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Whereas in the Middle Ages the arts faculty had a set curriculum, based upon the trivium and the quadrivium, by the 19th century it had come to house all the courses of study in subjects now commonly referred to as sciences and humanities.
It is not uncommon that the person's title or diploma be translated into English as Ph D in (that discipline) In the context of the Doctor of Philosophy and other similarly titled degrees, the term "philosophy" does not refer to the field or academic discipline of philosophy, but is used in a broader sense in accordance with its original Greek meaning, which is "love of wisdom".
During the studies that lead to the degree, the student is called a doctoral student or Ph D student; a student who has completed all of their coursework and comprehensive examinations and is working on their thesis/dissertation is sometimes known as a doctoral candidate or Ph D candidate (see: all but dissertation).
A student attaining this level may be granted a Candidate of Philosophy degree at some institutions, or may be granted a master's degree en route to the doctoral degree. In many countries, a candidate must defend this work before a panel of expert examiners appointed by the university.
In Germany, the name of the doctorate was adapted after the philosophy faculty started being split up − e.g. The degree was introduced in France in 1808, replacing diplomas as the highest academic degree; into Russia in 1819, when the Doktor Nauk degree, roughly equivalent to a Ph D, gradually started replacing the specialist diploma, roughly equivalent to the MA, as the highest academic degree; and in Italy in 1927, when Ph Ds gradually started replacing the Laurea as the highest academic degree.
Research degrees first appeared in the UK in the late 19th century in the shape of the Doctor of Science (DSc or Sc D) and other such "higher doctorates".