The full form of PhD is Doctor of Philosophy, here Philosophy means ‘wisdom’ and not just the subject of Philosophy and Doctor is a person who holds a doctorate, which is a formal degree and grants permission to teach; these meanings have historical origins. In the present day, a PhD can be earned for any subject stream, whether Humanities, Science, Management, Fine Arts etc. PhD holders are considered to having authority over the subject they attain their doctorate degree. In the teaching profession, having a PhD is mandatory for teaching higher courses, in most institutions. 

In India, to be eligible for a PhD program a candidate must have completed his/her masters. For a PhD program a candidate generally cannot change the stream; he/she has to choose the same subject in which postgraduate degree was attained. A PhD program can be full time or part time, in campus or off campus through correspondence mode. The duration of full time course is generally four years, whereas duration of part time course is six years. A PhD program comprises of more detailed coursework than the post graduate level, research both primary and secondary into the topic and thesis submission at the end of the program. A PhD scholar is assigned to work under a guide or has to find a guide for himself or herself. During the tenure of the PhD program, the researcher is expected to produce measurable outputs in the form of publications, research and new knowledge creation; the articles submitted for publication are peer reviewed and are cleared for publishing, only if they fulfill certain criteria and standards. The thesis submitted by PhD scholar has to be defended by him/her during viva-voce,which is conducted by a panel of subject experts.

More and more students are now enrolling for higher education and there is a dearth of good faculty, people who aspire for a bright career in higher academics should start thinking about PhD early.