title msc phd

BA, BSc, MA, MSc, PhD - what do they all mean?

BA, BSc, MA, MSc, PhD - what do they all mean? Two Masters' students at graduation.

BA, BSc, MA, MSc, PhD (and more) are abbreviations of British degrees.

They reflect the specific level and discipline of a qualification achieved at university.

While most courses are conducted on a full-time basis, there are options for part-time, distance learning and other flexible learning arrangements.

Here is a breakdown of some of the most common qualifications and ones that Aberystwyth University offers.

  • BA = Bachelor of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences;
  • BSc = Bachelor of Sciences;
  • BENG = Bachelor of Engineering (Software, Robotics and Physics);
  • LLB = Bachelor of Law.

Achieved after 3 to 4 years of study. The extra year (for a 4 year course) can be from a year studying abroad or a year working in industry.

Integrated-Masters:

  • MARTS = Masters of Arts;
  • MBIOL = Masters of Biology;
  • MCOMP = Masters of Computer Science;
  • MENG = Masters of Engineering;
  • MMATH = Masters of Mathematics;
  • MPHYS = Masters of Physics;
  • MSCI = Masters of Sciences and Humanities.

4 years course (3-year Bachelors, 1 year Masters) that enables you to secure a loan for the full duration rather than having to fund a Masters degree separately.

  • MA = Masters of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences;
  • MSc = Masters of Sciences;
  • MBA = Masters of Business Administration;
  • MPhil = Masters of Philosophy: Advanced research Masters degree;
  • MRes = Masters of Research: Contains some taught and research elements;
  • LLM = Masters of Law.

Achieved after graduation from Bachelors level, usually 1-2 years duration.

  • PhD = Doctor of Philosophy: for a range of disciplines.

Achieved after graduating from Masters level, usually 3-8 years duration.

A wide range of Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Further-Research courses – across the Arts and Sciences – are available at Aberystwyth.

title msc phd

Academia Insider

How to use the PhD title and all the little doctorate “rules”… use ph.d etc the correct way.

There are many conventions in the academic world that can make it difficult to navigate the philosophiae doctor title. The PhD title is awarded to those who have completed a doctoral degree but, not many people know how to use it once they have it.

It’s best to use PhD not Ph.D in most cases!

This article will go through everything you need to know about using the PhD title and when you can start using it.

The “rules” are relatively simple and can be broken as they are not officially set in stone – other than when you can officially call yourself a doctor.

There is no one correct answer but it may be misleading if you use the PhD title incorrectly. Here are the recommendations for effective communication for a PhD graduate.

It very much depends on the setting. Here are some examples of how I would use both the titles awarded to me after my PhD degree.

SituationPreferred titles
Full formal university businessDr Andrew Stapleton Ph.D, MChem
University emailsDr Andy Stapleton
Speaking to a primary school classDr Andy
Emails to students I am lecturingDr Stapleton
How I wish to be called while teaching university classesAndy

How do you Write PhD correctly after a name? Is it ph d or phd and ph.d? Abbreviation explained

It can be confusing to know exactly how to write PhD after your name as a person with a doctoral degree. Which bits are capitalised for a person with a doctoral degree? Is there a ‘.’ In the middle?

When writing a name with a PhD after it, the correct way to do so is to use “PhD” or “Ph.D. or Ph D”

Depending on the preference of the individual, either form can be used.

However, if the individual has a business card that states their degree in full, then the more formal “Doctor of Philosophy” should be used.

It is important to note that using “PhD” without any periods is incorrect; this abbreviation should only be used in informal contexts such as emails or text messages. I tend to use PhD in my YouTube videos and some people have pointed out that this is incorrect…

Following the individual’s preferred format will ensure that their name and credentials are properly represented.

Should you use Dr as well as PhD?

Some people like to use Dr and PhD in their official titles. There are a couple of important points that you need to know about markers and academic titles.

  • A person can have more than one marker in their name. For example my full title is Dr Andrew Stapleton, PhD, MChem.
  • The doctor title at the front can be used as a variant to the PhD at the end.

It can be a little bit ambiguous if I was to use Dr Andrew Stapleton, PhD as there are two markers. This could mean that I have two PhD’s, it could mean that I have a PhD and a medical doctorate, or it could just be that I want to use both the doctor and the PhD tags for the one degree.

However, in my experience, I still like to use both the title of doctor at the front and the PhD tag at the end of my name for official purposes.

Academics would rarely use the PhD suffix in everyday communication. They would much rather just use the doctor title.

What is the proper title for a PhD with a doctorate degree?

The proper title for a PhD is Doctor of Philosophy. However, some teachers and professors like to be referred to without their official title.

If you are not sure about how your professor, lecturer, or friend with a PhD wishes to be officially addressed you can ask them.

Most of the time, I like to refer to my colleagues with their doctor title for official purposes, but I do not include the type of doctoral degree at the end of their name. That is much better suited to a business card.

Your lecture may wish to be referred to as:

  • Dr [last name]
  • Dr [first name]

Asking them in the early stages of your relationship is the best way to work out which one they prefer.

If in doubt, always go for the more formal name and nomenclature.

When can you start to use your PhD title after your doctorate? As a PhD student? After your phd thesis?

When you have earned your PhD, you, as a person with a doctoral degree, can start using your title immediately. Although, it can be a little bit confusing as to when you have actually passed your PhD. Is it when you have submitted your dissertation for the advanced degree? Is it when you have received the comments back?

The University of Adelaide says that you can use it from your conferral date:

Students can be conferred on one of five dates during the year and for PhD students the conferral date will be the first available following the completion of all the academic requirements of your degree, including final thesis lodgement and the disbursement of any outstanding financial obligations to the University.

I started using my PhD title as soon as my confirmation letter arrived at my house. It was the first letter from the University that referred to me as Dr Stapleton. I was incredibly excited.

Generally, it is acceptable to use the title “Dr.” both professionally and socially but socially, people very rarely use it – at least in Australia. But you should never use it if you are a PhD student, PhD candidate or enrolled in a PhD program without a previous PhD qualification. 

I do use it in professional settings but it always makes me feel a little bit awkward.

However, there may be some restrictions for certain settings . For example, if have a research degree resulting in a doctor title and you are working in a medical setting – some institutions do not like you to use Dr as it can confuse patients into thinking that you have a medical degree. 

Instead, they ask that you use the PhD tag at the end of your name rather than the doctoral title for official and professional communications.

What is the correct way to write PhD?

When writing about someone’s PhD, the correct way is to write the term in full and capitalize each letter.

This should be done for all academic degrees, not just PhDs.

For example, it would be “Doctor of Philosophy” or “PhD” instead of “Ph.D.”, “Dr.”, or “DPhil”.

Additionally, it is common to mention the field of study in which the degree was earned if known, such as “Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics”. It is also good practice to include the institution that granted the degree if it is a recognized one.

When writing about someone’s PhD, use proper capitalization and include relevant information like field of study and institution if known to ensure accuracy.

How do you put a PhD in a title?

Putting a PhD in a title is not as complicated as it may sound.

Generally speaking, the proper way to list a PhD in an academic or professional setting is by writing “Dr.” before the name, followed by the person’s full name and the appropriate abbreviations for their degree.

For example, if John Smith has earned a doctorate in psychology, his credentials would be listed as “Dr. John Smith, Ph.D.”

In some cases, such as when addressing someone formally in speech or on a business card, it may also be acceptable to list their credentials as “John Smith, Ph.D.”

Depending on context and personal preference, some people may also choose to list their higher degrees after their names by writing out the entire degree instead of just its abbreviation.

For example, John Smith could choose to write his full title as “John Smith, Doctor of Psychology”

However, I have not seen this in real academic life.

Should the font size of Ph.D. be the same as someone’s name?

The question of whether the font size of a Ph.D. should be the same as someone’s name is an interesting one.

On one hand, it could be argued that the Ph.D. deserves to be highlighted and therefore should be given a larger font size than someone’s name to denote its importance.

On the other, it could be argued that this would not be necessary or appropriate, and that treating everyone equally regardless of their title or degree is more important.

It depends on context and usage – if both names appear in the same document then they should likely have the same font size; however, if one appears in a formal setting such as a diploma or certificate, then it may make sense to give it a larger font size than someone’s name to emphasize its importance and significance.

Ph.Ds (or PhDs) are an important academic achievement and should be respected accordingly but without going overboard by giving them overly large fonts sizes which can take away from rather than add to their importance.

Wrapping up – doctoral title rules

this article has been over everything you need to know that using the PhD title properly and effectively.

The doctor title can be used in place of the PhD and for incredibly formal communications, such as a business email or card, you can use both.

However, sometimes using both can cause confusion as to whether or not there is a reason first using both the doctor and PhD tags. Nonetheless, many people still use both.

