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What does PhD stand for?

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Wiki User
06/10/2016

PhD is an abbreviation for "Doctor of Philosophy" (Philosophiae Doctor).

The reason for the name is historical. Most universities used to have only four majors: divinity, law, medicine, and philosophy. All other modern subjects (such as physics, English, math) were part of philosophy, and so most subjects still use PhD as their doctoral degree.

To receive a PhD you first must receive a BA or BS degree (4 year undergraduate degree). You then apply for a Master's degree and then apply to be accepted to a PhD program. Some PhD programs combine the Master's and PhD into one.