use the term 'professional doctorate' in a different way to the US. I hope this is ok -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 08:04, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

The same user tore through the J.D. article and made senseless edits with uncharitable edit summaries as well. It seems that your edits were appropriate. Edits from should be viewed critically. Zoticogrillo (talk)

09:16, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Answering Nick Jackson's question, if we were to follow Zoticogrillo's criteria to distinguish between "research doctorates" (awarded on the basis of original research that makes a significant contribution to existing knowledge) and "professional doctorates" (awarded on the basis of coursework and/or perhaps practical training only), then the British EngD degree should belong to the former category rather than the latter. However, having said that, the EngD differs substantially from the traditional British PhD in the sense that:
1) A PhD degree is normally pursued full-time by a student while in residence in a university department working under the supervision of a faculty member. Accordingly, PhD-level research is more speculative/abstract in nature, with an emphasis on producing results that may be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and are of academic interest.
2) The EngD on the other hand is normally pursued by a candidate while he/she works as an employee in an outside company. Most EngD research is carried out in a designated industry (as opposed to a university department or lab) and is jointly supervised by both an industrial and a university supervisor. Accordingly, EngD-level research tends to be application-oriented in nature and designed to meet the specific needs/interests of the industrial sponsor. Usually, a portfolio of project reports is acceptable as a substitute for a longer monographic thesis to fulfil(l) the EngD graduation requirements.
The controversy then revolves around what is meant exactly by a "professional" or "vocational" degree. In the UK, it appears to me that there is a consensus that a doctorate must necessarily involve a strong original research component and, hence, there are no "professional doctorates" in the US (Zoticogrillo's) sense (like the American JD for example). The distinction between the traditional PhD and the new "vocational degrees" in the UK is therefore not one of research vs. lack thereof, but rather one of academically-oriented research in a university setting vs. application (or even commercial)-oriented research in a industrial setting.
On a final note, contrary to Zoticogrillo's opinion on this issue, whether based on coursework or research-based, any bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree granted by a university is, by definition, an academic degree, as opposed to non-academic degrees (like member, senior member, fellow, elder, etc.) awarded for example by a commercial guild, professional society, church, or social club. Also, Zoticogrillo's statement that the English (undergraduate) BA degree in jurisprudence/law or the equivalent LLB are "liberal arts" degrees is factually incorrect, as those degrees do not have a liberal arts curriculum similar to what is found in Liberal arts colleges in the US for example. In fact, quite the contrary, the English BA in Law is a highly specialized undergraduate degree (like all UK bachelor's degrees BTW). Zoticogrillo is however right when he (she ?) claims that the English BA/LLB does not cover procedure/legal practice, focusing instead on legal theory (with practice being taught in the UK system in postgraduate vocational courses and also learned/learnt during pupillage). (talk) 14:41, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

As you have discovered, academic systems and traditions vary widely across the globe, and even simple concepts that one would expect to have universal application (such as the definition of even the first university degree) do not. The existence of the Bologna Process is evidence of this. The J.D. article is very well supported and discusses the professional degree programs in the U.S. in great detail. You will find many of the sources cited there very informative. A good article which analyzes the differences of the UK and US degrees in the field of law is: John H. Langbein, "Scholarly and Professional Objectives in Legal Education: American Trends and English Comparisons," Pressing Problems in the Law, Volume 2: What are Law Schools For?, Oxford University Press, 1996. Enjoy. Zoticogrillo (talk) 21:18, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I think that example MDDr. (Doctor of Dental Medicine in Czech Republic) is not so good, because this is very new degree, at this year are first graduates with this degree. I think that example MUDr. (Doctor of Medicine) may be much better.--Formol (talk) 00:27, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

In the UK, the degree of MD is, I beg to differ, not at a level above the Ph.D - but lower. It is more equivalent to an M.Phil degree, which is a two year 'higher masters' degree by research (sigh, except at Cambridge were it is an ordinary taught masters after 1 year - they always like to be different). Likewise the MD, is a two year research degree appropriate for someone who has completed the MB BS medical degree (5/6 yrs), but very few do, and still use the title 'Doctor' even though only having a bachelor degree (of medicine and surgery). The Ph.D degree is a research degree needing at least three years and a maximum of five years, full time research (seven years part time). Philip Robinson — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:00, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Request for Review of the History Section[edit]

It looks like several Wikipedia articles that cover the history of academic degrees (e.g. PhD, doctorate, academic degree, postgraduate education) have been cut and pasted or edited from a reference mentioned as "the Catholic encyclopedia", and sometimes contradict each other.

