Candidate of Philosophy can refer to the US degree or status of Candidate in Philosophy (C.Phil. or Ph.C.) granted to Ph.D. students who have been accepted as candidates for that degree, or (as a direct translation) to degrees or former degrees at bachelor's or master's level from some Scandinavian countries.
In the United States, it is normal for graduate students working toward a doctorate to take coursework followed by examinations (known variously as candidacy examinations, comprehensive examinations or qualifiers) after which they become candidates for the doctorate. At a few institutions, this status is officially recognized either by a degree or some other official title. This is normally intended to be an interim status, prior to the award of a doctorate, not to be confused with the terminal master's degree awarded by some programs to those who leave after their candidacy examination. Some universities grant a Master of Philosophy degree to students who have been accepted for candidacy.
Seven of the ten University of California campuses offer the Candidate in Philosophy (C.Phil.) degree to those who have passed the candidacy exam for the PhD in some programs. On some campuses it is only awarded to those leaving without a master's or a doctorate.
The University of Washington awards a certificate of Candidate in Philosophy (Ph.C.) to those admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D., alongside the Candidate in Education (Ed.C.) and Candidate in Musical Arts (C.M.A.) for those admitted to candidacy for the degrees of Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) and Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.). These are designations for candidate status rather than degrees.
The candidatus/candidata philosophiae degree (cand.phil.) was a master's-level first degree. It was awarded after four years' study and included a dissertation. As part of Bologna Process of degree reforms, it was abandoned in 1995/6.
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