Frequently Asked Questions about using PhD or Ph.d

1. what does phd stand for.

A PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy , which is a doctoral degree that represents the highest level of academic achievement in a specific field of study.

2. Is Ph.d the same as PhD?

Yes, Ph.d is the abbreviation for Doctor of Philosophy , and both terms are used interchangeably to refer to the same academic degree .

3. Can I use the title ‘Doctor’ with a PhD?

Individuals who hold a PhD have the right to use the title “Doctor” in front of their name as they are a person with a doctoral degree .

4. What is the correct way to write PhD?

The correct way to write PhD is with no spaces and with both letters capitalized, following the standard abbreviation for Doctor of Philosophy .

5. How do I abbreviate Doctor of Philosophy?

You can abbreviate Doctor of Philosophy as PhD , which is the most commonly used abbreviation for this type of doctoral degree .

6. Can I use both the title ‘Dr.’ and ‘PhD’ together?

Yes, you can use both the title ‘Dr.’ and ‘PhD’ together to denote your academic achievement as a holder of a doctorate degree .

7. What is a dissertation in relation to a PhD?

A dissertation is a scholarly document that Ph.D candidates are required to submit as part of their research degree in a specific field.

8. Who is considered a PhD candidate?

A PhD candidate is a student enrolled in a PhD program working towards the completion of their doctoral studies.

9. Is a PhD also referred to as a Doctorate?

Yes, a PhD is also commonly referred to as a Doctorate , signifying the attainment of the highest

title msc phd

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.

Thank you for visiting Academia Insider.

We are here to help you navigate Academia as painlessly as possible. We are supported by our readers and by visiting you are helping us earn a small amount through ads and affiliate revenue - Thank you!

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  • Master’s vs PhD | A Complete Guide to the Differences

Master's vs PhD | A Complete Guide to the Differences

Published on November 27, 2020 by Lauren Thomas . Revised on May 10, 2024.

The two most common types of graduate degrees are master’s and doctoral degrees:

  • A master’s is a 1–2 year degree that can prepare you for a multitude of careers.
  • A PhD, or doctoral degree, takes 3–7 years to complete (depending on the country) and prepares you for a career in academic research.

A master’s is also the necessary first step to a PhD. In the US, the master’s is built into PhD programs, while in most other countries, a separate master’s degree is required before applying for PhDs.

Master’s are far more common than PhDs. In the US, 24 million people have master’s or professional degrees, whereas only 4.5 million have doctorates.

Table of contents

Master’s vs phd at a glance, which is right for you, length of time required, career prospects, costs and salaries, application process, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about master's and phd degrees.

The table below shows the key differences between the two.

Master’s PhD
Career prospects Usually intended for a career outside of academia. Prepares for a research career, ideally as a university professor.
Length of time 1–2 years 5–7 in the US (master’s degree included); 3–5 outside the US (after a separate master’s degree)
Structure Mostly coursework, often with a semester-long or capstone project at the end. 2 years of coursework (in the US), followed by 3–5 years of preparing a dissertation, which should make a significant original contribution to current knowledge.
Cost Varies by country, university and program; usually higher upfront cost with limited financial aid available. Tuition fees are usually waived and a living stipend provided in exchange for being a teaching or research assistant.
Graduate salaries Wage premium (compared to earnings with a high school education) is 23% on average. Wage premium is 26% on average.

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title msc phd

A PhD is right for you if:

  • Your goal is to become a professor at a university or some other type of professional researcher.
  • You love research and are passionate about discovering the answer to a particular question.
  • You are willing to spend years pursuing your research even if you have to put up with a lot of dead ends and roadblocks.

A master’s degree is the better choice if any of the following apply:

  • You want to continue studies in your field, but you’re not committed to a career as a professional researcher.
  • You want to develop professional skills for a specific career.
  • You are willing to pay a higher upfront cost if it means finishing with your degree (and thus being able to work) much faster.
  • You want the option to study part-time while working.

The length of time required to complete a PhD or master’s degree varies. Unsurprisingly, PhDs take much longer, usually between 3–7 years. Master’s degrees are usually only 1–2 years.

Length of a master’s

Master’s degrees are usually 2 years, although 1-year master’s degrees also exist, mainly in the UK.

Most of the degree consists of classes and coursework, although many master’s programs include an intensive, semester-long master’s thesis or capstone project in which students bring together all they’ve learned to produce an original piece of work.

Length of a PhD

In the US, a PhD usually takes between 5 and 7 years to complete. The first 2 years are spent on coursework. Students, even those who choose to leave without finishing the program, usually receive a master’s degree at this point.

The next 3–5 years are spent preparing a dissertation —a lengthy piece of writing based on independent research, which aims to make a significant original contribution to one’s field.

Master’s degrees tend to prepare you for a career outside of academia, while PhDs are designed to lead to a career in research.

Careers for master’s graduates

There are two types of master’s degrees: terminal and research-intensive. The career prospects are different for each.

Terminal master’s degrees are intended to prepare students for careers outside of academia. Some degrees, known as professional degrees, specifically prepare students for particular professions; these include the Master of Public Policy (MPP), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Master of Fine Arts (MFA), and Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees.

Other master’s degrees, usually Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Sciences (MS or MSc) degrees, do not necessarily lead to a specific career, but are intended to be a final degree. Examples include an MS in Communications or MS in Data Analytics.

In research-intensive master’s programs, students take coursework intended to prepare them for writing an original piece of research known as the master’s thesis . Such programs are usually intended to prepare for further study in a doctoral program.

Careers for PhD graduates

As research degrees, PhDs are usually intended to lead to an academic career. A PhD can be thought of like an apprenticeship, where students learn from professional researchers (academics) how to produce their own research.

Most students aspire to become a university professor upon the completion of their degree. However, careers in academia are highly competitive, and the skills learned in a doctoral program often lend themselves well to other types of careers.

Some graduates who find they prefer teaching to producing research go on to be teachers at liberal arts colleges or even secondary schools. Others work in research-intensive careers in the government, private sector, or at think tanks.

Below are a few examples of specific fields and non-academic careers that are common destinations of graduates of those fields.

  • Computer Science
  • Lab Sciences

Many government jobs, including economists at a country’s central bank, are research-intensive and require a PhD. Think tanks also hire economists to carry out independent research.

In the private sector, economic consulting and technology firms frequently hire PhDs to solve real-world problems that require complex mathematical modeling.

Graduate students from the humanities are sometimes hired by museums, who can make use of their research and writing skills to curate exhibits and run public outreach.

Humanities PhDs are often well-suited to research and grant-writing roles at nonprofits. Since so much of research is funded by grants, PhD students often gain a lot of experience applying for them, which is a useful skill in the nonprofit sector.

There are a wide range of non-academic research jobs for lab scientists with doctorates in subjects like chemistry, biology, ecology and physics.

Many PhD graduates are hired by pharmaceutical companies that need to perform research to create and test their products. Government agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), also hire lab scientists to work on research projects.

Job prospects after graduation vary widely based on the field. In fields like management, computer science, statistics, and economics, there’s little underemployment—even graduates from less well-known programs can easily find jobs that pay well and use the skills they’ve gained from the PhD.

However, in other fields, particularly in the humanities, many PhD graduates have difficulty in the job market. Unfortunately, there are far more PhD graduates than assistant professor roles, so many instead take on part-time and low-paid roles as adjunct instructors. Even non-academic careers can sometimes be difficult for PhDs to move into, as they may be seen as “overqualified”  or as lacking in relevant professional experience.

Because career options post-PhD vary so much, you should take the time to figure out what the career prospects are in your field. Doctoral programs often have detailed “placement” records online in which they list the career outcomes of their graduates immediately upon leaving the program. If you can’t find these records, contact the program and ask for them—placement information should play an important role in your choice of PhD program.

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Although PhDs take far longer to complete, students often receive a living stipend in exchange for being a teaching or research assistant. Master’s degrees are shorter but less likely to be funded.

Both master’s degrees and PhDs lead to increased salaries upon graduation. While PhDs usually earn a bit more than those with a master’s degree, in some fields, the wages are identical, meaning that no financial benefit is gained from going on to a PhD.

Cost of a master’s

The upfront cost of a master’s degree is usually higher than a doctoral degree due to the lower amount of financial aid available. However, increased salaries also arrive faster than with a doctoral degree, because people graduate much earlier from a master’s program.

Some master’s students do receive stipends for their degrees, usually as compensation for being a teaching or research assistant. In addition, many people complete master’s degrees part time while working full-time, which allows them to fund their living costs as well as tuition.

The cost varies significantly by school and program. Public schools are usually cheaper than private ones. Some master’s degrees, such as MBAs, are notoriously expensive, but also result in much higher wages afterwards that make up for the high cost.

