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


Women Undertaking More Engineering PhDs in the UK

March 16, 2018

The latest figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) are in, with promising news about women in the sciences: Not only do women now comprise more than 25 percent of engineering PhD students at universities in the UK, but the number of women pursuing advanced degrees in engineering a…


South Africa Celebrates PhD Accomplishments

March 9, 2018

The continent of Africa continues to break barriers in the research. At a recent awards ceremony for South African academics Professor Madla Makhanya applauded the work of over 70 researchers. According to IOL News, Dr. S. Jansen van Rensburg, age 30, earned the 2017 Young Female Doctral Graduate Aw…


Canada Endeavors to Increase International PhDs

March 1, 2018

Canadian universities have long been lobbying for more funding for international students. Now, following moves by two Ontario universities to make graduate school more affordable for international students by reducing or eliminating fees, insiders are predicting a significant shift in the degree to…

Newly added PhDs and DBAs

Masaryk University Faculty of Arts

PhD in Literatures in English

March 14, 2018
This fee-paying full-time mode programme is open to those individuals holding a Master's degree in a field related to English philology (literature and/or linguistics) or teaching English (as either a first or second language) from an institution of higher education in the Czech Republic or abroad.

University of Northampton DBA – Doctorate in Business Administration

University of Northampton DBA – Doctorate in Business Administration

March 13, 2018
The Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) offers a new route to a Doctoral qualification designed specifically for experienced leaders in the private, public and third sectors.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education

March 9, 2018
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education is to prepare candidates to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to function at the highest academic and professional levels. The objectives of the programme are to produce a graduate who has a strong background in education discipline academic scholarship or researchers, able to apply the scientific… [+] methods in identifying problems and offering appropriate solutions. To equip graduates with important work-related skills such as leadership and team building skills, decision making, critical and analytical thinking skills and project management skills. Generally the emphases on leadership, quality education, managerial and entrepreneurial skills as well as professionalism are well-covered in the nine(9) programme outcomes: apply systematic comprehension and in depth understanding of knowledge and skills in filed of education, solve real world problem in the area of education, express ideas and opinions critically and effectively in writing and oral presentation, recognize and formulated new approach or method in providing education based research findings, deliver and produce ideas and solutions with entrepreneurial and managerial skills, participate in a project-based assignment at individual or team level, complete research project while maintaining good professional ethics and social value, discover new knowledge through informal sources and training, promote the technological, social and cultural progress in knowledge based society in academic and professional contexts. [-]



Working On Your PhD? These Seven Women Will Inspire You

March 12, 2018

We recently observed International Women’s Day, but we’re far from done celebrating. In fact, the US is currently celebrating Women’s History Month, aimed at recognizing the many contributions w...


Research & Development: An essential sector in Africa’s future development

March 6, 2018

Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies. An injection of innovation, research, and development from Africa’s young academics will help those economies grow, thrive, and inspire the rest of the continent and the world. Let’s take a closer look.>


Four Ways to Make Your PhD Interdisciplinary

February 26, 2018

In a recent Nature article, academic program director Gundula Bosch, PhD., calls for training the current generation of PhD students “to be thinkers not just specialists.” One of the best ways to go about facilitating this shift, according to experts? Interdisciplinary studies.>

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.