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What is PhD : Meaning, How to Do, Benefits, Full Details

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What is PhD?

  • PhD stands for ‘Doctor of Philosophy.’ Philosophy here means -Philo (friend or lower of), Sophia (wisdom).
  • A PhD is an academic degree focused on original research, data analysis and the evaluation of theory. PhD degrees are considered terminal degrees means that you have achieved the highest degree in the field, which helps enhance your resume and your career.
  • PhD earn you the title of “doctor”. Do you become a doctor? Yes, but not that kind of doctor.
  • A PhD is designed for students interested in doing original and applied Research that improve the existing knowledge in their particular field.
  • A PhD program help to analyze theories and concept, Evaluate current and emerging theories within your field, advance the knowledge through original Research and also assess identified gaps in current research paper.

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Is there a need for a Master’s degree to get a PhD?

  • Students in Science, Technology, Engineering and mathematics (STEM) don’t always need a MS/MSc (Masters of Science) to do a PhD. They’ll gain training in lab techniques and other Skills during their undergraduate degree. It’s common for students in Arts and the humanities to complete Masters of Arts before starting a PhD in order to acquire research experience and techniques.
  • Whether a Masters is a requirement for a PhD also varies by country.
  • If we talk about qualifications need to do a PhD; Drive, Curiosity and determination is first priority. On a more practical side, excellent grades, strong letters of recommendation, and the appropriate qualification.


How to Apply for a PhD ?

ü Determine your Interests

ü Do your Research

ü Research some more

ü Prepare your Materials

ü Submit your Application


  1. Determine Your Interests – The most essential thing to combine before you start applying to PhD programs. Think about courses you have liked or reoccurring questions. Summarize your interests in a couple of sentences.
  2. Do your Research – Once you have established your research interests, you can start your Research. Find the Professors who are working in Your area of interest. It’s also a good idea to talk to a trusted professor or your advisor who knows your interests. On many PhD search sites, you can create alerts for positions within your field of interest.
  3. Research some more – Now, you have list of all programs, it’s time to narrow down your list. Some schools/colleges require a minimum GPA or degree classification to apply. Make a note of deadlines for each application as well as materials required for each application.
  4. Prepare Your Materials – You have to submit different materials as part of your application. You can check the University’s graduate school website if you are unsure what type of documents should be in your application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. You may be required to submit some or all of these materials.
  • A CV – A CV is a resume of your academic qualifications.
  • A statement of purpose/personal statement- what are your areas of interest? Why are you applying to this School? How have you prepared to do PhD? Your Statement of Purpose should answer these questions. It is very important to make it specific to each School you are applying to.
  • A research proposal – the research proposal is an outline of your proposal project. It should be clearly defined. E.g.: Your research question, methodology and Research plan. You have to show that you know the field by highlighting the project’s originality and how it will contribute to the field.
  • References – You should provide your references with a list of schools you are applying to and the deadlines for each school. Most universities require two to three letters of recommendation. Choose professor who know you and familiar with your work. Ask if they will be a reference before you start applying to programs.
  • A writing Sample – This should be an academic paper you have written about a topic in your field of interest. The Maximum page length and formatting can vary from school to school, so make sure you check the requirements of each program.
  • Transcripts- You will need to submit official transcripts from each university-level institution you attended or are attending. 
  • Standardized test scores- Many universities in various country require PhD applicants to take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam). The GRE tests your analytical writing, qualitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning skills.
  • Proof of language proficiency – You may be required to show proficiency in another language. It is necessary if you are an International PhD applicant.
  1. Submit your application – When it comes time to actually apply, leave yourself at least an hour to fill out each application. Before you start the application make sure you have all the appropriate supporting documentation saved in correct format for each school. You should also have your credit card ready to pay any application fees.


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How much will it cost?

It’s really difficult to say how much a PhD will cost as it is so dependent on where you are from, where you study and what you study. Some PhD are fully funded while others are funded through University Scholarships or national grants..


Degree Completion

  • All colleges and universities establish their own policies on how you earn a degree. PhD candidates usually complete a dissertation. A PhD dissertation requires you to conduct Research into an approved area of study within your discipline. A PhD usually culminates in a dissertation of around 80,000-100,000 words, based on Research carried out over the course of their study with aim to create new knowledge or theories or build on existing knowledge or theories.
  • Students are expected to work independently, supported by their department and a supervisor. During their study, students will try and get academic papers published and present their work at conferences.
  • A typical PhD normally involves: 

ü Carrying out a literature review (a survey)

ü Conducting original research

ü Collecting your results

ü Producing a thesis that presents your conclusions

ü Writing up your thesis

ü Submitting your thesis as a dissertation

ü Defending your thesis in an oral exam

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A PhD course is usually of three years duration and candidates need to complete the course within a maximum time span of five to six years. However, the course duration may vary from one institute to the other.

Many Universities are offering PhD for students in State and Central level. Students are approaching universities for the course in specializations on PhD.

Many Universities apply the Entrance exam for the postgraduate students for admission. Then they follow the merit list students for the course eligibility through counselling. Some Universities offer the seats for student aggregate percentage in their post – graduate degree.

In a PhD course, aspirants need to select a topic or subject and do in-depth Research on it.

The PhD degree signifies that you have attained the greatest level of competence in your field of study. The degree can also signal employers that you have the requisite analytical skills to carry out rigorous research tasks because doctoral studies usually include training in methodology and statics.

PhD programs actively recruit international students to bring new perspectives to their campuses- and their students. Diversity in the students mix often facilitates education and understanding.


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The benefits of a PhD degree are many

ü Individuals will have an in-depth idea about the subject they have chosen to specialize.

ü Individuals will be able to help others as well. 

ü The practical and theoretical idea they have can be used to assist others.

ü The Candidates will be able to get jobs almost easily.

ü A PhD is an essential qualification for a career in academia or Research. It is the first step to becoming lecturer or professor or a scientist at a university or Research Institute.

An individual will have numerous career choice subsequent to the completion of his PhD degree. One of the best perks of the PhD degree is that the person who has this degree will have a good status in the society.


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