How Long Does It Take to Get a Ph.D. Degree?

Earning a Ph.D. from a U.S. grad school typically requires nearly six years, federal statistics show.

How Long It Takes to Get a Ph.D. Degree

can you get a phd in 6 years

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A Ph.D. is most appropriate for someone who is a "lifelong learner."

Students who have excelled within a specific academic discipline and who have a strong interest in that field may choose to pursue a Ph.D. degree. However, Ph.D. degree-holders urge prospective students to think carefully about whether they truly want or need a doctoral degree, since Ph.D. programs last for multiple years.

According to the Survey of Earned Doctorates, a census of recent research doctorate recipients who earned their degree from U.S. institutions, the median amount of time it took individuals who received their doctorates in 2017 to complete their program was 5.8 years. However, there are many types of programs that typically take longer than six years to complete, such as humanities and arts doctorates, where the median time for individuals to earn their degree was 7.1 years, according to the survey.

Some Ph.D. candidates begin doctoral programs after they have already obtained master's degrees, which means the time spent in grad school is a combination of the time spent pursuing a master's and the years invested in a doctorate. In order to receive a Ph.D. degree, a student must produce and successfully defend an original academic dissertation, which must be approved by a dissertation committtee. Writing and defending a dissertation is so difficult that many Ph.D. students drop out of their Ph.D. programs having done most of the work necessary for degree without completing the dissertation component. These Ph.D. program dropouts often use the phrase " all but dissertation " or the abbreviation "ABD" on their resumes.

According to a comprehensive study of Ph.D. completion rates published by The Council of Graduate Schools in 2008, only 56.6% of people who begin Ph.D. programs earn Ph.D. degrees.

Ian Curtis, a founding partner with H&C Education, an educational and admissions consulting firm, who is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in French at Yale University , says there are several steps involved in the process of obtaining a Ph.D. Students typically need to fulfill course requirements and pass comprehensive exams, Curtis warns. "Once these obligations have been completed, how long it takes you to write your dissertation depends on who you are, how you work, what field you're in and what other responsibilities you have in life," he wrote in an email. Though some Ph.D. students can write a dissertation in a single year, that is rare, and the dissertation writing process may last for several years, Curtis says.

Curtis adds that the level of support a Ph.D. student receives from an academic advisor or faculty mentor can be a key factor in determining the length of time it takes to complete a Ph.D. program. "Before you decide to enroll at a specific program, you’ll want to meet your future advisor," Curtis advises. "Also, reach out to his or her current and former students to get a sense of what he or she is like to work with."

Curtis also notes that if there is a gap between the amount of time it takes to complete a Ph.D. and the amount of time a student's funding lasts, this can slow down the Ph.D. completion process. "Keep in mind that if you run out of funding at some point during your doctorate, you will need to find paid work, and this will leave you even less time to focus on writing your dissertation," he says. "If one of the programs you’re looking at has a record of significantly longer – or shorter – times to competition, this is good information to take into consideration."

He adds that prospective Ph.D. students who already have master's degrees in the field they intend to focus their Ph.D. on should investigate whether the courses they took in their master's program would count toward the requirements of a Ph.D. program. "You’ll want to discuss your particular situation with your program to see whether this will be possible, and how many credits you are likely to receive as the result of your master’s work," he says.

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Emmanuel C. Nwaodua, who has a Ph.D. degree in geology, says some Ph.D. programs require candidates to publish a paper in a first-rate, peer-reviewed academic journal. "This could extend your stay by a couple of years," he warns.

Pierre Huguet, the CEO and co-founder of H&C Education, says prospective Ph.D. students should be aware that a Ph.D. is designed to prepare a person for a career as a scholar. "Most of the jobs available to Ph.D. students upon graduation are academic in nature and directly related to their fields of study: professor, researcher, etc.," Huguet wrote in an email. "The truth is that more specialization can mean fewer job opportunities. Before starting a Ph.D., students should be sure that they want to pursue a career in academia, or in research. If not, they should make time during the Ph.D. to show recruiters that they’ve traveled beyond their labs and libraries to gain some professional hands-on experience."

Jack Appleman, a business writing instructor, published author and Ph.D. candidate focusing on organizational communication with the University at Albany—SUNY , says Ph.D. programs require a level of commitment and focus that goes beyond what is necessary for a typical corporate job. A program with flexible course requirements that allow a student to customize his or her curriculum based on academic interests and personal obligations is ideal, he says.

Joan Kee, a professor at the University of Michigan with the university's history of art department, says that the length of time required for a Ph.D. varies widely depending on what subject the Ph.D. focuses on. "Ph.D. program length is very discipline and even field-specific; for example, you can and are expected to finish a Ph.D, in economics in under five years, but that would be impossible in art history (or most of the humanities)," she wrote in an email.

Kee adds that humanities Ph.D. programs often require someone to learn a foreign language, and "fields like anthropology and art history require extensive field research." Kee says funding for a humanities Ph.D. program typically only lasts five years, even though it is uncommon for someone to obtain a Ph.D. degree in a humanities field within that time frame. "Because of this, many if not most Ph.D. students must work to make ends meet, thus further prolonging the time of completion," she says.

Jean Marie Carey, who earned her Ph.D. degree in art history and German from the University of Otago in New Zealand, encourages prospective Ph.D. students to check whether their potential Ph.D. program has published a timeline of how long it takes a Ph.D. student to complete their program. She says it is also prudent to speak with Ph.D. graduates of the school and ask about their experience.

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can you get a phd in 6 years

Kristin Redington Bennett, the founder of the Illumii educational consulting firm in North Carolina, encourages Ph.D. hopefuls to think carefully about whether they want to become a scholar. Bennett, who has a Ph.D. in curriculum and assessment and who previously worked as an assistant professor at Wake Forest University , says a Ph.D. is most appropriate for someone who is a "lifelong learner." She says someone contemplating a Ph.D. should ask themselves the following questions "Are you a very curious person... and are you persistent?"

Bennett urges prospective Ph.D. students to visit the campuses of their target graduate programs since a Ph.D. program takes so much time that it is important to find a school that feels comfortable. She adds that aspiring Ph.D. students who prefer a collaborative learning environment should be wary of graduate programs that have a cut-throat and competitive atmosphere, since such students may not thrive in that type of setting.

Alumni of Ph.D. programs note that the process of obtaining a Ph.D. is arduous, regardless of the type of Ph.D. program. "A Ph.D. is a long commitment of your time, energy and financial resources, so it'll be easier on you if you are passionate about research," says Grace Lee, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and is the founder and CEO of Mastery Insights, an education and career coaching company, and the host of the Career Revisionist podcast.

"A Ph.D. isn't about rehashing years of knowledge that is already out there, but rather it is about your ability to generate new knowledge. Your intellectual masterpiece (which is your dissertation) takes a lot of time, intellectual creativity and innovation to put together, so you have to be truly passionate about that," Lee says.

Curtis says a prospective Ph.D. student's enthusiasm for academic work, teaching and research are the key criteria they should use to decide whether to obtain a Ph.D. degree. "While the time it takes to complete a doctorate is an understandable concern for many, my personal belief is that time is not the most important factor to consider," he says. "Good Ph.D. programs provide their students with generous stipends, health care and sometimes even subsidized housing."

Erin Skelly, a graduate admissions counselor at the IvyWise admissions consulting firm, says when a Ph.D. students struggles to complete his or her Ph.D. degree, it may have more to do with the student's academic interests or personal circumstances than his or her program.

"The time to complete a Ph.D. can depend on a number of variables, but the specific discipline or school would only account for a year or two's difference," she wrote in an email. "When a student takes significantly longer to complete a Ph.D. (degree), it's usually related to the student's coursework and research – they need to take additional coursework to complete their comprehensive exams; they change the focus of their program or dissertation, requiring extra coursework or research; or their research doesn't yield the results they hoped for, and they need to generate a new theory and conduct more research."

Skelly warns that the average completion time of a Ph.D. program may be misleading in some cases, if the average is skewed based on one or two outliers. She suggests that instead of focusing on the duration of a particular Ph.D. program, prospective students should investigate the program's attritition and graduation rates.

"It is worthwhile to look at the program requirements and the school's proposed timeline for completion, and meet current students to get their input on how realistic these expectations for completion are," Skelly says. "That can give you an honest idea of how long it will really take to complete the program."

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  • Graduate School

How Long Does it Take to Get a PhD?: A Go-Getter’s Guide to Graduation

Featured Expert: Dr. Charlene Hoi, PhD

How Long Does it Take to Get a PhD?

How long does it take to get a PhD? On average, PhD programs are 4 or 5 years long. The time it takes to get a PhD is slightly longer in the US, between 4-6 years, because these programs tend to be more structured. If you want to know how to get a PhD in Canada or Europe, you can expect it to take 3-5 years. However, there are PhD programs that take longer, such as part-time programs, or are extremely short, like online accelerated PhD programs. Ultimately, how long it takes to get a PhD is up to you. In this article, we’ll look at the average PhD program lengths, the typical PhD timeline, and tips on how to get your PhD finished faster.

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Article Contents 13 min read

How long does it take to get a phd.

On average, it takes 4-5 years to complete a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program. In the US, most PhD programs are between 4-6 years, while in Canada they are typically shorter, around 3-4 years.

Some students take longer than 6 years to complete their PhD, but in general the longest time it takes to get a PhD is capped at 8 years. If you’re enrolling in a part-time PhD program, for instance, your timeline will probably be extended to 6-8 years.

The shortest PhD programs out there are accelerated or sometimes online PhD programs. Some of these are only 1-2 years long, but there are comparatively fewer programs available, and they are only suitable for certain fields and careers which require less intensive research which defines most PhD programs.

One of the main reasons why it takes many years to get a PhD is because these programs are comprehensive and the requirements to graduate are extensive. Most have a set number of credit hours you need to complete, examinations to write, plus you’ll need to write your PhD thesis or dissertation, unless you pursue a PhD without dissertation .

There are certainly ways to shorten the PhD application timeline and time to graduate, which includes enrolling in a shorter program if possible, increasing your course load or the number of research hours you can dedicate per week, but generally a PhD will still take some time.

Even if you want to do a PhD without a master’s degree first, such as by applying to a direct entry PhD program, the program is still usually 4-5 years long.

We’ll take a look at the typical PhD timeline and how long it takes to get a PhD normally. After, we’ll cover some tips on how to get your PhD done faster or how you can avoid dragging things out.

