I was wondering when the first PhD was conferred. What is the oldest university? Here are some of the oldest, still-functioning universities in the world from mentalfloss:
Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences - Khozettan, Iran. ... founded around 200 B.C.
The University of Al-Karaouine - Fes, Morocco. ..founded in 859.
Al-azhar University - Cairo, Egypt. ... started in 975
University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. ..1088.
The University of Paris - Paris, France. around 1150
University of Oxford - 1096
The Catholic church had the right to grant a doctorate in the 1100's. A doctorate of philosophy was developed in Germany in the 17th century, and the term philosophy refers to the Greek meaning - love of wisdom.
It wasn't until the 20th century that academic staff and professors in English-speaking universities held doctorates. Today there are estimated to be 5.6 million people in the U.S. with PhD's. It is thought that 10 - 15 million people world-wide have PhD's.
These shoes were on the graduates of the Blessed Trinity high school students last June. What percentage of the 300 or so graduates will become doctorates? In the U.S. 1.77% of the population has PhD's, so there's a few in here.