What Is the Highest U.S. College Degree?


Quick Answer

The highest college degree given by universities in the U.S. is the Ph.D or other equivalent research doctorates, according to the American Graduate Education website. Professional doctorates, such as a doctor's M.D. degree or a lawyer's J.D. degree, are not quite the equivalent.

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What Is the Highest U.S. College Degree?
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Full Answer

To receive a research doctorate, one must complete coursework, take comprehensive exams, choose an original research topic, have that topic approved by an academic committee, complete a doctoral dissertation and defend that dissertation before a committee. While Ph.D is the most common designation for the research doctoral degree, equivalents include the D.M., or Doctor of Music; the D.Arch., or Doctor of Architecture; and the D.S.W., or Doctor of Social Work.

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