Top PhD Programs

PhD is the abbreviation for Doctor of Philosophy, and is usually awarded after completing extensive research in a specified field of study. This research must significantly contribute to the current knowledge base, and must be completed with a dissertation or thesis. Often the dissertation or thesis must be defended in front of a panel of experts in the field and only after successful defense, the degree of PhD is conferred. A PhD degree usually takes a minimum of 4 years to complete, but sometimes longer depending on the student, university, and program.

There are many universities and programs that offer top PhD programs internationally. Students wishing to continue their education have a wide range of top PhD programs options, which include doctoral programs in health professions, psychology, engineering, education, biological sciences, and biomedical sciences. There are top PhD programs in each country, so students considering a PhD have a number of countries to choose from.

Have a look at some of the top PhD programs listed below - you might find the top PhD program you are searching for!

News and Events

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Pakistan Facing Critical PhD Shortage

May 25, 2017

During a recent address to a group of visiting journalists, Pakistan’s federal Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed revealed a critical rising problem: a shortage of talent at the doctoral level, according to a report from the Pakistan Observer. Just how dire is the pro…


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Asian University Ally to Increase Mobility

May 18, 2017

The formation of a new alliance of Asian universities will help Asian universities rise in world rankings and compete among the best universities in the world.  Let’s take a closer look.


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Are There Upsides to the End of Brazil’s Science Without Borders Program?

May 11, 2017

Brazil’s Ministry of Education announced last month that it would officially end Science Without Borders (“(Ciência sem Fronteiras), a national scholarship program which sought to support 100,000 Brazilian students and researchers in the pursuit of international studies at leading …


Newly added PhDs and DBAs

National Cheng Kung University

PhD in International Management

May 26, 2017
The College of Management is AACSB-accredited, and only less than 5% of the world's 13,000 business programs have earned this accreditation. Furthermore, National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) is one of only two comprehensive universities receiving the Ministry of Education's grand funding to become the top 100 universities in the world. You are encouraged… [+] to come and see the quality education, rich multi-cultural environment, and top-notch facilities that the Institute of International Management has to offer. [-]

Rollins Crummer Graduate School of Business

EDBA

May 21, 2017
The Executive Doctorate in Business Administration (EDBA) is a professional doctoral program for executives who have a master’s degree in business or related advanced degree.

Nilai University

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Administration

May 10, 2017
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Administration is a research degree designed to develop the research capability and scholarly practices of those who aspire to become researchers and practitioners in business administration. This programme provides an opportunity for candidates to extend and enhance their development beyond scholarly understanding… [+] and practice to include the capacity to conduct systematic research within an area of interest in the field of business administration. [-]

Articles

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Four Reasons Why Athletes and PhDs are a Perfect Fit

May 22, 2017

Upper-level academics and extreme athletes are often grouped into separate stereotypes, but the reality is that many people are uniquely suited for both. Read on for a roundup of four reasons why athl...


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5 Ways to Finish Grad School Debt-Free

May 8, 2017

Student loan debt is the second highest form of debt in the US, with mortgages in the number one spot.  With so many students and so much debt, it’s no wonder that students want ways to finish their programs debt-free.  Let’s take a look at 5 ways to finish grad school debt fre...>


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Five Inspiring Research Heroes

April 24, 2017

Superman. Batman. Wonder Woman. Aquaman. The Flash. These are usually the names that first come to mind when children hear the word “hero.” But as we grow older, we realize that heroes also walk among us in the form of firefighters, police officers, EMT’s and other first responders...>

What exactly is a PhD?

PhD is the abbreviation for “doctor of philosophy,” a phrase that understandably causes confusion. Like “arts,” this use of “philosophy” usually has nothing to do with studying the discipline of philosophy. The basic meaning of “doctor of philosophy” is that you have acquired the highest possible degree in your academic field. Highest degrees in any field are known as “terminal degrees.” Jobs may stipulate that you hold a terminal degree: this distinguishes the doctorate from the master’s degree, which is usually an intermediate degree, and thus commands less authority.

