Candidate of Sciences

Kandidat nauk (Russian: Кандидат наук, literally "Candidate of Sciences") is the first of two doctoral level scientific degrees in some former Soviet countries. It is formally classified as UNESCO ISCED level 8, 'doctoral or equivalent', and is thus officially translated into English and other languages as Doctor of Philosophy (i.e. PhD) and recognised as such.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

As in Germany, former Soviet countries have an additional doctoral degree, Doktor nauk (Доктор наук, literally "Doctor of Sciences"), which by official agreement is equivalent to habilitation[6] and typically requires 10 years of original research after Kandidat nauk is attained.

Cover of a Soviet Candidate of Sciences diploma


The degree was first introduced in the USSR on January 13, 1934 by a decision of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR,[8][9] all previous degrees, ranks and titles having been abolished immediately after the October Revolution in 1917.[10] Academic distinctions and ranks were viewed as survivals of capitalist inequality and hence were to be permanently eliminated. The original decree also recognized some degrees earned prior to 1917 in Tsarist Russia and elsewhere.[8]

To attain the Candidate of Sciences degree, an individual must hold a Master's (Magistr) or a Specialist (Diplom) diploma, both one or (more typically) two year degrees in this system.[11] Both of these prerequisites are post-bachelors (Bakalavr) degrees, bachelor's being four years of full-time study. The Candidate of Sciences degree requires a minimum of three years of full-time study during which the individual must conduct and publish advanced original research into a topic that is deemed significant or has practical economic or military potential.[12]

In order to attain the rank of full Professor in these countries, a Doctor of Sciences degree is required in the same way that habilitation is required in Germany. This is also sometimes the case in the United States and the United Kingdom where, in addition to the possession of a doctoral degree, some volume of further research must be demonstrated.

Procedure for attaining the degree

The work on a dissertation is commonly carried out during a postgraduate study period called aspirantura. It is performed either within an educational institution (such as a university) or a scientific research institution (such as an institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences network). It can also be carried out without a direct connection to the academy. In exceptional cases, the Candidate of Sciences degree may be awarded on the basis of published scholarly works without writing a thesis. In experimental sciences the dissertation is based on an independent research project conducted under the supervision of a professor, the results of which must be published in at least three papers in peer-review scientific journals.

A necessary prerequisite is taking courses in philosophy and foreign language, and passing a qualifying examination called "candidate minimum". In the Soviet Union, the candidate minimum included exams in the specialty field of the "dissertant", in a foreign language of his/her choice and in scientific communism. In post-Soviet Russia and other post-Soviet states, the latter examination was replaced by the one in philosophy, and in Russia recently in the history and philosophy of science; in Ukraine it is still philosophy.

The dissertation is presented (defended) at the accredited educational or scientific institutions before a committee called the Scientific Council. The Council consists of about 20 members, who are the leading specialists (including the academicians) in the field of the dissertation and who have been selected and approved to serve on the Council. The summary of the dissertation must be published before public defense in the form of "autoreferat" in about 150-200 copies, and distributed to major research organizations and libraries. The seeker of the degree must have an official "research supervisor". The dissertation must be delivered together with official references of several reviewers, called "opponents". In a procedure called the "defense of the dissertation" the dissertation is summarized before the Commission, followed by speeches by the opponents or the reading of their references, and replies to the comments of the opponents and question of the Commission members by the aspirant.

If the defense is successful (66.6% majority of votes by the secret ballot voting by the members of the Council), it is recommended and later must be approved by the central statewide board called Higher Attestation Commission or "Vysshaya attestacionnaya komissiya" or VAK (or by similar authority in other applicable countries).[13]

Local characteristics

Former Czechoslovakia

In Czechoslovakia, the Candidate and Doctor of Sciences (Czech: Kandidát věd, Slovak: Kandidát vied) degrees were modeled precisely after the Soviet one by Law 60/1953 in 1953. Requirements to attain the degree were thus literally the same as in the USSR. Since all Czechoslovak top academic research institutions were dissolved after the Communist Putsch in 1948, the supreme academic authority was represented by the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, newly established in 1953. The degree could also be awarded by the Slovak Academy of Sciences and universities.

