When someone says they have a PhD. What does that mean exactly? It's not a medical degree.

18 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    Doctor comes from the Latin “docere” or “dottore” meaning “to teach”and “teacher” in reference to individuals with enough expertise to teach at a university, which usually meant contributing to the literature about a subject. They are considered true experts in the field capable of consulting the ruling class and teaching others the knowledge they have accumulated.  This includes the most common PhD which means doctor of philosophy, but also professional doctorates like the DBA, DPA, EdD, PsyD, MD, DC, and others. 

    Under that is the Master’s degree which implies a person’s mastery of all aspects of a subject. They are considered capable of leadership in the field. This includes the MA and MS as well as professional master’s degrees like MBA, MPA, MSW, and others. 

    The bachelor’s degree was originally a more general degree in which individuals learned skills needed by a free person (libertus - hence why it is called the liberal arts). As a bachelor entering the world it would behoove you to have that specific knowledge and skills.   They are considered capable of working in the fields they have studied. This includes the BA and BS as well as BBA, BM and others. 

    On a side note, I would like to state for the record that I have been in school way longer than an MD. 

  • garry
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    done phylosophy in doctor field or another name is md , or a masters doctorate , same thing .

  • david
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    Doctorate in the Philosophy of "X". 

  • donnie
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    If you’re trying to ask something your going to have to be more specific. 

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  • 1 month ago

    I have a Ph.D., and I've asked myself exactly the same question.

    Update:  I hereby renounce my own shameful answer and replace it with Ibu's answer:  "It's a doctoral degree, the highest ranking academic degree. And they are entitled to the courtesy title of 'Doctor.'"

    2nd update:  And I give myself a thumbs-down.

  • drip
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    A PhD is a degree. Doctorate in Philosophy can be earned in almost any area of study. Bachelor, Masters then a Doctorate degree. Most Doctorate degrees require research, writing, publications and a dissertation. 

    My son in law earned his bachelor in chemistry, then went on to do his Masters and Doctorate degree which took five years, then one more year to finish his dissertation. He was 28. 

    A medical doctor has a MD. A person who earns a PhD would be address and Dr. Smith. 

  • F
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    PhD means they couldn’t get a job after their bachelors or masters degree, so they stayed on at uni living like a student well into their 30s by which point you become somewhat institutionalised and never leave. 

    Some but not many eventually become professors.

  • 1 month ago

    It's a doctoral degree, the highest ranking academic degree. And they are entitled to the courtesy title of "Doctor."

  • edward
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    They are a doctor of something.  If i had a PhD in chemistry i would be doctor but that doesn’t out the MD after my name

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy.  It's an advanced degree.  After the Bachelor's degree, you get your Master's Degree (usually 2 years of study) followed by the Ph.D (up to 7 years of study).

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