In North America, the typical PhD program is divided into two stages. The first stage is where you complete all the required coursework, comprehensive exams and other academic requirements, depending on the program. The second stage is when you submit a proposal for original, independent research, get it approved and start working on your thesis or dissertation. Your PhD culminates with your thesis defense. Once your thesis has been approved, you’ll be eligible to graduate.

This timeline is somewhat flexible, as you might complete the first stage in 1 or 2 years but take longer to complete your dissertation. For the purpose of this general PhD schedule, we’ll assume your PhD program is a typical length of 4-6 years.

Application Stage

We’ve included the application stage of getting your PhD here first because the grad school application timeline can take several months to put together your application package and hear back about acceptance to a program. Secondly, because the application stage involves some critical steps you’ll need to complete in order to get your PhD.

1. Research proposal

To apply to a PhD program, you’ll most likely be required to submit a research proposal and be prepared to answer any research proposal questions your advisor will have. This is your “proposal” of what research question you will explore during your studies at a program, or an outline of what research topic you want to pursue. If you’re not sure how to write a research proposal, check out these Oxford PhD proposal samples or a Cambridge PhD proposal sample.

2. Application materials

The admission requirements for a PhD can vary from program to program, but here are the general components of a PhD application:

  • Required prerequisite coursework
  • Official transcripts (and minimum GPA)
  • Graduate school statement of purpose
  • CV for graduate school or research resume
  • PhD motivation letter

Some programs may also ask you to submit additional essays, such as a letter of intent, research interest statement or grad school career goals statement .

Many PhD programs also invite you to a grad school interview to get to know you better. Be ready for common graduate school interview questions such as “ tell me about yourself ” and “ why do you want to do a PhD ?”

Writing a grad school statement of purpose? Check out these examples:

PhD Years 1-3: Coursework Stage

1. orientation.

Your PhD program will usually begin with your orientation, where you’ll learn about the program’s individual structure, requirements and expectations. You’ll also either choose or be assigned an academic advisor and schedule an initial meeting with them. Your advisor will be a member of the university faculty who will act as your support while you complete your research and write your thesis.

2. Coursework

The first year or two of your PhD will involve completing required advanced coursework in your field. You’ll attend lectures and seminars and you may participate in research projects with department faculty or fellow graduate students or even lab work, depending on your field.

3. Electives

Along with required coursework, you’ll have the chance to take elective courses that interest you or relate to your field. It’s important to choose electives that will enrich your program. Choose ones that really interest you, that might help inform your PhD research or that will help you fulfill your credit requirements.

4. Extracurriculars

PhD programs sometimes have extracurricular activities or additional requirements outside the classroom. This can include internships or a practicum you need to complete for credit, or you might be interested in attending academic conferences or relevant events to socialize and network you’re your colleagues in the field.

5. Comprehensive exams

The coursework stage of your PhD program will end with comprehensive exams , sometimes called qualifying or preliminary exams. These are your “final exams” to make sure that you completed the necessary PhD coursework and that you’re ready and qualified to take on your own independent research in the next phase.

1. Thesis proposal

You may recall that you submitted a research proposal as part of your PhD application, and this step of the process is similar. Your thesis proposal is just like your research proposal, but it’s a more refined and developed version. Throughout your coursework, your research question might have changed or you might have changed course a little bit. If you’re still thinking about your PhD topic , take the time to solidify it before you reach the thesis proposal stage.

Your research proposal might have been a first draft, while your thesis proposal is your official announcement of: this is what I propose to research in this PhD program.

Depending on your field and the program, you thesis research might involve a great deal of lab work, or data collection or fieldwork. Whatever the case, your thesis proposal is a complete outline of what you intend to do for this independent research project and the steps you’ll take.

2. Thesis approval

Once your proposal is written, you’ll submit it for approval. Your academic advisor, PhD supervisor or the PhD committee overseeing your program will review it and either approve it or make suggestions for changes. Once it’s been polished and finalized, you’ll be given the go ahead to start conducting your research.

3. PhD research

Your research alone will probably take you several semesters to complete. On top of the fieldwork, lab work or data collection and analysis you’ll be completing, you’ll be using this time to write and review. Writing your thesis or dissertation takes a fair number of hours to outline, draft, edit and complete. It also means hitting the books to complete a literature review of your research topic so you have a complete background understanding of your chosen topic and how it will inform your research.

Your research and the preparation of your thesis is really the biggest part of this second stage, and is probably the longest part of your PhD altogether.

4. Extra requirements

When you’re not deep in your research, you’ll be completing other requirements of your PhD program or additional duties that enrich your education. Some programs require you to dedicate some hours to teaching, whether it be leading seminars for undergraduate students or acting as a teaching assistant for university faculty.

You’ll also be strongly encouraged to publish as a graduate student , so you may be involved in the research projects of faculty members or other grad students when you’re not working on your dissertation.

5. Thesis submission and preparation for thesis defense

When you’re finished writing your thesis and you’re ready to submit it, it’s critical to know how to prepare for thesis defense . Because not only do you have to complete this original, new body of research work, you have to get the approval of your PhD committee to put it out into the world.

Your thesis defense is essentially the final presentation of your PhD.

6. Thesis defense

Your thesis defense is an oral presentation of your research project, but it also involves submitting your written document to be reviewed. Essentially, you’ll present the entirety of your thesis to the PhD supervising committee, including your findings and conclusions. From there, the committee will ask thesis defense questions . Your answers will defend your methodology and results to the committee, basically proving the value and validity of your work. While this is an evaluation of sorts, it is also your opportunity to share your original ideas and invite further research into your topic.

After your defense, the PhD committee will either approve your thesis or send it back to you with edits or changes to be made before it can be formally approved.

Graduation and Postdoc

Once your thesis has been approved, congratulations! You’ll be eligible for graduation and be awarded your degree. Now that you’ve finished this marathon, you can choose to pursue further studies or start looking for a job after grad school .

With a PhD, you have many different options for positions in your field. You might want to know how to find a job in academia or how to get a tenure track position at a university if you’re interested in teaching others. PhD graduates who decide to transition from academia to industry or who would rather work outside the realm of academia can find industry jobs after PhD that suit their skills and experiences.

Either way, you’ll need to prepare for how to find a postdoc position, explore what the career options are for you, decide what your career goals are and start sending out applications. Remember to prep your postdoc resume and get read for postdoc interview questions , since the job hunt will begin soon after you finish your PhD!

Is it possible to get your PhD done faster? What are some ways you can speed up the process and avoid taking 8 years to complete your graduate studies? Luckily, there are many key ways you can make your journey through grad school easier and speed things up a little, from the type of PhD program you choose to the habits and skills you cultivate during your program.

#1 Enroll in an accelerated program

The first way to guarantee it will take less time to get your PhD is to, of course, enroll in a shorter PhD program. Direct entry PhD programs allow you to enroll once you’ve completed your bachelor’s degree in exceptional circumstances. Note that these are not the easiest PhD programs to get into , as your academic record needs to be excellent, and you’ll likely need prior research experience and you may even need to have publications already. However, a direct entry PhD program is around 4-5 years, but it allows you to skip the 1-2 years it would take to earn a master’s degree.

You can also choose to enroll in an online or accelerated PhD program that is designed to be much shorter than the traditional PhD. Once again, though, these programs are not available to students in every field, so you may need to research whether there are any options for you.

#2 Choose the right mentor

One of the first things you can do to ensure your PhD is smooth sailing is to choose the right mentor or academic advisor. Many programs allow you to choose your advisor, while some assign one to you. Whatever the case, it’s important to establish a strong working relationship and clear expectations early on.

One of the first things you’ll do as a PhD student is meet with your advisor. Take the time to discuss with them what your expectations for the program are, ask questions and ask them what their expectations are of you. Your advisor is there to help you and advise you, and they have resources and connections you can use to your advantage. But they are also working with a busy schedule and might be advising more than one PhD student, too. A mutually respectful relationship with open communication will ensure fewer interpersonal hurdles down the road.

#3 Earn credit hours faster

One way you can shave some time off your PhD is by earning your credit hours faster and getting to the research and thesis-writing stage faster. This might mean you take on a full-time course load or ask your advisor for ways to earn extra credit, such as participating in research projects. Some PhD programs will give you course credit for previous graduate level coursework you might have completed during your master’s degree, or for certifications and professional education you completed outside of school.

#4 Keep your thesis focused

When you get started on your research, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the amount of work you need to complete, with the writing of your thesis on top of it all. One way to keep your research hyper-focused and on point is to keep your thesis topic narrow. If your subject is too broad, you’ll be spending way too much time in your research. Give yourself clear objectives and scope, and don’t deviate from your PhD proposal if you don’t have to.

There may be a million questions you want to explore within your PhD topic, but there will be other opportunities to explore them. Keep your focus narrow so you don’t spend years and years asking and answering research questions!

One of the best things you can do to get your PhD done faster and adjust to the experience of graduate school is to change your thinking. Adopt a growth mindset so that you’re open to new learning, willing to listen to constructive feedback on your proposal or thesis and willing to grow your skills. A PhD is an advanced program, and you’ll already be very skilled, but it is also an opportunity to learn and grow. There will be challenges for you, so be ready to meet and overcome them instead of letting them draw you back or slow you down.

#5 Develop your professional skills fast

A PhD is an opportunity to grow your professional skillset as much as it is an opportunity for you to contribute meaningfully to your field. If you haven’t already been working on skills such as communication, presenting or lecturing and writing, now is the time to start.

Strong writing skills will help you get your thesis finished and edited faster, as you’ll be more familiar with the process and understand what makes a strong document. It’s also a useful skill to learn how to write effective funding proposals or grant proposals. You may need to do so to secure funding for your research, but it’s a highly valuable skill in the workforce, too.

Good presentation skills will help you during your thesis defense or if you’re asked to present during a conference. They will also help you build confidence in your voice and ideas and make you a better communicator when you’re networking or job searching.

#6 Keep to your schedule

This is maybe the most important skill if you want to finish your PhD faster: make a detailed schedule and hold yourself accountable to it. If you like, you can plan out your entire PhD week by week from Day 1. Write down what your course schedule is, when you’ll do research and how many hours, when you’ll write and how many hours, what extracurriculars or personal activities will take up your time and so on.