The abbreviation of the degree is CSc. (Latin: candidatus scientiarum), added behind the bearer's name and a comma.

There also have been other academic degrees in Czechoslovakia and its successional states, that incorporate the "Dr." abbreviation, e.g.

  • JUDr. (Latin: juris utriusque doctor, English: Doctor of Law, Czech: doktor práv, Slovak: doktor práv)
  • PhDr. (Latin: philosophiae doctor, English: Doctor of Philosophy, Czech: doktor filosofie, Slovak: doktor filozofie)
  • RNDr. (Latin: rerum naturalium doctor, English: Doctor of Natural Sciences, Czech: doktor přírodních věd, Slovak: doktor prírodných vied)

and others. These doctor degrees are not to be confused with a Ph.D., although its holders are addressed "doctor". Applicants need a master's degree (5 years +) or a comparable degree with excellent grades. This degree is stated before names and awarded after writing a rigorous thesis of 50.000 to 80.000 words and defending it at a viva voce and (rigorous) exam in at least 2-3 related fields of doctoral studies.

  • MUDr. (Latin: medicinae universae doctor) is a "Doctor of Medicine" degree equivalent to the North-American MD, attained after 6-year university studies.
  • MVDr. (Latin: medicinae veterinariae doctor) is a "Doctor of Veterinary" akin to DVM.
  • RSDr. (Latin: rerum socialium doctor) was a quasi-degree, awarded exclusively to functionaries of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) during the Communist era, who either or not "graduated" from the Political College of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The leading subject taught was Marxism-Leninism and there was no need to have completed even a secondary school to attain the degree. RSDr. was also possible to attain at some military universities, however, contrary to the previous case, the applicant had to pass further exams.

Czech Republic

Granting CSc. was abolished in 1998 and replaced with Ph.D. or Th.D. (Czech: doktor) An applicant is required to have master's degree (or its equivalent, e.g. Engineer (Ing.) or Doctor of Medicine MUDr in technical and economic university programs), enroll in an approximately three-year post-graduate program and defend their dissertation before a panel of expert examiners appointed by the university.


Candidate was abolished in 1996 and replaced with PhD. (Slovak: doktor, in 1996-2002 officially in Latin: philosophiae doctor). Requirements are similar to the Czech system.


Since the medieval period, Polish tradition was to call Ph.D. equivalent as "doktor". Only for a short period of time between 1951-1958 the communist government tried to replace the title of "doktor" with "kandydat nauk" to follow the Soviet model.

Former Soviet Union, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus

Kandidat nauk sample
Sample contents of modern Candidate of Sciences diploma (here, Candidate of Engineering Sciences), 1999.

In the USSR, there was required at least three original scientific papers published and/or submitted. At least one paper should be in one of the journals listed by the Higher Assessment Commission (VAK) of the Russian Ministry of Science.[13] In Belarus and Ukraine now, all the three publications have to be published in the journals listed by the VAK.[14]

In 1971, there were 249,200 scientists holding the Candidate degree.[10]

According to "Guidelines for the recognition of Russian qualifications in the other countries" in countries with a two-tier system of doctoral degrees, the degree of Candidate of Sciences should be considered for recognition at the level of the first doctoral degree. In countries with only one doctoral degree, the degree of Candidate of Sciences should be considered for recognition as equivalent to this degree.

