Difference Between Doctorate and PhD

By: | Updated: Jul-10, 2021

In the English language, there are two words that are similar to each other, namely “doctorate” and “PhD”. Both of these words are used interchangeably, but they have different meanings. Doctorate and PhD are two of the most important academic degrees in the English-speaking world. In other countries, these two degrees are also important. Although these two degrees have similar meanings, they are not the same.

With that being said, what are the differences between “Doctorate” and “PhD”? In this article, we will discuss the differences between the two degrees, who can get them, and how they are used in the English-speaking world. So, let’s begin.

Summary Table:

Doctorate PhD
Is a degree awarded by universities and colleges for outstanding academic achievement Is an abbreviation for “Doctor of Philosophy”
Takes about 4 to 6 years to complete Takes about 3 to 5 years to complete
You have to do original research, present your findings at conferences, and publish them in journals Sometimes you only need to pass a comprehensive exam that tests your knowledge of the field

Definitions:

Difference Between Doctorate and PhD

Before we talk about the differences between “Doctorate” and “PhD”, let’s first define what we mean by “Doctorate” and “PhD.” To do this, we need to take a look back at the definitions and meanings of these two words.

What is a Doctorate?

Doctorate is a degree awarded by universities and colleges for outstanding academic achievement. It is usually a terminal degree, meaning that it can only be earned after completing the undergraduate program. The word “doctor” means “teacher” in Latin, so the word “doctorate” means “teacher’s degree.”

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Doctorate is usually awarded to people who have already completed a master’s degree or a doctorate, but there are some universities that do not require you to have a master’s degree before you can apply for the doctorate. In such cases, the person will have to complete a master’s degree first, and then apply for the doctorate.

Who can get a Doctorate?

There are different types of doctorates, and the type you can get depends on your field of study. The most common type is the Doctorate in Philosophy, which is awarded to people who have completed a master’s degree in philosophy. There are also Doctorate in Law, Doctorate in Economics, and so on.

Students who have completed a master’s degree in philosophy can apply for the Doctorate in Philosophy. The same is true for students who have completed a master’s degree in law, economics, and so on.

How to get a Doctorate degree?

As mentioned above, to get a doctorate degree, you must first complete your undergraduate degree. In some cases, the university will allow you to skip this step and begin your doctorate program straight away. But it is usually best to complete your undergraduate degree first.

Once you have completed your undergraduate degree, you can apply for the doctorate program. The application procedure varies from university to university, but usually involves writing a thesis and defending it in front of a panel of examiners. If you pass the exam, you will be awarded your doctorate degree.

What is PhD?

PhD is an abbreviation for “Doctor of Philosophy.” This is a degree awarded by universities and colleges for outstanding academic achievement. Someone who has been awarded a PhD is known as a “Doctor.”

The word “PhD” means “doctor’s degree.” So, a PhD is a doctorate degree. But, unlike the other types of doctorates that we have mentioned above, the Ph.D. does not require you to have completed a master’s degree.

Doctorate Vs. PhD:

As you may know, there are several words that have a similar meaning. For example, “Doctorate” and “PhD” are both used to describe a degree that has been awarded to a person after a successful dissertation defense. However, they are not the same thing. Now, let’s take a look at the differences between the two degrees.

1. The type of title

“Doctorate” is a title that you can use to describe someone who has completed doctoral studies. However, it is not an academic degree like PhD which is used to describe someone who has earned a PhD degree after defending a dissertation.

2. The time to complete

Doctorate: Doctorate degrees are awarded by universities and other higher education institutions after a person has completed doctoral studies. Usually, this type of degree takes between 4-6 years to complete. However, it may take more or less time depending on the field of study that you choose.

PhD: PhD degrees are usually a 5-year degree and can be completed in as little as 3 years. PhD degrees are usually awarded by universities after you have earned a master’s degree and passed your comprehensive exam.

3. The requirements

Doctorate degrees are awarded for work done by a person in an academic field. This means that you have to do original research, present your findings at conferences, and publish them in journals before you can be awarded a doctorate degree. You may also have to pass a comprehensive exam that tests your knowledge of the field.

PhD degrees are also awarded for work done in an academic field. However, you do not always have to do original research, present your findings at conferences, or publish them in journals. Sometimes you only need to pass a comprehensive exam that tests your knowledge of the field.

4. The type of work involved

Doctorate degrees are awarded for work done in the field of a person’s major. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you have completed your PhD in an area of study that has been previously ruled out as acceptable by the academic institution you attend, then you may be awarded a doctorate degree in that field. A doctorate degree can be awarded to a person from the Computer Science major, the Art History major, or the English major.

PhD stands for “Doctor of Philosophy” and it is a 5-year degree. It is usually awarded to someone from the Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, or Engineering fields.

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