Do you have a strong academic focus and a love of wisdom? If so, pursuing a Ph.D. may be the best option for you. What is a Ph.D., though, and how does one obtain one?
Ph.D., or doctor of philosophy, is a shorthand. With this academic or professional degree, the holder is typically eligible to teach their subject area at the university level or to assume a position of particular responsibility in their chosen sector.
What is a Ph.D.?
A Ph.D. is a postgraduate academic degree that is given by universities and other institutions of higher learning to a candidate after they have completed a thesis or dissertation that is the result of in-depth research in their field of interest. According to where you are and what you are studying, PhDs have different requirements.
However, a Ph.D. is typically the highest degree a student can earn (with some exceptions). It often comes after a master’s degree, however, some institutions can let students go straight from their bachelor’s degree to a Ph.D. Depending on your grades, expertise, abilities, and research, some universities may also provide you the chance to “upgrade” or “fast-track” your master’s degree into a Ph.D.
Can I qualify for a Ph.D. without the necessary credentials?
If you want to pursue a Ph.D. but lack the necessary credentials or their equivalent, you could still be allowed to do so by meeting additional requirements set forth by your preferred university. One or more requirements might be passing a qualifying exam or doing a certain amount of additional study.
You might also be able to present a special case to the institution of your choice, either on the strength of a non-degree professional certification and a wealth of real-world experience or on the strength of credentials from abroad. Before enrolling in this way, you should get your possible supervisor’s advice and support because special case Ph.D. submissions will need their strong support.
How to become a Ph.D.?
A Ph.D. is not an easy accomplishment. Most students need years to complete this. Let’s examine the procedures needed to obtain a Ph.D.
Step 1: Finish your undergraduate studies
You must complete an undergraduate program at a respectable university and earn your bachelor’s degree before moving on to the next phase of your Ph.D.
The basis for your later, more complex coursework will be laid by this schooling. It’s critical that you keep your GPA strong all the way through your undergraduate studies.
Step 2: Finish a master’s degree program
The logical next step after earning your bachelor’s degree is to pursue a master’s degree.
Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test are prerequisites for graduate study (GMAT). A master’s degree can be earned in a specific subject of study and normally requires two years to complete.
A master’s degree is typically obtained before a Ph.D., despite the fact that it is not formally necessary.
Step 3: Submit a Ph.D. application
It’s time to apply for your Ph.D. program once your graduate degree is over. Finding the finest Ph.D. school for your area of study requires research because there are many to select from.
You will need to submit the following materials throughout the application process:
- Unfinished application
- Transcripts from college and graduate school
- The resume
- Your GRE or GMAT results
- Recommendation letters
- A purpose statement
Step 4: Finish the coursework.
You will start out by taking your coursework when you start your Ph.D. program.
You’ll probably have some obligatory classes and some electives, as is typical for undergraduate and graduate programs. Students typically create their own study plans for the courses they will take over the next few years.
Step 5: Prepare a research proposal
A research proposal is a written statement of the precise subject that a Ph.D. candidate will investigate. A research proposal should outline the main topic or questions the author hopes to address in their dissertation along with the precise steps they intend to take to get there.
The proposal is crucial to the development of your Ph.D. even though it won’t be included in your final thesis.
Step 6: Finish a literature review
The first step before beginning your project report is the literature review.
You’ll perform a thorough analysis of all the research on your subject for this review. A Ph.D. student should critically evaluate the body of literature that already exists on their subject during this phase and identify any gaps that their study might be able to fill.
Step 7: Conduct research and gather data
After finishing their literature review, students will conduct further in-person research and experiments to aid in addressing the topics they are posing for their dissertation.
Step 8: Create a thesis and write a dissertation
It’s time to publish your final thesis and dissertation once your research is complete and you have a suitable amount of data. Despite the frequent confusion between the two phrases, your thesis refers to the position you have taken or the conclusion you have drawn, while your dissertation is where you support it.
The result of all of your research is your dissertation. Dissertations are original works that frequently center around recently discovered theories. It often takes years to complete a dissertation, which is around the size of a book.
Step 9: Viva Voice
Viva voce is a Latin expression that means “through word of mouth” or “with the living voice.” Additionally, it’s the last and most crucial step in the process of receiving a Ph.D.
A Ph.D. candidate must present their thesis for approval before a panel of appointed examiners, unlike other degrees where you take a final test. The examiners frequently ask several questions, and the process can easily last several hours. You will be given your doctorate and be able to use the coveted “Dr.” after successfully completing your viva voce.
Why pursue a Ph.D.?
While a student may seek a master’s degree to advance their profession, if they are keen on academic research, they often strive for a Ph.D. When not conducting research, Ph.D. holders frequently have positions as professors at institutions; hence, those who are interested in instructing college-age students may also desire to acquire a doctoral degree.
A Ph.D. holder can also direct research initiatives for governmental agencies and private companies, serve as a media consultant, and produce books and articles on their field of study and research.