Is an MS better or a PhD

PhD, Ph.D. and M.D.


In more and more countries, especially in the Anglo-Saxon-speaking area, the academic degree can be one Ph.D. (also Ph.D., Doctor of Philosophy). In contrast to the doctorate (see above), this is an independent study, the doctoral program, with special lectures and exams and a usual duration of three to five years (depending on the admission requirements, see below). In Bavaria, a Ph.D. can only be awarded after studying in a corresponding course of study. A Ph.D. can be acquired.

Despite the wording, the Ph.D. usually not about the doctorate in philosophy (subject) but about the doctoral degree usual for most subjects The subject is usually added at the end, for example Ph.D. in economics.

Obtaining the Ph.D. consists of three parts

  1. regular attendance of specialized courses and other qualification measures that require evidence,
  2. the independently written scientific work, the dissertation, and
  3. the oral examination (Rigorosum, disputation).

The Ph.D. In the Anglo-Saxon language area, the academic doctorate is in almost all subjects and the highest degree in postgraduate studies. The postgraduate course begins in the Anglo-Saxon area after the bachelor's degree. After completing the bachelor's degree, the student begins the master’s degree and at the end of his / her master’s degree decides whether he / she will complete the degree with a master’s degree or up to a Ph.D. continues. Seen in this way, there can be a smooth transition if the admission requirements are met. After completing a bachelor’s degree, the admission requirement is usually a master’s degree, or a four to five-year university bachelor with honors with at least a cum-laude degree.

In general, Ph.D. programs that are continued from the master’s degree programs contain a high proportion of courses and seminars compared to the individual doctorate that is widespread in Germany. In the Anglo-Saxon region, the duration of the master’s and subsequent Ph.D. studies together is usually at least 5 years.

The phase of study in the Anglo-Saxon region after the master’s degree to obtain the Ph.D. at FAU can best be compared to a structured doctoral program, which can usually be completed in three to four years. The shorter time compared to a structured program in the Anglo-Saxon region is due to the different educational systems. In Germany these specialization courses, which are required for the Ph.D. are needed, often as early as in the master’s degree. It is therefore possible to carry out a doctorate through a shorter, structured program in Germany and at FAU, and it makes sense and is widely used as an alternative to the customary individual doctorate.

Leadership of the title

The Ph.D. is listed after the name, for example Franziska Mustermann, Ph.D. In accordance with current scientific conventions, a Ph.D. as Dr. addressed.