A detailed schedule gives you an overview of your PhD and a timeline of when you’ll finish. It will keep you organized and accountable, so you can avoid procrastinating or avoidable speed bumps that might slow you down. It also helps you compartmentalize the many items on your to-do list so you don’t stress out about how much you need to accomplish.

When creating your schedule, especially during the research stage when there is no formal class schedule for you to adhere to, focus on deliverables. Set a date when you will submit a section of your thesis to your advisor, or when you will complete your literature review. Setting goals and clear outcomes will keep you on track and focused.

#7 Take initiative and be independent

The last tip to help you get your PhD done faster is to take initiative. Remember that a PhD is a largely independent endeavor. You’ll have the support of a committee or advisor, but you can’t rely on them to do the work for you or put everything on hold if they aren’t available when you need them. Be flexible and adaptable so you can keep working and moving forward, even if your schedule gets interrupted or needs to change to suit your situation.

It's also important to take the initiative in your learning. Take advantage of opportunities for growth, networking, and gaining experience where you can. Get the most out of your PhD program and use your experiences to fuel your end goal of completing your thesis.

On average, it takes 4-5 years to get a PhD. There are a few factors that can influence the time it takes to complete your PhD, from program length and structure to what country you are earning your PhD in, to your own personal work ethic and schedule.

PhD programs in the US are on average 4-6 years. In Canada and the UK, they are usually 3-5 years long. Part-time PhD programs may take up to 7-8 years to complete. Direct-entry PhD programs and dual master’s and PhD programs are typically 5 years long. If you’re enrolling in an online, hybrid or accelerated PhD program, the timeline is usually 2-3 years, but there are some extremely short 1-year PhD programs offered online for specific disciplines.

Yes, you can finish your PhD before the “normal” timeline. For example, if you complete your coursework early, if you finish writing your thesis faster than average and get it approved, or if you otherwise complete all your PhD program requirements before the anticipated finish date. 

Yes, there are online PhDs available for certain fields and disciplines. These typically range from 2-3 years, although there are some traditional 4-year PhD programs offered online. There are also some “accelerated” online PhDs which last 12-18 months.

A PhD program is not necessarily shorter if you first complete a master’s degree, but having gone through a master’s program can better prepare you to finish your PhD faster. Some PhD programs accept credit hours from your master’s degree towards the coursework requirements for a PhD, and if you’ve previously written a master’s thesis or completed some research during your graduate studies, this will be an advantage. Since you’ll already be familiar with the process of writing a thesis and conducting your own research, you can avoid some stumbling blocks in your PhD program that might otherwise slow down your progress.

Yes, it is possible to get a PhD without first completing a master’s degree. There are direct entry PhD programs that allow students with a bachelor’s degree to enroll, so long as they meet the admission requirements and have exceptional academic records. Some online PhDs also waive the master’s degree requirement.

Yes, it is possible to complete a traditional PhD program in a shorter amount of time than anticipate. This usually means dedicating yourself to full-time study or taking on a larger course load and increased research hours. It takes significant work, but it can be done with the right schedule and commitment.

The fastest PhD programs are the short, 1-year accelerated programs. These programs have fewer credit hours to complete, and some have no dissertation requirement, only qualifying exams to finish. However, there are not many programs out there, and they are not available for every field of interest.

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can you get a phd in 6 years

Academia Insider

How Long Does it Take To Get A PhD? Doctorate Degree Timeline

Starting a PhD means you’re ready for a big academic adventure, full of tough challenges and exciting discoveries.

If you’re thinking about going for it, you’re probably wondering just how much time you’ll need to commit to this big goal.

For full-time PhD students, the journey typically take 3-6 years. However, if you’re juggling other commitments and opt for a part-time PhD, the timeline can extend to 7 years to complete, sometimes more.  

This article breaks down what the PhD journey looks like, what can make it longer or shorter, and some tips on how to make it through.

If you’re curious about how long it’ll take to add ‘Dr.’ before your name, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive into the world of PhD timelines!

How Long Does It Take To Get A PhD?

The answer here isn’t straightforward, as it hinges on various factors, including:

  • the discipline,
  • the institution, and
  • whether you’re a full-time or part-time student.

For full-time PhD students, the journey typically take 3-6 years. However, if you’re juggling other commitments and opt for a part-time PhD, the timeline can extend to 7 years to complete, sometimes more.  

how long does it take to get a phd

Distance learning PhD programs offer flexibility but similarly require a substantial time commitment, often mirroring the length of part-time studies.

The heart of a doctoral program is the dissertation, a rigorous research project that demands an in-depth exploration of your chosen field. This phase alone can take several months to years, significantly influencing the overall length of your PhD journey.

Beyond the dissertation, coursework, exams, and sometimes teaching responsibilities add layers to the doctoral experience.

The requirements for a PhD vary widely across disciplines and institutions. For instance, a doctorate in the sciences might involve extensive lab work, potentially extending the time to completion.

In contrast, a doctorate in the arts could hinge more on coursework and creative output, leading to variations in the timeline.

Does A Doctorate Degree Take Longer Than Masters?

A doctorate degree typically takes longer to complete than a master’s degree.

While a master’s program can often be completed in 1-2 years of full-time study, a doctoral program usually requires 4-6 years, depending on the:

  • research complexity, and
  • whether the student is enrolled full-time or part-time.

The doctoral journey is more than just additional coursework; it involves conducting original research, writing a comprehensive dissertation, and often teaching or engaging in professional development activities.

The dissertation phase, which requires students to contribute new knowledge to their field, is particularly time-consuming and can extend the duration of a PhD program significantly.

The time it takes to complete a doctorate can be influenced by your

  • research topic,
  • funding availability, and
  • the level of support from advisors and faculty. 

Master’s programs are typically more structured, with a clearer set of coursework requirements and a shorter thesis or capstone project, leading to a quicker path to graduation.

can you get a phd in 6 years

Why Does It Take So Long To Finish Doctoral Program?

Starting a doctoral program is a significant commitment, often taking longer than anticipated. If you wonder why it takes so long, here are a couple of reasons you can think about: 

Extensive Coursework

Initially, you might think coursework in your PhD study is just a continuation of your previous studies.

Doctoral level courses are a different beast. They demand not just understanding but the ability to critically analyze and apply complex concepts.

Each course can feel like a mini research project, requiring more than just classroom attendance. This phase lays the foundation but is time-consuming.

The Dissertation

The heart of your doctoral journey is your dissertation. This isn’t just a long essay or an extended research paper. It’s an original contribution to your field, requiring:

  • exhaustive research,
  • experimentation, and

Some students find their research path straightforward, while others may hit unexpected roadblocks or need to pivot their focus, extending the time required.

Part-Time Study

Many PhD candidates choose a part-time path due to work, family, or other commitments. While this flexibility is crucial for many, it stretches the duration of the program.

What a full-time student might complete in 4-6 years, part-time students might take 7 years or more to finish.

Funding and Resources

Access to funding and resources can significantly impact the timeline. Some projects require extensive fieldwork, specialised equipment, or access to rare materials. Delays in funding or accessing necessary resources can stall progress.

If funding is an issue, consider applying for work outside of the university. You can also try your luck with the university, as a research or teaching assistant , or more.

how long does it take to get a phd

Academic Publishing

As part of the doctoral process, many students are encouraged or required to publish their findings.

However, the process of submitting to academic journals, undergoing peer review, and possibly revising and resubmitting, is lengthy.

This step is crucial for the academic community but adds time to the doctoral timeline. If may help to start writing and publishing work earlier to ensure you have enough time to finish.

Faculty Supervision and Mentorship

The relationship with your advisor or supervisory committee is pivotal. These mentors gatekeep your studies, as they:

  • guide your research,
  • provide feedback, and
  • approve your progress.

Scheduling conflicts, feedback loops, and the iterative nature of research can add semesters or even years to your timeline.

Personal Growth and Professional Development

Beyond the academic requirements, doctoral students often engage in teaching, attend conferences, and network within their academic community. These activities contribute to your professional development but also extend your time in the program.

Factors That Influence The Time To Get A PhD

The time it takes to complete PhD is influenced by a multitude of factors, each significant in its own right. Let’s delve deeper into these elements to understand the intricacies of the PhD voyage.

The Scope of Research :

The ambition of your research can significantly dictate the duration of your PhD. Some projects will need more time and commitment, especially if they:

  • Demand extensive fieldwork,
  • elaborate experiments, or
  • groundbreaking theoretical developments.

Imagine embarking on a quest that not only seeks answers but also questions the very foundations of your field. Such endeavours are thrilling but inherently time-consuming, often extending the PhD journey beyond the typical timeframe.

Program Structure and Requirements

The architecture of a PhD program—its coursework, qualifying exams, and other prerequisites—lays the groundwork for your academic expedition.

Programs with a heavy load of initial coursework aim to equip you with a broad foundation, yet this can elongate the path to your actual dissertation work. 

Mode of Study

The decision between full-time and part-time study is pivotal. A full-time commitment allows you to immerse yourself in research, ideally hastening progress.

Yet, life’s obligations may necessitate a part-time route, extending the journey but offering flexibility.

Distance learning, with its inherent flexibility, caters to those balancing diverse commitments, yet this mode, too, can stretch the timeline, particularly if it lacks the immediacy and intensity of on-campus engagement.

Quality of Supervision

The symbiotic relationship with your advisor is the compass guiding your research voyage. An advisor who is both a mentor and a critic, offering timely and constructive feedback, can expedite your journey.

Less engaged supervision may leave you adrift, prolonging the process as you navigate the academic waters largely on your own.

Worse still, if you are unlucky enough, you may end up with supervisors that not only does not help you, but actively attempt to make your study life difficult. These nightmare scenarios do exist, and you should be aware of them.

Financial Stability

The financial underpinnings of your PhD endeavor are more critical than often acknowledged. Consistent funding allows you to dedicate yourself fully to your research, free from financial distractions.

Conversely, the absence of stable support might necessitate part-time employment, diluting focus and extending the timeline.

Resource Availability

Access to specialized resources—be it state-of-the-art laboratories, rare archival collections, or cutting-edge software—can be the wind in your PhD sails.

Limited or delayed access to these essential tools, however, can stall progress, turning what could be a swift journey into a prolonged odyssey.

If you found yourself in a position without the right resources to complete your PhD, consider to propose your university to allow you to work with other universities with what you need. If this is not possible, you can always transfer university, although this would mean more work.

