What is the highest level of education?

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The highest educational attainment in terms of a degree is a doctorate. There are two level of doctorates. Research doctorates and professional doctores which are equivalent to master's level degrees plus an internship. The highest doctorate is the Ph.D. which is immediately followed by other doctorates which require around 20 credits less such as DBA, EdD, etc. In most of the world Physicians and Lawyers receive a Bachellor's level degree as a first degree. Nevertheless, in the United States colloquial use of doctor for physicians was used as an excuse to make it a graduate degree leading to an MD. It should be noted that the MD is not a doctorate in the academic sense. The same is true of the JD, the DDS and other such "professional degrees". A clear indication that this is so is that holders of first professional degrees cannot use them as doctorates in Europe without further studies. MDs and DDS are qualified to practice their professional but are technically not qualified to do research. A clear proof of this is that most Nobel Prizes in Medicine are awarded to PhD holders in the Natural Sciences. In summary a doctorate is a degree that directly follows the master's degree and requires about four years of coursework in addition to the defense of a doctoral dissertation.
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