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Can you acquire a PhD (or rough equivalent) without attending higher education?

To be more clear, is it possible/plausible to write a Thesis that indirectly reveals you know everything there is to know in a given field, and it being so profound and revolutionary that the institute to which you're presenting such a Thesis grants you a PhD, without ever completing a single class in said field?

  • Best Answer

    There is not a university on earth that will award ANY degree to someone who has never enrolled or paid for classes - you might get an honorary degree if you donate a hunk of $$ - or if your work revolutionizes thought or life as wee know it.

    di
    Lv 4 4 weeks ago 0 0
  • Other Answer
  • There is not a university on earth that will award ANY degree to someone who has never enrolled or paid for classes - you might get an honorary degree if you donate a hunk of $$ - or if your work revolutionizes thought or life as wee know it.

    di 4 weeks ago 0 0
  • Yes, you could be awarded an honorary PhD

    Paul 1 month ago 0 0
  •  yes - but it would be VERY difficult

    (how would you get to know everything you need to know in the field

    (you dont need to know EVERYTHING - just the stuff relevant to the thing you are researching

     but remember - its likely the thing you are researching will most likely require substantial knowledge in fields not directly connected with it)

    "brian may" of "queen" was awarded a PhD in astrophysics from imperial college (equivalent to MIT in the US) after 36 years research ( I assume on/off research) - but never had a masters or attended imperial college during his research

    Who 1 month ago 0 0
  • You must be enrolled in a university program to be granted a PhD from anybody.  Some PhD programs don't involve much (or any) coursework if you enter with a master's degree in the field.  But you are expected to conduct research of some sort, and that research will lead to your dissertation.  Just knowing a lot about a field doesn't qualify you for a PhD.  Being able to research that subject, and identify future lines of research in the field, is what (at a minimum) qualifies you.  

    MS 1 month ago 1 0
  • Having a PhD means that you have been trained to be a researcher more than it means you "know everything about a field". You spend years learning in class, then in lab, going to conferences, publishing papers, hitting all the goal posts (qualification exams, preliminary exams, then final defense) and only one part of that is a thesis. 

    You think a PhD is about being a human encyclopedia when it's a degree. It's evidence that you've been trained to be a researcher by at least one expert in your field, and that you've been vetted by a committee of at least 5. Every faculty member has their own standards and checkboxes you need to make to get their overall agreement that yes, now you are my peer, go forth doctor! So, it's a long journey, the thesis is just one part and isn't sufficient to be awarded the title of PhD.

    Honorary PhDs are a different thing, those are fake and everyone knows that so I don't think you're talking about that.

    Bent Snowman 1 month ago 0 0
  • No. You must be enrolled as a student before any university can possibly grant you a master's or doctorate. And don't forget you must also pass oral defense of dissertation before your advisory team.

    ibu guru 1 month ago 0 0
  • you might be able to do that online

    Pearl 1 month ago 0 3
  • Many PhD students don't take classes, especially those who go into the PhD course with a Master's degree already. The point of a PhD is the original research and dissertation. 

    That said, you need to be enrolled in the institution to receive the degree. You can't just submit your work to various universities and hope one grants you a degree. Universities don't have the time or inclination to read hundreds (or thousands) of "dissertations" (99.9999% of which will be written by people who have no idea what they're doing, if not by actual lunatics).

    Sam Spayed 1 month ago 2 0
  • The answer is no.  Many colleges do give honorary doctorates to those who have major accomplishment, and such honorary degrees do not require that one attend any courses.  Honorary degrees, however, are not considered academic degrees.

    John 1 month ago 1 0
  • No.  To get a PhD you need a Masters.  To get a Masters you need a Bachelors.  To get a Bachelors you need to go to college/university.

    Mark IX 1 month ago 3 0