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Difference Between PhD and DSc

PhD vs DSc

One doctoral degree that is very common in all parts of the world is PhD. It is known as doctor of philosophy, and is awarded in many subjects that belong to different streams such as art, science, law, etc. However, there is another doctoral degree called DSc, awarded in some countries that is equivalent to PhD and is given in recognition of research work done by a student in his chosen field of study. Though there are many similarities in PhD and DSc, they are also different in some aspects and these differences will be talked about in this article.

The most basic difference between PhD and DSc pertains to field of study. Whereas, PhD is a very common doctoral degree that a student belonging to any stream can in general pursue if he has interest in making a career in academics, DSc is a doctoral degree restricted to science and engineering streams and that too in countries where it is in vogue. For example in a country like India, one can hope to become a PhD in arts, science, law, or even engineering. So you can have a PhD in chemical engineering who is equivalent to a DSC in chemical engineering, which is a very common doctoral degree in some European countries. There are countries where DSc is mostly unheard of, but where DSc is given in honor of contribution to a scientific subject, it is considered a doctoral degree higher than PhD.

It is thus clear that whether one knows DSc in his country or not, PhD and DSc are two very similar doctoral degrees that signify highest learning in the chosen field of study. Talking of student community, PhD has a higher reputation simply because it is known in nearly all parts of the world. You would be surprised to know that PhD students in US who are pursuing a doctoral degree in science and engineering subjects are referred to as DSc while those engaged in research in subjects other than science and engineering are called PhD’s.

As far as research type is concerned, PhD is mostly basic research, whereas research in DSc is mostly applied in nature that has practical aims and objectives. Another difference lies in eligibility criterion. Whereas, only those who have completed their master’s degree are eligible for consideration in DSc, even a bachelor’s degree holder can apply to become a PhD. In UK, DSc is considered to be a doctoral degree higher than PhD and it is not uncommon to see some PhD holders continuing with DSc.

In brief:

Difference between PhD and DSc

• Both DSc and PhD are doctoral degrees awarded in recognition of contribution to knowledge in a particular subject

• While PhD is a general degree conferring the title of doctor of philosophy, DSc stands for doctor of science

• A student can become a PhD in any field of study, whereas a DSc can be had only in science and engineering subjects.

• In US both are considered equal, whereas in Britain, DSc is considered to be superior to PhD


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