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Doctor of Arts

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Subject: Richard Jobson (television presenter), List of doctoral degrees in the US, Doctor of Philosophy, Licentiate of Arts, Doctor of Modern Languages
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Doctor of Arts

British actor Nigel Planer wearing the academic dress of a Doctor of Arts, awarded as an honorary degree by Edinburgh Napier University

The Doctor of Arts (D.A.; occasionally D.Arts or Art.D.) is a discipline-based terminal doctoral degree that was originally conceived and designed to be an alternative to the traditional research-based Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and the education-based Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). Like other doctorates, the D.A. is an academic degree of the highest level. The D.A. is also frequently conferred as an honorary degree with the added designation of honoris causa.

While the Ph.D. is the most common doctoral degree in the United States, the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation recognize numerous research-oriented doctoral degrees such as the D.A. as "equivalent",[1][2] and do not discriminate between them.


  • History 1
  • The Doctor of Arts Degree outside the United States 2
  • Professional associations 3
  • Doctor of Arts programs 4
    • Doctor of Arts programs in the United States 4.1
    • Doctor of Arts programs outside the United States 4.2
  • See also 5
  • References 6


The idea for a Doctor of Arts degree was originally proposed at the 1932 meeting of the Association of American Universities by Wallace Atwood, then president of Clark University. In 1967 Carnegie Mellon University (formerly Carnegie Institute of Technology), began to offer the D.A. in Mathematics, History, English and Fine Arts.[3] The first Doctor of Arts degree in the United States was awarded in 1968, by Carnegie Mellon University, to Donald H. Taranto in the field of mathematics. Guiding principles for the Doctor of Arts degree were established in 1970 by the Committee on Graduate Studies of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and by the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States. The Carnegie Foundation was the first to fund ten universities with seed money to initiate the degree, and D.A. programs (though far fewer in number than those of the Ph.D.) are currently offered in many different disciplines at universities in the United States and in other parts of the world.

The D.A. differs from the Ph.D. and Ed.D degrees in its shift in emphasis from research (though a project or thesis is generally required) to advanced study of a specific discipline, content area expertise, learning theory, and curriculum design. As such, it is often described as a "teaching doctorate". It offers scholars the breadth and diversity necessary to become teachers in their field. The D.A. also differs from the Ed.D. in its strong disciplinary focus, while still embracing the Ed.D.'s concern for issues in education, and a theoretical as well as practical preparation in pedagogy. (For more on this issue, see Ph.D.)

The Doctor of Arts Degree outside the United States

In Argentina the Doctorate of Arts it is offered by the NU of C and the NU of R, by achieving the title of Doctor of Arts or Doctor of Humanities.

In Finland, the Doctor of Arts degree is a research degree awarded upon successful completion of studies and a dissertation in the fields of art and design. The Doctor of Arts degree awarded by the University of Art and Design Helsinki, for example, aims to prepare scholars who are capable of conducting independent, groundbreaking research and developing new artistic research methods or products that satisfy high artistic standards.

In Australia, the Doctor of Creative Arts degree is offered at several universities as terminal degree in the field.

Professional associations

The National Doctor of Arts Association (NDAA) was founded in 1991 at Idaho State University.

Doctor of Arts programs

Doctor of Arts programs in the United States

Ball State University

  • Music

Carnegie Mellon University

  • Mathematics

Eastern University

  • Marriage and Family

George Mason University

  • Community College Education

Harrison Middleton University

  • Natural Sciences, Philosophy and Religion, Social Science and Imaginative Literature

Idaho State University

  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science

St. John's University

  • English
  • History

University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Mathematics

University of Miami

  • Mechanical Engineering

University of Mississippi

  • Chemistry

University of North Dakota

  • History

University of Northern Colorado

  • Music

Doctor of Arts programs outside the United States

University of Sydney

  • Various Programs

University of Technology Sydney

  • UTS Doctor of Creative Arts

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Research Doctorate Degrees
  3. ^ The Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 39, No. 5 (May, 1968), pp. 261-270 doi:10.2307/1979419
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