Education: The Tortuous Ph.D.

Another phase of U.S. education that came under attack last week was the training program for the Ph.D. After long study, the deans of four graduate schools—Jacques Barzun of Columbia, John Petersen Elder of Harvard, Marcus Hobbs of Duke and Andrew Robertson Gordon of the University of Toronto—"ruefully" concluded that getting the

"Ph.D. is tortuously slow and riddled with needless uncertainties; that it is frequently inefficient and traumatically disagreeable to the frustrated candidate. The basic flaw is: We have never clearly defined this protean degree."

Unlike the M.D. or the LL.B., the Ph.D. does not lead to any one profession, and therefore the...

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