Publishing Requirements

The adage “publish or perish” holds particularly true in the realm of PhD studies. The process of getting your research published, from initial submission to eventual acceptance, is fraught with delays and revisions. Each publication cycle can add months to your timeline,

Yet these publications are crucial stepping stones towards establishing your academic credibility. In fact, some universities want you to publish papers to graduate.

Personal Life and Circumstances

The journey towards a PhD is not undertaken in academic isolation. Life, with its unforeseen challenges and responsibilities, continues.

Personal circumstances can impact your ability to devote time and energy to your studies, necessitating pauses or a reduction in research intensity.

These issues can range from situation such as:

  • such as health issues,
  • family commitments, or
  • significant life events

how long does it take to get a phd

Tips To Earn Your Doctoral Degree Fast

Earning a doctoral degree is a significant academic endeavor, often perceived as a marathon rather than a sprint. However, with strategic planning and focused effort, you can navigate this journey more swiftly than you might expect.

Here are some tips to help you earn your doctoral degree faster, drawing from the experiences and strategies of successful PhD candidates.

Choose Your Program Wisely

The structure of the PhD program you choose can greatly influence how long it takes to complete your degree. Programs that allow you to start your dissertation research early, even while completing your coursework, can save you a considerable amount of time.

Some program are designed to integrate dissertation work with coursework, enabling a more seamless transition into the research phase.

Opt for Full-Time Study If Possible

While part-time PhD programs offer flexibility for working professionals, full-time study allows for a more immersive research experience.

Dedicating all your working hours to your doctoral research can expedite the process, reducing the time it takes to get your PhD significantly.

Secure Adequate Funding

Financial stability is key to focusing fully on your research without the distraction of part-time work. Look for:
  • scholarships,
  • grants, and
  • funding opportunities from your institution.

You can also try to secure funding from external sources like the National Science Foundation. 

Secure funding not only supports your financial needs but also often comes with academic resources that can accelerate your research progress.

Develop a Strong Relationship with Your Advisor

Your advisor is your guide through the PhD process. A supportive advisor can provide invaluable feedback, help you navigate academic challenges, and keep you on track.

Regular meetings and clear communication with your advisor can help you refine your research direction and avoid time-consuming pitfalls.

Focus Your Research

A well-defined research question can provide a clear path forward. The more focused your research, the less likely you are to get bogged down in unmanageable amounts of data or tangential studies.

It’s about depth rather than breadth; delving deeply into a specific area can lead to significant contributions to your field and a quicker path to completion.

can you get a phd in 6 years

Take Advantage of Existing Research and Resources

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Building on existing research and utilizing available resources can save you time. This includes:

  • leveraging datasets,
  • using established methodologies, and c
  • ollaborating with other researchers.

Access to resources like specialized labs or archives, as provided by your institution, can also streamline the research process.

Stay Organized and Manage Your Time Effectively

Good time management is crucial. Set realistic goals, create a timeline for your research and writing, and stick to it.

Tools like Gantt charts can help you visualize your PhD timeline, including key milestones like coursework completion, comprehensive exams, and dissertation chapters.

Get Your PhD Without Taking Too Much Time – Possible

The journey to obtaining a PhD is a unique blend of personal commitment, academic rigor, and research innovation.

While the timeline can vary widely, most candidates find themselves immersed in their studies and research for anywhere from 4 to 6 years. Exceptions can happen, and you may finish earlier or later.

Key factors like your field of study, the nature of your research, and your personal life circumstances play significant roles in shaping your individual journey.

Remember, earning a PhD is more than just a race to the finish line; it’s a profound journey of learning, discovery, and personal growth. Embrace the journey, stay focused, and the day you earn the title of ‘Doctor’ will be a milestone to remember.

can you get a phd in 6 years

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.

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How Long Does It Take to Earn a PhD?

can you get a phd in 6 years

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can you get a phd in 6 years

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How Long Does It Take to Earn a PhD?

How long is a PhD program? That might be one of the first questions you ask yourself If you are thinking of earning a PhD. You have probably heard a range of years, and that is because how long it takes to earn a PhD depends on a number of factors. Keep reading to learn more!! 

What is a PhD? 

PhD stands for a “Doctorate of Philosophy.” This is an academic degree that qualifies the degree holder to teach their chosen subject at university level or to work in a specialized position in their chosen field. In general, the PhD is the highest level of degree a student can achieve. 

Also see: Top fully funded PhD programs

Why get a PhD? 

A PhD is a serious commitment with a serious return on investment. Here is a list of professional and personal benefits for earning a PhD. 

How long does it take to earn a PhD? 

Earning a PhD usually takes between four and seven years to complete, depending on the type of PhD as well as the schools requirements, the students educational background, and personal progress. Students who take full-time classes can typically finish in four years. A typical PhD program requires anywhere from 60 to 120 semester credit hours . 

Why earning a PhD takes years to earn

Assistantship obligations.

Teaching and research assistantships can be very beneficial for the experience they provide and the potential funding, but they can also be time consuming obligations for PhD students. Therefore, assistantships may affect the amount of time it takes to complete a PhD program. 

Comprehensive examinations

Universities often require students to demonstrate their readiness in a PhD program through comprehensive exams. These comprehensive exams may be known as: 

  • Preliminary examinations
  • Major field examinations
  • Comprehensive exams or “Comps”
  • General examinations

Dissertation

A dissertation is an in-depth research document that serves as the culmination of a doctoral program. It is an important document that demonstrates a student’s original research and contribution to their field of study. 

The dissertation involves conducting extensive research, reviewing previous literature, analyzing data, and presenting your findings in a structured manner. Once the dissertation is completed, it is typically defended orally in front of a committee of faculty members who assess the quality and validity of the research. 

Average PhD timeline

The specific of a PhD timeline carried by college and university. However, the following is a good overview of the average PhD program. 

  • Year 1: Take advanced courses
  • Year 2: Take advanced courses and begin preparing for exams
  • Year 3: Study, take and defend your comprehensive exams and begin researching your dissertation proposal
  • Year 4: Begin working on your dissertation
  • Year 5: Finish and defend your dissertation 

Average PhD completion by focus

According to data from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics the average time in years from graduate school entry to doctorate it took students to receive their degree in 2020 in certain fields is listed below. 

  • Life sciences = 6.9 years
  • Physical sciences and earth sciences = 6.3 years
  • Mathematics and computer sciences = 7.0 years
  • Psychology and social sciences = 7.9 years
  • Engineering = 6.8 years
  • Education = 12.0 years
  • Humanities and arts = 9.6 years
  • Other non-S&E fields = 9.3 years

Related : Top 10 PhD in Education programs

How to finish your PhD is less time

Look for accelerated classes.

Accelerated courses are an easy way to reduce the amount of time it takes to finish a PhD. Therefore, look into if your program offers any shorter courses. 

Work on your dissertation throughout the program

Working on your dissertation little by little throughout the program will allow you to speed up your doctoral timeline. In addition, it may reduce the likelihood that you’ll drop out before finishing your final project.

Maintain regular communication with your advisor

Establish regular communication with your advisor or supervisor. Regular meetings can help you receive guidance, address any issues, and ensure you are heading in the right direction.

Seek feedback early and often

Share your work and progress with your advisor, peers, or other trusted individuals often. Then, you should incorporate suggestions and revisions as you go along. This will help you refine your work and avoid major revisions later.  

Maintain a healthy school-life balance

While it is important to be dedicated to your PhD, it’s just as important to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Therefore, be sure to prioritize yourself! While finishing your PhD in less time is a great feat, it is important that you are not sacrificing your well-being while doing so.

Key Takeaways

  • PhD stands for “doctorate of philosophy” and is generally the highest level of degree a student can earn
  • There are many professional and personal benefits to earning a PhD which can lead to a serious return on investment
  • A PhD program typically takes 4-7 years to complete. However, it can take longer or shorter depending on personal circumstances and field of study 
  • With planning and guidance from advisors, students can sometimes complete PhDs in less time

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Frequently asked questions about how long it takes to earn a PhD 

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How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD?

If you aspire to rise to the top of your field, then you may have your sights set on a PhD.

PhD students in a group study

Earning a doctoral degree can be a years-long process, but choosing an accelerated doctoral online program may help you complete your program more quickly.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

Whether you’re wanting to earn one of the highest paying doctoral degrees or you have a specific one in mind, this guide can help walk you through how long it takes to complete your PhD program.

a watch showing years

For a traditional, campus-based PhD program, the average time to finish a PhD is 8 years. Fulfilling the program’s requirements will often demand a serious investment of your time.

Even still, some people are able to finish their programs in just 3 to 6 years. Multiple factors may influence the overall length of your program.

Required Credit Hours

Many PhD programs require you to earn 120 credit hours before entering the exam and dissertation phases.

Fortunately, there are PhD programs without such high credit-hour demands. For example, at some universities, you may earn a PhD with only 60 credit hours.

Full-Time vs. Part-Time Schedule

Enrolling in a doctoral program part-time may allow you to keep up with your regular job. You’ll have to decide whether you prefer the flexibility of part-time schooling or the faster schedule of full-time studies.

Final Project Requirements

Many PhD programs end with the completion of a dissertation. This assignment may take years to complete, so PhD students often end up in the all-but-dissertation (ABD) phase for quite some time.

University Scheduling

Some schools promote their ability to help you through the PhD process faster than normal. Accelerated class schedules with eight-week online courses may speed your studies along. Focused attention from dissertation advisors may help as well.

PhD Program Components

students in class

Before you enroll in a PhD program, it’s important to know some of the basic requirements:

Prerequisites

Most schools require you to already hold a master’s degree, but some offer bachelor’s-to-PhD programs.

Length to Completion

On average, it takes eight years to earn a PhD. Even still, completing doctoral coursework and a dissertation in three to four years is not unheard of.

Topic of Interest

PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be getting a philosophy degree. Your field of study will depend on your interests and the programs that your university offers. You may tailor your doctoral focus though your choice of a dissertation topic.

Steps to Completion

You’ll take advanced classes before sitting for comprehensive exams. After passing your exams, you’ll likely begin working on a dissertation. You must defend your dissertation before finishing your program.

Doctoral studies begin with a series of classes through which you may increase your knowledge of your field of study and learn about conducting research. These are advanced classes, so they should be more in-depth than the ones you took during your undergraduate and master’s programs.

The number of courses that you need to take can vary significantly. It’s not uncommon for PhD programs to require 120 credit hours of coursework. That amounts to about 40 classes.