Branches of science

Depending on the specialty of research in the dissertation, a candidate is awarded one of the following degrees:[15]

  • agricultural sciences (abbr.: к. с.-х. н.);
  • architecture (abbr.: к. арх.);
  • art criticism (abbr.: к. иск.);
  • biological sciences (abbr.: к. б. н.);
  • chemical sciences (abbr.: к. х. н.);
  • culturology (abbr.: к. культ.);
  • economic sciences (abbr.: к. э. н.);
  • engineering sciences (abbr.: к. т. н.);
  • geographic sciences (abbr.: к. геогр. н.);
  • geologo-mineralogical sciences (abbr.: к. г.-м. н.);
  • historical sciences (abbr.: к. ист. н.);
  • juridical sciences (abbr.: к. ю. н.);
  • medical sciences (abbr.: к. м. н.);
  • military sciences (abbr.: к. воен. н.);
  • pedagogic sciences (abbr.: к. пед. н.);
  • pharmaceutical sciences (abbr.: к. фарм. н.);
  • philological sciences (abbr.: к. филол. н.);
  • philosophical sciences (abbr.: к. филос. н.);
  • physico-mathematical sciences (abbr.: к. ф.-м. н.);
  • political sciences (abbr.: к. полит. н.);
  • psychological sciences (abbr.: к. пс. н.);
  • sociological sciences (abbr.: к. соц. н.);
  • theology (abbr.: к. богосл.);
  • veterinary sciences (abbr.: к. ветеринар. н.).

Previously, there was also the degree of "naval sciences" (abbr.: к. воен.-мор. н.).[16] For some time (in the 1940s) there was also the degree of "candidate of art criticism sciences" (abbr.: к. иск. н.).

Some specialties permit the award of the candidate degree for several variants of branches of science, depending on the dominant subject area of the dissertation; e. g., specialty 02.00.04 (physical chemistry)[15] can be awarded the degree of candidate of physico-mathematical, technical, or chemical sciences. However, for each dissertation only one branch of science can be chosen.

See also


  1. ^ UNESCO. Revision of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-02-11. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  2. ^ Пересмотр Международной стандартной классификации образования (PDF). UNESCO. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-07-15. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  3. ^ Kouptsov, Oleg. Mutual Recognition of Qualification: The Russian Federation and The Other European Countires (PDF). UNESCO. p. 97. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  4. ^ Décret n° 2003-744 du 1er août 2003 portant publication de l'accord entre le Gouvernement de la République française et le Gouvernement de la Fédération de Russie Archived 2018-08-21 at the Wayback Machine sur la reconnaissance mutuelle des documents sur les grades et titres universitaires, signé à Saint-Pétersbourg le 12 mai 2003.
  5. ^ Соглашение между Правительством Российской Федерации и Правительством Французской Республики о взаимном признании документов об ученых степенях, Санкт-Петербург, 12 мая 2003 года, Archived 2018-04-04 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b "Gemeinsame Erklärungzur gegenseitigen akademischen Anerkennungvon tudienzeiten und Abschlüssen im Hochschulbereichsowie von Urkunden über russische wissenschaftliche Gradeund deutsche akademische Qualifikationen zwischen HRK/" Archived 2017-02-14 at the Wayback Machine KMK und dem Ministerium für Allgemeine und Berufliche Bildungder Russischen Föderation 1999.h
  7. ^ Совместное заявление о взаимном академическом признании периодов обучения в высших учебных заведениях, документов о высшем образовании, российских ученых степенях и германских академических квалификациях, 1999, Archived 2018-03-31 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ a b De Witt, Nicholas (1961). Education and Professional Employment in the U.S.S.R. U.S.: National Science Foundation. p. 377. Archived from the original on 2018-04-27. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  9. ^ Kuybyshev, Valerian Vladimirovich (13 January 1934). On Scientific Degrees and Challenges. Moscow, Russia: THE COUNCIL OF THE PEOPLE'S COMMISSARS OF THE USSR. Archived from the original on 2018-04-18. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  10. ^ a b Volkov, M. N. "Кандидат наук". Great Soviet Encyclopedia (in Russian) (3rd ed.). Moscow: Sovetskaya Enciklopediya. Vol. 11. Archived from the original on 2014-07-23. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  11. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2010-06-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Jandreska. "World Education Services: Credential Evaluations for Russian Students". Archived from the original on 2018-03-30. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Archived copy" Высшая аттестационная комиссия Министерства образования и науки Российской Федерации (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2009-06-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Archived copy" Инструкция по оформлению диссертации, автореферата и публикаций по теме диссертации (ВАК Беларуси) (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2013-11-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ a b "Номенклатура специальностей научных работников". Archived from the original on 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2009-03-04. Archived 2009-03-05 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Volkov, M. N. "Доктор наук" Check value (help). Great Soviet Encyclopedia (in Russian) (3rd ed.). Moscow: Sovetskaya Enciklopediya. Vol. 11.
Boris Zilber

