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  • A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that, in most countries, qualifies the holder to teach at the university level in the specific field of his or her degree, or to work in a specific profession. While the structure of U.S. doctoral programs is more formal and complex than in some other systems, the research doctorate is not awarded for the preliminary advanced study that leads to doctoral candidacy, but rather for successfully completing and defending the independent research presented in the form of the doctoral dissertation. Several first-professional degrees use the term “doctor” in their title, such as the Juris Doctor and the US version of the Doctor of Medicine, but these degrees do not universally contain an independent research component or always require a dissertation and should not be confused with Ph.D./D.Phil./Ed.D./D.Ed degrees or other research doctorates. In fact, many universities offer Ph.D./D.Phil. followed by a professional doctorate degree or joint Ph.D./D.Phil. with the professional degree: e.g. Ph.D./D.Phil. in law after J.D. or equivalent in physical therapy after DPT, in pharmacy after DPharm. Wikipedia

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