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Ph.D. is one of the many abbreviations that stand for something Latin that no one seems to remember. In this case, it is "Philosophiæ Doctor," or "teacher of philosphy," even though you can get them in just about all academic areas, not just philosphy. It is, in fact, the terminal degree in most academic fields.

To get one you have to go to grad school, do a ridiculous amount of work and research, and write a thesis, among other things. Knox professors generally have Ph.D.s; students generally do not.