National Phd Day

Group of individuals wearing graduation caps, holding square root sign balloons, with a backdrop of a chalkboard filled with complex equations..
National phd day illustration

Once upon a brainy time, a group of online intellectuals shouted, 'Eureka!' and birthed what we know today as National PhD Day. Bowling their way through a flurry of complex theorems, and crunching a labyrinth of numbers, they decided to champion imaginary hats and square root signs just one day a year. And hey, they totally deserve it!

When is Phd Day?

It's national phd day on the 10th November.

A Brief History of National PhD Day

Our internet sleuths traced the genesis of National PhD Day back to 2015. With no surprise, the date that garnered the most mentions was 10th November. It’s unclear what prompted this sudden online enthusiasm for celebrating doctorates and dissertations in 2015. Maybe it was a mass quantum physics breakthrough, or the world collectively deciding to pay homage to those who understand string theory. No matter the reason, it made a splash in the academic pond.

Why the Hoopla?

Studying for a PhD takes a kind of heroic effort that deserves recognition. It is an ascent up the mountain of knowledge, where you end up knowing so much about so little, that you sort of become a paradoxical genius. That's why we celebrate our intrepid knowledge travelers on this day. So, every year on the most-mentioned day, we all put on our honorary mortarboard and cheer for the doctorate journey.

Shout Out to the Wise Ones

So, if you come across someone with a PhD today, give them an extra nod of admiration. This day is all about celebrating the myriad contributions this incredibly learned group provides to society. Commemorate this day by perhaps engaging in a profound debate with a PhD holder you know, or by diving deep into a subject you've always been curious about. Who knows, you might unlock a new quantum realm of interests. Either way, happy National PhD Day!

History behind the term 'Phd'

12th century

Origins of Scholasticism

During the 12th century, the European intellectual movement known as Scholasticism emerged. This movement focused on reconciling ancient philosophy, particularly the works of Aristotle, with Christian theology. Scholars sought to understand the world through reason and logic, leading to the establishment of universities.

14th century

Master of Arts Degree

In the 14th century, universities began awarding a Master of Arts (MA) degree after several years of study. Students would earn this degree to demonstrate their advanced knowledge in a particular field of study. The MA degree served as a precursor to the development of the PhD.

19th century

Doctor of Philosophy

The term 'Doctor of Philosophy' began to gain prominence in the 19th century. German universities played a significant role in the modern concept of a PhD. Philosophical faculties in Germany expanded beyond theology to include various disciplines like natural sciences and humanities. The PhD was distinct from other doctorates as it reflected a level of expertise and original research.


First PhD in the United States

The first PhD degree in the United States was granted by Yale University in 1861. This marked the beginning of the recognition and adoption of the doctoral degree by American universities. The PhD became an important credential for those pursuing careers in academia and research.

20th century

PhD Expansion and Standardization

During the 20th century, the popularity and demand for PhD programs grew significantly. Universities worldwide began offering doctoral programs in a wide range of disciplines. The modern definition and structure of a PhD degree, consistent with rigorous research and dissertation requirements, became more standardized globally.


Global Recognition and Diverse Fields

Today, the PhD is recognized globally as the highest academic qualification in various fields. It encompasses diverse disciplines ranging from sciences, engineering, humanities, social sciences, and more. Holding a PhD signifies expertise, original research contributions, and advanced knowledge in a specific area of study.

Did you know?

Did you know that the term 'PhD' stands for 'Doctor of Philosophy'? It doesn’t necessarily mean these folks are all versed in philosophy. This is because philosophy, in its original Greek, means 'love of wisdom'. Guess you could say PhD holders are just very wise lovers, of wisdom that is!


fun celebration education academia knowledge

First identified

10th November 2015

Most mentioned on

10th November 2015

Total mentions


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