Research based doctoral programs at various reputed universities in the world play a critical role in the development of human resources in five broad fields (around 41 fields in total) as follows:
- Arts and Humanities: Art History, Classics, Comparative Literature, English Language and Literature, French Language and Literature, German Language and Literature, Linguistics, Music, Philosophy, Religion, Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature.
- Biological Sciences: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Cell and Developmental Biology; Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; Molecular and General Genetics; Neurosciences; Pharmacology; Physiology.
- Engineering: Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering.
- Physical Sciences and Mathematics: Astrophysics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Sciences, Geosciences, Mathematics, Oceanography, Physics, Statistics and Biostatistics.
- Social and Behavioral Sciences: Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology.
Today many of the universities are well equipped with powerful tools & techniques that empower the graduate student to conduct an extensive research in the field of his/her interest. Though the duration of a doctoral program depends strongly on the field in which it is taken, but normally it takes between three and six years for many of the research areas. Nowadays industry & the academic communities require these researchers to switch between fields as & when it is required.