What is Phd: Definition and 1000 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. R

    New member

    I am currently a PhD student,
  2. M

    New member

    Hello everyone, nice to be here. I am a PhD student working in theoretical physics. You can ask me questions if you want to know more about :). Thank you
  3. Shivani_Ram

    Neutrino ninja hops in

    Hello everyone, Always followed physics forum from my high school to read about solutions and interesting discussions on fundamental physics questions. Now in my PhD I am ever more daunted by physics problems in an intriguing way and would once again have fruitful discussions or follow some...
  4. S

    Looking for interdisciplinary institutes/groups (Europe preferred)

    Hi everyone, first time posting here! ;) Does anyone have good suggestions for interdisciplinary groups (preferably based in Europe), focusing on a physics topic/problem? I am considering doing a PhD, and currently, I am doing the broadest research for places. I don't mind if the research is...
  5. billtodd

    PhD in theoretical physics and a PhD in Pure Maths at an old age

    I am approaching an old age of 40, and now pursuing an MSc in Engineering without a thesis nor project. Before that I pursued MScs in Physics and Maths, but never finished writing my theses. I have a sort of perturbed attitude towards both Maths and Physics, I mean something really pure in maths...
  6. V

    How Does an Electric Pulse Affect Excitonic Absorption Spectra?

    Diploma: "Exzitonische Absorptionsspektren unter dem Einfluß eines elektrischen Pulses" Thesis: "New solution algorithm for Volterra deffects"
  7. S

    Application to PhD in Physics in the USA

    Hello everyone! I did my BSc in Electrical Engineering and MSc in Communicative Electronics (Specialty- Electronic Engineering). I have one paper publication in IEEE. However, I have low GPAs in both BSc and MSc (around 2.5 on a scale of 4). Will it be possible for me to get a PhD in Physics or...
  8. ateixeira

    Can Returning to Academia Reignite a Former Consultant's Passion for Science?

    I finished my degree in 2007, drifted away into management consulting and the financial world. Now in 2024 I decided to return and do a PhD in particle physics (lattice QCD and mesonic physics to be more exact.) Hence I defined a study plan to get me into basic shape until September. Besides...
  9. F

    Other Switching department of my PhD (keeping same supervisor)

    My PhD has 9 months left supervised (funded) and a year after that to write up in the thesis (unfunded but I am currently looking at other options for that and may be able to get around 6 months of it funded). My PhD got off to a very weird start to be honest. First of all it started during...
  10. ateixeira

    Is Returning to Physics After Years in Finance a Good Idea?

    Hello everybody! I signed up to this blog a long time ago but I don't think I ever made a post in here before. I finished my degree in Physics more than 5 years ago, started my PhD but never finished it. After that I moved back to Angola and followed a careers in consulting and on the financial...
  11. H

    Applying for a PhD in Physics after a Master's degree

    Hi, I have a few questions about the timeline of pursuing a PhD after a master's degree. Applying for PhDs seems quite a hassle as of now because each university has their own set of application procedures, academic requirements and deadlines. I am currently in the process of navigating where...
  12. N

    Job Skills Electronics PhD Subject Question

    Hi, I would like to start a PhD in electronics but I'm having trouble trying to determine what subject I should choose. I have an Electronics Engineering degree and it seems to be very hard if not impossible to find work in the USA with only an engineering degree. My idea would be to be able...
  13. F

    Admissions Curious about my grad school prospects

    I'm currently in the process of applying to grad schools and I'm having second thoughts (and honestly even second guessing) on my odds of admission and opportunities in grad school. I'm a senior at a liberal arts college. Physics-Astronomy combined major and a Math minor. I'm an international...
  14. thematrix1101

    Admissions Comments on PhD Statement of Purpose

    Hey guys it would be great if you could take a look at my statement of purpose for a physics PhD program included below. The "Future Work" section at the end is where I talked about the specific program and faculties and how it will be a great fit for me. Any comments, criticism, advice is...
  15. Hassan Raza

    Is a Low CGPA a Deal Breaker for Grad School Admissions?

    Hi! I want to apply in Grad schools in USA as an international Student. But my cgpa is around 2.69. Most of the graduate school require at least 3.0. But there are some that do not have any minimum cgpa requirement on their website. But people say it's very difficult to get admission. I've not...
  16. R

    Physics Dropping my PhD studies to join industry

    Hello all. I have recently completed my second year of PhD studies in the field of Optics and Photonics and I have decided to drop out of my program. I have lost passion for my project and field and would like to study renewable technologies (solar cells,batteries, fusion...) instead, I still...
  17. Y

    Engineering PhD in Systems Engineering - Impact on Career

    I see some schools offer a PhD in Systems Engineering, even Cornell and BU. Can anyone here who has this degree or know someone who does, can say if it was worth getting or not, and how it impacted their career? What kind of opportunities did it open up for for you? What jobs require the degree...
  18. F

    Programs Postdoc in Particle Physics with a PhD in Nanoscience Nanotechnology

    I already have a PhD in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and I will start an M.S. in Physics at SJSU next Monday (August 21 2023). I am interested in Particle Physics. A professor at my institution working in the field told me the following "For you, since you already have a PhD, I don’t think it...
  19. amoonaa

    Admissions Can I do PhD in Physics if I have Bachelors in Engineering and 14 years of industry experience?