Boris Zilber (Russian: Борис Иосифович Зильбер, born 1949) is a Soviet-British mathematician who works in mathematical logic (specifically model theory). He is a professor of mathematical logic at the University of Oxford.

He obtained his doctorate (Candidate of Sciences) from the Novosibirsk State University in 1975 under the supervision of Mikhail Taitslin and his habilitation (Doctor of Sciences) from the Saint Petersburg State University in 1986.He received the Senior Berwick Prize (2004) and the Pólya Prize (2015) from the London Mathematical Society.

Dima Grigoriev

Dima Grigoriev (Dmitry Grigoryev) (born 10 May 1954) is a mathematician. His research interests include algebraic geometry, symbolic computation and computational complexity theory in computer algebra, with over 130 published articles.Dima Grigoriev was born in Leningrad, Russia and graduated from the Leningrad State University, Dept. of Mathematics and Mechanics, in 1976 (Honours Diploma). During 1976–1992 he was with LOMI, Leningrad Department of the Steklov Mathematical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

In 1979 he earned PhD (Candidate of Sciences) in Physics and Mathematics with thesis "Multiplicative Complexity of a Family of Bilinear Forms" (from LOMI, under the direction of Anatol Slissenko). In 1985 he earned Doctor of Science (higher doctorate) with thesis "Computational Complexity in Polynomial Algebra". Since 1988 till 1992

he was the head of Laboratory of algorithmic methods Leningrad Department of the Steklov Mathematical Institute.

During 1992–1998 Grigoriev hold the position of full professor at Penn State University.

Since 1998 he hold the position of Research Director at CNRS, University of Rennes 1, and since 2008 – Research Director at CNRS, Laboratory Paul Painleve University Lille 1 in France.

He is member of editorial boards of the Journal Computational Complexity, Journal of Applicable Algebra in Engineering, Communications and Computations and Groups, Complexity, Cryptology.He is recipient of the Prize of Leningrad Mathematical Society (1984), Max Planck Research Award of the Max Planck Society, Germany (1994), and Humboldt Prize of Humboldt Foundation, Germany (2002), Invited Speaker of International Congress of Mathematicians, Berkeley, California, 1986.

He has Erdős number 2 due to his collaborations with Andrew Odlyzko.

Doktor nauk

Doktor nauk (Russian: доктор наук, IPA: [ˈdoktər nɐˈuk], abbreviated д-р наук or д. н.; Ukrainian: доктор наук; Bulgarian: доктор на науките; Belarusian: доктар навук; lit. "Doctor of Sciences") is a higher doctoral degree which may be earned after the Candidate of Sciences (the latter is informally regarded in Russia and many other post-Soviet states as equivalent to the PhD obtained in countries in which the PhD is not the highest academic degree).

Education in Turkmenistan

The Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan is responsible for Education in Turkmenistan at all levels.

Elena Efimovna Kuzmina

Elena Efimovna Kuzmina (Russian: Еле́на Ефи́мовна Кузьмина́; 13 April 1931 – 17 October 2013) was a Russian archaeologist. She was the Chief Research Officer of the Russian Institute for Cultural Researches. She led twenty five archaeological expeditions and participated in over a hundred, mostly in the Eurasian steppe region.She received her Candidate of Sciences degree in archaeology in 1964 at the Moscow State University, and her Doktor nauk degree in 1988. She was a full professor of archaeology from 1988 to 2013.

