I know a bit about the degree, though the name itself "Doctor of Philosophy" seems awkward for some areas. I'm finishing up my master's right now; I'm considering getting a pHD because I think there's a chance for me to develop and idea I have that is "pHD" worthy. As well, I have an opportunity to perhaps upgrade and extend my federal scholarship. Now, what makes a phD work: concept, result, theory, idea, etc "PhD" worthy? What most university websites says is along the lines of "must be a significant contribution to the knowledge/research base in that field". I asked a fellow in the lab, who's about to defend for his PhD (in control systems), and he tells me: "Your need to do something "new" or "novel", or in a way no one has PUBLISHED before". He himself has took 3 1/2 years to finish, after a 2 years master's. He admitted, though, that for over 1 year he made no progress at all. I have 2 1/2 years of funding left; I can't afford that time. :/ The idea I'm working on has little to no direct research papers yet that I can find easily; this may be because it's not a commercial product yet, but an idea many corporations are working on. So, I think I should be able to publish a result(s) in a decent EE journal, and get a pHD for defending the idea. So, my ultimate question again, what makes a work "PhD" worthy (as this varies field by field, let's say for engineering) ?