The master’s wage premium , or the extra amount that someone with a master’s degree makes than someone with just a high school diploma, is 23% on average. Many universities provide detailed statistics on the career and salary outcomes of their students. If they do not have this online, you should feel free to contact an administrator of the program and ask.

Cost of a PhD

PhDs, particularly outside the humanities, are usually (though not always) funded, meaning that tuition fees are fully waived and students receive a small living stipend. During the last 3–5 years of a PhD, after finishing their coursework (and sometimes before), students are usually expected to work as graduate instructors or research assistants in exchange for the stipend.

Sometimes students can apply for a fellowship (such as the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Program in the United States) that relieves them of any obligations to be a teaching or research assistant. Doctoral programs in the US tend to be better funded than in the rest of the world.

Sometimes, PhD degrees can be completed part-time, but this is rare. Students are usually expected to devote at least 40 hours a week to their research and work as teaching or research assistants.

The main cost of doctoral programs comes in the form of opportunity cost—all the years that students could be working a regular, full-time job, which usually pays much better than a graduate school stipend.

The average wage premium for PhDs is 26%, which is not much higher than the master’s degree premium.

In the US, the application process is similar for master’s and PhD programs. Both will generally ask for:

  • At least one application essay, often called a personal statement or statement of purpose .
  • Letters of recommendation .
  • A resume or CV .
  • Transcripts.
  • Writing samples.

Applications for both types of programs also often require a standardized test. PhDs usually require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), which tries to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative, critical thinking , and analytical writing skills. Many master’s programs require this test as well.

Applying for a master’s

Master’s degrees programs will often ask you to respond to specific essay prompts that may ask you to reflect upon not just your academic background, but also your personal character and future career ambitions.

Northwestern University’s Kellogg Business School requires Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) applicants write two essays, one about a recent time they demonstrated leadership and the second about their personal values.

Who you should ask for your letters of recommendation varies by program. If you are applying to a research-intensive master’s program, then you should choose former professors or research supervisors. For other programs, particularly business school, current work supervisors may be a better choice.

Some professional master’s programs require a specific test. For example, to apply to law school, you must take the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT. For business school, you must take either the GRE or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).

Applying for a PhD

When applying for a PhD, your resume should focus more on your research background—you should especially emphasize any publications you’ve authored or presentations that you’ve given.

Similarly, your statement of purpose should discuss research that you’ve participated in, whether as an assistant or the lead author. You should detail what exactly you did in projects you’ve contributed to, whether that’s conducting a literature review, coding regressions, or writing an entire article.

Your letters of recommendations should be from former professors or supervisors who can speak to your abilities and potential as a researcher. A good rule of thumb is to avoid asking for recommendations from anyone who does not themselves have a PhD.

If you want to know more about college essays , academic writing , and AI tools , make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

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A master’s is a 1- or 2-year graduate degree that can prepare you for a variety of careers.

All master’s involve graduate-level coursework. Some are research-intensive and intend to prepare students for further study in a PhD; these usually require their students to write a master’s thesis . Others focus on professional training for a specific career.

A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3–5 years writing a dissertation , which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.

A PhD is intended to prepare students for a career as a researcher, whether that be in academia, the public sector, or the private sector.

This depends on the country. In the United States, you can generally go directly to a PhD  with only a bachelor’s degree, as a master’s program is included as part of the doctoral program.

Elsewhere, you generally need to graduate from a research-intensive master’s degree before continuing to the PhD.

This varies by country. In the United States, PhDs usually take between 5–7 years: 2 years of coursework followed by 3–5 years of independent research work to produce a dissertation.

In the rest of the world, students normally have a master’s degree before beginning the PhD, so they proceed directly to the research stage and complete a PhD in 3–5 years.

A master’s degree usually has a higher upfront cost, but it also allows you to start earning a higher salary more quickly. The exact cost depends on the country and the school: private universities usually cost more than public ones, and European degrees usually cost less than North American ones. There are limited possibilities for financial aid.

PhDs often waive tuition fees and offer a living stipend in exchange for a teaching or research assistantship. However, they take many years to complete, during which time you earn very little.

In the US, the graduate school application process is similar whether you’re applying for a master’s or a PhD . Both require letters of recommendation , a statement of purpose or personal statement , a resume or CV , and transcripts. Programs in the US and Canada usually also require a certain type of standardized test—often the GRE.

Outside the US, PhD programs usually also require applicants to write a research proposal , because students are expected to begin dissertation research in the first year of their PhD.

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Got a career or related problem that needs answering? Can't find the right person to point you in the right direction? Log on to the Advice Zone ( www.bmjcareers.com/advicezone ) for reliable medical careers advice. You can post a question or see if one of our 300 advisers has already answered a similar question. Here is a selection of questions and answers posted on the site.

You should think carefully about what kind of research degree you want. If you want only a taste of research or are doing it only to improve your chances at a specialist registrar interview, go for the MSc. This is usually a one year taught course with an experimental project and is a good way of learning the basics of science. If you wish to do more detailed science and are considering a career in academic medicine, then think about a PhD. This will mean more time commitment (at least three years) and more intellectual commitment. The compromise degrees are the MD or MS. These usually require two years of work and therefore permit more in-depth research than the MSc. The MD or its equivalent is popular among medics. When deciding which degree to go for you should check all the various regulations and also the fees that may be entailed.

At the end of the day the choice is up to you. The key questions are: why are you doing research and how much time and energy do you want to commit to it?

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How to Correctly Use the Titles Dr. & PhD With a Name

How to Reference a Person With a PhD

How to Reference a Person With a PhD

When someone has earned a Doctor of Philosophy, or Ph.D., degree, that person is subsequently referred to as “doctor” in formal speech. The same is true of a person who is a medical doctor, psychologist, dentist or veterinarian. In formal speech, that person should be referred to as “doctor.” However, the rules are different in written form when addressing someone who is called “doctor” in formal speech. In written form, the titles “Dr.” and “Ph.D.” are not interchangeable.

Determine the Type of Doctor

First, you should identify what type of doctor you are addressing. Doctors of medicine and psychology, doctors of dentistry and doctors of veterinary medicine must be addressed differently in comparison to academic doctors who have earned a Doctor of Philosophy doctoral degree. Be advised that there are different types of doctoral degrees. A Doctor of Philosophy degree is just one kind of doctoral degree. There’s also, for example, a Doctor of Education doctoral degree and a Doctor of Psychology doctoral degree. The titles associated with the various doctoral degrees are not interchangeable. Only a person who has earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree should be addressed as Ph.D.

Addressing a Doctor in Writing

Place the title of “Dr.” before the name of a person who is a doctor of medicine or psychology, doctor of dentistry, or doctor of veterinary medicine. For example Dr. George Ross. Always write the word “doctor” in its abbreviated form when it goes before the person’s name. Never write, for example, Doctor George Ross. Do not combine the title of “Dr.” with any other title even if the person could appropriately be addressed by a different title. Never write, for example, “Dr. George Ross, Ph.D.,” even if the person is a medical doctor who has also earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Pick one title. Do not use the “Dr.” title when referring to someone who is solely an academic doctor.

Put a comma followed by the title “Ph.D.” after the name of a person who has earned a Doctor of Philosophy doctoral degree. For example Stacey Childs, Ph.D. Do not combine the title of “Ph.D.” with any other title even if the person could appropriately be addressed by a different title. For instance, even if the person being addressed is a doctor of medicine who has also earned a Ph.D., never write, for example, Dr. Stacey Childs, Ph.D. Pick one title. Do not use the “Ph.D.” title when referring to someone who not earned a Doctor of Philosophy doctoral degree.

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Proper Way to Notate College Degrees

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How to Address a DVM

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Different Types of Doctoral Degrees

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Doctorate Degrees That Don't Require a Dissertation

Doctorate Degrees That Don't Require a Dissertation

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Maya Austen began freelance writing in 2009. She has written for many online publications on a wide variety of topics ranging from physical fitness to amateur astronomy. She's also an author and e-book publisher. Austen has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the New England Institute of Art and currently lives in Boston, Mass.

title msc phd

  • MPhil vs MSc – Differences Explained
  • Types of Doctorates

On first glances, the difference between an MPhil and an MSc may appear marginal, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

While both degrees are a postgraduate Masters qualification, they’re designed for two opposite career paths – an MSc for a career in industry, and an MPhil for a career in research or on the way to a PhD. Learning the differences between the two forms of postgraduate study will allow you to make an informed decision about your next steps and offer a clearer path to your ideal career.

This page will give you an understanding of what an MPhil and MSc are, their differences, and ultimately, which of the two degrees is better suited for you.

What Is an MPhil?

