Doctoral Programs

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PhD Degree

A doctoral degree is abbreviated as Ph.D. It stands for Doctor of Philosophy or Philosophiae Doctor) which is actually the most common type of doctoral degree. In universities in Great Britain such as Oxford, Sussex and York, they use the abbreviation DPhil.

Right now, earning a Ph.D is tantamount to getting the most advanced and the highest academic degree in North America and elsewhere around the world. It signifies a graduate’s expertise in a certain field in consideration of a thorough academic research he or she has conducted and defended before a panel of top professors of his university. The research required of those pursuing a doctorate degree is referred to as a doctoral thesis or dissertation which should have to be original. The time allowed to conduct a research varies greatly depending on the country and the university where you are studying. In the United States and the United Kingdom, completing a doctorate degree takes three years after finishing a master’s degree. The period may be enough to complete a research but most graduate students take longer from five to 10 years. Completion time, therefore, varies among individuals depending on the field they are researching. It is not just easy work because it involves concentration, attention to details, originality, lots of study and research.

Coursework is now an important part of a doctoral degree notably those involved in research around the world. In the U.S., the research doctorate involves coursework from two to three years and research for a minimum of three years.

In many countries, a Ph.D. is considered a standard qualification for those wishing to pursue a career in the field of education. But did you know that this degree is actually a new invention? History records say the doctorates in the olden times take much longer to finish because graduate students are required to show their great expertise in the subject chosen. At present, though, these degrees are only given as honorary titles to those who have made a big contribution to their respective fields.

In France, the older doctorate “doctorat d’Etat” has been substituted by the “habilitation to direct theses” used for the recruiting process in the academic field. It is also used in other countries within the European Union for academic recruitment. But apart from that, the habilitation is also a research doctorate that entails a new long thesis or a compilation of research publications. It has a high standard as it requires independent and rigid research, background in teaching and lecturing and the capability to raise funds within a specific field of research.

Doctorate degrees can be earned from a traditional university and even from the Internet these days. Many universities are now offering distance and electronic learning to accommodate professionals who are busy with work and family and who have not enough time left to attend a classroom lecture to pursue their dream of earning post-graduate degrees. Hence, online degree programs are especially meant for these people. Academic experts confirm these online programs are highly in demand and will continue to grow to meet the needs of busy people.

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