At other schools, the requirements are lower. Your university’s program may involve just 60 credit hours or, possibly, even fewer. A less intense course load may significantly slash your time to completion.

Your university may require you to maintain a GPA above a minimum threshold. An unsatisfactory GPA may keep you from moving on to the next step of the PhD process.

Comprehensive Examinations

Universities often require students to demonstrate their readiness for a doctoral project before advancing to the next stage of their studies. Readiness is proven through comprehensive exams , which may also be known as:

  • Preliminary examinations
  • Major field examinations
  • General examinations

Often, comprehensive exams take the form of written or oral tests. In other situations, faculty may assess students’ readiness on the basis of a portfolio evaluation or a written paper.

Dissertation and Defense

PhD dissertation paper

A dissertation, also known as a graduate thesis, is a body of work that presents original research in your field. This manuscript focuses on a unique idea and includes evidence to support your thesis. During your doctoral studies, there are classes designed to help prepare you for your dissertation work.

The dissertation process may take several years. Once your manuscript is complete, you must defend it to the doctoral program faculty. After your defense, you may need to do further work on your manuscript, or the committee may decide that your dissertation is complete.

Not all programs require a dissertation. Instead, there may be an alternative doctoral project. Although both dissertations and capstone projects are rigorous, projects can sometimes be completed within a shorter time frame.

Average Time to Complete PhD by Field of Study

Students in some disciplines usually take a lot more time to finish their doctoral work than students in other fields.

If you’re studying in the following scientific fields, you may be more likely to earn your on-campus degree in seven years or less:

  • Physics — average of five years
  • Psychology — average of five to seven years

On the other hand, if your field of study relates more to the humanities, your on-campus degree program may take longer:

  • History — average of eight years
  • English — average of eight years
  • Education — average of 13 years

These are the traditional figures. There are ways to finish faster.

Why Does It Take So Long to Finish a Traditional PhD?

student studying in a college library

Some schools require doctoral students to take around 40 classes, which, in a traditional on-campus setting, may take years. After completing the coursework, you must write your dissertation and defend it. The dissertation process alone might take multiple years.

Doctoral programs online may help shorten the PhD process to three or four years. Fewer credit hours may be required, and the classes may be delivered in an accelerated format.

Schools with an emphasis on quick doctoral programs may also offer dissertation advisors to efficiently guide students through that phase. Alternatively, some universities allow students to complete capstone projects that don’t take as long as dissertations.

Getting a PhD Online vs. Campus

student working on her laptop

Online education has changed students’ options for earning a PhD. These days, aspiring students may choose whether to attend classes on a college campus or online.

Traditional programs may require you to relocate to the university’s campus and attend school full-time. On average, it takes just over eight years to complete those programs. The benefits of choosing an online school instead may include:

Faster Progress

Accelerated eight-week courses may allow you to finish your course load sooner. You may complete your entire program in just three or four years.

Multiple Start Dates

Online programs often let you join throughout the year, so you don’t have to put your studies on hold until the fall semester.

Flexibility

Not being required to move to campus or come to class at set times may allow you to work your studies around your schedule.

Equal Status

Online programs are just as rigorous as on-campus ones. As long as your university is accredited, your degree will be just as valuable as one from a traditional university setting.

Cost-Savings

Finishing your doctoral studies faster may mean that you pay less tuition.

How to Finish Your PhD in Less Time

PhD graduation ceremonies

Although you can’t earn a doctoral degree overnight, you shouldn’t have to spend the majority of your working years striving toward PhD-completion. The following tips for accelerating the PhD process may help you finish your studies more quickly than the average doctoral student.

1. Use What You Already Know

Every school requires a minimum number of credit hours that you must earn in the pursuit of your degree. To help you meet this threshold, some schools will allow you to transfer in credits from other doctoral programs. Universities may also give you credit for your professional experience. Reducing your class load may save you both time and money.

2. Look for Short Classes

Accelerated course schedules are one of the best ways to speed through the degree process. Every eight weeks, you’ll begin a new set of classes. Over the course of a year, there may be five different sessions during which you can take classes.

3. Work on Your Dissertation Throughout the Program

Traditionally, dissertation work begins once the classroom portion of your studies is over. Quick doctoral programs may allow you to begin the dissertation process while you’re still taking other classes. This approach, known as an embedded dissertation, may reduce the likelihood that you’ll drop out before finishing your final project. It might also speed up your doctoral timeline.

4. Ask for Help

A lack of support can lead some doctoral students to drop out. On the other hand, having a good support system can help you push through and finish your program more quickly. Build a team of family, friends, and academic mentors who can encourage you, guide you, and lend practical help when you’re feeling overwhelmed by school.

Why Get a PhD?

You may need to earn a doctoral degree to achieve your career goals . For example, if you want to become a clinical psychologist, this level of study is essential. Many scientific and research positions require doctoral studies. University faculty typically need to hold terminal degrees as well.

Even if a doctorate is not a requirement for your desired line of work, it may help you achieve greater success. You might be granted higher levels of responsibility, and you may earn more money. In some fields, those who hold PhDs make around 20% more than those with master’s degrees, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics .

Do You Have to Have a Master’s Degree to Get a PhD?

Many schools consider a master’s degree an essential prerequisite for PhD admission. If you don’t already have a master’s degree, a bachelor’s-to-doctorate program may allow you to earn a master’s and a PhD for less time and money than it would take to pursue them separately.

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD After a Master’s?

You may be able to complete your doctoral program in three to four years if you opt for an accelerated online program. On average, traditional on-campus PhD programs take around eight years to complete.

How Hard Is It to Finish a PhD?

Doctoral studies are challenging. That shouldn’t come as a surprise; if doctorates were easy to acquire, nearly every college graduate would end up with a PhD behind his or her name.

Approximately 50% of students who begin a PhD program don’t end up finishing. Many quit within two years of starting. Another large portion gives up upon reaching the dissertation phase.

Although all PhD programs are challenging, the flexible nature of online programs may help you find success. Choosing a doctoral track that doesn’t require a dissertation may help as well.

What Is the Easiest PhD to Get?

Easiest PhD to Get

All PhD programs are demanding, but you might have an easier time if you select a program that aligns with your interests and your career goals. The flexibility of online study may help your doctoral program seem less burdensome. In addition, capstone projects are sometimes easier than writing dissertations.

If earning a doctoral degree in a short time frame is important to you, then consider the many potential benefits that online programs have to offer. Within just a few years, you may be able to place the letters “PhD” at the end of your name.

can you get a phd in 6 years

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How Long Does It Take to Get a Ph.D. Degree?

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Earning a Ph.D. from a U.S. grad school typically requires nearly six years, federal statistics show.

can you get a phd in 6 years

(CAIAIMAGE/TOM MERTON/GETTY IMAGES)

A Ph.D. is most appropriate for someone who is a “lifelong learner.” 

Students who have excelled within a specific academic discipline and who have a strong interest in that field may choose to pursue a Ph.D. degree. However, Ph.D. degree-holders urge prospective students to think carefully about whether they truly want or need a doctoral degree, since Ph.D. programs last for multiple years.

According to the Survey of Earned Doctorates, a census of recent research doctorate recipients who earned their degree from U.S. institutions, the median amount of time it took individuals who received their doctorates in 2017 to complete their program was 5.8 years. However, there are many types of programs that typically take longer than six years to complete, such as humanities and arts doctorates, where the median time for individuals to earn their degree was 7.1 years, according to the survey.

Some Ph.D. candidates begin doctoral programs after they have already obtained master’s degrees, which means the time spent in grad school is a combination of the time spent pursuing a master’s and the years invested in a doctorate. In order to receive a Ph.D. degree, a student must produce and successfully defend an original academic dissertation, which must be approved by a dissertation committtee. Writing and defending a dissertation is so difficult that many Ph.D. students drop out of their Ph.D. programs having done most of the work necessary for degree without completing the dissertation component. These Ph.D. program dropouts often use the phrase “ all but dissertation ” or the abbreviation “ABD” on their resumes.

According to a comprehensive study of  Ph.D. completion rates  published by The Council of Graduate Schools in 2008, only 56.6% of people who begin Ph.D. programs earn Ph.D. degrees.

Ian Curtis, a founding partner with H&C Education, an educational and admissions consulting firm, who is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in French at Yale University , says there are several steps involved in the process of obtaining a Ph.D. Students typically need to fulfill course requirements and pass comprehensive exams, Curtis warns. “Once these obligations have been completed, how long it takes you to write your dissertation depends on who you are, how you work, what field you’re in and what other responsibilities you have in life,” he wrote in an email. Though some Ph.D. students can write a dissertation in a single year, that is rare, and the dissertation writing process may last for several years, Curtis says.

[ READ: What Is a Doctorate or a Doctoral Degree?  ]

Curtis adds that the level of support a Ph.D. student receives from an academic advisor or faculty mentor can be a key factor in determining the length of time it takes to complete a Ph.D. program. “Before you decide to enroll at a specific program, you’ll want to meet your future advisor,” Curtis advises. “Also, reach out to his or her current and former students to get a sense of what he or she is like to work with.”

Curtis also notes that if there is a gap between the amount of time it takes to complete a Ph.D. and the amount of time a student’s funding lasts, this can slow down the Ph.D. completion process. “Keep in mind that if you run out of funding at some point during your doctorate, you will need to find paid work, and this will leave you even less time to focus on writing your dissertation,” he says. “If one of the programs you’re looking at has a record of significantly longer – or shorter – times to competition, this is good information to take into consideration.”

Pierre Huguet, the CEO and co-founder of H&C Education, says prospective Ph.D. students should be aware that a Ph.D. is designed to prepare a person for a career as a scholar. “Most of the jobs available to Ph.D. students upon graduation are academic in nature and directly related to their fields of study: professor, researcher, etc.,” Huguet wrote in an email. “The truth is that more specialization can mean fewer job opportunities. Before starting a Ph.D., students should be sure that they want to pursue a career in academia, or in research. If not, they should make time during the Ph.D. to show recruiters that they’ve traveled beyond their labs and libraries to gain some professional hands-on experience.”

Jack Appleman, a business writing instructor, published author and Ph.D. candidate focusing on organizational communication with the  University at Albany—SUNY , says Ph.D. programs require a level of commitment and focus that goes beyond what is necessary for a typical corporate job. A program with flexible course requirements that allow a student to customize his or her curriculum based on academic interests and personal obligations is ideal, he says.