For example, it is stated in some of those aforementioned articles that the Master's degree in medieval times was awarded as the terminal degree in the Faculty of Arts, after which one could proceed to the higher faculties (Theology, Law, etc.) where the terminal degree was that of Doctor. However, the postgraduate education article at the same time implies at one point that master's degrees were also awarded in the higher faculties (prior to a doctorate) and that practice actually varied from country to country. In fact, at some point, the postgraduate education article even suggests that one could proceed to the higher faculties without a master's, which again contradicts the information in the other Wiki articles. On the other hand, although there appears to be a consensus in most Wiki articles that the master's degree conferred the right to teach in th Faculty of Arts, it is unclear whether a doctorate was actually required to teach in the higher faculties (which doesn't appear to be the case in England for example where doctorates were rare). There is also conflicting information in the different articles on the number of years required to earn a bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees in the medieval universities and on the requirements for each degree (again, practice probably varied from country to country).

That seems all confusing to me and I suspect that there may be inaccurate information in some of the Wiki articles. I suggest someone who is an expert on the topic review the "History" sections in all relevant articles and clean them up, preferably using more than one reference and avoiding cutting and pasting. (talk) 10:47, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Talk of "terminal degrees" just confuses things further as that concept has never really existed in the UK system. Traditionally a degree was something closer to a rank and a university a sort of membership society - the formal title of the University of Dublin is "the Chancellor, Doctors and Masters of the University of Dublin" and that of Trinity College, Dublin is "the Provost, Fellows and Scholars of the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin", reflecting this. (Similarly Oxford is "The Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Oxford", and I think Cambridge is something similar.)
The highest rank in the Faculty of Arts was "Master", or less ambiguously, "Master of Arts". Other, higher, faculties had the option whether to call their highest degree "Master" or "Doctor", both meaning "teacher", and some did use the "Master" title as well.
As for the rest, part of the confusion is in the articles trying to summarise a system that changed quite a bit over the centuries (and where the modern Bachelor's-Master's-Research Doctorate(-Higher Doctorate) set-up is in some regards a reversion to earlier practice). Timrollpickering (talk) 16:46, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

list of professional doctorates[edit]

It is not useful to include a long list a professional doctorates, particularly when the long list includes less common doctorates that are all in the medical field. Zoticogrillo (talk) 08:20, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

PhD in Management[edit]

I've removed this from the short list of example research doctorates, because (a) that paragraph only needs a few examples, which it already has, and (b) the PhD is already mentioned a sentence or two earlier. (It's also not clear to me why the PhD in Management warrants an (admittedly comprehensive and well-sourced) article of its own, when there are large numbers of other subjects in which it is possible to do a PhD, but which don't have a separate article of their own. I may be missing an important point here, though, and I'm happy to be corrected.) -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 15:41, 15 April 2009 (UTC)


  1. ^ Quality Standards Higher Education Quality in Argentina

Viscountrapier edits re terminal degrees and citation to Forni article, "Models for Doctoral Programs"[edit]

I have read the Forni article recently cited to by editor Viscountrapier in support of his recent edit re terminal degrees and professional doctorates. The article does not support the claim for which the citation is offered. However, interestingly, it does state that, quoting other sources: that a professional doctorate such as the N.D. or M.D. is a doctorate, there are distict tracts of professional and research degrees, that neither is necessarily superior to the other, and that doctorates (including professional doctorates) are the highest degrees in a particular field and in the particular tract (see pp. 431-432). All of which supports the content previously in tact, and reverted to by editor Nicholas. Zoticogrillo (talk) 21:08, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Grand Doctor of Philosophy Degree[edit]

There is NEW GRAND Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Grand PhD) and can be given by official site. It is known as "SUPER PhD" degree. To obtain this degree, the candidate must already possess PhD degree and must complete 100 scientific papers and did 3 monographs (Dissertations) and have participated with least 10-20 PhDs.

This degree is highest possible in the world, is also rarest degree and is MUCH higher than ALL doctorate degrees includes MDs. HOWEVER, they are research based doctorate degree only, not medical doctorate degree. Once anyone get GRAND PhD (SUPER PhD) degree, their degrees CANNOT be revoked by anyone for life!

