Basically, I'm asking how to refer to a group of individuals who all have the same degree.

I'm referring to them in the third person, as in, "I work with a group of (x)".

let's just assume for purposes of the title, that all the individuals in said group actually have the literal job title "philosopher", and it is important to call attention to the fact that they have doctorates in (stand up) philosophy.

My inclination would be the first one, but in searching, that doesn't seem very common.

To expand, I'm writing my application essays for graduate school. I work in a non-academic setting that still has a research focus, and I'm trying to briefly describe the organization in a way that would support the narrative I'm building, that working here has fostered my interest in research.

The organization is made up almost entirely of Ph.D. holders in largely the same field. But naming one as a practitioner of that field does not by itself imply that they hold a Ph.D. That's why saying "I work with a group of philosophers" doesn't convey the right message.

  • Philosophers with PhDs? I don't think there's a magic correct answer here. What you used is not very common because in general this is not a common thing to talk about. Oct 27, 2016 at 2:40
  • 1
    – JeffE
    Oct 27, 2016 at 13:42
  • 1
    what @JeffE said. Source: I am a philosopher---this is how I refer to a gaggle of similar scholars.
    – user10636
    Oct 28, 2016 at 14:12

3 Answers 3


To expand upon @MattSamuel's comment, any/all of the following probably work:

I work with...

  • ...a group of philosophy Ph.D.s
  • ...a group of philosophers with Ph.D.s
  • ...a group of doctors. Doctors of what you ask? Philosophy.
  • ...a group of philosophy researchers (ed. note: tends to imply Ph.D.s, but not explicit)

The simplest option in my opinion? "This is Dr. X, Dr. Y, and Dr. Z. They all study philosophy."

  • I actually work (non-academic) with a small group of people, several of whom have a Ph.D. in philosophy, and "philosophy Ph.D.s" seems to be the most common description used here for more than one, with "Ph.D. in philosophy" also often used for individuals. FYI, my description parallels this, being a "math Ph.D." sometimes and having a "Ph.D. in math" other times. That said, often times "philosophers" is used, with the understanding that in their former lives this is what they were professionally. Oct 27, 2016 at 14:41

You should be fine with

I work with a group of PhDs in philosophy.


As "PhD in philosophy" is somewhat redundant (doctor of philosophy in philosophy), and "doctor of philosophy" could be ambiguous (generally considered the abbreviation for PhD in any subject) - I'd probably go for

"a doctorate in philosophy".

This could still be construed as ambiguous, but I think the vast majority would interpret it as what you are describing.

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