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What Does PhD Stand For

Higher Education Articles January 7, 2013

Ph.D. is an acronym popularly used to denote Doctor of Philosophy. In this country, education in various subjects terminates with a Ph.D. A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is commonly employed by government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and universities and those who wish to complete doctoral programs usually aspire for research positions with these employers. Aspiring candidates interested in becoming professors in universities should look forward to a profession that for about two-thirds of their tenure; they will conduct research, write papers on the university’s behalf and present their research at conferences. Only about a third of their time will be spent teaching.

Tenure of a Ph.D. Program

Students usually need to be involved full-time for four to eight years in order to complete a Ph.D. program; Students who want to be involved part-time should be prepared to commit themselves for a longer period of time. There are limits imposed at some universities and colleges on the duration spent on a Ph.D. program that can cause some aspirants to commit themselves to full-time. Those who engage full-time in their Ph.D. studies will probably spend two to three years involved with coursework, with the remaining duration spent on putting together a doctoral dissertation. A doctoral dissertation, which is another term used for a body of original research work completed by a student, is supervised by an advisor who is usually a professor.

Subject Areas Leading to a Ph.D.

Schools offer Ph.D. programs in various subject areas including economics, philosophy, engineering, English and history. Ph.D. programs are not offered at all universities; they are most likely offered at public state universities. Only some universities offer certain types of Ph.D. programs that tend to be tremendously specific in nature.

Prospective Candidates

Students who want to pursue a Ph.D. program should be prepared to dedicate themselves full-time to studying the subject they want to pursue. Majority of students obtain their Ph.D. because they would like to devote themselves not just to the lifelong study of a subject, but because they would like to teach others in the subject as well.

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