An MPhil is an advanced postgraduate degree short for Master of Philosophy . The degree is typically undertaken after an undergraduate degree by those who wish to gain specialised knowledge in original research. Although discussed later, it’s important to distinguish between the two ways an MPhil may be undertaken as we will only focus on one of them for reasons you will see.

An MPhil can be undertaken as either:

  • a  standalone degree lasting two years. Successful completion of this research degree will lead to being awarded a Master of Philosophy.
  • (1) their research skills are considered suitable and their MPhil programme is upgraded to a PhD programme, or
  • (2) their research skills are considered unsuitable, but they have the opportunity to complete the second year of their MPhil programme to be awarded a Master of Philosophy.

While the MPhils from both routes will be identical, it’s likely that if you’re trying to weigh up the differences between an MPhil and an MSc, you would be more interested in the standalone MPhil route given its greater similarities to an MSc. Because of this, we’ll mainly focus on the standalone path in comparing an MPhil to an MSc. We recommend you read our full guide to an MPhil if you’re interested in undertaking one as a precursor to a PhD.

What Is an MSc?

An MSc is a Master’s degree short for Master of Science . Like an MPhil, they’re typically undertaken shortly after completing an undergraduate course such as a Bachelor’s degree. While MPhil courses are available in nearly all fields, MSc’s are exclusive to STEM-based subjects, such as engineering, physics and maths.

An MSc may sound like a specialist degree reserved for a few career paths, however, they’re a common Masters course taught in most universities. Regardless of your subject or university, an MSc is typically a one-year course and aims to increase your knowledge of specific topics within your field.

Difference between an MPhil and an MSc

MPhil vs MSc – Differences Explained

An MPhil and an MSc may seem similar – both are postgraduate Master’s degrees, both are typically undertaken after an undergraduate degree, and both are available to STEM students. Yet, there is a crucial difference between the two; and this difference will likely be the deciding factor in which degree is best for you.

This difference is your intended career path .

The degrees target two different professions; an MSc a profession in industry and an MPhil a profession in research. To make this possible, the degrees set out to provide you with a unique set of skills and specialised knowledge.

As an MSc is aimed at those wishing to develop a career in industry, it focuses on providing practical knowledge which has uses within the workplace. Therefore, while theoretical-related concepts may be taught, they will form a small part of your learning material with the focus instead on practical topics. For example, a civil engineering student may undertake an MSc in Construction Project Management ; here, topics from resource planning to cost and risk management would be covered.

Finding a PhD has never been this easy – search for a PhD by keyword, location or academic area of interest.

Unlike an MSc, which although may contain research-based components depending on the university, an MPhil is almost always a research-only degree. As a result, the degree is mainly undertaken by those who wish to pursue a research-based profession.

As discovered earlier, an MPhil may also be undertaken as a precursor to a PhD by those who wish to have a career in advanced research or academia. Where an MSc focuses on broader knowledge around several specialised subject areas, an MPhil focuses on a specific research question, within a specialised topic. In other words, it goes a level of specialisation deeper than an MSc. For example, had the previous civil engineering student opted for an MPhil instead of an MSc, their study and therefore resulting knowledge may have centred around ‘how risk management may better be managed through the use of technology’. It’s for this reason most consider an MPhil a ‘mini-PhD’ and an MSc as a specialised ‘addon’ to an undergraduate degree.

MPhil vs MSc: Table Summarising Differences

Master’s degree Master’s degree
Advanced postgraduate research degree Postgraduate science degree
Independent research project Taught course
Thesis (written) and viva voce (oral) Exam and coursework
All subjects STEM & business subjects
2 years (full time) 1 year (full time)
Working in research or advancing to a PhD for accessing careers in advanced research or academia Working in industry

Is an MPhil Better than An MSc?

Academically, an MPhil is the most advanced Masters qualification you can obtain. For this reason, it sits above an MSc but below a PhD in terms of course difficulty, and ‘academic prestige’ if such a thing even exists.

However, you would be mistaken to think this makes an MPhil degree better or more valuable than an MSc degree. In truth, we’ve seen how both degrees meet the different long-term requirements of the postgraduate student undertaking them. Therefore, the better question would be ‘which degree is better suited for you?’.

If your goal is to gain practical knowledge which you can apply to your industry, then an MSc is likely for you. On the other hand, if your goal is to have a profession in education or research, an MPhil will likely be the better option, especially as a precursor to a PhD degree.

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  • Formatting Your Dissertation
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When preparing the dissertation for submission, students must meet the following minimum formatting requirements. The Registrar’s Office will review the dissertation for compliance and these formatting elements and will contact the student to confirm acceptance or to request revision. The Harvard Griffin GSAS resource on dissertation formatting best practices expands on many of the elements below.

Please carefully review your dissertation before submitting it to ProQuestETD. The Registrar’s Office will email you through ProQuest if they have identified major formatting errors that need correction. Students will be provided with a brief extended deadline to make only the requested formatting updates.  

  • Embedded Fonts : If fonts are not embedded, non-English characters may not appear as intended. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that fonts are embedded properly prior to submission. Instructions for embedding fonts can be found on the Dissertation Formatting Guidance resource .  
  • Thesis Acceptance Certificate: A copy of the Thesis Acceptance Certificate (TAC) should appear as the first page. This page should not be counted or numbered. The TAC will appear in the online version of the published dissertation. The author name and date on the TAC and title page should be the same.  
  • Title Page: The dissertation begins with the title page; the title should be as concise as possible and should provide an accurate description of the dissertation. The author name and date on the TAC and title page should be the same. Do not print a page number on the title page. It is understood to be page  i  for counting purposes only. 
  • Abstract : An abstract, numbered as page  iii , should immediately follow the copyright page and should state the problem, describe the methods and procedures used, and give the main results or conclusions of the research. The abstract will appear in the online version of the dissertation and will be made available by ProQuest and DASH. There is no maximum word count for the abstract.  
  • Preliminary pages (abstract, table of contents, list of tables, graphs, illustrations, and preface) should use small Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, v, etc.). 
  • All pages must contain text or images.  
  • Count the title page as page i and the copyright page as page ii, but do not print page numbers on either page. 
  • For the body of text, use Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.) starting with page 1 on the first page of text.
  • Page numbers must be centered throughout the manuscript at the top or bottom. 
  • Every numbered page must be consecutively ordered, including tables, graphs, illustrations, and bibliography/index (if included); letter suffixes (such as 10a, 10b, etc.) are not allowed. 
  • It is customary not to have a page number on the page containing a chapter heading. Check pagination carefully. Account for all pages. 
  • Copyright Statement: A copyright notice should appear on a separate page immediately following the title page and include the copyright symbol ©, the year of first publication of the work, and the name of the author: © [ year ] [ Author’s Name ]. All rights reserved. Alternatively, students may choose to license their work openly under a Creative Commons license. The author remains the copyright holder while at the same time granting upfront permission to others to read, share, and—depending on the license—adapt the work so long as proper attribution is given. (If a student chooses a Creative Commons license, the copyright statement must not include the “all rights reserved” disclaimer and should instead indicate the specific Creative Commons license.) Please note: The copyright statement applies only to the student’s own work; the copyright status of third-party material incorporated into the dissertation will not change. Do not  print a page number on the copyright page. It is understood to be page  ii  for counting purposes only. 
  • Abstract 
  • Table of Contents 
  • Front Matter 
  • Body of Text 
  • Back Matter 

Students can refer to the resource on Dissertation Formatting Best Practice Resource for information on best practices for front and back matter

Individual academic programs may require additional formatting elements to meet the standards of a specific field or discipline. Students are responsible to ensure that their Dissertation Advisory Committee is in support of the final formatting as signified by the sign off on the Thesis Acceptance Certificate. Any deviation from these requirements may lead to rejection of the dissertation and delay in the conferral of the degree. 

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Honorific and academic titles

Erasmus - Woudestein - beeld

In spoken English, titles are generally not used, with the exception of Mr, Mrs, Ms, professor and doctor. When listing names in writing, other academic titles are included, such as BA, MA, PhD – all of which come after the surname.

Example : Ms N. Jones MA

In 'prof.' a full stop is used, unlike in any of the other titles (see above and below). Please note: when used as a title, it should start with a capital. Example : Professor Shaw / Prof. Shaw

PhD: when addressing a PhD in a letter, use 'Dr'. Example : Dear Dr Doe. On the envelope, use PhD. Example : To Jane Doe PhD ('Mr' or 'Mrs' is omitted).

In English, unlike in Dutch, only the highest academic title is used.

If Dutch titles are retained, they are italicized in order to indicate the title is foreign. Example : rector magnificus . International titles such as 'Prof.' and 'Dr' are the exception to this rule. Please note that all abbreviations of Dutch titles are written with a full stop (in Dutch Dr gets a full stop too: dr.).

