Difference Between PhD and Doctorate

A Ph.D. and a Doctorate are advanced, high-level academic degrees that students earn with throughout three years or more of graduate-level studying.

PhD vs Doctorate

The main difference between and Ph.D. and a Doctorate is that the former is a much more theoretical study based on new theories. At the same time, the latter is an exploration of studying already existing ideas on a more profound and practical level.

PhD vs Doctorate

A Ph.D. or a “Doctorate of Philosophy” is a degree that certifies a person of being theoretically well versed and up-to-date in the field of study he/she has chosen. It is done right after the student has completed their master’s degree.

A Doctorate or “Professional Doctorate” is a degree that is a much more research-based degree and allows the student to get mastery over their field of study and also get field application.


Comparison Table Between PhD and Doctorate (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of ComparisonPh.D.Doctorate
Nature of StudyThe Doctorate of Philosophy is a theoretical study of the student’s subject of interest.A professional doctorate is a research-based field study program.
GoalThe candidate studies and develops new theories without any real research.The students are expected to carry out their research on existing knowledge and solve real-world problems.
Fields of studyDone typically in sciences and humanities, and further divided based on the field of study.Doctorates can be done in many departments of study such as Medicine and law.
PurposeA certification stating that a person possessed exceptionally vast knowledge about a subject and can teach it.A degree for working professionals, who through their practical research, wish to lead and innovate.
OutcomeThere are no practical findings; instead, a panel of peers review the scholar’s theoretical paper. Scholars can then attain a tenure.Research findings are reviewed by the panel. Once accepted, the professional can lead in the industry of their field.


What is PhD?

A Ph.D. or a “Doctorate of Philosophy” is a high-level degree or a “Terminal degree,” which gives a person full authority of their subject or field of study and also to extend the existing knowledge.

The word philosophy in Ph.D. is not to be confused with the subject “Philosophy.” Instead, it means “Love of wisdom” in the Greek language, while Doctor means “Possessing the highest form of a degree.”

Hence, a Ph.D. is the highest degree awarded to a person who loves and wishes to explore the wisdom in their field.

Students apply to get a Ph.D. in mostly sciences and humanities after they have successfully achieved their masters in their main field of study. To attain a Ph.D. requires three or more years of graduate study.

A Ph.D. is more of a theoretical study, exploring new and innovative theories in a field or subject matter. No practical research is done here.

During a Ph.D. dissertation program, the viable breakthroughs on new theories are judged and reviewed by a panel based on the scientific findings or adequate proof provided by the scholar.

The stages in a Ph.D. program are –

  1. Creation of theory
  2. Submission
  3. Presentation
  4. Supportive proof and scientific findings

Once a Ph.D. candidate’s dissertation paper is accepted, he/she is awarded the certification, as well as the title of “Doctor,” as a sign of recognition of the work accomplished.


What is Doctorate?

A professional Doctorate is an advanced degree or “terminal degree” that allows one to attain the status of holding the highest knowledge and wisdom attainable in any given field, may it be engineering, Law or Medicine.

A person applies for a doctorate after they have completed their master’s program (a requirement to be eligible for a doctorate).

The Doctorate course period varies from the field of study to the type of study matter and may take three or more years to complete.

A Doctorate is a much more hands-on or practical-based research in the field of interest of the student.

The student does not mainly come up with innovative new theories, but instead explores already existing knowledge and raises questions to solve real-world problems.

The stages in a Doctorate program are –

  1. Exploration of existing theories
  2. Submission
  3. Presentation
  4. Supportive proof and scientific findings
  5. Supportive research findings

Once all the research is complete, and the final results and findings have been compiled and submitted, the board or panel reviews the scholar’s work, and if accepted, the person is awarded the certification along with the title of “Doctor.”


Main Differences Between PhD and Doctorate

  1. A Ph.D. is a study in the field of sciences and humanities. A Doctorate is done in many departments of education, such as Medicine and law.
  2. A Ph.D. is a theoretical study of the student’s subject of interest. A professional doctorate is a practical based research study program.
  3. In a Ph.D. program, the candidate studies and develops new theories, without any real research. In a doctorate program, the scholars carry out their research on existing knowledge and solve real-world problems.
  4. A Ph.D. allows a person to hold the high authority of their subject and will enable them to teach it. A Doctorate is done by working professionals to advance in their field and lead the industry.
  5. In a Ph.D. program, no practical findings are judged, only the dissertation paper. While in a doctorate program, research findings through actual work need to be presented to attain the degree.
Difference Between PhD and Doctorate



A Ph.D. and a doctorate are both degrees of the highest nature that a person can avail in their field of study.

A Ph.D. is more of theoretical research, where the scholar explores and comes up with new theories and tries to prove them through scientific and mathematical proofs.

A Doctorate is done by working professionals and is much more of practice-based research, where through extensive work in labs and outdoors, results are obtained.

Doctorates are done to question existing knowledge in the real world and solve those problems. Both degrees, in the end, certify a person holding the highest degree in the university.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=1i4lDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=PhD+and+Doctorate&ots=d-ryti76mT&sig=KecdvSul47CUsLiLvh4_WNv97ck
  2. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
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