    I have bachelors degree in electric engineering and masters in engineering management and 14 years of experience in software product development. So no experience in physics at all. Is it possible to do a phd in physics ? Its always been my passion that i now think about pursuing
  20. ForTheBit

    Admissions Getting into a top tier Physics PhD Program with a Masters Degree

    Hello everyone, I graduated a few years ago with a bachelors in aerospace engineering with a 3.2 GPA and a second author on a published research paper. I am currently working as a senior software engineer, but have been considering going back to school for a PhD in Physics. I am planning on...
  21. Astroparticle

    Admissions What are my chances for PhD in physics after my MSc physics?

    Hello, everyone, I have a BSc in physics with a GPA of 3.6 in a 4.0 system. After my BSc, I was working in my country for about 2 years at a research institute, and at that time I didn't truly understand what is research and what I should specialize furthermore in physics, etc. Now, I'm...
  22. F

    Admissions Profile evaluation for astronomy Phd applicant in the fall 2023 cycle

    I will apply for a Ph.D. in Astronomy in the fall of 2023. I want to have a realistic evaluation of my profile to see if I am over-ambitious or not. I think I am out of reach for the "big four" universities. I will donate money to two of them only and will be targeting other top schools...
  23. oliviajohnsonoj

    Physics Is a PhD in Physics the Right Choice for Me?

    I have done master's in physics and I am not sure if I should also do PHD in physics or not. Can anyone help me out here and highlight the career opportunities there could be after PHD.
  24. C

    "TAing" meaning in PhD programs?

    Hi Everyone, Dose anybody please know what 'TAing' means in this context: 'In general for PhD programs, you should expect to be funded, possibly in exchange for TAing. You shouldn't expect to pay or to take out loans.' Many thanks!
  25. G

    I can't find a PhD in theoretical physics after 6 months of trying

    Hi, I am 25 years old living in EU. I am posting my experience with the objective of getting advice or opinions. I have a bachelor in physics with a thesis on the SM electroweak sector. I have a master again in theoretical physics with a specialization on Hadron Physics ( QFT ). Both of my...
  26. E

    Admissions Applying for PhD despite very weak undergraduate GPA

    Hi everyone, I'll keep it short and to the point. Just as the title say, I'm looking for advice on my situation. I'm very passionate about physics and want nothing more than a career in academia. I went to NYU and graduated with a bachelor's in physics in 2019. Due to various health issues...
  27. mathguy_1995

    Programs PhD in pure Maths and... Physics

    Hello, I'm currently a phd candidate in pure maths, doing research in Ergodic Theory (concerning ergodic convergence theorems). When I started studying Ergodic Theory I ran into Statistical Mechanics and I immediately fell in love. I've started studying physics from scratch. As my current...
  28. PhysPaig

    Admissions Can I cancel a physics PhD visit day, after they've booked my flight?

    Hello everyone! I have a visit day for a school coming up that they booked my hotel and flight for. I was initially interested in the program, but my partner recently received a dream job offer in Boston. I have been offered a spot at two PhD programs there, so I'll likely pick one of those in...
  29. F

    Courses PhD in Physics after getting my MS Physics in the US

    I will start my Master's in Physics next August at San Jose State University. If I decide to start a PhD in Physics once I am done with the Master's, will I still need to take courses at the PhD? Or will I just have to do the research?
  30. nsypgorz

    Advice: Doing grad school abroad and getting a masters instead of PhD

    My background: I live in the US and I graduated last June with my BS in physics. Went to an alright school and was an alright student (3.52 overall GPA, 3.49 major) with minors in math and CS. I did 2 internships, but my first one I basically did nothing, and my second was basically translating...
  31. Vanadium 50

    PhD Qualifying Exams -- Are they being phased out?

    [Mentor Note -- this thread is split off the previous thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/are-physicists-good-in-every-branch-of-physics.1049445/ ] To get a PhD, you need to pass something called a qualifying exam, which covers all of physics. I do high energy, but there were...
  32. B

    Courses I want a PhD in Physics, having a Bachelor in math

    I know that I need to satisfy the core requirements for a Bachelor's in physics and I have the ability and desire to do it. I live in California.. Here, and I believe almost everywhere, public universities do not allowe enrollment in a second Bachelor's, even online. Private universities are...
  33. VVS2000

    Physics Choice of specialization for Quantum Chromodynamics PhD?

