What exactly is a ‘small’ doctorate (PhDr)?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by SamSam, Sep 19, 2023.

  1. SamSam

    SamSam New Member

    Hello everyone,

    Topic. I know it’s a Czech/Slovak type of study. I just wonder if it is usually structured in a way that increases personal knowledge and/or fills research gaps for working professionals. If so, what are some of the better schools that offer it? What is the usual timeframe for completion? Although I don’t care much about academic value, does the PhDr have any academic standing?

    Some source says PhDr candidates must produce a research paper beyond that of a Master level, but actually many Masters don’t even require you to write a Thesis. Does that mean a person without a ‘research’ Master cannot enroll in the PhDr program?

    Other source says that in order to complete the requirements, you have to take a Rigorosum Examination on the topic. I don’t know what that means; is it more like the Doctoral Comprehensive Exam you take before embarking on the Dissertation?

    Please if someone can shed light on this degree. Thanks in advance!

    MaceWindu likes this.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Never heard of it. Got an example?
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I know nothing about the degree, but this might shed a little light on the Rigorosum. As far as I know, the Rigorosum comes after a Master's Degree has been awarded. The example I submit here is for Charles University in Prague - a school that enrols many foreign students - on campus. No distance education I know of. It was established in the 14th century, so that should say something about its longevity - and its reputation.

    The Rigorosum is divided into two parts - Thesis and oral defense. Rigorosa are administered in several countries: German- Speaking countries, Slovakia, Czechia, Slovenia, Poland, Croatia, Serbia - and Hungary, where it is known as Szigorlat (rigorous exam.)

    Here are Charles University's rules regarding the Rigorosum. Many of the rules appear to be Government-generated.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2023
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    And here's a fragment from wiki with some details of Czech "Small Doctorates."

    "Doctoral degrees gained after a rigorous examination are popularly called small doctorate (malý doktorát in Czech or Slovakia). Applicants need a master's degree or a post-graduate degree (5 years+) comparable to Master level or higher and have to write a thesis of 50,000-80,000 words and defend this thesis in a viva voce and a rigorous examination in at least 2-3 subjects."

    Dr.Ph does not seem to be one of these "small doctorates" - This Czech / Slovak degree appears to be a regular PhD in our lexicon - not listed as a "small Doctorate."
    @Rich Douglas will be glad to learn that Doctor of Social Sciences is not a "small Doctorate" in Czechia either. Doesn't matter what the clowns at WES say, Rich - you paid and worked for a regulation full-size doctorate and that's what you have. :) But you knew that, right?

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2023
    Dustin likes this.
  5. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Some Googling shows the term malý doktorát (PhDr) for the small doctorate when compared with the PhD which is Doktor filozofie.

    From Wiktionary:

    "The PhDr is a Czech and Slovak academic title awarded in humanities but not in sciences, representing an additional thesis beyond the master's degree, written before the name, also known as a small doctorate, and not to be confused with the Ph.D. which is written after the name and requires more extensive scholarly work"
    Johann likes this.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Thanks Dustin. My source (quoted above) listed examples of malý doktorát but did not include the PhDr in these. PhDr was included in the "major" Doctorates as Doctor of Philosophy. Obviously, your source is more accurate. Thanks.
  7. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    It was a team effort!
    Johann likes this.
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    This is neither surprising, nor a recommendation. Universidad Azteca (Mexico) is offering "small doctorate PhDr programs" in a collaborative dual-degree program with DTI University in Slovakia. Details here: https://universidadazteca.net/european-doctorate-dual-degree/

    Again - this is information -- not a recommendation. Just including it because Azteca is a hot topic that takes up a lot of bandwidth around here.
  9. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Maybe they should award this small "doctorate" to those committed to being permanent ABDs.
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Well, he-he-he, LOL, folks, that jest don't seem right to this ol' cowboy. "Small" ain't a pop'lar word for anything here in Mr. Abbott's neck o' the woods.. Folks in this State jes' flat don' like things that are small. I'd think bein' known to have a small doctrit would be kind of -- embarrassin', wouldn' it? Folks might think someone got disqualified for some kind of umm - shortcomin' I guess.

