Doctor of Sciences

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Doctor of Sciences


an academic degree. Doctor’s degrees were first conferred by the University of Bologna in 1130 and by the University of Paris in 1231. Introduced into Russian universities in 1819, the degree of doctor of sciences was awarded to persons holding a master’s degree who had defended a doctoral dissertation.

In the USSR the degree of doctor of sciences has been conferred on workers in the sciences since 1934. It is awarded by the Higher Certifying Commission (VAK) upon the recommendation of a higher educational institution or a scientific research institution as a rule to persons who hold the academic degree of candidate of sciences or the academic title of professor, who have published major scholarly works, and who have defended a dissertation in public before the council of a higher educational institution or a scientific institution that has been granted the right to accept doctoral dissertations for defense. A dissertation must demonstrate independent scholarly research, contain theoretical generalizations and solutions to scientific problems, and make an important contribution to theoretical and applied science. A textbook for higher educational institutions that is an independent scholarly or methodological work may be submitted as a dissertation. Degrees of doctor of sciences are conferred in the following branches of learning: physics and mathematics, chemistry, biology, geology and mineralogy, technology, agriculture, history, economics, philosophy, philology, geography, law, pedagogy, medicine, pharmacology, veterinary medicine, military and naval sciences, art studies, architecture, and psychology. In exceptional cases the Higher Certifying Commission may waive the dissertation defense in conferring the degree on persons known for their outstanding scientific and scholarly works, discoveries, or inventions. The degree may also be awarded to those whose scientific publications as such are defended instead of a special dissertation. In 1970 there were more than 23,600 doctors of sciences in the USSR.

The doctoral degree is conferred in many countries. In the USA, Great Britain, France, and some other countries the requirements for the doctoral dissertation are equivalent to the requirements for a candidate’s dissertation and in some cases to those of the doctoral dissertation in the USSR.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.