You’ve likely seen the abbreviation PHD — but what is the meaning of PHD? We’ll tell you. Read on as we explore this common acronym.
There are several ways to abbreviate words in the English language — hence why there are so many acronyms and abbreviations found in the dictionary today.
While some terms are pretty self-explanatory, like “Feb,” which stands for “February,” there are some acronyms that could use a bit of explaining — such as Ph.D.
Although Ph.D is an abbreviation with more than one meaning, it commonly refers to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D): spelled with a capitalized “P,” lowercase “h,” and uppercase “D.”
Interested in learning more? We can help. Read on as we explore the abbreviation Ph.D to uncover its meaning, origin, and more. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
What Does PhD Mean?
Ph.D — aka Doctor of Philosophy — is defined by Dictionary.com as the highest degree awarded by a school in a field of academic study. A doctorate is typically awarded to an individual who has completed three or more years of graduate study and a dissertation approved by a committee of professors.
Common abbreviations used for the doctor of philosophy include:
After completing the Ph.D degree or dissertation, a graduate can use Dr. or Ph.D. For example:
- Dr. Suzie Johnson or
- Suzie Johnson (Ph.D) or
- Dr. Suzie Johnson (Ph.D)
What Is the Origin of Ph.D?
Abbreviated from the Latin term philosophiae doctor meaning “doctor of philosophy,” the Ph.D is the highest degree in most fields, with the notable exceptions of medicine and law that have their own doctorates. The degree originated in 19th century Germany when the word “philosophy” had the much broader meaning of “love of wisdom.”
Though universities have existed in Europe long before the 19th century, the degrees that medieval universities awarded to students had more in common with the MD than with the Ph.D, as they required mastery of already existing knowledge.
In 1861, Yale University became the first institution of higher education in the United States to award the degree, conferring it on three recipients; Arthur W, Wright, James M. Whiton, and Eugene Schuyler. A few decades later, Canada accepted Ph.D as their highest level of honor, and in 1917, the doctoral of philosophy was introduced in all disciplines of the subjects.
How Can I Use Ph.D in a Sentence?
Now that you understand what Ph.D means, let’s take a look at some examples of this acronym in a sentence:
“After telling him I earned an academic degree, he bragged for the rest of the night about having a Ph.D.”
“I can’t decide what academic field to get my Ph.D in.”
“Tom can’t work full-time because he is a Ph.D student and has to work on his thesis.”
“My mom is thinking about going back to school to complete a Ph.D program in psychology.”
“I am in the second year of my Ph.D program.”
“Whether you like physics, chemistry, or psychology, you can find a Ph.D program on campus,”
“Look, I understand that you’re my supervisor, but I am looking to get my Ph.D degree and ultimately become a doctor of medicine; in other words, I have to study and can’t pick up more than one shift per week.”
“Have you taken the exams yet to get your Ph.D?”
“Did you know that some Ph.D programs accept a portfolio of published papers?”
“To get a Ph.D, it’s important to study hard and get good grades.”
“Gosh, I didn’t realize how many seminars and workshops I’d have to attend to get a Ph.D!”
“A Ph.D comes with a pretty hefty fee, so be sure to apply for scholarships.”
What Is a Doctorate?
Simply put, a doctorate is any qualification that awards a doctoral degree. To qualify for one, you need to produce work at a high level that makes a significant new contribution to knowledge in your academic field. Doing so earns you the title “Doctor.”
Many people believe a doctorate and a Ph.D are the same. However, this is not the case, as a Ph.D is a type of doctorate, such as a Doctor of Philosophy. Other doctoral degrees or types of doctorate include:
- Doctor of Education
- Doctor of Theology
- Doctor of Medicine
- Doctor of Musical Arts
- Doctor of Literature
- Doctor of Divinity
- Doctor of Civil Law
- Doctor of Science
According to the American Psychological Association, the Ph.D is intended for students interested in gaining new knowledge through scientific research, or teaching experience.
Does PHD Stand For Anything Else?
Although the abbreviation PHD is most commonly associated with the Doctorate of Philosophy, it does have a few other meanings:
- Pizza Hut Delivery
- Press Here, Dummy
- Permanent Head Damage
- Pretty Heavy Drinker
- Please Hire Desperate
- Preparing His Disciples
- Player Hating Degree
- Power Hungry Dog
- Premium Hot Dog
- Pretty Heavy Dude
- Poor, Hungry, and Determined
A Final Word
So, what does PHD mean, you ask?
Simply put, PHD is an abbreviation that stands for many words; however, it’s most commonly used to abbreviate “Doctor of Philosophy.”
We hope this guide has provided you with all of the information you need to understand the meaning of PHD fully. To discover more interesting words and strengthen your overall vocabulary, be sure to check out our website, where you’ll find definitions, grammar tips, and more!