Use of Dutch titles in English texts:

Prof.Professor
Dr 
 
Dutch 'mr.' (meaning 'Master of Laws'/'meester in de rechten') may be mistaken for English 'Mr' (mister), or vice versa. This can be avoided by using LLM instead.
 
 

Use lower case letters when used generically, except at the beginning of a sentence. Example : 'All the personal managers of the region were present.' 'A head of department is responsible for ….'

Use capitals when referring to a specific person with this title. Example : 'She became Head of Department at the council.' 'As the Personnel Manager of EUR, he feels responsible for this.'

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MA, MBA, BS, MS, MSW, PhD, PsyD: What Does it All Mean?

The benefits of college degrees, be it associate, B.A., M.A. or Ph.D level, have been touted and restated many times. Despite rising costs, the investment continues to be valuable one for a wide variety of people. That said, back it up a little bit: just what do all those different degree acronyms mean? Beyond that, what differentiates, say, a B.B.A. from a BSN?

To help answer those questions we put together the following list of definitions for what each degree acronym stands for as well as explanations of the meanings behind all the different terminology.

Associate Degrees

An associate degree is typically completed in two years of full-time study, but may take longer for part-time students. These undergraduate programs can be found at community colleges, vocational schools, technical colleges, and some universities. In general, associate degrees fall into three different categories: Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.).

Associate degrees are a great fit for career-oriented students who want to enter a technical or vocational trade that requires some post secondary education. Along with often being the quickest and cheapest route to a formal degree, an associate program can also be a stepping stone to a four-year degree. Many schools offer students the option to apply credits earned from an associate degree, which is generally 60 semester credits, towards a bachelor’s degree.

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A.A. Associate of Arts

The associate of arts is a basic-level undergraduate degree granted upon completion of a two-year program, usually at community or junior college, technical college or trade school. As such, these are typically a jumping off point towards pursuing a full bachelor’s degree.

A.S. Associate of Science

Similar to the A.A., the associate of science degree is the culmination of a two-year academic program. The A.S. is usually awarded to junior college students enrolled in science or tech-related programs.

Associate Degree Related Content

  • Associate Degree Overview
  • Associate Degree Programs in Medical Assisting
  • Associate Degree Programs in Medical Billing & Coding

Bachelor’s Degrees

A bachelor’s degree is the most popular post-secondary degree option, and typically seen as the standard for employment in most professional fields. In most cases, a bachelor’s program takes four years of full-time study to complete. However, some majors may take longer, or schools may offer accelerated programs allowing students to finish their degree in less time.

The two most common types of bachelor’s degrees are the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.). There are a number of other options, though, that coincide with more specific major fields, such as the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.). Generally, a bachelor’s degree consists of 120 semester credits, with half being made up of general education or liberal arts courses. The other half is typically filled with courses geared toward a student’s particular major.

B.A. Bachelor of Arts

The usual degree path for majors in liberal arts, humanities or social sciences such as English, creative writing, fine arts or political science. A B.A. is typically awarded upon completion of a four-year undergraduate program at a traditional school or university.

B.S. Bachelor of Science

The bachelor’s typically awarded to undergraduates in science and technical fields.

B.F.A. Bachelor of Fine Arts

Awarded to majors like art history, theater, film studies and photography.

B.B.A. Bachelor of Business Administration

A business-oriented bachelor’s path, typically associated with management, accounting, marketing, etc.

B.Arch Bachelor of Architecture

A bachelor’s degree geared towards the architecture field.

BSN Bachelor of Science in Nursing

A degree path oriented towards the technical and hands-on training necessary to obtain a nursing license.

B.E. Bachelor of Engineering

Concentrates on engineering fields like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer engineering.

Bachelor’s Degree Related Content

  • Bachelor’s Degree Overview
  • Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Education
  • Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Nursing

Master’s Degrees

Master’s degrees are graduate-level programs that typically take two years of additional full-time study after completion of a bachelor’s degree. Because most graduate students are already working professionals, many colleges and universities offer part-time or flexible master’s degree programs. These allow students to maintain their career while completing the degree at their own pace, but generally take longer than two years of study.

In order to apply for a master’s program, students usually must already possess a bachelor’s degree. Most students choose to pursue a master’s degree in order to advance in their chosen profession or enter a field that requires a high level of education. Many programs fall into one of two categories: Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.). The Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) is another popular option.

M.A. Master of Arts

The basic graduate-level degree granted to grad students in fields in the humanities, social sciences or fine arts.

M.B.A. Master of Business Administration

The Master of Business Administration is the master-level degree granted upon completion of a business administration or management-oriented program. In contrast to an M.A., M.B.A. programs are typically oriented around subjects more narrowly tailored towards business operations like accounting, marketing and analysis.

M.S. Master of Science

Typically awarded to graduate students in scientific or technical fields.

M.S.W. Master of Social Work

Similar to the M.B.A., the Master of Social Work is narrowly defined master’s degree focused on social work. M.S.W. programs may adhere to either a clinical track or practice track. The clinical track is oriented towards working with patients, while the practice track focuses on politics and policy as well as management.

Master’s Degree Related Content

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  • Master’s Degree Programs in Business (MBA)
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Doctoral Degrees

A doctorate is the highest level of academic degree awarded by universities, and can take anywhere from three to eight years (or more) to complete. Some doctoral programs require students to already have a master’s before enrolling, while others can be started directly after completion of undergraduate study.

There are many different types of doctoral degrees, but the most common is the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Depending on the specific degree awarded, earning a doctorate can qualify graduates to teach at the university level, or work in a position that requires extensive training and education. Psychologists and medical doctors are two examples of professionals who must hold doctoral degrees in order to become licensed to practice in their field.

Ph.D Doctor of Philosophy

Despite what the name might suggest, this isn’t a degree for philosophers exclusively. A Ph.D is the doctorate-level degree granted in a variety of different disciplines. These are typically research-intensive programs pursued by those who’ve already acquired bachelor’s and master-level credentials in their field of study.

Psy.D. Doctor of Psychology

The Psy.D.is similar to a standard doctorate degree, but granted specifically for students pursuing psychology practice.

Doctoral Degree Related Content

  • Doctoral Degree Overview
  • Doctoral Degree in Psychology & Social Sciences

What do these letters stand for?

There are two parts; one can classify the educational level of the degree: “B” stands for bachelor’s degree; “M” stands for master’s degree; and “D” stands for doctoral degree. The second part denotes the discipline of the degree, like “S” for science, “A” for arts, or “Ph” for Philosophy.

What are the distinctions between arts and science degrees?

Depending on the school you attend and the kind of courses you take, you could earn an arts degree or a science degree. Typically, an “arts” degree means that you focused on a wide area of learning and discussion, while a “science” degree implies a deep, technical understanding of your subject.

What kinds of designations exist for doctoral students?

The highest degree you can earn in most liberal arts disciplines is a PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy. However, clinical and counseling psychologists earn a PsyD, Doctor of Psychology nomenclature; medical students earn M.D. degrees and law students can earn J.D. (Juris Doctor) degrees.

What about some of the other specialized degrees?

Distinctive nomenclature are named after applied disciplines, include Master of Social Work (MSW), Doctor of Social Work (DSW), Master of Education degree (MaEd), Master of Business Administration (MBA), or Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).

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Would having a PhD overwrite a MSc in your title?

Probably a vanity question,

I have an undergraduate medical degree (MB BCh) and a master's degree (MSc). If I were to get a PhD, would I lose the MSc in my title, for it to become MB BCh PhD? or would it be MB BCh MSc PhD?

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Should I write "PhD" or "Ph.D."?

Question pretty self-explanatory. Should the abbreviation of the Latin term philosophiae doctor be written as PhD (no periods) or Ph.D. (with periods)?

  • abbreviations

benregn's user avatar

  • 1 You have a couple of correct answers below. Personally I avoid periods in abbreviations, so I would use PhD, just as I would say Washington DC using the postal code abbreviation DC rather than the historical abbreviation D.C. (District of Columbia). –  Wayne Commented May 17, 2011 at 12:38

6 Answers 6

Actually both are correct. I could easily find both on my NOAD, and there are plenty of pages on the net where you find it written as "PhD".

The OALD gives an interesting distinction, stating that Ph.D. is especially North American English.

Now, being a non-native speaker, I can only rely on official sources to state who uses what , but there's no doubt that both variants are used.

Lastly, I think there's really no point in distinguishing them as " Philosophiae Doctor " or " Doctor of Philosophy " because it's the same exact expression, although considering the abbreviation, the former is the correct and original long version, the latter is just the English translation.