She was the head scholar of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research. She was also an academician, member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (1988), Corresponding Fellow of the German Archaeological Institute (1982), member of the Italian Società Iranologica Europea (1996), and of the European Association of South Asian Archaeologists.

In 2009, she won Iran's World Prize for book of the year for her book The Origins of the Indo-Iranians.

Fyodor Khaskhachikh

Fyodor Ignatyevich Khaskhachikh (Russian: Фёдор Игна́тьевич Хасха́чих; 21 March 1907 – 5 November 1942) was a Soviet philosopher and dean of philosophy at the Moscow Institute of Philosophy, Literature, and History from 1939 to 1941. He worked on the history of epistemology and problems of epistemology within the framework of dialectical materialism.

A candidate of sciences, Khaskhachikh was working on a dissertation for the degree of doctor of sciences when he left the world of academia to volunteer for the Red Army after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. He died in World War II as a member of the Red Army's Kalinin Front in 1942.

Grigoriy Mihaylovich Naginskiy

Grigoriy Mihaylovich Naginskiy (born June 16, 1958 in Orsk, Orenburg Oblast) is a Russian politician, Candidate of Sciences. Senator – member of Federation Council, member of Industrial Policy Committee and Commission in natural monopolies.

Gábor Vékony

Gábor Vékony (December 15, 1944, Csengőd – June 10, 2004) was a Hungarian historian, archaeologist and linguist, associate professor at ELTE, Candidate of Sciences in History. He was an expert of the rovás scripts and a researcher of Hungarian prehistory.

Hranush Kharatyan

Hranush Kharatyan (Armenian: Հրանուշ Խառատյան; born February 18, 1952) is an Armenian ethnographer. She also specializes in Caucasus studies, minority groups and Armenian studies. She has been a member of the Pre-Parliament civil initiative since November 2012.Born in the village of Jagir, in Azerbaijan's Shamkir District, Kharatyan graduated from the Yerevan State University (YSU) with a history degree in 1975. She earned the degree of a Candidate of Sciences from the Institute of Anthropology and Ethnography in Moscow by 1979.Between 1979 and 1989 she worked as a researcher at the Oriental studies Institute of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences. In 1989-92 she was a research fellow at the Department of Ethnography at the YSU. She headed the same department between 1994 and 2000. In 1992-93 she was the Deputy Mayor of Yerevan, Armenia's capital. She was appointed head of the Department of National Minorities and Religious Affairs in the Armenian Government in 2004, which she resigned in 2008.Kharatyan is fluent in Armenian, Russian and has some knowledge of Azerbaijani. She is married with 2 children.

Medical degree

A medical degree is a vocational or technical degree awarded for studies in fields associated with medicine and/or surgery.

A worldwide study conducted in 2011 indicated on average: 64 university exams, 130 series exams, and 174 assignments are completed over the course of 5.5 years. As a baseline, students need greater than an 85% in prerequisite courses to enroll for the aptitude test in these degree programs.

Nurudin N. Mukhitdinov

Nurudin N. Mukhitdinov (born 18 March 1959 in Kurgan-Tyube) is a Tajikistani politician. Minister of Posts and Telecommunications of Tajikistan from 1995 to 2003, he is the Regional Commonwealth in the Field of Communications (RCC) Executive Committee Director General.

Nukhitdinov graduated from the Tashkent Electrotechnical Communications Institute in 1981 and became an, engineer in the Technical Division of the Electrotecnical Communications Administration. After serving in various executive positions between 1987 and 1995 he was appointed Minister of Post and Telecommunications of Tajikistan (often referred to as Minister of Communications) in July 1995, a position he held until 2003. In 2003 he was elected to the office of the RCC as Executive Committee Director General by the Communications Administrations of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tajikistan, and was reelected in 2007, and evidently again in 2011.Mukhitdinov holds the degree of Candidate of Sciences (economics).

