An MPHIL=1st part of American PHD?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by PMBrooks, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. PMBrooks

    PMBrooks New Member

    I know that most British-style universities have the MPHIL and that it is considered another post-masters degree, but is not a full PHD.

    Does this mean it would be equivalent to the first part of an American PHD (seminars, but no dissertation)?
  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    The MPhil means you write your master's dissertation (no coursework); the DPhil means you write your doctoral thesis (no coursework). It is possible to apply to the DPhil direct from the bachelor's, but you will be an MPhil student first. It is also possible, but not necessary, to get an MA by coiursework (no dissertation) before going on to doctoral studies.
  3. cbryant

    cbryant New Member

    Some US schools give a MPhil after all the requirements for the Ph.D have been complete except the dissertation. I know Columbia does this for philosophy and maybe Yale also. So the way I understand it you earn it on the way to the Ph.D at some schools. I have a friend at an SBC seminary and he earned the Th.M on the way to the Ph.D.


  4. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    My guess is that an MPhil = ABD-Status in North America.
  5. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    According to Morton Perry (MPhil, Syracuse University; Associate Professor Emeritus in Political Science, Mesa State College, Grand Junction, Colorado), universities in New York are obliged by law to offer a consolation prize for completing the coursework portion of the doctorate, which consolation prize is titled the Master of Philosophy (MPhil). In the United Kingdom, the MPhil is the dissertation-only master's (as opposed to the MA, which is the coursework-only master's), although in India (at least at Madurai Kamaraj University) the MPhil is an advanced coursework plus thesis master's beyond the MA, which is also a coursework plus thesis master's.
  6. alarmingidea

    alarmingidea New Member

    I was looking at the MPhil and MA programs in linguistics at Stellenbosch. The programs are similar enough that I cannot tell what the distinction between the two degree names is. I don't know how this carries over to other programs in South Africa, or even to other programs at Stellenbosch.

    I have had two professors with MPhil degrees from American universities, one from Yale and one from Columbia. Both left doctoral programs ABD to complete their doctorates elsewhere.

    A couple of University of California campuses (including UCLA) award the CPhil, or Candidate in Philosophy, to ABD doctoral students.
  7. CLSeibel

    CLSeibel Member

    A few brief comments:

    -The MPhil offered by UK institutions is quite distinct in nature than US or South African degree programs bearing this title. Whereas in the US and South Africa the MPhil tends to be coursework-based, in the UK it is purely a research-based program, entailing the preparation of a rather substantial thesis.

    -The UK MPhil is not necessarily a post-master's program. In many disciplines and at many institutions, one would be able to gain entry into an MPhil with an undergraduate degree.

    -Sometimes a school will require a student already in possession of a master's-level degree to matriculate into the MPhil program for a probationary period before being accepted into the PhD program. In some situations this may be due to perceived deficiencies in the student's preparation for engaging in advanced research. Many schools require all students, regardless of background, to undertake MPhil research on a probationary basis (generally one year for full-time students and two years for part-time students) before being upgraded to PhD student status. Generally, once a student has demonstrated sufficient competency for research, he or she is granted PhD student status. In such cases, one does not actually complete the MPhil; rather, his or her research toward the MPhil is enfolded into the PhD research process.

    -It would not be appropriate to compare the MPhil to American ABD status. Whereas ABD status implies one's having been accepted into a PhD program and having made significant progress through such a program, the MPhil does not necessarily even indicate that one will gain entry into a PhD program.
  8. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    I wouldn't call an MPhil a post-masters degree. It is a masters degree just like any other masters degree.

    MPhil is traditionally research-oriented and most likely will not have any coursework requirements. It is also traditionally the first part of a British PhD and usually encompasses the first year.

    If a student does not have a masters degree and is enrolling into a PhD program with a bachelors degree, they are usually enrolled in the MPhil program first before being "upgraded" into the PhD. This fixes the masters requirement.

    Internationally, the MPhil is like the American ABD status or the French DEA.
  9. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    In the UK and Australia, the M.Phil is the normal requirement for a PhD while the course based master's is considered a terminal degree.

    If one has a course based Master's like the MBA, this wouldn't be enough to get admission to a PhD so the M.Phil would need to be earned before the PhD. For that reason you might call it "post masters" degree but it is not as one might earn an M.Phil without a course based master's degree.

    For the same reason, the DBA was established in the UK and Australia as an alternative for the MBAs that wanted a doctorate. An MBA is acceptable for admission to a DBA but not into the PhD.

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