JacKeown's user avatar

  • 1 Collins English Dictionary shows a separate abbreviation if you want to specify the degree in English: "DPhil". (Also at dictionary.reference.com/browse/phd , just further down the page.) –  MT_Head Commented May 17, 2011 at 9:52
  • @MT_Head: Thanks for commenting. With "if you want to specify the degree in English" you mean "being unambiguous"? –  Alenanno Commented May 17, 2011 at 9:54
  • Indeed. To give an anecdotal example: in the company I used to work for, which was British, people didn't tend to use periods for abbreviations of degrees, e.g. MSc , PhD . I now work for an American company, where the convention is to use them, hence Ph.D. –  Steve Melnikoff Commented May 17, 2011 at 9:55
  • I see, I was thinking of that before honestly, since PhD (or PHD) can be other things too... Thanks for pointing it out! –  Alenanno Commented May 17, 2011 at 10:04
  • 6 @MT_Head DPhil is also what a PhD is called at Oxford. If you use DPhil then a BE speaker would assume you specifically mean Oxford. –  mgb Commented May 17, 2011 at 15:07

PhD and Ph.D. are both correct. Canadians tend to omit the periods and those from the U.S. tend to keep them. A reference grammar explains it like this:

2  abbreviations and acronyms 1  punctuation We usually write abbreviations without full stops in modern British English. Full stops (AmE ‘periods’) are normal in American English.   Mr (AmE Mr. ) = Mister (not usually written in full)   kg (AmE kg. ) = kilogram  […]

Quote source: Swan, Michael. Practical English Usage (Third Edition). page 2.

Kai Burghardt's user avatar

I tend to use both 'PhD' and 'Ph.D'. A DPhil is awarded at both Oxford Uni and Sussex Uni in England. All others award PhDs to my knowledge.

It bugs me when people use 'Dr' before their name and then also state the award following it. I feel it should be one or the other.

Simon Bignell's user avatar

  • Agree with Dr being used with PhD part. –  Failed Scientist Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 10:19
  • 4 "Oh, I'm going to get some cash out of this ATM machine." –  hBy2Py Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 17:00
  • 1 @hBy2Py : Ha! That's an example of the ironically named RAS syndrome (Redundant Acronym Syndrome syndrome). According to Wikipedia the term was coined in 2001 in a light-hearted column in New Scientist, though I haven't a reference for the original article. On the original question, during my lifetime (started in the 1950s) in the UK there has been a slow but steady move to reduce the use of punctuation and capitalisation in print. This has been driven in part by the newspaper industry, though I can't give any source other than the say-so of journalist friends. –  Duckspindle Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 12:17

As many noted, both are accepted, so it is a matter of convention and taste.

The important is to be consistent with the other abbreviations you use throughout your text. Compare:

  • I got a Ph.D. in A.I. at U.C.L.A in the U.S.
  • I got a PhD in AI at UCLA in the US.

My personal preference goes for omitting periods, given that this is an abbreviation, following the Guardian style guide :

Do not use full points in abbreviations, or spaces between initials, including those in proper names

Matifou's user avatar

I remember discussing this with a trained secretary a long time ago. We eventually decided that the use of camel case (starting each abbreviated word in upper case) removes the need for the periods when abbreviating titles. However, when an abbreviation is relatively new or used in an unusual context, the periods help to avoid ambiguity.

For my own use, the overriding consideration is 'house style'. It is more important for a document to be internally consistent, to avoid confusion.

Bobble's user avatar

  • Bobble's "house style" consideration typically applies not just to a single document but also, as the name implies, to all documents emanating from the same "house". For example, my academic discipline (linguistics) traditionally employs the no-periods convention for all titles (not only PhD, MA, and BA but also Mr, Dr, and Prof), while the style enforcer at my academic institution (an American university) insists that I sprinkle periods around (for a total of 9 in my 6 examples). –  H Stephen Straight Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 22:32

The most common I have seen are:

I have rarely come across a Ph.D. (with two periods).

check123's user avatar

  • 28 Ugh. Ph.D looks like the inconsistent worst of all worlds. –  user1579 Commented May 17, 2011 at 16:57

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged abbreviations latin periods or ask your own question .

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title msc phd

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Careers advice and planning

Ma, msc, mres, phd, eng d... different types of postgraduate courses.

targetjobs editorial team

25 Jan 2023, 13:36

If you're at a crossroads between employment and further study, take the time to consider the huge variety of postgraduate courses on offer.

Two directional signs against a blue sky, one pointing left with the word "EMPLOYMENT," the other pointing right with "FURTHER STUDY."

From one-year taught courses to three-year research PhDs, choosing the right postgraduate course can give you the edge in a jobs market already crowded with first degree holders. Find out what's available, what's involved and which type of course will best suit your needs. When weighing up the pros and cons of going into work or further study remember that you need not limit yourself to just one of the two.

Take a look at the lists below to find a qualification and a study method that works around you...and your career. Once you've short-listed your favourites, it's a very good idea to have a chat with potential employers to find out how they view the qualification, or even the university, you are considering. Your main options are:

Taught courses

Master of arts (MA) or Master of science (MSc)

  • Taught courses most commonly come in the form of a masters degree
  • One to two years full time
  • Two to three years part time
  • Includes seminars, lectures, tutorials, project work, oral work, some research, a thesis/dissertation and exams. The balance between these varies.

Research degrees

Doctorates (PhDs)

PhDs can be started immediately after your first degree or a masters course. It’s more common for students of sciences than arts to start a PhD straight after an undergraduate degree. They involve research into a chosen topic under the supervision of an experienced academic.

  • Three to four years full time
  • Four to six years part time
  • Considered very intellectually challenging
  • Includes a thesis of around 100,000 words and usually an oral presentation.

An EngD (engineering doctorate) is an alternative to a PhD for students looking for a career in engineering. Like those studying for a PhD, EngD students will conduct in-depth research. However, they will also spend up to 75% of their time gaining direct experience in the industry by working for a company.

Masters programmes by research (including MSc, MPhil, MRes)

These are known as MRes (master of research), MPhil (master of philosophy), MSc by research or MA by research. Put simply, these are masters programmes that rely heavily on your own private research, supervised by an experienced academic.

  • Two to four years part time
  • Usually involves training in research methods, but less teaching than a taught masters
  • Similar in structure to a doctorate, only shorter
  • Includes the production of a thesis and usually an oral presentation
  • Good preparation for a PhD
  • Fees usually lower than for taught masters.

targetjobs editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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Professional Title Etiquette: When to Use Your Dr. Title

female doctor reviewing information on a tablet

Socially as well as professionally, medical doctors, dentists, and other professionals are addressed by, and introduced with, their titles. People who have earned a Ph.D. or any other academic, nonmedical doctoral degree have the choice of whether to use "Dr." both professionally and socially.  If, when meeting people with doctorates, you're unsure how to address them, "Dr." is always correct.  If they'd rather the title be dropped, they will let you know.

It's more common for women to use the title "Doctor" socially as well as professionally than in the past. When a married woman uses the title "Dr." (either medical or academic) socially, addressing social correspondence to the couple is a little trickier. If her husband is not a doctor, address letters to Dr. Sonia and Mr. Robert Harris. Her name comes first because her professional title "outranks" his social title. If her husband is also a doctor, the address is either The Drs. (Doctors) Harris or Drs. Sonia and Robert Harris (the order of the names doesn't matter).

The Reverend

In introductions and correspondence, many Protestant clergy are referred to as "The Reverend." While business correspondence is addressed to The Reverend James Norris, (D.D., if held), social correspondence is slightly different: The Reverend (Mr./Dr.) and Mrs. James Norris. In conversation, a clergyman or clergywoman is addressed as Dr./Mr./Mrs./Ms./Pastor/Rector/Reverend Norris.

Addressing a husband or wife who are both "Reverends" follows the same format as a husband and wife who are both doctors: The Reverends Norris or The Reverend Mrs./Ms. Patricia Norris and the Reverend Mr. James Norris. If either of the couple also has a doctorate degree, that person's name would go first: The Reverend Dr. James Norris and The Reverend Mrs./Ms. Patricia Norris.

Today "Esquire" is largely confined to business correspondence between attorneys and justices of the peace. An alternative is to write:

Mr. David Bowman

Attorney at Law

using two lines, no indent, and including the titles Mr. or Ms.

When "Esq." or "Esquire" is used, the name is never preceded by Mr., Ms., Mrs., or other titles such as Dr., and is written David Bowman, Esq. "Esquire" isn't used in introductions: "I'd like to introduce attorney David Bowman/Mr. David Bowman/David Bowman." It also isn't used for social correspondence, as when writing to a lawyer and his or her spouse or addressing a social invitation. Mr. and Mrs. David Bowman is the correct form.

