What is Ph.d: Definition and 182 Discussions

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil; Latin philosophiae doctor or doctor philosophiae) is the most common degree at the highest academic level awarded following a course of study. PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields. Because it is an earned research degree, those studying for a PhD are required to produce original research that expands the boundaries of knowledge, normally in the form of a thesis or dissertation, and defend their work against experts in the field. The completion of a PhD is often a requirement for employment as a university professor, researcher, or scientist in many fields. Individuals who have earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree may, in many jurisdictions, use the title Doctor (often abbreviated "Dr" or "Dr.") with their name, although the proper etiquette associated with this usage may also be subject to the professional ethics of their own scholarly field, culture, or society. Those who teach at universities or work in academic, educational, or research fields are usually addressed by this title "professionally and socially in a salutation or conversation." Alternatively, holders may use post-nominal letters such as "Ph.D.", "PhD", or "DPhil" (depending on the awarding institution). It is, however, considered incorrect to use both the title and post-nominals at the same time.The specific requirements to earn a PhD degree vary considerably according to the country, institution, and time period, from entry-level research degrees to higher doctorates. During the studies that lead to the degree, the student is called a doctoral student or PhD student; a student who has completed all their coursework and comprehensive examinations and is working on their thesis/dissertation is sometimes known as a doctoral candidate or PhD candidate (see: all but dissertation). A student attaining this level may be granted a Candidate of Philosophy degree at some institutions or may be granted a master's degree en route to the doctoral degree. Sometimes this status is also colloquially known as "PhD ABD," meaning "All But Dissertation."A PhD candidate must submit a project, thesis, or dissertation often consisting of a body of original academic research, which is in principle worthy of publication in a peer-reviewed journal. In many countries, a candidate must defend this work before a panel of expert examiners appointed by the university. Universities sometimes award other types of doctorate besides the PhD, such as the Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) for music performers and the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) for studies in education. In 2005 the European Universities Association defined the "Salzburg Principles," 10 basic principles for third-cycle degrees (doctorates) within the Bologna Process. These were followed in 2016 by the "Florence Principles," seven basic principles for doctorates in the arts laid out by the European League of Institutes of the Arts, which have been endorsed by the European Association of Conservatoires, the International Association of Film and Television Schools, the International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media, and the Society for Artistic Research.In some countries like China and Japan, a recipient of doctorate in disciplines such as engineering and pharmacy where professional degrees (for example, EngD and PharmD) are usually awarded in the western countries, is called a PhD regardless. It is not uncommon that the person's title or diploma be translated into English as PhD in (that discipline). In these countries, the distinction between professional doctorates and PhDs is less significant.In the context of the Doctor of Philosophy and other similarly titled degrees, the term "philosophy" does not refer to the field or academic discipline of philosophy, but is used in a broader sense in accordance with its original Greek meaning, which is "love of wisdom." In most of Europe, all fields (history, philosophy, social sciences, mathematics, and natural philosophy/sciences) other than theology, law, and medicine (the so-called professional, vocational, or technical curriculum) were traditionally known as philosophy, and in Germany and elsewhere in Europe the basic faculty of liberal arts was known as the "faculty of philosophy."

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  1. Quantour

    Admissions BS Physics to Ph.D. in Computer Science

    I am currently a final-year undergraduate student whose primary major is Physics. I double major in Computer Science, and my grade is currently near-top in my department from a prestigious university (non-US, top in my country). My research experience during undergrad has primarily been about...
  2. G

    Admissions Do I have a chance at doing a physics Ph.D. in quantum ML?

    I graduated with Physics and Applied math degrees ~4 years ago with a really low gpa ~2.7 with research experience on CMS. I then completed a B.S. in Electrical Engineering last year with a 3.7 and a MS in Artificial Intelligence with a 4.0. Over the past 4 years I've been working as a...
  3. Haorong Wu

    Programs Need advice about applying to Ph.D. programs

    Hello. I am currently in the second year of my master's program. My major is physics and my research area is high-dimensional entanglement in curved spacetime. During my studies, I developed a strong interest in quantum gravity (QG) and intend to pursue a Ph.D. in this field. I have a few...
  4. AryaKimiaghalam

    Physics Physics Ph.D. studies and living expenses

    Hi everyone, Hope you are all doing well. I begun to think about my plans for graduate school lately. I was hoping to learn more about the financial aid/tuition and living expenses of different universities in North America and Europe from your personal experiences in graduate school. How does...
  5. gleem

    Other Choosing a Ph.D. Research Advisor

    The recent edition of Physics Today has an article that should be of interest to prospective Ph.D. students. I think that new graduate students will benefit from this article as well as new faculty on how to find a good match between student and advisor...
  6. R

    Admissions I'm an Accounting / Finance Student, Can I get my Ph.D. in Physics?

