Difference between PhD and Doctorate

Both PhD and doctorate are the highest level of degree conferred upon an individual by an educational organization. The degree is usually given after the scholar attains both the master’s degree and graduation degree.

Doctorate is rather an umbrella term of which PhD is one of the kind. PhD usually involves research in the field of humanities and social sciences whereas doctorate has a broader scope including medicine, education, law, pharmacy, etc. PhD is actually Ph.D. meaning Doctor of Philosophy. Most of the doctorates fall under this category and then they are subdivided into various streams like Ph.D. in Mathematics or Ph.D. in Chemistry. The other doctorate degrees can be

M.D. – Doctor of Medicine

J.D. – Juris Doctor or Law degree

Pharm.D. – Doctor of Pharmacy

Ed.D. –  Doctor of Education

There are other doctorates as well like in the field of arts, music, forestry, dentistry, social work, etc.

PhD focuses on proposing new concepts and theories while Doctorate refers to applying these theories and research to solve any complex problem that may exist in the society or any organization.

PhD vs Doctorate

The main difference between PhD and Doctorate are given in the following table.

PhD Doctorate
PhD is one kind of doctorate and refers to Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate is a broader concept or rather an umbrella term of which PhD is one of the kind
It focuses mainly on academic elements It focuses more on applying the research to practical knowledge
The scholars should build new concepts and theories The scholars should go beyond just building new concepts and theories. They should also apply these research and concepts to actually solving some complex problems.
PhD is more suited for pursuing an academic career. It has become a must for teaching in universities. Doctorate is more suited for those who want professional care rather than an academic career.

How to apply?


The scholar must have completed a master’s (optional) and undergraduate with the minimum required score. He should submit a research proposal to any university requesting an opportunity. The scholar can get admission only if the university accepts the research proposal after which the scholar can continue the research under the guidance of an expert academician.

For other countries, candidates should appear for the GRE General Test, an English Language Proficiency Test like IELTS, and the GRE Subject Test as required by the programs that they want to apply for.


The candidate should have completed MBBS programme from a good medical college in India. MD is a postgraduate degree which is for the duration of three years offered in many specialisations. The entrance exam conducted for this is NEET – PG. The minimum aggregate score for admission differs from college to college and hence one must find out the eligibility criteria under each medical college.


The candidate can apply for Juris Doctor from any law college in the world. The eligibility criteria may vary from college to college and it also depends upon the country in which the candidate is seeking admission.

The candidate must complete an undergraduate degree in law or legal science before applying for a JD degree. It is not compulsory that the candidate should possess a bachelor degree in a field related to law. The candidate should score a minimum passing mark at the undergraduate level.

After the completion of an undergraduate degree, the candidate should appear for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The marks scored in LSAT will be considered while shortlisting the candidate for the course of Juris Doctor at various colleges.

Further, each college may have its own set of eligibility criteria. Some of the courses that a candidate can enrol in a JD programme are Torts, Civil Procedures, Contract Law, Constitutional Laws, Courtroom Procedures, Criminal Law, Civil Law, Property and Real Estate Law, Public Law, Business Law and International Law. Some of the countries that offer this degree are Canada, United States of America, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong.


There are two types of programme which offer Pharm.D. degree. Candidates can apply at the graduate and also at postgraduate level, i.e. candidates can apply for Pharm.D. after 10+2 and even after completing graduation. The two Pharm.D. courses are as follows:

  • PharmD 6-year programme
  • PharmD Post-Baccalaureate 3-year programme

After completing this programme candidates can understand the clinical as well as commercial uses of medicine. The candidate also has an understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of the disease after completing this programme in the final year of the programme.

Eligibility criteria for PharmD 6-year programme: Candidates must have passed class 12 from a with physics, chemistry and biology as the main subjects. They should have secured a minimum of 55% average marks in the 12th board. Candidates with diploma courses from either of the institutes recognized by the PCI (Pharmacy Council of India) can also apply for this programme.

Eligibility criteria for PharmD Post-Baccalaureate programme: Candidates who have completed BPharm from institutes recognized by PCI can apply for this programme. They must have secured at least 50% average marks in graduation in order to pursue this programme.


This course is tailored for experienced teachers and educational professionals which combines practice-based work with the opportunity to carry out their own original research. It focuses on the inter-relationships between pedagogical theory and practice.

This degree provides an ideal qualification for candidates who seek to move into senior leadership or policy roles within education. The eligibility criteria for Ed.D. degrees are governed by individual programmes, but the most relevant ones are that one should have a Master’s degree which need not be in Education, but can be relevant in their professional practice.

The candidate should have the necessary skill to carry out research. The candidate may also be required to submit a research proposal. The candidate should have work experience of three to five years in teaching or other related areas. There might be some flexibility in some colleges.  Some colleges give the flexibility of not necessarily having a Masters degree, rather a candidate may be admitted on the basis of your professional experience and suitability for academic research.


1. https://www.findaphd.com/advice/phd-types/doctor-of-education-edd-guide.aspx
2. https://www.collegedekho.com/courses/pharm-d-doctor-of-pharmacy/
3. https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-get-admission-for-an-MD-abroad-after-completing-an-MBBS
4. https://www.waldenu.edu/online-doctoral-programs/resource/what-is-the-difference-between-a-phd-and-a-professional-doctoral-degree

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.