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Many students have a real thirst for knowledge and learning, thus the natural progression is to consider graduate school and possibly a doctoral degree. A Ph.D., Doctor of Philosophy, degree is the highest academic degree in the academy (as colleges and universities are called) and is considered a research degree. It requires intense study and mastery of a subject area as well as extending the body of knowledge in that subject area. The doctoral degree is awarded after courses completed, qualifying exams passed, and the research or thesis defended; the dissertation is the document containing the research and findings.

The term research is used to describe the systematic process of inquiry aimed at the investigation and discovery of new knowledge. While there may not always be a distinction between them, most research is categorized as "basic" (fundamental or pure research; it may involve theory development) or "applied" (solutions to specific problems, based on elements of basic research). The research process includes formal methodologies such as classification, experimentation, eye tracking, statistical data analysis, simulations and mathematical modeling. Scholarly publications such as conference papers, journals and books are important components of disseminating results.

Generally, the doctoral degree is considered a "union card" for a position as a professor or as a researcher in a laboratory or a research environment. However, depending upon the organization or position, Master's degrees or other professional terminal degrees such as an MBA may be more appropriate as the level of education desirable.

Center for Advancing the Study of Cyberinfrastructure (CASCI)

The research arm of the Golisano College is CASCI. For more information on CASCI, go to: