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4 Comments Already

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pathfinder Said,
February 4th, 2011 @3:03 am  

Yes there are some professonal people with an MD, a JD, and a Ph.D. There people are few and in between, but they exist.

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Jamel Mamutuk Said,
February 4th, 2011 @3:46 am  

Yes. As a matter of fact, one of my colleagues has 2 doctoral degrees, EdD and PhD.

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TR Said,
February 4th, 2011 @3:55 am  

Yes, I also have met people with multiple PhD degrees. But it’s not common–people can earn a second bachelor’s by taking maybe 30 extra semester hours as an undergrad; they can get a second master’s in a couple of years (especially if there’s a non-thesis option), but a second PhD would take three or four years and another dissertation, and few have the resources and patience to endure all that a second time.

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Edward W Said,
February 4th, 2011 @4:22 am  

Yes, it does happen. In fact, you sometimes see joint Ph.D-MD programs being offered. Someone who teaches law might have a JD and a doctor of laws degree.

Now, some universities don’t like to see people get two Ph.D degrees, though, because it take a lot of university resources to educate someone to the Ph.D level. A Ph.D student needs the attention of a faculty advisor (usually a very senior professor), use of expensive facilities for long periods of time, and funds for travel to conferences. Many get financial support for 4-5 years. Because of the (very real) possibility that he or she will be there for more than four years, one of the most important commitments a university can make to a student is to accept that student into its Ph.D program.

As a result, some believe that by the time you get to the Ph.D level you should know what you want to study (at least the general field), so that you do not end up wasting resources that someone else could have used. At least one major university that I know of refuses to accept students for a second Ph.D, probably for just this reason.

Other universities might not care, and would admit a student for a second Ph.D (in another subject).

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