[ READ: Ph.D. Programs Get a Lot More Practical.  ]

Joan Kee, a professor at the University of Michigan  with the university’s history of art department, says that the length of time required for a Ph.D. varies widely depending on what subject the Ph.D. focuses on. “Ph.D. program length is very discipline and even field-specific; for example, you can and are expected to finish a Ph.D, in economics in under five years, but that would be impossible in art history (or most of the humanities),” she wrote in an email.

Jean Marie Carey, who earned her Ph.D. degree in art history and German from the  University of Otago  in New Zealand, encourages prospective Ph.D. students to check whether their potential Ph.D. program has published a timeline of how long it takes a Ph.D. student to complete their program. She says it is also prudent to speak with Ph.D. graduates of the school and ask about their experience.

Bennett urges prospective Ph.D. students to visit the campuses of their target graduate programs since a Ph.D. program takes so much time that it is important to find a school that feels comfortable. She adds that aspiring Ph.D. students who prefer a collaborative learning environment should be wary of graduate programs that have a cut-throat and competitive atmosphere, since such students may not thrive in that type of setting.

[ READ: 4 Fields Where Doctorates Lead to Jobs.  ]

Alumni of Ph.D. programs note that the process of obtaining a Ph.D. is arduous, regardless of the type of Ph.D. program. “A Ph.D. is a long commitment of your time, energy and financial resources, so it’ll be easier on you if you are passionate about research,” says Grace Lee, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and is the founder and CEO of Mastery Insights, an education and career coaching company, and the host of the Career Revisionist podcast.

“A Ph.D. isn’t about rehashing years of knowledge that is already out there, but rather it is about your ability to generate new knowledge. Your intellectual masterpiece (which is your dissertation) takes a lot of time, intellectual creativity and innovation to put together, so you have to be truly passionate about that,” Lee says.

Erin Skelly, a graduate admissions counselor at the IvyWise admissions consulting firm, says when a Ph.D. students struggles to complete his or her Ph.D. degree, it may have more to do with the student’s academic interests or personal circumstances than his or her program.

“The time to complete a Ph.D. can depend on a number of variables, but the specific discipline or school would only account for a year or two’s difference,” she wrote in an email. “When a student takes significantly longer to complete a Ph.D. (degree), it’s usually related to the student’s coursework and research – they need to take additional coursework to complete their comprehensive exams; they change the focus of their program or dissertation, requiring extra coursework or research; or their research doesn’t yield the results they hoped for, and they need to generate a new theory and conduct more research.”

Skelly warns that the average completion time of a Ph.D. program may be misleading in some cases, if the average is skewed based on one or two outliers. She suggests that instead of focusing on the duration of a particular Ph.D. program, prospective students should investigate the program’s attritition and graduation rates.

“It is worthwhile to look at the program requirements and the school’s proposed timeline for completion, and meet current students to get their input on how realistic these expectations for completion are,” Skelly says. “That can give you an honest idea of how long it will really take to complete the program.”

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Students in our PhD programs are encouraged from day one to think of this experience as their first job in business academia—a training ground for a challenging and rewarding career generating rigorous, relevant research that influences practice.

Our doctoral students work with faculty and access resources throughout HBS and Harvard University. The PhD program curriculum requires coursework at HBS and other Harvard discipline departments, and with HBS and Harvard faculty on advisory committees. Faculty throughout Harvard guide the programs through their participation on advisory committees.

How do I know which program is right for me?

There are many paths, but we are one HBS. Our PhD students draw on diverse personal and professional backgrounds to pursue an ever-expanding range of research topics. Explore more here about each program’s requirements & curriculum, read student profiles for each discipline as well as student research , and placement information.

The PhD in Business Administration grounds students in the disciplinary theories and research methods that form the foundation of an academic career. Jointly administered by HBS and GSAS, the program has five areas of study: Accounting and Management , Management , Marketing , Strategy , and Technology and Operations Management . All areas of study involve roughly two years of coursework culminating in a field exam. The remaining years of the program are spent conducting independent research, working on co-authored publications, and writing the dissertation. Students join these programs from a wide range of backgrounds, from consulting to engineering. Many applicants possess liberal arts degrees, as there is not a requirement to possess a business degree before joining the program

The PhD in Business Economics provides students the opportunity to study in both Harvard’s world-class Economics Department and Harvard Business School. Throughout the program, coursework includes exploration of microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, probability and statistics, and econometrics. While some students join the Business Economics program directly from undergraduate or masters programs, others have worked in economic consulting firms or as research assistants at universities or intergovernmental organizations.

The PhD program in Health Policy (Management) is rooted in data-driven research on the managerial, operational, and strategic issues facing a wide range of organizations. Coursework includes the study of microeconomic theory, management, research methods, and statistics. The backgrounds of students in this program are quite varied, with some coming from public health or the healthcare industry, while others arrive at the program with a background in disciplinary research

The PhD program in Organizational Behavior offers two tracks: either a micro or macro approach. In the micro track, students focus on the study of interpersonal relationships within organizations and the effects that groups have on individuals. Students in the macro track use sociological methods to examine organizations, groups, and markets as a whole, including topics such as the influence of individuals on organizational change, or the relationship between social missions and financial objectives. Jointly administered by HBS and GSAS, the program includes core disciplinary training in sociology or psychology, as well as additional coursework in organizational behavior.

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Getting a Ph.D. in Psychology

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

can you get a phd in 6 years

Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

can you get a phd in 6 years

Verywell / Evan Polenghi

Ph.D. vs. Psy.D.

Job opportunities, earning a degree, specialty areas, alternatives.

Getting a Ph.D. in psychology can open up a whole new world of career opportunities. For many careers paths in psychology-related career paths, a doctoral degree is necessary to obtain work and certification. A Ph.D. is one option, but it is not the only educational path that's available to reach some of these goals.

A Ph.D., or doctor of philosophy, is one of the highest level degrees you can earn in the field of psychology . If you're considering pursuing a graduate degree, you might be wondering how long it takes to earn a Ph.D. in psychology . Generally, a bachelor's degree takes four years of study. While a master's degree requires an additional two to three years of study beyond the bachelor's, a doctoral degree can take between four to six years of additional graduate study after earning your bachelor's degree.

Recently, a new degree option known as the Psy.D. , or doctor of psychology, has grown in popularity as an alternative to the Ph.D. The type of degree you decide to pursue depends on a variety of factors, including your own interests and your career aspirations.

Before deciding which is right for you, research your options and decide if graduate school in psychology is even the best choice for you. Depending on your career goals, you might need to earn a master's or doctoral degree in psychology in order to practice in your chosen field. In other instances, a degree in a similar subject such as counseling or social work may be more appropriate.

A doctorate in psychology is required if you want to open your own private practice.

If you want to become a licensed psychologist, you must earn either a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. in clinical or counseling psychology.

In most cases, you will also need a doctorate if you want to teach and conduct research at the college or university level. While there are some opportunities available for people with a master's degree in various specialty fields, such as industrial-organizational psychology and health psychology , those with a doctorate will generally find higher pay, greater job demand, and more opportunity for growth.

In order to earn a Ph.D. in psychology, you need to first begin by earning your bachelor's degree. While earning your undergraduate degree in psychology can be helpful, students with bachelor's degrees in other subjects can also apply their knowledge to psychology Ph.D. programs . Some students in doctorate programs may have a master's degree in psychology , but most doctorate programs do not require it.

After you’ve been admitted to a graduate program, it generally takes at least four years to earn a Ph.D. and another year to complete an internship. Once these requirements have been fulfilled, you can take state and national exams to become licensed to practice psychology in the state where you wish to work.

Once you enter the graduate level of psychology, you will need to choose an area of specialization, such as clinical psychology , counseling psychology, health psychology, or cognitive psychology . The American Psychological Association (APA) accredits graduate programs in three areas: clinical, counseling, and school psychology.   If you are interested in going into one of these specialty areas, it's important to choose a school that has received accreditation through the APA.

For many students, the choice may come down to a clinical psychology program versus a counseling psychology program. There are many similarities between these two Ph.D. options, but there are important distinctions that students should consider. Clinical programs may have more of a research focus while counseling programs tend to focus more on professional practice. The path you choose will depend largely on what you plan to do after you complete your degree.

Of course, the Ph.D. in psychology is not the only graduate degree option. The Psy.D. is a doctorate degree option that you might also want to consider. While there are many similarities between these two degrees, traditional Ph.D. programs tend to be more research-oriented while Psy.D. programs are often more practice-oriented.

The Ph.D. option may be your top choice if you want to mix professional practice with teaching and research, while the Psy.D. option may be preferred if you want to open your own private psychology practice.

In the book "An Insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology," authors John C. Norcross and Michael A. Sayette suggest that one of the key differences between the two-degree options is that the Ph.D. programs train producers of research while Psy.D. programs train consumers of research. However, professional opportunities for practice are very similar with both degree types.

Research suggests that there are few discernible differences in terms of professional recognition, employment opportunities, or clinical skills between students trained in the Ph.D. or Psy.D. models. One of the few differences is that those with a Ph.D. degree are far more likely to be employed in academic settings and medical schools.

Social work, counseling, education, and the health sciences are other graduate options that you may want to consider if you decide that a doctorate degree is not the best fit for your interests and career goals.

A Word From Verywell

If you are considering a Ph.D. in psychology, spend some time carefully researching your options and thinking about your future goals. A doctoral degree is a major commitment of time, resources, and effort, so it is worth it to take time to consider the right option for your goals. The Ph.D. in psychology can be a great choice if you are interested in being a scientist-practitioner in the field and want to combine doing research with professional practice. It's also great training if you're interested in working at a university where you would teach classes and conduct research on psychological topics.

University of Pennsylvania; School of Arts and Sciences. Information for applicants .

American Psychological Association. Doctoral degrees in psychology: How are they different, or not so different?

U.S. Department of Labor.  Psychologists . Occupational Outlook Handbook .

Norcross JC, Sayette MA. An Insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology (2020/2021 ed.) . New York, NY: The Guilford Press; 2020.

Davis SF, Giordano PJ, Licht CA. Your Career in Psychology: Putting Your Graduate Degree to Work . John Wiley & Sons; 2012. doi:10.1002/9781444315929

US Department of Education. Bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees conferred by postsecondary institutions, by sex of student and discipline division: 2016-17 .