A degree with the word “doctor” in the title is also called a “doctorate.” You may know that universities often award “honorary doctorates”—this means the recipient has not completed a doctoral program, but has achieved something (like inventing something beneficial to society) that deserves to be honored. The opposite of an honorary doctorate is an “earned doctorate.” You see that phrase in job ads; its purpose is to indicate that if you have a merely honorary doctorate, you cannot apply.

There are many doctorates, and the PhD is one of them. Technically, the abbreviation ought to be written with periods: Ph.D. with the “h” in lower-case. However, countries have different terms and conventions, and plus, conventions change. Today, it is common to see the degree in all caps with no periods: PHD.

The PhD is one of the oldest doctorates, and bears the weight of tradition, history, and universal respect. PhDs are traditionally academic degrees, not professional certifications (not applied or vocational). However, this distinction is changing and blurring. Today, you can get a PhD in applied fields such as Management, Social Work, and Computer Science. You can also get a PhD in arts-related fields, such as Creative Writing, that formerly used the MFA as the terminal degree.

Benefits to having a PhD include prestige, the right to be viewed as an expert and authority, and the ability to apply for high-level jobs. The PhD signals advanced research skills and qualification to teach at the university level. Living in this age of information and technology, within a globalizing economy, means that the need for more education and specialization is much higher than in the past.

Completing a PhD can be immensely rewarding if you are a serious intellectual who passionately loves learning. Nevertheless, if you are considering getting a doctoral degree for personal satisfaction, you should weigh this decision very carefully. Entering a PhD program is difficult, and a very serious commitment. Admission is rigorous, and may or may not require you to already hold a master’s degree. Doctoral programs typically begin with coursework covering theory and methodology. Eventually, you take qualifying exams and perhaps also an oral exam. Some programs mandate fieldwork or supervised clinical experience, often several hundred hours. The culminating project is called a thesis or dissertation, which is a professional-level publishable project in your discipline. This project often begins with a formal proposal, takes years to complete, and ends with an oral defense before a committee.

PhD programs usually require at least three years to complete, and sometimes as many as nine. There is often a maximum time limit of 8-10 years. The reason they take so long is not so much the difficulty of the work, but rather, life often intervenes. Doctoral students are usually at a life stage when they are marrying, raising children and undergoing major personal events. Also, in some countries you will likely receive only small funding during your PhD, and need to earn on the side, which slows your ability to concentrate on your studies.

Funding for doctoral programs varies wildly depending on discipline and country. The ideal situation is to enter a program “fully funded,” which means the university waives your tuition and you receive either a living stipend and/or guaranteed employment, usually as a teaching or research assistant. Many scholarships or “fellowships” are also available; a scholarship is monetary, whereas a fellowship usually implies a job, like an internship, which forms an excellent foundation for your resultant career.

These days, you can complete your PhD online. An online doctoral program has some obvious advantages: you can access your courses on your own schedule, and balance your work and family life without having to commit to a class schedule or move to a faraway campus. Online degree programs are much cheaper for a university to offer, since they do not need to pay for building upkeep, physical facilities, and so forth; the savings are passed to students as lower costs.

Online degrees are gaining popularity and respectability. Some employers still consider an online PhD inferior to a traditional one, but others understand that the versatility of the internet is part of contemporary life. Online doctoral programs are no less rigorous than traditional ones (or at least, you should ensure they are not), and involve substantial interaction with professors and peers.

Top doctoral programs will have well designed career centers to help you seek a job, as well as excellent support during your student years. Another marker of a good program is the ease with which you can find a professor to act as your mentor.

A PhD will provide you advancement in your career, usually a hefty salary differential, and prestige. You should thoroughly research career prospects before you commit to a program: some fields, such as the humanities, are increasingly glutted with PhDs, making it near impossible to land a job at all, especially if you are seeking a job as a professor. Other fields are expanding. Logically, if a field is growing in its need for research, and is connected with powerful policy decision-making, then a PhD in that field will be an asset. PhDs in economics, finance, marketing, and development studies, just to name a few, are solid bets for future job and salary prospects.