How Long takes get PhD?
There are many factors to consider when determining, “How Long takes get PhD ?”
First, where are you starting from? Do you have an undergraduate degree or a Master’s degree? If you have one or more degrees already, are they related to the PhD that you would like to obtain or are you moving in a new career direction? Perhaps you got that Philosophy degree when you were 22 and now that you’re a little older and have a family, your philosophy on life has changed a bit!
Here are some figures for various degree situations:
- No degree – add 4 (or more) years.
- Think you can test out of some of the required undergraduate requirements? – subtract years to take this into account
- Unrelated Bachelor’s, no Master’s – add time for required coursework needed to qualify for graduate school admittance, if needed. Some schools and/or degrees will have specific required undergraduate and/or graduate courses before you can start your PhD. This will require research on your part.
- Related Bachelor’s, no Master’s – You may get away with a year extra, or it could be up to three, depending on the requirements of the PhD program.
- Related Master’s – Pass GO, Collect $200! No, you don’t really get $200, but you might get right into the PhD program! Isn’t that worth $200?
What’s your total so far? How Long takes get PhD ?
Second, the question of how long takes get PhD degree is influenced significantly by the subject you wish to study. In the United States, there are two main categories of doctoral degrees, Research Doctorates, and Professional Doctorates.
Research Doctorates (PhD, Ed.D., D.B.A, D.Eng., etc.) generally require coursework of roughly 2 years (this number varies by the type of doctorate) and a significant body of original research that is referred to as a dissertation. In most programs, a dissertation will take a minimum of 2 years and most will take longer than that. The most dedicated, efficient, and talented student will likely take a minimum of 4 years to complete a research doctorate once they begin the actual program and many schools set a top limit of 7 to 10 years. Where do you think you’d fall?
Professional Doctorates are a completely different story. After 2 or more years of coursework, they may have internships, externships, residencies, fellowships, practicums, clinicals, or other hands-on learning requirements, board examinations, bar examinations, and a plethora of difficult and time-consuming requirements to finally be declared a Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Dental Sciences (DDS), Juris Doctor (JD), Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), etc. In this case, do your research. You could be in your program for 3 – 4 years or up to 10 years for a Surgical MD.
An important third consideration is whether you intend to attend school full- or part-time. The numbers we have given you are all full-time. They are also assuming that you never take a term off, or have to retake a class. So ask yourself. How dedicated are you? What are you willing to give up? In the long run, people who work very hard and make sacrifices to complete their doctoral studies often find the benefits outweigh everything they had to do to make it happen.