Skip Nav

What is a PhD Dissertation?

Showcase Your Scholarly Works

❶Nineteenth Century Oxford , Oxford: The required complexity or quality of research of a thesis or dissertation can vary by country, university, or program, and the required minimum study period may thus vary significantly in duration.

Site navigation

Better research, better learning, better insights.
You might also Like

In contrast to the US, many countries reserve the term "doctorate" for research degrees and if, as in Canada and Australia, professional degrees bear the name "Doctor of When a university wishes to formally recognize an individual's contributions to a particular field or philanthropic efforts, it may choose to grant a doctoral degree honoris causa i. In Argentina the doctorate doctorado [63] is the highest academic degree. The intention is that candidates produce original contributions in their field knowledge within a frame of academic excellence.

It is reviewed by a Doctoral Committee composed of examiners external to the program and at least one examiner external to the institution. The degree is conferred after a successful dissertation defence. Doctoral candidates are normally required to have a Master's degree in a related field. Exceptions are based on their individual academic merit. A second and a third foreign language are other common requirements, although the requirements regarding proficiency commonly are not strict.

The admissions process varies by institution. Some require candidates to take tests while others base admissions on a research proposal application and interview only. In both instances however, a faculty member must agree prior to admission to supervise the applicant. Requirements usually include satisfactory performance in advanced graduate courses, passing an oral qualifying exam and submitting a thesis that must represent an original and relevant contribution to existing knowledge.

The thesis is examined in a final public oral exam administered by at least five faculty members, two of whom must be external. After completion, which normally consumes 4 years, the candidate is commonly awarded the degree of Doutor Doctor followed by the main area of specialization, e.

Physics, Chemistry, Biological and Life Sciences, etc. All graduate programs in Brazilian public universities are tuition-free mandated by the Brazilian constitution. Competition for graduate financial aid is intense and most scholarships support at most 2 years of Master's studies and 4 years of doctoral studies. The normal monthly stipend for doctoral students in Brazil is between and USD. A degree of Doutor usually enables an individual to apply for a junior faculty position equivalent to a US Assistant Professor.

Progression to full professorship known as Professor Titular requires that the candidate be successful in a competitive public exam and normally takes additional years. In the federal university system, doctors who are admitted as junior faculty members may progress usually by seniority to the rank of Associate Professor then become eligible to take the competitive exam for vacant full professorships.

In recent years somme initiatives as jointly supervised doctorates e. Denmark offers four levels of degrees: Bachelor of Arts degree ; 2 a five-year candidate's degree e. Doctor Philosophiae , which is the higher doctorate. A three-year extended research program, leading to the magister's degree was phased out to meet the international standards of the Bologna Process.

In the disputation, the candidate defends their thesis against three official opponents as well as opponents from the auditorium ex auditorio. In Egypt, the highest degree doctorate is awarded by Al-Azhar University est.

The Medical doctorate abbreviated as M. It takes on average three to five years. Many postgraduate medical and surgical specialties students earn a Doctorate. After finishing a 6-year medical school and one-year internship house officer , physicians and surgeons earn the M. They can then apply to earn a master's degree or a speciality diploma, then an MD degree in a specialty.

Geriatrics means a doctorate in Geriatrics , which is equivalent to a Ph. The Finnish requirement for the entrance into doctoral studies is a master's degree or equivalent. All universities have the right to award doctorates. Entrance to a doctoral program is available only for holders of a master's degree; there is no honors procedure for recruiting Bachelors. Entrance is not as controlled as in undergraduate studies, where a strict numerus clausus is applied.

Usually, a prospective student discusses their plans with a professor. If the professor agrees to accept the student, the student applies for admission. The professor may recruit students to their group. The student must obtain funding either by working in a research unit or through private scholarships. Funding is more available for natural and engineering sciences than in letters.

Sometimes, normal work and research activity are combined. Prior to introduction of the Bologna process, Finland required at least 42 credit weeks 1, hours of formal coursework. The requirement was removed in , leaving the decision to individual universities, which may delegate the authority to faculties or individual professors.

