What Is a Doctoral Degree?


Quick Answer

A doctoral degree is an academic postgraduate degree. It is generally the highest level degree awarded by a university, and, in most countries, it qualifies the holder to teach at the university level. A doctorate degree is achieved through independent research, culminating in at least one published work.

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Full Answer

In North American universities, doctoral degrees usually take between four and eight years to complete. This includes several years of coursework followed by a long, in-depth independent research project called a dissertation. Some doctoral degrees also require hands-on work in the form of an internship. Many students pursuing their doctoral degree get work teaching or serving as a teacher's aid at their university.

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