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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Understand the Human Experience from a Biblical Worldview with an Online PhD in Psychology

Do you want to deepen your knowledge in psychology and use your research to contribute to the field of understanding human behavior? Liberty University’s PhD in Psychology can provide rigorous research training that can better prepare you for a career in academia and research. An online PhD in Psychology is ideal for students who want to bring new knowledge of human behavior to the field and find new ways to help people heal, grow, and thrive.

Liberty’s PhD in Psychology is designed to prepare you to evaluate research and to understand the truth about human behavior from a biblical worldview. Our mission is to  Train Champions for Christ , and we fulfill this mission by training professionals to use science and biblical values to understand the full breadth of the human experience. Our unique, biblically-based approach to this field can help prepare you to make a positive impact on those you work with.

With Liberty’s PhD in Psychology, you can take part in optional face-to-face on-campus intensives that will allow you to meet faculty and other students while you develop your professional and research skills.

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What Will You Study in Our PhD in Psychology Degree?

Liberty’s online PhD in Psychology is designed to build on your previous study and experience in human psychology and develop you into a researcher and psychologist who demonstrates ethical and academic excellence while integrating biblical values into your practice.

Through this program, you will:

  • Learn how an appreciation of biblical values enhances psychiatric practice by putting human value at the forefront of technique and theory.
  • Develop a grounded critical approach to psychiatric research and theory while integrating a biblical worldview into approaches to current issues in psychology.
  • Master psychiatric research and writing techniques that can establish your work in the study of human behavior.
  • Complete dissertation research through your program with mentorship from your professors so that you have the option to present research at conferences.

Through this program, you will be encouraged to become a thought leader on a variety of topics related to the human experience. Our goal is to help you venture into the world of psychiatric research and practice and offer insights based on biblical foundations of truth that can help people heal and thrive.

Featured Courses

  • PSYC 510 — Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology I
  • PSYC 710 — Psychological Research and Biblical Worldview
  • PSYC 716 — Theories and Research in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • PSYC 775 — Teaching of Psychology

Degree Information

  • This program falls under the  School of Behavioral Sciences .
  • View the  Graduate Behavioral Sciences Course Guides   (login required).
  • View the  PhD in Psychology Dissertation Handbook
  • The online PhD in Psychology is a non-clinical, non-licensure program.

Why Choose Liberty’s Online Degree?

To help you meet your educational goals in a way that fits your life, our online PhD in Psychology provides scheduling flexibility and keeps affordability in mind. Our PhD in Psychology’s online format allows you to take your classes from home without traveling to campus. However, this program still provides a community of psychology professionals and the ability to take optional intensive courses to allow you to connect in person.

Throughout this program, Liberty incorporates a biblical worldview into your instruction. This perspective in your research and practical training in psychology can help you develop professional and academic excellence without compromising an ethical appreciation for human life. Additionally, our caring faculty are devoted to helping you grow personally and academically.

With our online PhD in Psychology, you can learn effective clinical techniques, essential behavioral theory, and develop your research and writing expertise. You can be equipped with a thorough understanding of human thought and behavior while developing your own research to further the field.

Earning a PhD in Psychology online with Liberty means that you will be trained to engage with research and psychiatric practice critically and biblically. If you are interested in becoming a thoughtful, articulate, and research-focused professional, then this is the program for you.

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Potential Career Opportunities for PhD in Psychology Graduates

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Degree Options for Our PhD in Psychology Program

Focus your studies in psychology with a specialization.

Behavioral Health Leadership

Through the  PhD in Psychology – Behavioral Health Leadership , you can hone your research and leadership skills as you prepare to pursue administrative and management positions in mental and behavioral health organizations.

View the Degree Completion Plan .

Developmental Psychology

Through the online  PhD in Psychology – Developmental Psychology , you can learn about research theory related to human development, including cognitive development, social development, and language development.

General Psychology

The online PhD in Psychology – General Psychology provides an in-depth study of advanced psychiatric research and practice while giving you room to customize your course content.

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

In the online  PhD in Psychology – Industrial/Organizational Psychology  track, you will study human behavior in organizations and the workplace. You will focus on deriving principles of individual, group, and organizational behavior and applying that knowledge to developing solutions for challenges in the workplace.

Social Psychology

In the online  PhD in Psychology – Social Psychology  track, you can learn about research and theory related to social processes and relationships, attitudes, and other constructs related to social psychology.

In the online  PhD in Psychology – Theology  track, you can learn how to study the Bible and integrate that study of the Bible with research in psychology to further your understanding of psychological concepts.

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Your success is our success, which is why we are committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we have frozen tuition rates for the majority of our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years – and counting.

Eligible current and former military service members and their spouses may qualify for a special rate of $300/credit hour ( learn more ) .

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Admission Information for Our PhD in Psychology

Admission requirements.

  • A non-refundable, non-transferable $50 application fee will be posted on the current application upon enrollment (waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses – documentation verifying military status is required) .
  • Send official college transcripts (mailed as sealed, unopened copies or sent via a direct electronic transcript system). A regionally or nationally accredited master’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA is required for admission in good standing.
  • Contact information  for 2 recommenders is required (approved recommenders are the student’s former college professors or supervisors).
  • Statement of Purpose  is required (1,000-1,500 words, double spaced).
  • Departmental approval is required.
  • Applicants whose native language is other than English must submit official scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an approved alternative assessment. For information on alternative assessments or TOEFL waivers, please call Admissions or view the official International Admissions policy .

Preliminary Acceptance

If you are sending in a preliminary transcript for acceptance, you must:

  • Be in your final term and planning to start your doctoral degree after the last day of class for your master’s degree.
  • Complete a Master’s Self-Certification Form confirming your completion date. You may download the form from the Forms and Downloads page or contact an admissions counselor to submit the form on your behalf.
  • Submit an official transcript to confirm that you are in your final term. The preliminary transcript must show that you are within 6 credit hours of completion for a 30-48 credit hour master’s degree or within 9 credit hours of completion for a 49+ credit hour master’s degree.
  • Send in an additional, final official transcript with a conferral date on it by the end of your first semester of enrollment in the new doctoral degree.

Transcript Policies

Official college transcript policy.

An acceptable official college transcript is one that has been issued directly from the institution and is in a sealed envelope. If you have one in your possession, it must meet the same requirements. If your previous institution offers electronic official transcript processing, they can send the document directly to [email protected] .

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We want to help you find the doctoral degree you want – at a price you’ve earned. As a thank-you for your military service, Liberty University offers eligible current and former service members like you or your spouse multiple pathways to earn a doctoral degree for only $300/credit hour . Find out how you can take advantage of this unique opportunity as you work toward your goal of reaching the pinnacle of your profession – for less.

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You can meet faculty and fellow students in person through optional on-campus intensives.

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Through your dissertation, you can contribute to the understanding of human experience and behavior.

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RIT graduate pursues Ph.D. across time zones

Nastaran Nagshineh is shown with other faculty in a small room where she defended her thesis.

Nastaran Nagshineh, center, defended her Ph.D. thesis at RIT in April. Faculty from RIT’s Rochester and Dubai campuses served on her thesis committee and include, from left to right, Kathleen Lamkin-Kennard, Steven Weinstein, Nathaniel Barlow, and David Kofke (a professor at the University at Buffalo). Mohamed Samaha participated remotely and appears on the video screen behind the group and alongside Nagshineh’s picture.

Nastaran Nagshineh is one of the first Ph.D. candidates to bridge RIT’s Rochester and Dubai campuses. Her accomplishment creates a path for future students at the university’s international campuses.

Nagshineh completed her Ph.D. in mathematical modeling while working full time as a mathematics lecturer at RIT Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, teaching as many as five classes a semester. She described her Ph.D. journey as “an exercise in perseverance” due to competing demands and long days. Rochester is eight hours behind Dubai, and the time difference meant many late-night classes and meetings.

“I saw this collaboration as an opportunity, rather than as a challenge, because my primary adviser, Dr. Steven Weinstein (RIT professor of chemical engineering), and my co-adviser, Dr. Mohamed Samaha (RIT Dubai associate professor of mechanical engineering), both have the same area of research interest,” she said. “They both worked toward my success.”

Nagshineh is one of 67 RIT Ph.D. students who defended their thesis this academic year and who will earn their doctorate. RIT awarded 63 Ph.D. degrees in 2023.

In 2020-2021, RIT’s Graduate School met and surpassed the university’s goal of conferring 50 Ph.D. degrees during an academic year. That number will continue to grow as students cycle through the seven new Ph.D. programs that RIT has added since 2017, said Diane Slusarski , dean of RIT’s Graduate School.

Meeting these goals puts RIT on a path toward achieving an “R1,” or research-intensive designation, from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Learning. RIT is currently ranked as an R2 institution . Many factors go into changing a university’s status, including research investment and maintaining a three-year average of 70 Ph.D. degrees awarded per year, according to Slusarski.

“We have met the goals of the strategic plan, and now we look forward to contributing to the research innovation in the future,” Slusarski said. “We want to help the new programs thrive and win national research awards.”

RIT’s emphasis on high-level research is seen in Nagshineh’s Ph.D. work. She applies mathematical modeling to the field of fluid dynamics. Her research has been published in top-tier journals and has gained notice, said Weinstein, her thesis adviser.

Weinstein describes Nagshineh’s accomplishments as “a testament to a fantastic work ethic and commitment” and is inspirational to younger students at Rochester and Dubai.

“The collaboration between RIT Dubai/Rochester has continued,” he said. “Another paper was submitted a few weeks ago with Mohamed Samaha and Nate Barlow (RIT associate professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics) as co-authors, as well as Cade Reinberger, a younger Ph.D. student in my research group.”

Mathematical modeling is one of RIT’s newer Ph.D. degree programs, and Nagshineh is among its earliest graduates. The program has doubled in size since it began accepting students in 2017, Slusarski said. This past fall, the mathematical modeling program had 35 students, with two graduating this year.

Altogether, RIT has 13 Ph.D. degree programs currently enrolling 438 students, with computing and information sciences accounting for the largest with 117 students. RIT’s other Ph.D. programs include astrophysical sciences and technology , biomedical and chemical engineering , business administration , color science , electrical and computer engineering, imaging science , mechanical and industrial engineering , microsystems engineering , and sustainability .

New programs in cognitive science and physics will launch in the fall.

