Research doctorates are awarded to individuals that have successfully completed professional research in a certain profession or academic discipline. The Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) is the most common doctoral degree earned. There are 50 other doctoral degrees that are considered equal to a Ph.D., including the Doctor of Engineering (Eng.D.), Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). The academic disciplines that offer doctoral degrees are humanities, life sciences, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences and psychology. The professional fields include business and management, education and engineering. According to the , the average time to complete a doctoral degree between 1998 and 2003 was 7.5 years.
One to two years of coursework is the first step toward a doctoral degree. The courses required depend on the area of study and may require lab work. Typically, a final written examination and an oral defense of the exam answers before a panel of faculty members will determine if the student is ready to move on to the next step of the process.
The second step toward earning a research doctoral degree is finding a dissertation topic. A dissertation is a doctoral thesis and is required for achieving a doctoral degree. A dissertation committee, which includes the individual's academic advisor, must approve the dissertation topic and framework for the dissertation before the individual can begin researching and writing. Researching the subject and writing the dissertation can take several years.
An oral examination is the final step to achieving a doctoral degree. After the academic advisor reviews the dissertation, the individual writing the dissertation goes before the dissertation committee and presents the information, as well as defends the research included in the dissertation. In order to be awarded a doctoral degree, the individual must be able to show an in-depth understanding of the subject matter and answer any questions put forth by the committee.
Finding a good dissertation topic is probably the single most difficult part of getting a PhD in philosophy. It took me about to find a good topic -- three years of completely spinning my wheels -- and the vast majority of students I've seen have trouble finishing the PhD got hung up at this very stage. Why is it so difficult?
How To Find A Dissertation Topic..
Munro is probably only the first in a parade of grad students who will now comb through long-neglected museum collections in hopes of finding a dissertation topic and, perhaps, a reputation and a job. Hawks says that the most important thing about this find is that it’s probably not unique. He’s optimistic about the prospects for finding more very early artwork, declaring confidently, “It is not going to be the last Homo erectus intentionally marked artifact.”