Pavel Felgenhauer

Pavel Eugenievich Felgenhauer (Russian: Па́вел Евге́ньевич Фельгенга́уэр; born 6 December 1951) is a Russian military analyst known for his publications about Russia's political and military leadership.

Rahmatullo Zoirov

Rahmatullo Zoirov (Tajik: Раҳматилло Зойиров; March 16, 1958, Bogustan) is chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Tajikistan. He graduated from the Ukrainian Law Academy in 1983. He is a Candidate of Sciences and speaks more than 10 languages.

Research fellow

A research fellow is an academic research position at a university or a similar research institution, usually for academic staff or faculty members. A research fellow may act either as an independent investigator or under the supervision of a principal investigator.

In contrast to a research assistant, the position of research fellow normally requires a doctoral degree, or equivalent work experience for instance in industry and research centers. Some research fellows undertake postdoctoral research or have some moderate teaching responsibilities. Research fellow positions vary in different countries and academic institutions. In some cases, they are permanent with the possibility of promotion, while in other instances they are temporary.

Weng Shilie

Weng Shilie (Chinese: 翁史烈; pinyin: Wēng Shǐliè; born 1932) is a Chinese scientist and an expert in thermo-engine. He formerly served as the president of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and was elected a member of Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) in 1995.

Born in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, Weng graduated from the ship building department of Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 1952. He obtained a Soviet doctor's degree (Candidate of Sciences) at the institute of ship building in Leningrad of USSR in 1962. He served as the chairman of Shanghai Science and Technology Association.

Weng is a professor of SJTU and served as president of the University. He is one of the main founders of China's new generation of thermo-turbines.

Yuri Kilin

Yuri Mihailovich Kilin (Russian: Юрий Михайлович Килин, born 1961) is a Russian historian and a professor of History Studies at the Petrozavodsk State University in Petrozavodsk. He has written extensively on Russo-Finnish and Karelian historical conflicts. Kilin graduated with honours in 1983. He received his Candidate of Sciences degree in Leningrad 1991, and Doctor of Sciences degree in Moscow 2000. Kilin has written in over 50 publications, including over 25 published aboard. His name has also transliterated as Juri Kilin.

Yuri Nikolaevich Denisyuk

Yuri Nikolaevich Denisyuk (July 27, 1927 in Sochi – May 14, 2006 in Saint Petersburg) a Soviet physicist, one of the founders of optical holography. He is known for his great contribution to holography, in particular for the so-called "Denisyuk hologram". He is a full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1992; corresponding member since 1970), doctor of physical and mathematical sciences (1971, candidate of sciences since 1964), professor (1980).

Zhou Yaohe

Zhou Yaohe (Chinese: 周尧和; pinyin: Zhōu Yáohé; Wade–Giles: Chou Yao-ho May 1927 – 30 July 2018) was a Chinese of materials scientist. He was elected as academician of the Chinese Academy of Science in 1991.Born in May 1927, Zhou attended Tsinghua University. He went to the Soviet Union in 1953, and returned to China with a Candidate of Sciences degree from the Moscow Institute of Steel, in 1957. He specialized in solidification theory and technology for metal casting, and developed a new method of metal casting, which is used to produce aluminium alloy for aerospace engineering. He received the highest award of Chinese aviation industry in 1991.He died on 30 July 2018 at Huadong Hospital in Shanghai, aged 91.

Zoltán Füredi

Zoltán Füredi (Budapest, Hungary, 21 May 1954) is a Hungarian mathematician, working in combinatorics, mainly in discrete geometry and extremal combinatorics. He was a student of Gyula O. H. Katona. He is a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2004). He is a research professor of the Rényi Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and a professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

Füredi received his Candidate of Sciences degree in mathematics in 1981 from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Levels of academic degree

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