    I'm going to graduate in May 2020 with an Accounting / Finance degree. Without trying to sound prideful, I am an extremely bright student and have a 3.80 GPA with very very minimal effort. However, after doing a few internships, I'm realizing more and more than I definitely do not want to be in...
  7. B

    Other Medical Physics: Masters or Ph.D?

    Hello everyone, I am a current undergrad physics major looking to pursue a career in clinical medical physics. I currently have an internship in radiation therapy physics and absolutely love it. I have recently become aware of the issue there is with medical physics residencies favoring Ph. D...
  8. J

    Other Last year of my Ph.D, and having a crisis about my work (data science)

    Hi all, I just want to gain some perspective as I am sure there are people in the same boat or have been where I am. I am in the home stretch of my Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering, I have manuscript published and a couple more in the pipeline. I work in big data and how to use it to come up...
  9. robphy

    Admissions Ph.D. admissions criteria as predictors? (Science Advances)

    Possibly interesting reading... This article ( https://www.inverse.com/article/52691-gre-scores-are-a-bad-predictor-of-phd-success ) alerted me to the article below. See also: https://phys.org/news/2019-01-gre-students-diversity.html http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/1/eaat7550...
  10. E

    Other Ph.D. after medical physics residency?

    Finished up my masters in medical physics a couple years ago and am about to complete my residency. Have been considering getting a Ph.D. since that's always been a life goal but I'm facing a conundrum: as far as I know, I will likely end up with a similar job whether or not I get a Ph.D. I want...
  11. epenguin

    Job Skills Should I Do a PhD? Informed Opinion & Relevant Considerations

    Here, aimed at Britain but probably fairly generally applicable. Informed opinion, relevant considerations. " Should I do a PhD? You asked Google – here's the answer Rachel Hall"...
  12. B

    Admissions Good things to include in a physics PhD application

    I'm soon going to be finishing my MSci in Astrophysics and am looking to apply for PhDs (in cosmology) for autumn 2019 entry. I'm on track to getting a first but I don't have much other good stuff to include on my application at the moment. If any successful PhD applicants could tell me some of...
  13. R

    Programs How long does it take to get a Ph.D.?

    Hello. I’m in the US and I’m going to have to decide if and/or where I want to work on a Ph.D. in physics. I have some questions about the length of time it takes to get a one and I also want to get a better sense of what requirements need to be met. It’s clear and straightforward to me that...
  14. J

    How long does a Ph.D take?

    My dream career would be to research and find new things and write papers in the field of theoretical particle physics. I'm pretty sure to get to that point however, I need a bachelor's, master's, and a Ph.D in Physics. So, how long would all of that combined take (roughly) (bachelor's +...
  15. P

    Physics Finance Job Market for Astronomy Ph.D.?

    I am currently applying to Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Physics Ph.D. programs. I am doing a Ph.D. because I can't wait to learn more about cosmology and to computationally model galaxies, but I understand that jobs as professors are rare. Looking at backup plans, I've heard that some academic...
  16. LastStarDust

    Physics Ph.D. and career prospects in Japan

    Hello to everybody! I am writing this post because I am facing an important choice for my future and I really need a piece of advice from someone with more experience about the "scientific world" than me. I am an Italian boy who is about to graduate at "La Sapienza" University of Rome with a...
  17. R

    Admissions Applying for Ph.D. program without having taken the GRE

    Hi all. I'm currently working on both an M.S. and B.S. in physics and hope to finish with both during the upcoming summer. I wanted to apply to a Ph.D. program for next fall at a different university, partly because the research here isn't quite what I'm interested in, which is computational...
  18. X

    Programs Self Funding My Ph.D To Do Risky Dissertations

    I'm a 2nd year Ph.D student and I have a pretty good idea what my topic for my dissertation is going to be. It is a very ambitious topic and doesn't fit the mold of small esoteric problems AKA " little problem that nobody ever heard of " in theoretical physics that are the topics of many...
  19. L

    Courses What courses do I need for a Ph.D. in theoretical physics?

