Doctoral in Philosophy

A doctoral degree is synonymous to a PHD or a doctorate. It’s an advanced level graduate degree which equips students with complex problem solving skills, sophisticated reasoning and useful thought experiments. A PHD degree is offered in almost all disciplines.

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Typically a doctoral degree can be earned by devoting several more years to study after the Master’s degree.  It comprises of coursework, examination and a doctoral dissertation. The dissertation or thesis is the most crucial part of the program. The preceding coursework is also meant to prepare the students for working on the thesis. Some doctoral programs also require the students to assist their professors in undergraduate teaching.

The doctoral in philosophy comprises of different phases or stages.

First Stage

In the first two years, students focus on coursework and distribution requirements. You will need to obtain a certain number of coursework points and also ensure that you have a specific number of points in each distribution group. The exact requirements vary depending on the institute you are enrolled in. By the end of the second year, students have usually obtained an MA degree.

Second Stage

The third and fourth year are usually devoted to completing the requirements for earning an M.Phil in Philosophy. Students are usually required to write several papers in order to come up with a dissertation proposal and attend a seminar relating to proposal preparation.

Logic Requirements: At this stage, universities also want to test if students are proficient as far as logic is concerned. Logic requirements can be completed in a number of ways. Universities will usually require you to complete several courses or take a logic proficiency exam administered by the relevant department.

Language Requirements: In addition to the logic requirements, typically you’ll also be required to complete language requirements by demonstrating your proficiency in French, German, Greek or Latin. The exact requirements vary amongst universities but you’ll generally be required to either prove your language competency through language courses taken at college level or by taking a language test being administered by your graduate school.

Qualifying Papers: You’ll finally be required to submit your papers along with the dissertation proposal. Normally, universities will only allow you to proceed with a PHD degree if your proposal is accepted. If a proposal is unsuccessful, you can exit the program with just an M. Phil degree.

Third Stage

Once you’ve been admitted to the doctoral program, you’ll be required to submit a dissertation prospectus, which would basically outline your entire plan for the dissertation.  You’ll be able to discuss the prospectus with your respective admission committee. Once the details have been approved, you’ll have to successfully complete your dissertation and present it at a specified date.

What to do with a Doctorate degree?

The degree would enable you to become an independent scholars or a specialized teacher. Some graduates also go on to pursue professional employment in commerce, industry and civil service or work in research institutes.

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