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PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, comes from the Greek phrase, “teacher of philosophy.” Originally it was a degree given by universities to prove that someone had demonstrated their ability to show a productive career in the field of philosophy. Eventually, this degree would change its meaning, and now represents those who are considered fit to be a doctor. In all cases, a dissertation or thesis of very long length must be submitted, demonstrating the learning and thorough research required to earn a PhD. In many cases, this degree is also a requirement to become an official researcher in the field of certain sciences, and to become a university lecturer. The time it takes to earn a PhD is anywhere from three to ten years depending on the specific scope of desired learning along with the desired qualifications received. Generally the PhD program is divided into two sections: student and candidate.

During the first phase, the student is classified in the learning stages of earning his or her PhD. This phase of learning takes place before the PhD student completes the required exam and coursework. In the candidacy stage, the student is in the process of completing his or her dissertation or thesis. All tests must be passed, including both the oral and written portions of all exams and classes. The written portion consists of several exams in which the candidate's knowledge is tested on an extremely high and intensive level. The oral portion consists of a research proposal. In addition, many PhD programs require a full academic year's worth of teaching experience.

Many official research counsels and organizations assist students in funding to perform their thesis. In addition, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health, among others, also contribute each year to students' research thesis papers in order to support and encourage groundbreaking study in new frontiers in both science and medicine. Some of the conditions for future funding, however, are that for each student at any particular university who does not earn their PhD, the foundations will penalize them one half of the previous year's amount that was given. This is good incentive for both universities and students to do well and to take earning this type of degree seriously. Anyone who has a PhD has earned a great deal of respect in educational communities.

A PhD is difficult to complete. The road is long and hard, and many hours will be spent working on the requirements needed to achieve it. For those with a passionate dedication to a cause, theory, or field of science and work, a PhD is a badge of honor. It shows the world that you have earned your place in your particular field, and that you can achieve the goals that you have set out to accomplish.