I am working as a young scientist after finishing my masters in physics in India. In last three years, I have published 12 research papers (Quantum theory) with my collabrators. I am facing problems in registering for PhD in my institute.

How can I get a Doctrate degree based upon my research papers without registering for PhD. ??

Is there any such degree in India or abroad which can be awarded to me based upon my research papers ??


4 Answers 4


I doubt that you will find such a thing anywhere. An earned doctorate almost always (I know of no exceptions) requires an official registration and most likely, your presence at the institution for some period of time. There are normally qualifying examinations and often (not always) some required coursework.

Your publication history, however, would be a very positive factor in obtaining admission to a program in most places. You don't say why you are having difficulties, so it is impossible to say if there is some impediment.

But the only way to know about your chances are to apply to a program somewhere other than your institute, and possibly in another country. But a research background would help your chances.


Short answer: Yes you can (but not in the manner you requested ... without registering ...)
NB: I realised this was ask some years back (2018). This answer can assist others in future.

How can I get a Doctrate degree based upon my research papers without registering for PhD. ??

You cannot get a doctorate without registering, except for Honourary Doctorate.
You can however get a doctorate degree based on your research papers through the route describe here.

Is there any such degree in India or abroad which can be awarded to me based upon my research papers ??

Outside NA, you have the PhD by Publication (retrospective route). This allows you to weave a golden thread (theme) around your publications. You'll need to register officially though.
NB: there might be some in NA, but I've not come across 'em in the States or Canada.

The PhD by Publication (retrospective) is also referred to as PhD by prior published work, PhD by Published Work, and other names.

NB: the PhD by Publication (retrospective) is different from the PhD by Publication (which technically is the prospective route). In the prospective route, you publications during your doctoral candidacy/residency counts towards your thesis. You'll write an introduction and conclusion, or you write introduction, literature review and conclusion. In some places, it is referred to as thesis by article.

In your case, if your publications are in credible outlets (typically journals) and if there's a sustained theme across them, you can approach universities.

They'll require you to submit a 7500 to 20000 words exegesis or commentary or summary or synthesis. The name, format or length varies from institution to institution.

You can look at the UK and Australia. There are others though.
You might need to note that some restrict the PhD by Publication (retrospective) to

  • their staff
  • their alumni
  • their associate (those with strong affiliations to them).

NB: the PhD by Publication (retrospective) describe here is not the same as PhD by practice, or practice-based PhD (which are common for artefacts based disciplines; fine arts, fashion, curating, arts-writing, music et al)


The only way to get awarded a PhD without registering first is to have a University regard your work so highly that they offer you an "Honorary PhD". You usually see mention of these in the press sometimes for celebrities who have done things over and above the normal...

You may find that a University will take the papers you have produced as some equivalent towards what they will accept, but you will have to apply.

  • 1
    I think that there are "advanced doctorates" in some places (Germany?) but they normally require an earned degree first. I don't actually know of other "honorary doctorates" awarded for academic merit.
    – Buffy
    Nov 15, 2018 at 15:57
  • 1
    Some here that were awarded for academic work : su.se/english/about/ceremonies/honorary-doctorates/…
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 15, 2018 at 15:59
  • 3
    One should add that a honorary doctorate is generally not seen as equivalent to a regular PhD, since it is considered more like an award than a degree. For example, if a PhD is required for some position, like a professorship, then a honorary will generally not do. (The requirement might be waived for the same reasons of excellence that prompted the honorary degree, but that would be an independent consideration.)
    – mlk
    Nov 15, 2018 at 19:39

These answers are actually not correct. I received an honorary PhD at the same time as my Masters. From the same school, I proved my experience in the field was more than enough to show my mastery of the industry/field at their research PhD level. I was beyond it and many of those professors actually asked me questions about the field of study in the past. Never took one class at their school at a Doctoral level. I've been to a few other schools at a doctoral level and constantly called out fake schools that were teaching undergraduate topics at that high of a level. lol

If you have publications already, you just need to approach the schools and ask if they have honorary degree programs. Use your publications (as long as they are REAL research and not some fake story nonsense like a lot of people do today). Ask for free tuition to their school to write more publications on the topic. You could land a research job with them and an honorary degree and title. They can pay you to do more research. But the idea of India, being a nonsense place to get a PhD anyways. You will be better off going to the UK, Aussie, or USA to get into a school there on merit and free ride for the doctoral. In anything STEM, get the degree. there is a lot you are missign in current and updated materials in your papers that are already answered and researched by others, that you will never know about, until you go to a Doctoral program and you get access to that material.

  • 2
    "But the idea of India, being a nonsense place to get a PhD anyways.", please don't offend a specific country.
    – Nobody
    May 19, 2023 at 6:45
  • 1
    An honorary doctorate is very different from an earned doctorate, especially when it comes to seeking employment.
    – Bob Brown
    May 19, 2023 at 12:37
  • @BobBrown. No it's not. An Honorary title is someone who has field experience and works in the field with that subject in mind. AKA. (myself) who had worked in Homeland Security for over 10 years and then received a title after doing publications for DHS, DOD, and DOS for the US Govt. You really think those people who "earned" (aka not worked a day in any field or environment) would get a job faster than me? No.. Universities call me into their classes to teach their Doctoral Students based on my own research and publications. Dec 1, 2023 at 0:35
  • @Nobody It's not offensive to say a country that gives out Ph.D's to people on a whim is not worth the same equality of education as to other nations who have better programs.. If you are here to just read things as insults, you should maybe gather more educational experience and read things within the context given. Dec 1, 2023 at 0:38
  • @HawkIntelligence Most academic jobs require an "earned doctorate," and that phrase is there specifically to exclude honorary degrees.
    – Bob Brown
    Dec 1, 2023 at 16:17

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