Danielcg (talk) 00:25, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

This would seem to be roughly analogous to the tier of "higher doctorates" awarded by universities in the UK, Ireland, and some Commonwealth countries (where an eminent academic with a strong research record will sometimes submit a portfolio of their most influential and important peer-refereed work for formal consideration for the award of a DSc, DLitt, etc). However, the World Information Distributed University seems to be of questionable provenance (see here, here and here for some further details). I would therefore suggest that this "Grand Doctor of Philosophy" "degree" be omitted from this article unless anyone can find more reputable sources, or evidence that a real, accredited university has begun awarding it. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 01:19, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
This section I wrote is for discussion section only and I did not place the story on the article at this time. I will keep my eye on any events that can give the evidence and I will put the story on the article upon verification of the evidence. If I doubt about any new evidence, I will add new story here rather than the article. Anyone can put any new evidence here. Danielcg (talk) 07:00, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Many programs don't require an MS and MS is given after completing PhD coursework[edit]

This is what I put in.

However, for many programs a master's degree is not required for acceptance into their Ph.D program, nor are they expected to have mastered the material covered for a masters degree. Many programs simply gauge the potential of a student applying to their program and will give them a masters degree upon completion of the necessary Ph.D course work. 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.

It was deleted because, "contradicts previous sentence and is, in itself, not entirely true". I put it back in, but I would like to know why people don't think this is true. Most programs that I have personally looked at (MIT, Cornell, Brown, Princeton, Courant, University of Toronto, McGill, Boston University, Northwestern, University of Maryland, Delaware, NJIT, etc) assert this is true. Furthermore, this is how I will get my PhD in Applied Mathematics.--Aminhungryboy (talk) 17:14, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

I believe this is not true (i.e., mastering the masters-level material *is* necessary to completing the PhD for those who choose to "skip" the masters). It is the case that a PhD student can simply apply for a masters upon completion of the PhD course work. However, the PhD courses are (at least in my experience) beyond the level of the courses required for the masters. For example, at my alma mater, the masters courses were all 400 and 500 level. The PhD courses began at 600 level. One could complete the 600 and 700 level courses, but not the dissertation, and apply for a masters. But, those who did the masters in the traditional manner would never had hit the 600 level courses. Wikiant (talk) 22:57, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Ah I see. I am currently an undergrad, and I have/am taking MS/PhD level courses (my department doesn't separate MS and PhD courses). My advisor was telling me however, that PhD programs in applied math don't require prospective students to take graduate level courses. Most of the PhD students in my department have never taken graduate courses when they were undergrads. Perhaps that's only true for some departments. Also, the only differences between our MS and PhD programs are the number of courses and dissertation. I have yet to do my PhD so I was just going by what the departments I have spoken to told me. Also, I noticed that most professors I know never did their MS, just went straight to PhD. --Aminhungryboy (talk) 02:18, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

The paragraph cited above is still confusing. When a program accepts a bachelor degree holder directly into a doctoral program, it is NOT expected that they already know the masters level material, but it is expected they will have mastered it before they are awarded a doctoral degree. Whether or not a masters degree is awarded enroute, a doctoral degree holder is expected to have mastered the lower level material in their field. In general, only the highest degree achieved is of note for employment purposes UNLESS the degrees are in different fields. If you have a Ph.D in "x", no one will care if you have an MS or BS in "x", but they may care if you have an MS or BS in "y". I have a Ph.D. and a BS in chemical engineering, but no MS.