    I am entering into the 2nd year of my masters and I plan to do my phd in quantum chromodynamics. So for my specialization, would it be helpful if I choose nuclear and particle physics or quantum field theory?
  34. J

    Admissions Applying to PhD programs after a few years out of academia

    So I graduated in 2019 from a smaller state university with 2 honors BAs in physics and applied math. 3.83 GPA, all A's in my 400 level classes, few years of computational research and some independent honors projects, and I was involved with tutoring, TA'ing, led the SPS chapter, etc. Didn't do...
  35. L

    Admissions Academics gap: Looking for 2nd M.Sc Physics degree or a PhD Physics?

    Hi everyone, I finished M.Sc Physics by "Research" at a UK university during the academic year of 2015. I am an international student from India. As I did not do well in my oral presentation defending my M.Sc thesis (but it was not worst), as a result, I got a pass degree. Before the day or...
  36. decisivedove

    Admissions Should I apply to Physics PhD programs?

    Hi, I am a senior at a large research public university in the US (UC Davis). I really want to go to grad school but I am not sure if I should apply this year. I am only 19 years old (I graduated high school with an associates in physics) so this is only my second real year of college and I...
  37. DannyLouis888

    Physics Apply for a post doc with different topics from my PhD projects?

    Hi everyone! How can I apply for a post-doc that is in a different field from my current PhD topic? I.e. I would like to make a transition. However, I need to learn how to say and justify that I am competent in the fields I have rarely touched. In addition, I have yet to publish at the moment...
  38. Q

    Programs I am doing a BME PhD, and hope to transfer to medical physics

    Hi All, I am currently a third-year Ph.D. student working on PET image processing and tracer kinetic modeling, and about to graduate in two years. After three years study, I developed a high interest in clinical-related projects and found medical physics path is very suitable for me. I wish...
  39. beethovenscroissant

    Admissions Climbing my way to a Physics PhD 10 years after a Philosophy BA

    Hi all! It's been a decade since I graduated with a bachelor's in philosophy. I went to an ivy planning double major with physics, but I ultimately dropped the latter after my introductory courses and graduated with a poor GPA (2.7). To save you the sob story, I basically had no ability to cope...
  40. Azerack

    Admissions Safety School Programs for a Physics PhD

    Hi, this is my first time using the Physics Forums so please let me know if this question belongs somewhere else. I'm a senior undergraduate at a mid-size institution in the United States seeking to purse a PhD in High Energy Theoretical physics or Quantum Information/Computing. I'm aware these...
  41. A

    Your advice to first-year PhD students

    What advice would you give a first-year PhD student in physics? Another question: If you could go back and do your PhD again, what would you do differently/better?
  42. R

    Physics Does a datascience job help in applying for PhD or physics scholarship

    I have a math degree and currently pursuing a BS in physics, I've been offered a job as a data scientist with occasional machine learning stuff. 1) Would this be helpful for my career in physics? If yes then how? (I'm aware that machine learning is being used in various areas of physics, but...
  43. Y

    Programs Help Understanding the PhD Application Process

    So if I'm understanding correctly, companies provide grants to universities to conduct certain research. The professors oversee the grants and have PhD student help contribute to the research under that grant. Based on this, it seems that PhD students don't conduct research "any question" they...
  44. user366312

    Admissions European PhD Application Rules: Incomplete Degree Programs from Poland

    I already have an MSc from outside the EU. But, I also have an incomplete CS degree from Poland which I dropped out of. European Ph.D. schools often ask for a CV, not "all the transcript from all the attended programs" as they ask in North America. Therefore, can I skip the information...
  45. E

    Programs Distance/Remote Masters in Computer Science while working before PhD

    Hi all, I just finished my undergrad degree in CS. I did reasonably well and would like to pursue a PhD at some point in the next 6 years, however I am not ready to do so immediately. I have taken a job as a software engineer and intend to work there for a year or two to save up some money. I...
  46. CyclicAvatar

    PhD in condensed matter theory or theoretical cosmology

    Hi all, I just graduated from my master's program in theoretical physics. I did 60% of the coursework in high energy physics and rest in condensed matter theory plus a few experimental physics courses. I did my master's thesis in what can be called as theoretical cosmology, studying particle...
  47. robertya1027

    I cannot see myself doing a PhD

    I posted a lot of times on reddit, because I don't think I can survive a PhD
  48. J

    Physics Easiest Physics PhD fields to get into in the US?

    Hello, I am ready to apply to grad schools and would like to have a few insurance schools just in case. What are the easiest physics fields (biophysics,nuclear physics...etc) to get into a PhD for? Regards,
  49. jedishrfu

    Edward O. Wilson Renowned PhD Biologist, The Ant Man, has died at 92

  50. D

    Physics Changing my physics subfield between Master's and PhD

    Hello, dear all. Currently I'm studying MSc in physics hoping to do PhD soon after my graduation. I did my bachelor in Quantum Electrodynamics, and before starting my MSc in physics, I was working as a research assistant in experimental HEP lab, and I thought I wanted to explore other subfields...