The growth in RIT graduate education—with more than 3,000 master’s and doctoral students—reflects a demographic change in the student population, Slusarski said. “We have a higher percentage of women in the graduate programs than we have for RIT undergraduate programs.”

RIT’s graduate programs enroll 42 percent women, according to Christie Leone , assistant dean for the Graduate School.

Nagshineh, who also holds an MS in electrical engineering from RIT Dubai, welcomes her role as a mentor to other women students on both campuses.

“As a young woman in an Arabic country, the power of women is often underestimated and undervalued, and I hope to serve as a role model to female students, especially those that question their path,” Nagshineh said.

She plans to continue in her career as a professor and a researcher. “I would like to pursue a research program where I can advise my own students and teach them more deeply.”

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'a college age girl is shown standing on a bridge overlooking a town in Kosovo.'

New graduate Peyton D’Anthony wins Fulbright award to teach in Kosovo

Peyton D’Anthony enjoys identifying patterns and creating new connections. Those are just two of the skills she hopes to instill in her students as a teacher in Kosovo this fall.

'a college age boy is shown in a suit jacket and white shirt leaning on a staircase railing and looking towards the left.'

Graduate Joseph Casale ready to return to Malaysia as a Fulbright awardee

Joseph Casale had hardly been on a plane when he traveled to Malaysia to do research a year ago. Now, he gets the opportunity to do it again.

'a headshot of Mikkael Lamoca is shown on a white background with an orange square to the right with text that shows his name.'

Mikkael Lamoca receives Fulbright scholarship to complete cutting-edge STEM cell research

Conducting hands-on research was a hallmark of the time Mikkael Lamoca ‘24 (biomedical engineering), ‘24 MS (science, technology, and public policy) spent at RIT. A Fulbright award presents him a new opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research at one of the top universities in Asia.

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  1. How Long Does It Take To Get a PhD?

    can you get a phd in 6 years

  2. How to get a PhD: Steps and Requirements Explained

    can you get a phd in 6 years

  3. How to get a PhD: Steps and Requirements Explained

    can you get a phd in 6 years

  4. How Long Does It Take To Get a PhD?

    can you get a phd in 6 years

  5. How Many Years Does It Take For A Doctoral Degree

    can you get a phd in 6 years

  6. How to get your phd? study.com

    can you get a phd in 6 years

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COMMENTS

  1. How Long Does It Take to Get a Ph.D. Degree?

    Kee says funding for a humanities Ph.D. program typically only lasts five years, even though it is uncommon for someone to obtain a Ph.D. degree in a humanities field within that time frame ...

  2. How Long Does it Take to Get a PhD? A Go-Getter's Guide

    On average, it takes 4-5 years to complete a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program. In the US, most PhD programs are between 4-6 years, while in Canada they are typically shorter, around 3-4 years. Some students take longer than 6 years to complete their PhD, but in general the longest time it takes to get a PhD is capped at 8 years.

  3. How Long Does it Take To Get A PhD? Doctorate Degree Timeline

    The journey to obtaining a PhD is a unique blend of personal commitment, academic rigor, and research innovation. While the timeline can vary widely, most candidates find themselves immersed in their studies and research for anywhere from 4 to 6 years. Exceptions can happen, and you may finish earlier or later.

  4. How Long Does It Take To Get a PhD?

    A PhD program typically takes four to seven years, but a variety of factors can impact that timeline. A PhD, or doctorate degree, is the highest degree you can earn in certain disciplines, such as psychology, engineering, education, and mathematics. As a result, it often takes longer to earn than it does for a bachelor's or master's degree.

  5. What Is a PhD?

    A Doctor of Philosophy, often known as a PhD, is a terminal degree—or the highest possible academic degree you can earn in a subject. While PhD programs (or doctorate programs) are often structured to take between four and five years, some graduate students may take longer as they balance the responsibilities of coursework, original research, and other degree requirements with raising ...

  6. How Long Does A PhD Take?

    In the UK, a full-time PhD will typically take you 3 to 4 years. You will usually spend the first three years on the technical aspects of your doctorate. This includes undertaking independent research, designing your research methodology and collecting and analysing data. You will then spend an additional academic year on writing up your PhD ...

  7. The PhD Journey

    7 stages of the PhD journey. A PhD has a few landmark milestones along the way. The three to four year you'll spend doing a PhD can be divided into these seven stages. Preparing a research proposal. Carrying out a literature review. Conducting research and collecting results. Completing the MPhil to PhD upgrade.

  8. PhD in USA

    A PhD in USA takes 5-6 years, costs between $12-45k per year and has a different structure to UK and EU PhDs. Find out if a US PhD is for you! ... A PhD in USA takes approximately 5 - 6 years of full-time study and can cost between $12,000 - $45,000 per academic year. PhD programs in USA differ from that in the UK and Europe in that ...

  9. PhD Duration: How Long Will Your Doctorate Take?

    3 to 4 years. In the USA, a PhD takes four to six years. There are several reasons for this. While in the UK, you tend to apply for a specific project, in the US, your application is aimed at a certain department and your actual proposal takes shape in the first couple of years of PhD study. The US model involves a two-phase programme, wherein ...

  10. How long does it take to get a PhD?

    In the United States, PhDs usually take between 5-7 years: 2 years of coursework followed by 3-5 years of independent research work to produce a dissertation. In the rest of the world, students normally have a master's degree before beginning the PhD, so they proceed directly to the research stage and complete a PhD in 3-5 years.

  11. How Long Does It Take to Earn a PhD?

    Earning a PhD usually takes between four and seven years to complete, depending on the type of PhD as well as the schools requirements, the students educational background, and personal progress. Students who take full-time classes can typically finish in four years. A typical PhD program requires anywhere from 60 to 120 semester credit hours .

  12. How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD?

    For a traditional, campus-based PhD program, the average time to finish a PhD is 8 years. Fulfilling the program's requirements will often demand a serious investment of your time. Even still, some people are able to finish their programs in just 3 to 6 years. Multiple factors may influence the overall length of your program.

  13. I wasted six years of my life getting a PhD degree. What should I do

    If your supervisor offered you a postdoc position after having you for 6 years as a PhD student, it means that they consider your work useful. ... Unfortunately, that's about as far as a stranger on the internet can get you. Speak to friends, speak to a psychologist, speak to anyone willing to listen, speak to yourself and try to figure out ...

  14. How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Psychology?

    The answer can vary depending on your program, educational background, and academic schedule. In general, most PhD psychology programs take anywhere from five to seven years to complete. Learning more about what it takes to get a doctorate in psychology can help you better plan your educational and career journey.

  15. How Long Does It Take to Get a Ph.D. Degree?

    However, there are many types of programs that typically take longer than six years to complete, such as humanities and arts doctorates, where the median time for individuals to earn their degree was 7.1 years, according to the survey. Some Ph.D. candidates begin doctoral programs after they have already obtained master's degrees, which means ...

  16. PhD Programs

    Students in our PhD programs are encouraged from day one to think of this experience as their first job in business academia—a training ground for a challenging and rewarding career generating rigorous, relevant research that influences practice. Our doctoral students work with faculty and access resources throughout HBS and Harvard University.

  17. Is an MD/PhD program right for me? Advice on becoming a physician

    Here are some typical numbers: MD/PhD program, 8 years. Residency, 3-6 years. Postdoctoral fellowship, 3-6 years. ... If you plan to get a PhD in one of the laboratory sciences, then prior laboratory experience counts heavily, particularly if you spent a year or more in the same laboratory. Summer laboratory experience can be helpful ...

  18. Getting a Ph.D. in Psychology

    In order to earn a Ph.D. in psychology, you need to first begin by earning your bachelor's degree. While earning your undergraduate degree in psychology can be helpful, students with bachelor's degrees in other subjects can also apply their knowledge to psychology Ph.D. programs. Some students in doctorate programs may have a master's degree in ...

  19. Doctorate in Psychology (Ph.D. and Psy.D.) Program Guide

    September Payscale data for 2023 reports the average salary for graduates with a Psy.D. as $92,000. This is considerably higher than the 2023 national median salary of $48,060, and for many psychologists, the financial and emotional rewards justify the cost and time spent in a doctorate of psychology program.

  20. Which is more impressive -- finishing a PhD in 2.5 years or getting

    On the other hand, if you want to go into non-academic industry, you might impress people with a fast Ph.D. because you'd show yourself to be the sort of person who can finish big things fast. If you're only 2.5 years in, unless you have an offer from someplace and need to finish ASAP, and especially if you're enjoying your Ph.D.,

  21. Find Online Ph.D. Programs

    Unlike other doctoral programs, you can complete an Ed.D. in as little as two years. One of the highest-paying roles you can get with an Ed.D. or Ph.D. in education is postsecondary education administrator. These professionals take home a median salary of $99,940 (BLS, May 2022).

  22. 1-Year Online Doctoral Programs: Fast Track Your Doctorate

    1-Year Doctoral Programs. There are only a few accelerated doctoral programs available, but they do exist. One such program is offered by Breyer State Theology University, which provides a one-year doctor of psychology program tailored to those interested in becoming grief counselors. As with other accelerated programs, applicants are required ...

  23. Completing PhD in 3-4 years? : r/AskAcademia

    To get a new cohort of mice (assuming your mice are backcrossed), the breeding can take ~2 months. For my PhD, the mice had to be 6-8 weeks old before starting Western diet, and then they would stay on Western diet anywhere from 6 to 25 weeks. Things go much faster if you just work with cell culture.

  24. Online PhD in Psychology

    An online PhD in Psychology is ideal for students who want to bring new knowledge of human behavior to the field and find new ways to help people heal, grow, and thrive. Liberty's PhD in ...

  25. RIT graduate pursues Ph.D. across time zones

    RIT awarded 63 Ph.D. degrees in 2023. In 2020-2021, RIT's Graduate School met and surpassed the university's goal of conferring 50 Ph.D. degrees during an academic year. That number will continue to grow as students cycle through the seven new Ph.D. programs that RIT has added since 2017, said Diane Slusarski, dean of RIT's Graduate School.

  26. Online Computer Science & Engineering Degrees

    With a bachelor's degree in computer science or your master's degree in computer science, you can expect to take courses in programming, security, computer systems, data visualization, and much more.While a bachelor's degree can be a great entry point into the subject matter, a master's degree will deepen your understanding while allowing you the space to specialize in a more niched ...