Ph.D. stands for Doctor of Philosophy. This is a common advanced degree that you can earn in most academic fields. A Ph.D. is a research-focused type of degree that usually takes around three to six years to earn. Typically, students who enter a doctorate program have aspirations of a career in academia or research.

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The curriculum for a Ph.D. includes many research-centered classes. Students must complete a lengthy thesis which lays out the student's research findings and perspective on a field-related topic prior to graduating. Many doctoral students earn stipends and research money that pays for most or all of their education. Some teach classes as they finish up the degree to transition into becoming a research professor.