A scholar is a person who pursues academic and intellectual activities, particularly those that develop expertise in an area of study. A scholar may also be an academic, who works as a professor, teacher or researcher at a university or other higher education institution. An academic usually holds an advanced degree or terminal degree such as a PhD. Some independent scholars, such as philosophers and public intellectuals work outside of academia. They may still contribute to academic journals and participate in scholarly conferences even though they are unaffiliated with a university.