    Talk about small! I remember once takin' a nano-degree in microbiology. Never agin! Couldn' even see the dang textbook. Size of a three-cent stamp. Heck, here in Texas, we got bacteria bigger 'n that book! Mebbe if them small doctrits could be laddered up inta sump'n bigger - that'd be all right. Yep - laddered up t' bed-sheet size. Like muh J.D. here... Now THAT's a BIG Doctrit, fair 'n square. Don't care what that @nosborne48 feller says... :)
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2023
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member


    Imagine my relief. Small trivia: I have 11 s.h. of Czech. Go figure.
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Gratuluji! (Congratulations!) :)
  13. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

    Thanks for sharing, @Johann !

    But now we'll need to find an expert in Slovak educational law and accreditation to tell us whether this is a recognized award or not. :D
  14. tadj

    tadj Well-Known Member

    Scholaro, one of the members of the highly credible Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE) in the U.S., has classified (classification isn't the same as providing any kind of corresponding equivalency) the PhDr. as a "second cycle plus" program in Czechia. Here's how the PhDr. would fit into the Czech system based on their classification:

    Higher Education: Second Cycle
    • Magistr/Mgr. (Master) or Magistr umění/MgA. (Master of Arts)
    • one-, two-, or three-year Master programs: Magistr/Mgr.(Master), Magistr umění/MgA.(Master of Arts), Inženýr/Ing.(Engineer), Inženýr architekt/Ing.arch.(Engineer-Architect). Ends with the magisterská státní závěrečná zkouška/SZZ.

    Higher Education: Second Cycle Plus
    • Rigorozum (“Small Doctorate”): pass a state, post-magistr, advanced studies exam (státní rigorózní zkouška).

    • JUDr./Doktor práv (Doctor or Law),
    • RNDr./Doktor přírodních věd (Doctor of Natural Sciences.),
    • PharmDr./Doktor farmacie (Doctor of Pharmacy),
    • ThDr./Doktor teologie (Doctor of Theology),
    • ThLic./Licenciát teologie (Licentiate of Theology), and
    • PhDr./Doktor filozofie (Doctor of Philosophy).
    • Need magistr before you can take the rigorozum.

    Higher Education: Third Cycle • Ph.D. 3- or 4-year doctoral program, ending in the state doctoral examination (státní doktorská zkouška).

    Link: https://www.scholaro.com/presentations/Czech-Education-System.pdf
  15. tadj

    tadj Well-Known Member

    For the Slovak system, I would look up this classification:


    "To evaluate the quality of Slovak higher education institutions, a panellist needs to have an adequate understanding of the Slovak higher education system and its specificities. This section will give you a general overview of it."

    "One of the local specificities of the higher education system is the so called Examina rigorosa. Holders of the academic degree of “magister” may take the examina rigorosa, which includes an exam and a defence of a rigorosa thesis. After its successful completion, higher education institutions award academic degrees such as: RNDr., PharmDr., PhDr., JUDr., PaedDr. and ThDr. Accreditation for this kind of degree programme will not be a subject of your evaluation."
  16. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    I think to truly understand small doctorates, one must take a look at the history of Czech and Slovak universities. These degrees were introduced in Czechoslovakia in the 1960s. At that time, there were efforts in almost all Soviet satellite states to reform the higher education systems based on the Soviet model. This was largely implemented. In Czechoslovakia, for example, the degrees Doktor ved and Kandidat ved were introduced. These degrees corresponded to Doktor nauk and Kandidat nauk at Soviet universities. But that meant that the traditional Czechoslovak doctoral degrees, which corresponded to a PhD, disappeared. There was resistance to this at the universities and also from some members of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, the KSČ.

    The introduction of small doctorates was essentially a kind of compromise, which meant that although these degrees were no longer research doctorates, the old titles were retained. After the end of the rule of the KSČ, the degrees Doktor ved and Kandidat ved were abolished and the PhD was introduced instead. However, the small doctorates still exist today.
  17. Johann766

    Johann766 Active Member

    In Germany the small doctorates are accepted by the government. If you have a PhDr. or JuDr. you can use the title and call yourself "PhDr. Xy"
  18. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

    I notice that there is no PaeDr in your list, even though Azteca and its partner are offering this award.
  19. tadj

    tadj Well-Known Member

    According to some sources (you would need to verify this first as this actually comes from Wikipedia), the PaedDr. isn't awarded in Czechia at this time:

    "In the Czech Republic , after the revolution , by law from 1990 , this degree ceased to be awarded"

    But it looks like it is still awarded in Slovakia.
  20. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

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