The Soviet (Russian) Doctor of Physics and Mathematics Sciences (in Russian:doktor fiziko-matematicheskikh nauk) is the highest academic degree for physics and mathematics in the former USSR (now Russia).  It is awarded to those scientists, who have opened and contributed significantly in a new direction in a selected field. The candidate to this degree must be a Ph.D. holder and should defend his works in a form of a thesis (written without a thesis advisor) at a special session in front of a committee consisting of around 20 Soviet academicians (i.e. members of the Soviet Academy of Sciences), professors and experts in the field. There must be four referees for the thesis: three Soviet doctors of sciences, qualified in the thesis subject and one representative institute that is different from the institute of the thesis defender. The session is open for everybody to come and participate in the debate over the material of the thesis. Based on the result of the confidential voting by its members, the committee decides whether the thesis was successfully defended. All the material of the session is documented as well as recorded on the audio tapes, and sent to the Highest Certificate Committee (VAK) at the Council of Ministers of the USSR (now Russia), which will approve or reject the thesis. In case of approval, a certificate of Doctor of Sciences' degree issued by VAK will be sent to the awardee within several months *).

I successfully defended my Soviet Doctor-of-Science thesis in December 1989 at the Department of Physics, Moscow State University (Moscow - USSR) in front of a committee headed by the president of Moscow State University academician A.A. Logunov.

*) For more information on the present system regarding the Ph.D. and Dr.Sc. programs at the Department of Physics,
Moscow State University click here.