In fact getting the MS enroute is often discouraged by faculty and getting funding is often easier if the plan is to skip the MS. The applicants goal is to get the advanced degree with all of the privileges that go with it. The goal of the faculty is to have a 5 year research assistant that will be most productive in years 3-5. Faculty get nervous with students going for the MS enroute because they fear the candidate will chicken out and stop with the masters -- if that happens the faculty have spent 2 years funding with little or no research product to show for it. Keep in mind the first year in graduate school is typically heavy in coursework and very light in research, and the second year the student is learning the basics of research and much less competent at it than the 3rd-5th year students. It is the research product that ultimately generates research related prestige and income for the university, and the university gets much less bang for its buck on someone who quits with an MS. It may seem contradictory, but if two otherwise equally qualified applicants apply to pursue terminal degrees of MS or PhD respectively, the one committing to the PhD program is more likely to get admitted and get better funding. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:25, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Your statement may be true for some departments at some universities, but is definitely not true in general. In fact, I know of *no* instances in which a student sitting in a first-year doctoral-level course is not expected to have the background of a masters student. By "expected," I don't mean that the student is expected to be able to pass as masters-level exam on the first day of classes. I do mean that the professors make no allowances for holes in one's knowledge resulting from the lack of a masters degree. Wikiant (talk) 19:04, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Granted my experience is limited to one graduate program, however I also received the same advise with regards to securing funding from the advisor at my undergrad institution. The specific graduate program I was in loaded up 4 core classes in the first year that were required both for the MS and Ph.D followed by a qualifying examination at the end of the year. Students who were unable to get the threshold GPA in the core classes and pass the qualifier had to finish up with an MS (after completing the required thesis and technical electives), while those that passed the hurdles skipped the MS thesis and the corresponding degree and after another 3+ years finished their doctoral work if all went to plan. I think there were only 5 or so other technical courses I took, and most were taken in year 2 and 3. Admittedly those courses would have been more painful to take in year 1. And yes, if you take the harder classes early on the professors do not cut you any slack - as you said, you may not know the background material on day one, but you are expected to take the initiative to fill those knowledge gaps on your own time and keep up with the class —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:37, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I think there is confusion over what is required for entrance into a graduate program and what is required for acceptance into a PhD program. A student is accepted into a graduate program with a bachelor's degree and would not be expected to have knowledge of master's level material (whatever that might be). At some point during his/her graduate career there would be a determination regarding entering into a doctoral program. Depending on a variety of circumstances (policies of a particular school, academic performance to date, a series of qualifimg tests, etc.) a student might be invited to skip the master's degree, earn the master's before going on for the doctorate, or take a terminal master's degree or maybe even be kicked out of the graduate school. I doubt very much that any graduate school in the US would expect any student entering directly from an undergraduate program to have any knowledge beyond that of any undergraduate degree holder. Wschart (talk) 12:10, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Info about Spanish doctorate very outdated[edit]

Information regarding Spain is not completely correct and outdated (new laws in 2005 and 2007). Needs to be updated. Ripero (talk) 00:01, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

If you know more up-to-date information then please edit the article accordingly. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 09:31, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Use of title "PhD (c)[edit]

Do you use this tital with your name if you have completed all requirementsd for a PhD except for the completion of dissertation? I seem to be seeing it used by students who have completed all parts of ther PhD programs but the dissertation. Is this a common practice?. (talk) 06:40, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

At least in the US, one only uses the title if one has completed the degree. The degree is not complete until the dissertation is completed. People who have done all but the dissertation are informally referred to as "ABD", though this title is not used formally. Wikiant (talk) 09:32, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

The "all but dissertation" is indeed used only informally. Considering that the original research is the more difficult part of the doctorate, it is like calling a bicycle a "motorbike, all but a motor". --MPorciusCato (talk) 11:45, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Not necessarily, MPorciusCato. Dissertation committees can blow up if the chairman or members are category five a-holes, so ABD is a significant distinction, showing that doctoral candidate did get to the dissertation stage. Use of the title PhD (c) is appropriate if it is explained; without explanation, it could be misleading. 23:13, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
The problem here is that ABD is not a term that universities use (formally). Therefore, when an "ABD" applies for a job, there is no official transcript that will confirm his claim that he is "ABD". I suppose that the employer could compare a copy of the student's official transcript to the list of course requirements for the degree (understanding that the course requirements differ across universities and change over time). Whether the distinction is valuable or not, the claim is not something that is easily confirmed. Wikiant (talk) 23:30, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
I have heard that one for-profit university tells its dissertation-writing students that they can now write "PHD" after their names. This practice is not accepted by others.

Consecutive Sentences Contradict Each Other[edit]

"All universities have the right to award doctorates in their assigned fields.[25] Universities of applied sciences (ammattikorkeakoulu) do not award doctoral degrees. " GeneCallahan (talk) 14:08, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

This is a Finnish peculiarity. Only the 16 universities mentioned in the University Act (558/2009) and the National Defence College are considered yliopisto and called universities in the English language. The ammattikorkeakoulu-type institutions translate their names as "universities of applied science" but they are not considered universities by the Finnish legislation. The Ministry of Education translates the word ammattikorkeakoulu as "polytechnic". So, there are "universities" and "universities of applied science". Only the "universities" have the right to award doctorates. --MPorciusCato (talk) 16:21, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Medieval doctorate and Islamic Ijazah[edit]

There seems to be a strong tendency in the article to identify the medieval doctorate with the Islamic Ijazah to the point that the former was a direct adoption of the later. However, the very same George Makdisi, indeed a notable serious scholar, comes in another article of his to the opposite conclusion. George Makdisi: "Madrasa and University in the Middle Ages", Studia Islamica, No. 32 (1970), pp. 255-264 (260):

