The Ph.D., or Doctor of Philosophy, is arguably the most prestigious degree in existence. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, professionals with doctorates earn approximately $37,265 more each year than workers with bachelor's degrees. To get a doctoral degree the graduate student must complete a course of study, do original research and write a publishable thesis or dissertation. Not surprisingly, only one in one hundred Americans call themselves "doctor." Consequently, a doctorate degree commands respect.