The duration of graduate studies varies. It is possible to graduate three years after the master's degree, while much longer periods are not uncommon. The dissertation can either be a monograph or it an edited collection of 3 to 7 journal articles. Students unable or unwilling to write a dissertation may qualify for a licentiate degree by completing the coursework requirement and writing a shorter thesis, usually summarizing one year of research.

When the dissertation is ready, the faculty names two expert pre-examiners with doctoral degrees from the outside the university. During the pre-examination process, the student may receive comments on the work and respond with modifications. When granting this permission, the faculty names the opponent for the thesis defence, who must also be an outside expert, with at least a doctorate.

In all Finnish universities, long tradition requires that the printed dissertation hang on a cord by a public university noticeboard for at least ten days prior to for the dissertation defence. The doctoral dissertation takes place in public. The opponent and the candidate conduct a formal debate, usually wearing white tie , under the supervision of the thesis supervisor.

Family, friends, colleagues and the members of the research community customarily attend the defence. After a formal entrance, the candidate begins with an approximately minute popular lecture lectio praecursoria , that is meant to introduce laymen to the thesis topic.

The opponent follows with a short talk on the topic, after which the pair critically discuss the dissertation. The proceedings take two to three hours.

Any member of the public then has an opportunity to raise questions, although this is rare. Immediately after the defence, the supervisor, the opponent and the candidate drink coffee with the public. Usually, the attendees of the defence are given the printed dissertation. Usually, the candidate invites their family, colleagues and collaborators.

Doctoral graduates are often Doctors of Philosophy filosofian tohtori , but many fields retain their traditional titles: The doctorate is a formal requirement for a docenture or professor's position, although these in practice require postdoctoral research and further experience. Exceptions may be granted by the university governing board, but this is uncommon, and usually due to other work and expertise considered equivalent.

Before three research doctorates existed in France: After , only one type of doctoral degree remained: This diploma is similar in spirit to the older State doctorate, and the requirements for obtaining it are similar to those necessary to obtain tenure in other systems.

Before only professors or senior full researchers of similar rank were normally authorized to supervise a doctoral candidate's work.

Today, the doctorate doctorat is a research-only degree. It is a national degree and its requirements are fixed by the minister of higher education and research.

Only public institutions award the doctorate. It can be awarded in any field of study. The master's degree is a prerequisite. The normal duration is three years. The redaction of a comprehensive thesis constitutes the bulk of the doctoral work. While the length of the thesis varies according to the discipline, it is rarely less than pages, and often substantially more.

Doctoral candidates can apply for a three-year fellowship. The most well known is the Contrat Doctoral 4, granted every year with a gross salary of euros per months as of September Since candidates follow in-service training, but there is no written examination for the doctorate. The candidate has to write a thesis that is read by two external reviewers. The head of the institution decides whether the candidate can defend the thesis, after considering the external reviews. The jury members are designated by the head of the institution.

The candidate's supervisor and the external reviewers are generally jury members. The maximum number of jury members is 8. The defense generally lasts 45 minutes in scientific fields, followed by 1 — 2 and a half hours of questions from the jury or other doctors present.

The defense and questions are public. The jury then deliberates in private and then declares the candidate admitted or "postponed". The latter is rare. New regulations were set in and do not award distinctions. The diploma is a first-degree. Doctorate degrees in Germany are research doctorates and are awarded via a process called Promotion "promotion". The concept of a US-style professional doctorate as an entry-level professional qualification does not exist.

However, in medicine, "doctoral" dissertations are often written alongside undergraduate study. The European Research Council decided in that those Dr. Most doctorates are awarded with specific Latin designations for the field of research except for engineering, where the designation is German instead of a general degree for all fields e. The most important degrees are:. Over fifty such designations are available, many of them rare or no longer in use.

For addressing, the degree is commonly written in front of the name in abbreviated form, e. Max Mustermann or Dr. Max Mustermann , dropping the designation entirely. However leaving out the designation is only allowed, when the doctorate degree is not an honorary doctorate, which has to be indicated by Dr.

Although the honorific does not become part of the name, holders can demand that the title appear in official documents. The title is not mandatory. The honorific is commonly used in formal letters. For holders of other titles, only the highest title is mentioned. Multiple holders of doctorate degrees can be addressed as Dres. Professional doctorates obtained in other countries, not requiring a thesis or not being third cycle qualifications under the Bologna process, can only be used postnominally, e.

In the German university system it is common to write two doctoral theses, the inaugural thesis Inauguraldissertation , completing a course of study, and the habilitation thesis Habilitationsschrift , which opens the road to a professorship. It is considered as an additional academic qualification rather than an academic degree formally.

It qualifies the owner to teach at German universities facultas docendi. The holder of a Habilitation receives the authorization to teach a certain subject venia legendi. This has been the traditional prerequisite for attaining Privatdozent PD and employment as a full university Professor. With the introduction of Juniorprofessuren —around —as an alternative track towards becoming a professor at universities with tenure , Habilitation is no longer the only university career track.

In India , doctorates are offered by universities. Entry requirements include master's degree. Some universities consider undergraduate degrees in professional areas such as engineering, medicine or law as qualifications for pursuing doctorate level degrees. Entrance examinations are held for almost all programs. In most North Indian universities, coursework duration and thesis is 2 years and in most South Indian universities is 3 years.

The most common doctoral degree is Ph. Sc Doctor of Science. Nationally important schools such as Indian Institute of Management , [84] National Institute of Industrial Engineering [85] call their doctoral programmes fellow programmes. Entry to professional fields such as medicine, dentistry, occupational therapy and physical therapy is at the bachelor's level. They are usually of longer duration than a regular bachelor's degree e.

D degree Doctor of Pharmacy takes 6 years. Italy uses a three-level degree system. The first-level degree, called a " laurea " Bachelor's degree , requires three years and a short thesis. The second-level degree, called a " laurea magistrale " Master's degree , is obtained after two additional years, specializing in a branch of the field. This degree requires more advanced thesis work, usually involving academic research or an internship.

The final degree is called a " dottorato di ricerca " Ph. Alternatively, after obtaining the laurea or the laurea magistrale one can complete a "Master's" first-level Master's after the laurea ; second-level Master's after the laurea magistrale of one or two years, usually including an internship. An Italian "Master's" is not the same as a master's degree; it is intended to be more focused on professional training and practical experience.

Graduates in the fields of Education, Art and Music are also called Dr. Many professional titles, such as ingegnere engineer are awarded only upon passing a post-graduation examination esame di stato , and registration in the relevant professional association.

The first institution in Italy to create a doctoral program Ph. Until the s, most natural science and engineering doctorates in Japan were earned by industrial researchers in Japanese companies.

These degrees were awarded by the employees' former university, usually after years of research in industrial laboratories. The only requirement is submission of a dissertation, along with articles published in well-known journals.

It produced the majority of engineering doctoral degrees from national universities. This curriculum is professionally oriented, [99] but unlike in the US the program does not provide education sufficient for a law license. All candidates for a bar license must pass the bar exam Shihou shiken , attend the Legal Training and Research Institute and pass the practical exam Nikai Shiken or Shihou Shushusei koushi. The traditional academic system of the Netherlands provided basic academic diploma: After successful completion of the first year of university, the student was awarded the propaedeutic diploma not a degree.

In some fields, this diploma was abolished in the s. In physics and mathematics, the student could directly obtain a kandidaats candidate diploma in two years. The candidate diploma was all but abolished by It used to be attained after completion of the majority of courses of the academic study usually after completion of course requirements of the third year in the program , after which the student was allowed to begin work on their doctorandus thesis.

In addition to these 'general' degrees, specific titles equivalent to the doctorandus degree were awarded for law: Following the Bologna protocol the Dutch adopted the Anglo-Saxon system of academic degrees.

The old candidate's degree was revived to become the bachelor's degree and the doctorandus' mr and ir degree were replaced by master's degrees. Dutch university programmes tend to include advanced subject matter that e. Students can only enroll in a doctorate system after completing a research university level master's degree; although dispensation can be granted on a case by case basis after scrutiny of the individual's portfolio.

Research can also be conducted without official research assistant status, for example through a business-sponsored research laboratory. The promotor professor determines whether the thesis quality suffices and can be submitted to the committee of experts. A committee of experts in the field review the thesis.

Failures at this stage are rare because supervisors withhold inadequate work. The supervisors and promotor lose prestige among their colleagues should they allow a substandard thesis to be submitted. After reviewer approval, the candidate publishes the thesis generally more than copies and sends it to colleagues, friends and family with an invitation to the public defense. The degree is awarded in a formal, public, defense session, in which the thesis is defended against critical questions of the "opposition" the review committee.

Failure during this session is possible, but rare. Before the defense there may or may not be a public presentation, lasting 10 minutes e. Eindhoven University to exactly half hour e. The actual defense lasts exactly the assigned time slot 45 minutes to 1 hour exactly depending on the University after which the defense is stopped by the bedel who closes the process.

The doctor's title is the highest academic degree in the Netherlands. In research doctorates the degree is always Ph. Although the title doctor is informally called Ph. All other university titles B.

Any person thus can adopt the Ph. Those who obtained a degree in a foreign country can only use the Dutch title drs. Dutch doctors may use the letter D behind their name instead of the uncapitalized shortcut dr. Those who have multiple doctor dr. In Belgium 's Flemish Community the doctorandus title was only used by those who actually started their doctoral work. Doctorandus is still used as a synonym for a Ph. The licentiaat licensee title was in use for a regular graduate until the Bologna reform changed the licentiaat degree to the master's degree the Bologna reform abolished the two-year kandidaat degree and introduced a three-year academic bachelor's degree instead.

In the Russian Empire the academic degree "doctor of the sciences" doktor nauk marked the highest academic degree that can be achieved by an examination. The "doctor nauk" degree was introduced in Russia in , abolished in , and revived in the USSR in A lower degree, " candidate [doctor] of the sciences " kandidat nauk ; first introduced in the USSR on January 13, , by a decision of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR , is, roughly, the Russian equivalent to the research doctorate in other countries.

Doctoral degrees are regulated by Royal Decree R. They are granted by the University on behalf of the King. Its Diploma has the force of a public document. All doctoral programs are research-oriented. A minimum of 4 years of study is required, divided into 2 stages:.

Since September and regulated by Royal Decree R. In the public defense the doctor is notified if the thesis has passed or not passed. The Apto Cum Laude mark is awarded after the public defense as the result of a private, anonymous vote. Votes are verified by the University. In the same Royal Decree the initial 3-year study period was replaced by a Research master's degree one or two years; Professional master's degrees do not grant direct access to Ph.

An approved project earns a master's degree that grants access to a Ph. A doctorate is required in order to teach at the University. Complutense University was the only one in Spain authorised to confer the doctorate. This law remained in effect until , when the University of Salamanca joined in commemoration of its septecentenary.

In , the right was extended to all Spanish universities. All doctorate holders are reciprocally recognised as equivalent in Germany and Spain according to the "Bonn Agreement of November 14, ". The doctorate has long existed in the UK as, originally, the second degree in divinity, law, medicine and music. But it was not until the late 19th century that the research doctorate, now known as the higher doctorate, was introduced.

The first higher doctorate was the Doctor of Science at Durham University , introduced in The PhD was adopted in the UK following a joint decision in by British universities, although it took much longer for it to become established. Oxford became the first university to institute the new degree, although naming it the DPhil. At Cambridge, for example, PhDs wear a master's gown with scarlet facings rather than the full scarlet gown of the higher doctors, while the University of Wales gave PhDs crimson gowns rather than scarlet.

Today, except for those awarded honoris causa , all doctorates granted by British universities are research doctorates, in that their main and in many cases only component is the submission of an extensive and substantial thesis or portfolio of original research, examined by an expert panel appointed by the university.

Instead, you can cover almost everything by saying: The progress of science is that we learn and use the work of others with appropriate credit. Assume you have a technically literate readership familiar with or able to find common references. Do not reference popular literature or WWW sites if you can help it this is a matter of style more than anything else -- you want to reference articles in refereed conferences and journals, if possible, or in other theses.

Also in the introduction, you want to survey any related work that attempted something similar to your own, or that has a significant supporting role in your research. This should refer only to published references. You cite the work in the references, not the researchers themselves. Every factual statement you make must have a specific citation tied to it in this chapter, or else it must be common knowledge don't rely on this too much.

Your results are to be of lasting value. Thus, the model you develop and write about and indeed, that you defend should be one that has lasting value. It should be generic in nature, and should capture all the details necessary to overlay the model on likely environments.

You should discuss the problems, parameters, requirements, necessary and sufficient conditions, and other factors here. Consider that 20 years ago ca the common platform was a Vax computer running VMS or a PDP running Unix version 6, yet well-crafted theses of the time are still valuable today. Will your dissertation be valuable 20 years from now ca , or have you referred to technologies that will be of only historical interest?

This model is tough to construct, but is really the heart of the scientific part of your work. This is the lasting part of the contribution, and this is what someone might cite 50 years from now when we are all using MS Linux XXXXP on computers embedded in our wrists with subspace network links!

There are basically three proof techniques that I have seen used in a computing dissertation, depending on the thesis topic. The first is analytic, where one takes the model or formulae and shows, using formal manipulations, that the model is sound and complete. A second proof method is stochastic, using some form of statistical methods and measurements to show that something is true in the anticipated cases. Using the third method, you need to show that your thesis is true by building something according to your model and showing that it behaves as you claim it will.

This involves clearly showing how your implementation model matches the conditions of your abstract model, describing all the variables and why you set them as you do, accounting for confounding factors, and showing the results. You must be careful to not expend too much effort describing how standard protocols and hardware work use citations to the literature, instead.

You must clearly express the mapping of model to experiment, and the definition of parameters used and measured. This may be folded into Chapter III in some theses, or it may be multiple chapters in a thesis with many parts as in a theory-based thesis. This may be where you discuss the effects of technology change on your results. This is also a place where you may wish to point out significant results that you obtained while seeking to prove your central thesis, but which are not themselves supportive of the thesis.

Often, such additional results are published in a separate paper. Conclusions and Future work. This is where you discuss what you found from your work, incidental ideas and results that were not central to your thesis but of value nonetheless, if you did not have them in Chapter V and other results.

This chapter should summarize all the important results of the dissertation note that this is the only chapter many people will ever read, so it should convey all the important results.

This is also where you should outline some possible future work that can be done in the area. What are some open problems? What are some new problems? What are some significant variations open to future inquiry?

Appendices usually are present to hold mundane details that are not published elsewhere, but which are critical to the development of your dissertation. This includes tables of measurement results, configuration details of experimental testbeds, limited source code listings of critical routines or algorithms, etc.

Navigation menu

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Meeting with the Dissertation Doctor¨ on a regular basis can dramatically boost your productivity, provide support, and help you to set up a structure with realistic goals to get you from ABD to PHD.

Privacy FAQs

A thesis is a hypothesis or conjecture. A PhD dissertation is a lengthy, formal document that argues in defense of a particular thesis. (So many people use the term ``thesis'' to refer to the document that a current dictionary now includes it as the third meaning of ``thesis'').

About Our Ads

Dissertations and theses are an important and valuable tool for the library and the researcher in all areas of scholarship. Institutions can transform the library’s dissertations and theses, make institutional research globally discoverable from trusted databases, and . This degree requires more advanced thesis work, usually involving academic research or an internship. The final degree is called a "dottorato di ricerca" (Ph.D.) and is obtained after three years of academic research on the subject and a thesis.

Cookie Info

Learn more about the doctoral dissertation requirements for the School of Advanced Studies at University of Phoenix. The dissertation is a part of the PhD and doctoral degree requirements. Dissertations & Theses @ - Dissertations & Theses @ is a service for ProQuest’s active university publishing partners. The service provides a university's academic community with free access to citations and abstracts for graduate works from that university.