Perhaps the most fundamental difference between the two systems is embodied in their systems of certification; namely, in medieval Europe, the licentia docendi, or license to teach; in medieval Islam, the ijaza, or authorization. In Europe, the license to teach was a license to teach a certain field of knowledge. It was conferred by the licensed masters acting as a corporation, with the consent of a Church authority, in Paris, by the Chancellor of the Cathedral Chapter... Certification in the Muslim East remained a personal matter between the master and the student. The master conferred it on an individual for a particular work, or works. Qualification, in the strict sense of the word, was supposed to be a criterion, but it was at the full discretion of the master, since, if he chose, he could give an ijaza to children hardly able to read, or even to unborn children. This was surely an abuse of the system...but no official system was involved. The ijaza was a personal matter, the sole prerogative of the person bestowing it; no one could force him to give one.

For the fundamental difference between the Christian medieval university and the Islamic madrasa, please see also here. I believe this all makes it clear that we are dealing with two different concepts; therefore, I tone down the whole claim. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 00:36, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

That was from a much earlier paper by Makdis written in 1970. In a later 1989 paper, Makdisi revised his views based on more recent research. This pretty much makes his earlier outdated view irrelevant. Regards, Jagged 85 (talk) 13:11, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Where does he say that he "revised" his ealier views? I did not find any statements of his to that extent, do you? Gun Powder Ma (talk) 15:31, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Terminal vs. Professional[edit]

I changed the adjective "terminal professional" to "first professional" (describing the J.D.) in the first paragraph for several reasons. WP has a page describing the J.D. as a "first professional" degree. The citation given for this statement comes from a nursing journal. Also, the journal cited seems not to exist (or rather, I cannot find it via a google search nor via several library databases). Wikiant (talk) 19:30, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

terminal professional degrees and first professional degrees[edit]

There is debate about whether to retain the content in this article in second paragraph of the introduction which reads, "...a distinction is sometimes made between terminal professional degrees (such as the J.D.) and terminal research degrees (such as the LL.D. J.S.D., or S.J.D.)" or whether to change the wording of "terminal professional degrees" to "first professional degrees." It appears that the main opposition to the content is with associating the J.D. degree with the term "terminal professional degree," however no dispute over facts has been raised in the editing summaries.

The paragraph containing this content addresses terminal degrees, and therefore using the term would be consistent with the topic of the paragraph. It also maintains the parallel phrasing of the clause. Replacing "terminal" with "first" would result in content which is awkward and confusing to the reader. In addition, in my opinion the reasons given thus far for the change (because of another wiki article and a vague dispute with a citation) are insufficient. It appears that the editor has motives other than the improvement of the article. Nonetheless, the content of another wiki article is insufficient to justify the awkward change to this content, and the citation provided does in fact discuss the topic of the paragraph in depth.

Therefore, I will remove reference to the J.D. degree, even though the example is helpful to the readers, and retain the content to read, "first professional degrees." Zoticogrillo (talk) 20:11, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Too much Latin[edit]

For some reason, there are a lot of Latin translations given in this article, and I don't see the relevance. I was going to go through and delete them but I thought it would be better to mention it here so that somebody more knowledgeable on the subject can make a more informed decision. (talk) 10:48, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Could you give some examples? I only see it twice--once in the lead and at the beginning of "History," in both cases to discuss the origin of the term. Throughout the text, numerous foreign languages are used, and I think that Latin even shows up a few more times when not explicitly called so (like ex auditorio in the case of Denmark), but I assumed that's because those are the official terms used in that country. For instance, in the U.S., most doctorate degrees are called "PhD," which stands for the Latin philosophiae doctor. In other words, in the U.S., the official term is in Latin. Perhaps that's what you're seeing here. If there are, however, specific places where the Latin seems odd, please post here--it's possible that extra unnecessary Latin has crept into the article over time. Qwyrxian (talk) 23:33, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Doctor of Law and Public Policy (L.P.D.)[edit]

In the table on Professional Doctorates in the U.S., this degree is listed with a reference to the Northeastern University site. However, the doctorate that NEU lists for Law and Policy is a Ph.D. [[3]] I think this entry should be removed. --Tim Sabin (talk) 18:26, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Research Doctorates in the United States[edit]

