Doctor rerum naturalium (RNDr), literally "Doctor of the things of nature", Doctor of Natural Sciences, is a post-graduate academic degree awarded by universities in Central and Eastern Europe to graduates in Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Physics, Mathematics, or similar areas.
These doctor degrees are not to be confused with a PhD, although its holders are addressed "doctor". In some countries it is equivalent to PhD (e.g. Germany), in some it is an extension of a master-like degree, always stated before names and awarded for elaborating a so-called rigorous thesis and defending it at a viva voce (rigorous) exam. Unlike PhD, no post-graduate studies are required.
For example, in the Czech Republic (former Czechoslovakia), RNDr has been awarded since the establishment of the Faculty of Science, Charles University, in 1920. It was designed along with other doctoral degrees of that time, based on the medieval tradition of "doctorates" - university graduates were not awarded any degree after their state exams but could (optionally) sit for the "rigorous" examination to be awarded one of the doctoral degrees (traditional degrees in Theology, Law, Medicine, Philosophy, and new degrees in technical sciences, Agriculture, Veterinary medicine, and later Natural Science.)
After 1990, RNDr can be awarded under similar conditions to graduates with a master's degree.
- JEČMÍKOVÁ, Alena, et al. Univerzita Karlova v Praze; Přírodovědecká fakulta. Praha: PřF UK, 2010. ISBN 978-80-7444-000-7.