    Due to circumstances outside of my control, I couldn't go to college after high school. Physics is my passion however and I refuse to give up. I have a 5 month old so it would be in my best interest to start my schooling online. I'm only the 2nd person in my family to go to college. So, I don't...
  20. D

    Programs Choosing the Right Ph.D. Group: Tips for Non-Academic Research Careers

    I have a dilemma. I'm beginning a fellowship next week, and I have 3 Ph.D. offers for when it ends. I've worked in each group, and would have no issue continuing in any of them. I respect each advisor equally for different reasons. The main problem is each group requires a slightly different...
  21. D

    Admissions Recommendations for Medical Physics Ph.D Programs

    I'm a rising junior in BME and am switching to applied physics in order to meet the requirements of grad school. I want to apply to a Ph.D. program in medical physics. However, my GPA is not very good. Right now I have a 3.47 overall GPA but I have gotten all B's in my physics courses and I know...
  22. X

    Schools Survived First Year of Physics Ph.D Program Now What

    I just successfully completed my first year for a Ph.D program in a top 10 Ivy league school and I must say it was the hardest year of my life. I would work 12 hours a day and on average spend 8 hours on a single problem in my problem sets. Luckily I am done with all of my classes and quals and...
  23. Q

    Admissions Critique my statement of purpose for Ivy Physics Ph.D

    This is a draft of a my SoP that I plan to send out to all of the Ivy league schools for physics Ph.D. What do you think of it. Do you think it is superb, downright terrible or somewhere in between. All relevant information about me is contained in the Sop. Enjoy reading it and thank you very...
  24. Sachin Desarada

    Physics 2 year gap after M.Sc , now want to do Ph.D

    I need help. I completed my post graduation in 2015 material science, now it nearly 2 year gap want to do Ph.D . How can i start . i don't have GATE score, how can i apply for Ph.D.
  25. S

    Other Recently finished HEP Ph.D. but unsure of next move....

    I've recently finished my Ph.D. in HEP physics but I've not yet applied for any jobs since I don't really know what to do next. So I'm here hoping for some advice/ideas; I'll give fuller details for anyone who can be bothered to read them (sorry about the extreme length). Anyway... I'm almost...
  26. T

    Programs Ideal Undergrad Preparation for Biophysics Ph.D.

    I'm looking at colleges right now. I'm really interested in biophysics, so I've been planning out what I biophysics curriculum would look like at various schools. However, most schools do not have a biophysics major, so I've had a hard time planning out what classes to take in addition to the...
  27. G

    I'm thinking about 2nd Ph.D. for particle physics

    Hello. I'm actually taking Ph.D. course for plasma physics and I think I'll finish this course within this year. I took classes in quantum field theory and general relativity in last semester luckily and experience of these subject ignited a desire to study theoretical particle physics and...
  28. Apollo16

    Research Area for Nuclear Engineering Ph.D

    So I'm currently a senior undergraduate nuclear engineer at a respected university and I've been considering getting my Ph.D for a while now. I'm having difficulty deciding on a specific research area, however. I'd like my research, optimally, to be applicable outside the nuclear sector as well...
  29. M

    Engineering Do I need a Ph.d to start a Biomedical engineering business?

    I am very ambitious and want to start a business one day that will invent new technologies that will change the healthcare industry. Will I need a Ph.D for this? or will a Masters be enough? I'm pretty sure inventing these new technologies will require someone doing research, which is why I'm...
  30. B

    Programs Steps to take to pursue a Ph.D in Physics with a Math degree

    Hi all, I graduated with a degree in math about a year and a half ago. I've recently become very interested in the idea of Physics. I've always loved physics, but for some reason, probably because I never really did the kind of self-introspection I try to practice now, I majored in Math and...
  31. A

    Math Bachelor's, Masters and Phd's sequence for Math & Physics

    Hello, It seems like mostly, the masters degree is skipped for those who are seeking a Phd degree (from Bachelor's to Phd directly). I'm in my fourth year as undergraduate, studying physics. I like both math and physics and I really want to master them both. The thing is that my university...
  32. S

    Job Skills The Shrinking Ph.D. Job Market

    A new study from the journal Inside Higher Ed shows that it's more difficult to get a job with an advanced degree: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/04/04/new-data-show-tightening-phd-job-market-across-disciplines
  33. X

    Other Mad Money From Fellowships Ph.D Programs

    So I got into some good top 20 Ph.D programs in theoretical physics and have received some generous stipends. Is it common to further augment my income by applying for external fellowships while I'm in graduate school?
  34. I

    Admissions Math major applying to physics Ph.D. Program

    Hello all, I'm a junior math major at uc Berkeley. And I'll be applying to physics Ph.D. programs. I have taken almost all required physics undergraduate courses, and have already finished about six graduate physics courses. And I got A on all of these classes. I expect myself to finish more...
  35. J

    Engineering Biomedical Engineering PhD, data science, and Employment

    I have a B.S. in physics, I am currently in a non-thesis Master of Engineering in Mechanical/Biomedical engineering and set to graduate in the spring. I have been working in a lab to pick up some extra cash and skills over the past 7 months. Mainly what I have been doing is applying data science...
  36. T

    Anyone here with a physics Ph.D that specialized in Optics?