Professional Designations

Professional designations such as CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or CLU (Certified Life Underwriter) are only used on business cards or business correspondence. They follow a person's name, and Mr. or Ms. isn't used: Martha Dawes, CPA; Phillip Olner, CLU. If a person has more than one designation, they're listed in the order received: Phillip Olner, CLU, CFP. Socially, use Mr., Ms., or Mrs. without the professional designation: Ms. Martha Dawes.

Other Titles

Every day we run into people who have an official title. The police officer at the desk is Sergeant Flynn; the head of the fire department is Chief Elmore; the club chef is Chef Rossi; the pilot on your plane is Captain Howe; and so forth. When on the job, such people are always addressed by their titles, just as they are when the matter at hand is related to their work. Socially, many don't use their titles, though they may. Sometimes a title sticks: A local judge, for example, who's been called by his title for a number of years, is usually addressed as "Judge" even after his retirement.

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What title to put on a professional business card, for a person with a PhD

Is there a correct or preferred format for indicating 'Dr' or 'PhD' (or both) on a professional business card.

Background: I am employed in the industry and I have just earned my PhD (in social science). My company wants to update my business card.

The following are two options:

  • Dr Name, PhD, University Name
  • Name, PhD, University Name

I am told that it may be a sign of arrogance but I am also told that if you have earned it, you deserve it.

Wrzlprmft's user avatar

  • 6 What country are you located in and what type of company is this? –  Irwin Commented May 7, 2013 at 2:44
  • Its Australia and an advocacy company. –  Javeer Baker Commented May 7, 2013 at 3:21
  • 2 I read it more of a sign of insecurity rather than arrogance when one seems to feel the need to shove your degree in people's faces. As you've pointed out, there are many feelings about this. I wouldn't do it but many do. –  mako Commented May 2, 2015 at 22:32
  • 7 I think that getting a PhD is an accomplishment and people's insecurities are their own issue, not the PhDs'!!!! If in our society we rethought and recognized how much we could learn from someone that is more educated then ourselves; maybe just maybe we could elevate USA right back to the number one nation in the world..... When did we chose to disrespect educated people and why? We are in peril as a country and have uneducated people leading our country, people that can't even balance a budget!!?! So I say USE YOUR PhD!!!! –  user35978 Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 9:37

5 Answers 5

"Dr Name, PhD" is redundant, so this usage is often discouraged. If you are going to indicate the degree, I'd recommend "Name, PhD" rather than "Dr Name" since it's more informative (at the very least it will keep anyone from thinking you are a medical doctor). In the U.S. it's not common to indicate the university, but I think I've seen it more often in other countries.

I'd suggest thinking carefully before indicating your degree on a business card. Some people without PhDs may respond bitterly, like you are bragging about your accomplishments or implying that your expertise is more valuable than theirs. At the same time, some people with PhDs will look down on it as well, in a status hierarchy:

Some insecure people without PhDs feel resentful and don't want to be distinguished from PhD holders.

Some insecure people with PhDs try hard not to be confused with group 1, thereby irritating those people all the more.

Some better-established PhD holders aren't worried about being confused with group 1, but now they don't want to be confused with group 2, so they pointedly denounce emphasizing your degree as being tacky and in poor taste.

As a rule of thumb, I would omit the degree from your business card unless it's important for your credibility (i.e., the skills from your PhD are professionally important and people would otherwise assume you don't have them).

The one situation in which you should absolutely not indicate a degree is if it's irrelevant. For example, if you're an accountant with a PhD in literature, then your business card should not read "Name, PhD."

Anonymous Mathematician's user avatar

  • 14 This is very dependent on culture. For instance, in Germany the "Dr." is pretty much considered part of your name once you earned it, and higher-ups in industry are said to respond almost irresponsibly well to it. Furthermore, I wonder whether -- if you put your degree on the card -- you should give the field you obtained your degree in (no matter whether PhD or Masters); the distinction may be relevant in interdisciplinary contexts of if your degree is not the obvious fit for your field. –  Raphael Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 23:43
  • 3 Nice answer. There's even an econ paper modeling the three-point scenario you describe by Harbaugh and To . –  Corvus Commented May 2, 2015 at 21:44
  • 1 If you feel the need to wave around your degree, I might think that you are insecure but I'm not particularly worried about other people confusing me as like you. I'm not going to "pointedly denounce emphasizing your degree" but if you ask a question in an online forum about how to style your name, I'll give you my advice. :) –  mako Commented May 2, 2015 at 22:39

My time in industry is longer than in academia. I would like to provide you with my opinion.

I would suggest

Name, PhD in Discipline name, University name Job title

I think university name is optional. The discipline name is necessary because people want to know what you know. PhD in physics is very different from PhD in social science.

Please be aware of the possible negative effects of adding the PhD title.

There are quite a bit anti-academia attitude in industry. Some people dislike academics. They believe the academians know nothing but theory. They rather do business with non-academians. For me, I deeply respect academics. I believe a company can offer me good quality products if they have PhDs as some of their employees. So, I am more willing to do business with them. However, I think I am minority. Many industry people do not think that way.

If your employer is a consulting company, your title can be helpful. The PhD title can convince your clients you can offer them high value services. If your employeer is a constructing company, you might want to think twice before you update your business card.

Community's user avatar

  • @scaaahu Thanks a lot. I was based in the School of Arts and my dissertation is in the Social Sciences, so is PhD (Social Science) appropriate? Or do I need to mention the specific research area as we do specialise at this level? –  Javeer Baker Commented May 7, 2013 at 5:13
  • @JaveerBaker I think PhD in Social Science is enough. If anybody wants to know more, they can ask. Then it's up to you and the timing to talk about it in more details. Some may not be interested in your title, they will just ignore what area in social science. –  Nobody Commented May 7, 2013 at 5:24
  • What about Bachelor resp. Master degrees if either is your highest one? –  Raphael Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 23:44
  • 1 @Raphael I never saw anyone put master/bachelor title on their business card in the US or my current location(Asia). I don't know about Europe. But, that's just me. –  Nobody Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 2:12
  • There are quite a bit anti-academia attitude in industry. Supporting evidence? –  Leon Meier Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 13:31

In your case, I would suggest "Yes, put Javeer Baker, Ph.D " on your card. You could optionally put "in social science" on it if you'd like.

I cannot speak about the culture in Australia, but in the United States and Canada, it is appropriate to put your title (Ph.D) on your business card if the industry generally is supportive of or respects academics, or in which high degrees are not common. I might guess Australia's culture is similar.

Industries that would want to be proud to have a Ph.D on staff especially would be non-profit organizations, advocacy groups, research think-tanks, and consulting. As you said that your employer was an advocacy group, I believe that putting your degree on your business card is beneficial.

Industries in which you would NOT put your degree on your business card would probably be software high-tech (because no one cares) or in academia (not because no one cares, but basically any assistant professor and up basically has a Ph.D and therefore it's not impressive), or, as mentioned above, a construction management company or similar.

(As an aside, a whole bunch of people at a conference I was at rolled their eyes when they saw one of the authors wrote " name , Ph.D" on a paper.)

Irwin's user avatar

  • 1 Just a remark: I believe I've heard Sergey Brin once mentioning that Google was so successful because it hired many PhD's. –  texnic Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 15:01

In your particular case, working for a advocacy company and being asked to update your business card, you can overlook the snarky comments. I believe that only medical doctors use the Dr honorific on their business card. So John Smith, Ph.D. seems sufficient. There is no reason to to add university nor discipline. It is a nice ice breaker in a conversation when people ask "what is your PhD in?" and you can position your expertise into the context of the meeting.

As for the Dr John Smith, yes by all means that is how you should be addressed on letters and in other contexts, or even simply as Dr Smith.

You have worked hard for your PhD, so you have earned the recognition that goes with it. As for the people with insecurities, it is how you conduct yourself that makes the difference between coming across as a knowledgeable consultant or a pretentious person.

CyberFonic's user avatar

  • In the U.S., even medical doctors put the degree on professional cards to let everyone know they're "real doctors." –  Bob Brown Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 11:55
  • @BobBrown, thanks for the extra detail. On another forum I was razed for putting the word engineer in scare quotes. The trolls wouldn't accept that unqualified persons using the engineering designation would not want to be treated for medical conditions by persons without suitable medical training and qualifications. So then why should critical infrastructure then be built by unqualified persons without suitable oversight. –  CyberFonic Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 20:45

The style chosen is at the discretion of the one conferred with the doctorate. These are styles are common in the UK - they can include all qualifications, including professional certifications:

  • Dr. Name, PhD, MSc, BSc
  • Dr. Name, MD, MBChB, BSc DRCOG, MRCGP

The doctorate position and its responsibilities are accompanied with certain rights and privileges including the title and style. You can even have your passport include the Dr. It is a legal right. If you have just earned a doctorate, wear it proudly and congratulations, Dr.