There is a lot of uncited assertions made in the research doctorates section. I can't say for certain if they are true or false so I just added fact tags. I know from personal experience no two PhDs at any school are the same so if they aren't cited reasonably soon I personally believe we should just get rid of the uncited facts as per WP:NOCITE. Random2001 (talk) 14:28, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Research Doctorates in Canada[edit]

It seems pretty odd that this isn't included anywhere in this article since Canada has many schools that award doctorates and has for a long time. If any other users wish to add information I invite them. Alternatively this article could use a serious overhaul and areas with similar practices could be grouped (e.g. doctorates in Canada are similar in structure to most major American schools so perhaps a North America section would make more sense). --Dhall27 (talk) 04:06, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

In the French Wikipedia they did it better, look there, please. --13Peewit (talk) 09:02, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

Practice by country, Argentina[edit]

The link to the CONEAU site is broken, probably due to a reorganization of the site. In the recent times, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology was splitted in two: Ministry of Education on one side (mineduc), and Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (mincyt). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:45, 24 January 2013 (UTC)


Someone inserted in India section,

"Some of the leading institutions in India offering PhD include Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, University of Delhi, University of Pune, National School of Leadership, Osmania University, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur etc."

This information is unnecessary. Every university offers doctorate. Some kid felt he has to edit and add something to get a ego boost. Even if there has been no requirement. Please cleanup the section.

PhD holders aren't experts in their field?[edit]

Another editor has replaced part of the lead of this article with the following text:

It is not a standardized degree, meaning that different Ph.D holders, even in the same discipline do not necessarily have the same knowledge and skills and even though they can be considered experts in their specific fields of research they can not be considered experts in a specific discipline. For example a Ph.D holder in economics may not claim to be an expert in economics but can claim to be an expert in his specific research area in Economics. A Ph.D is not a professional degree and usually professional degrees such as the ACCA, the ACA and the CFA are more respected in their respective professional sectors such as accounting, investment and commercial banking, financial analysis and asset management. Ph. D. holders often need to obtain a professional qualification such as the ACA, ACCA or CFA in order to leave academia and join the industry. The research doctorate, or the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and its equivalent titles, are known as junior doctorates and represent the second highest academic qualification after the senior doctorate offered by some universities.

I have reverted the edit because it seems to be dubious and opinionated original research, especially the parts about PhD holders not being experts in their discipline and "often need[ing] to obtain a professional qualification such as the ACA, ACCA or CFA in order to leave academia and join the industry." The first claim is at best inaccurate and the second claim seems to be quite overwrought. In any case, both claims need to be supported by reliable sources. Further, the lead of the article should be a summary of the body so material about these claims should be added to the body of the article first and then we can figure out if they should be added to the lead. ElKevbo (talk) 14:27, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Agree with removal for much the reasons mentioned above. Also focusing on UK based accountancy regulation seems hardly global in outlook. Similarly PhD as junior doctorate should be sourced, and is unlikely to be considered as such around the globe (many countries have no different doctorate levels). Arnoutf (talk) 14:52, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

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Hidden note requiring talk page discussion before changes[edit]

There is a hidden note in the article in one section stating: "Note: The following isn't meant to include a comprehensive list, just a few illustrative examples from various countries. Please don't add any more without discussion on the talk page." Stating that editors have to propose edits on the talk page prior to editing is contrary to the Wikipedia-wide consensus set out in the editing guideline WP:Be bold. The guideline states "Wikipedia:Be bold (WP:BOLD) can be explained in three words: "Go for it". The Wikipedia community encourages users to be bold when updating the encyclopedia. Wikis like ours develop faster when everybody helps to fix problems, correct grammar, add facts, make sure wording is accurate, etc. We would like everyone to be bold and help make Wikipedia a better encyclopedia. How many times have you read something and thought – Why aren't these pages copy edited? Wikipedia not only allows you to add, revise, and edit articles: it wants you to do it."OnBeyondZebraxTALK 15:05, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

That note is there because more can be worse, rather than better. Creating indiscriminate long list of trivial facts makes the text more difficult to read, while it does not add relevant content. Something that seems to be difficult for many editors to grasp is that editing is at least as much about (boldly) removing texts as it is about adding. In this case the information is available on Wikipedia, as a more comprehensive list and is referred to in the section where these entries are added. Arnoutf (talk) 16:59, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

"Postdoctoral researcher"[edit]

The name, usage, topic and scope of Postdoctoral researcher is under discussion, see talk:Postdoctoral researcher -- (talk) 05:52, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

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