    Hey everyone! I was wondering what the job prospects in academia and outside academia were like for people who have a physics Ph.D's specializing in optics? Were there a good number of STEM related choices or was it just as difficult as any other speciality? Thanks!
  37. T

    Best specialities for employment after physics Ph.D

    Hello everyone! I am finishing up my junior year as a double major in electrical engineering and mathematics plus a physics minor. I have done a summer REU in experimental particle physics and am currently writing a physics paper with a professor at my university. I think this up and coming...
  38. Aero_Arnendu

    Ph.D chances for an Aerospace Engineer

    Hi, I am Arnendu, will complete my aerospace engineering m.tech course and now wanted to do Ph.D . In which area I should do my ph.d and where? Money?
  39. X

    Chance of getting into a Physics Ph.D program

    I'm a U.S citizen who went to college in New York State who is looking into doing research in theoretical Cosmology PGRE 830 GRE Quant: 167 GRE Verbal :156 Major GPA 3.7 Overall GPA 3.6 Honors Magna Cum Laude Three semesters of research in Hamiltonian Chaos No published papers Took Three...
  40. X

    Admissions Applying for Ph.D program in physics and got 166 quant GRE

    I got a 166 on the quant section of my GRE today. I also took the PGRE and believe I did quite well on it, at least 900+. Is a score of 166 on the quant section considered good for someone applying for a physics Ph.D program or can anything short of a 170 hurt my application?
  41. circulos meos

    Schools Does Honors status impact admissions for grad school?

    So I am in my first year of my physics degree at a school that isn't really known for its physics program, (I don't believe it is ranked at all, not that that is a huge deal) and at least right now I am very interested in pursuing a ph.d degree. I had originally intended to do an engineering...
  42. B

    Can Any STEM Ph.D. Teach High School Math?

    Would anyone obtaining a STEM Ph.D. have the mathematical knowledge to teach high school math (the highest math class in my hs was a choice between statistics and calculus)? Also, what about community college? E.g., Would...say...a mechanical engineering Ph.D. or physics Ph.D, for example...
  43. O

    Ph.D. in Plasma Physics and Where?

    Hello everyone. I am new in this forum. I am from Turkey and I want to go abroad for Ph.D. but I have concerns and a lot of questions in my mind. My GPA from BS is 2,98/4 (I know it is not good). This year my second year my master. Probably I will graduate with 3.50-4.00 GPA. My master...
  44. S

    Exploring the Astrophysics Job Market: Passion vs Practicality

    Hi I am an undergraduate freshman at university. I have a passion for Astronomy and would love to become a professional astronomer. The only problem is I've heard by many people including a Professor of Physics that the job market is tough and it's hard to find jobs in Astrophysics. Should I...
  45. EJC

    Suggestions for Quantum Computation Ph.D Program?

    I am going to be applying to grad schools in the coming months, and plan to apply to many schools. I'm looking for programs in quantum computation, quantum information, quantum optics, etc... (related research often falls under many different names). These programs generally are categorized in...
  46. EJC

    Schools Chances of Getting Into Graduate School Ph.D Programs

    I am a rising senior at a small liberal arts college, with an incredibly small (and therefore unrecognized) physics program. I am seeking advice regarding which Ph.D programs are within my reach. I plan on applying to AMO (Atomic, Molecular, and Optics) Ph.D programs with the intention of...
  47. C

    Admissions Applying to a Ph.D. and not getting in - M.S.?

    Hey there, I have been out of school for two years in the work world, so I think my application isn't as strong as I'd like it to be in terms of applying to Ph.D. Programs. I have a simple nuts-and-bolts question about it: If I take a "moonshot" and apply to just Ph.D. programs, will this...
  48. Shackleford

    Ph.D. in Systems & Engineering Management

    I've decided that after I finish my MA Math next year I'm going to apply to this program. It's actually a hybrid program that allows people to take classes part time. They do have a modest residency requirement for two consecutive summers, and they're generous in transferring courses. I live in...
  49. Sachin Desarada

    What should i do? lectureship or pursue Ph.D?

    Im doing M.Sc Physics just a month left for finals. I am planning to crack jrf for doing Ph.D. I am confused what shoud i do Ph.D or search job as professor. After Ph.D whare i can get jobs ?
  50. M

    Funded Ph.D vs self funded PhD from supervisor's point of view

    Hello I am a graduate student, with a masters degree in physics but with no impressive marks so far. I am looking for a PhD position in the UK, so far without success. My question is If Supervisors prefere students who are self funded or students who are funded by the university ? Can anyone...