Anon's user avatar

  • I didn't know one could include "Dr." in the passport in the UK, thought it was only the German exactness :) –  texnic Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 14:54
  • 1 In the UK, post-nominals for academic degree are usually in order of level, lowest first, I.e BSc, MSc, PhD. –  rturnbull Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 9:13

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title msc phd

IMAGES

  1. MSc and PhD Thesis Titles- 1996 to present

    title msc phd

  2. Format for MSc Thesis

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  3. Student Introduction Cards (MSc & PhD Candidates only)

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  4. NBHM MSC PHD 2023 || Q3 || Real Analysis || 2nd Lecture

    title msc phd

  5. Title Page

    title msc phd

  6. MSc Preliminary -Title Page

    title msc phd

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  2. # Class 9 R.S aggarwal exercise 2E Q.no 29,30 & 31

  3. Integral transform Objective type Questions || Msc 4th semester || Most important 2024 ||

  4. MSC To Coporate

  5. Fully Funded PhD/MSc Positions at Ohio State University, USA #viral #viralvideo #ohio #horticulture

  6. Master's vs. PhD: Navigating the Educational Landscape

COMMENTS

  1. What's the correct way of writing a higher education title (MSc or M.Sc

    You will find that PhD Ph.D. BSc B.Sc. MSc and M.Sc. are all found. The question linked to handles this for PhD/Ph.D. but the answer covers the rest. The only thing to add to it is to be consistent, so PhD and BSc or Ph.D. and B.Sc., but not one form together with another in the same piece of writing. -

  2. BA, BSc, MA, MSc, PhD

    BA, BSc, MA, MSc, PhD (and more) are abbreviations of British degrees. They reflect the specific level and discipline of a qualification achieved at university. While most courses are conducted on a full-time basis, there are options for part-time, distance learning and other flexible learning arrangements. Here is a breakdown of some of the ...

  3. What is your correct title while working on a PhD?

    Here your title normally goes in front of your name, and does not change based on receipt of a masters degree, whether or not you subsequently start a PhD. You can start using the title Dr after completing a PhD, but many people don't use it, or only use it in a relevant professional context. You technically can put letters after your name ...

  4. education

    For example, some staff pages for academics list all the degrees held by those academics, even though the undergraduate degrees are usually eclipsed by a PhD. This is often useful because it allows the reader to see the educational progression of that person, how they started their tertiary education, and where it led.

  5. masters

    Should be good enough to get all the respect you are after (since you decided to use titles) if you should list the titles of different academic levels, then list them in the order of importance/level: [honorary titles] [prof equivalents] [dr. equivalents] [MSc. equivalents] [BSc. equivalents] [whatever else] Name [whatever comes after the name]

  6. How to use the PhD title and all the little doctorate "rules"... use ph

    Some people like to use Dr and PhD in their official titles. There are a couple of important points that you need to know about markers and academic titles. A person can have more than one marker in their name. For example my full title is Dr Andrew Stapleton, PhD, MChem. The doctor title at the front can be used as a variant to the PhD at the end.

  7. Academic degree

    Nowadays these Dutch titles have been largely replaced by the Anglo Saxon titles MSc (Master of Science), MA (Master of Arts) ... As of 1 January 2021, the title 'PhD' and post-nominal degree 'PhD' can also be used, and these are also legally protected. Stacking of titles, as seen in countries such as Germany (Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. Gruber), is ...

  8. Master's vs PhD

    The two most common types of graduate degrees are master's and doctoral degrees: A master's is a 1-2 year degree that can prepare you for a multitude of careers. A PhD, or doctoral degree, takes 3-7 years to complete (depending on the country) and prepares you for a career in academic research. A master's is also the necessary first ...

  9. Which research degree should I do—MSc, MD, or PhD?

    The compromise degrees are the MD or MS. These usually require two years of work and therefore permit more in-depth research than the MSc. The MD or its equivalent is popular among medics. When deciding which degree to go for you should check all the various regulations and also the fees that may be entailed. At the end of the day the choice is ...

  10. How to Correctly Use the Titles Dr. & PhD With a Name

    Put a comma followed by the title "Ph.D." after the name of a person who has earned a Doctor of Philosophy doctoral degree. For example Stacey Childs, Ph.D. Do not combine the title of "Ph.D." with any other title even if the person could appropriately be addressed by a different title. For instance, even if the person being addressed ...

  11. MPhil vs MSc

    An MSc is a Master's degree short for Master of Science. Like an MPhil, they're typically undertaken shortly after completing an undergraduate course such as a Bachelor's degree. While MPhil courses are available in nearly all fields, MSc's are exclusive to STEM-based subjects, such as engineering, physics and maths.

  12. Formatting Your Dissertation

    Title Page: The dissertation begins with the title page; the title should be as concise as possible and should provide an accurate description of the dissertation. The author name and date on the TAC and title page should be the same. Do not print a page number on the title page. It is understood to be page i for counting purposes only.

  13. Honorific and academic titles

    In spoken English, titles are generally not used, with the exception of Mr, Mrs, Ms, professor and doctor. When listing names in writing, other academic titles are included, such as BA, MA, PhD - all of which come after the surname. Example: Ms N. Jones MA. In 'prof.' a full stop is used, unlike in any of the other titles (see above and below).

  14. phd

    In my experience it would be more common to use the title Dr in appropriate contexts, rather than adding PhD. The obvious exception would be a medical doctor with a PhD, who can then use both. @JessicaB It depends. For instance on a CV in the Czech Republic, I would list both my master and my PhD for the name.

  15. What Do MA, MBA, MS, MSW and PhD Stand For?

    There are two parts; one can classify the educational level of the degree: "B" stands for bachelor's degree; "M" stands for master's degree; and "D" stands for doctoral degree. The second part denotes the discipline of the degree, like "S" for science, "A" for arts, or "Ph" for Philosophy. What are the distinctions ...

  16. Would having a PhD overwrite a MSc in your title? : r/academia

    For example, academic degree DSc should replace MSc, which replaces BSc. You would never list BSc, MSc, DSc after a name. Likewise, PhD is typically considered equal to a DSc so that would replace a BSc and MSc. However, MB BCh is a professional degree so it is not replaced by MSc or PhD. You would use MB BCh PhD, but not the MSc.

  17. abbreviations

    49. Actually both are correct. I could easily find both on my NOAD, and there are plenty of pages on the net where you find it written as "PhD". The OALD gives an interesting distinction, stating that Ph.D. is especially North American English. Now, being a non-native speaker, I can only rely on official sources to state who uses what, but ...

  18. Magister degree

    Argentina. In Argentina, the Master of Science or Magister (Mg, Ma, Mag, MSc) is a postgraduate degree of two to four years of duration by depending on each university's statutes. The admission to a Master program (Spanish: Maestría) in an Argentine University requires the full completion of a Bachelor's degree, as well Licentiate's degree as Professorate degree of four to five years duration ...

  19. Formal Title for Someone with a Masters Degree? [duplicate]

    1. The official title is "Master of xxx" for someone who has attained a Master's degree in a given topic. I have also heard the phrase "Mistress of xxx" been used for a female; though I cannot speak to whether it is a traditional title. However, as others have said it is now customary to address someone with a master's or bachelor's degree with ...

  20. MA, MSc, MRes, PhD, Eng D... different types of ...

    Masters programmes by research (including MSc, MPhil, MRes) These are known as MRes (master of research), MPhil (master of philosophy), MSc by research or MA by research. Put simply, these are masters programmes that rely heavily on your own private research, supervised by an experienced academic. One to two years full time. Two to four years ...

  21. Professional Title Etiquette: When to Use Your Dr. Title

    An alternative is to write: Mr. David Bowman. Attorney at Law. using two lines, no indent, and including the titles Mr. or Ms. When "Esq." or "Esquire" is used, the name is never preceded by Mr., Ms., Mrs., or other titles such as Dr., and is written David Bowman, Esq. "Esquire" isn't used in introductions: "I'd like to introduce attorney David ...

  22. What title do you hold after you've defended but before you graduate?

    Formally, they don't take a title before the university awards it, and the awarding is usually done by handing out a certificate stating the title (independent of whether that involves a ceremony or not).. In informal situations, it's nice to address them with the title because they are usually happy and proud of their accomplishment, and what remains to be done before they actually get the ...

  23. What title to put on a professional business card, for a person with a PhD

    Dr. Name, PhD, MSc, BSc; Dr. Name, MD, MBChB, BSc DRCOG, MRCGP; The doctorate position and its responsibilities are accompanied with certain rights and privileges including the title and style. You can even have your passport include the Dr. It is a legal right. If you have just earned a doctorate, wear it proudly and congratulations, Dr.