Doctor (German = Doktor; Latin = teacher), highest academic degree ( Promotion), in the Middle Ages equivalent to a master´s degree. Initially the degree was only rarely conferred at the higher faculties (theology, jurisprudence, medicine) because of the expensive award ceremonies. When, from the 16th century on, the master's degree was becoming less and less important (abolished 1786), the doctor's degree was also awarded by the faculty of arts ("philosophy"). In the 20th century other institutions of higher learning (since 1975 also called universities) were gradually given the right to award the doctor's degree (until then limited to universities). Admission to exams for the doctoral degree was and still is - with certain changes over the centuries - bound to personal and professional qualifications.
The requirement that the doctor's degree (and the field of study in which it was obtained) had to be added to one´s name in dealings with state authorities was abolished in 1966. The holder of the title may however demand it to be stated on official documents.