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

how many years for your phd

A Ph.D. is most appropriate for someone who is a "lifelong learner." (Caiaimage/Tom Merton/Getty Images)

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.

How to Write M.D.-Ph.D. Application Essays

Ilana Kowarski May 15, 2018

how many years for your phd

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.

Online Doctoral Programs: What to Expect

Ronald Wellman March 23, 2018

how many years for your phd

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."

Searching for a grad school? Access our complete rankings of Best Graduate Schools.

Tags: graduate schools , education , students

You May Also Like

Premed communication with patients: tips.

Rachel Rizal Dec. 28, 2023

how many years for your phd

Graduate School Application Timeline

Kate Rix Dec. 22, 2023

how many years for your phd

Law School Applicants and Legal Markets

Gabriel Kuris Dec. 18, 2023

how many years for your phd

Medical School Interviews: A Guide

Jarek Rutz Dec. 13, 2023

how many years for your phd

Apps That Support LSAT Prep

Gabriel Kuris Dec. 11, 2023

how many years for your phd

Pick the Right Advanced Nursing Degree

Andrew Bauld Dec. 7, 2023

how many years for your phd

10 Med Schools With the Most Applicants

Cole Claybourn Dec. 5, 2023

how many years for your phd

Law Reviews: What Applicants Should Know

Gabriel Kuris Dec. 4, 2023

how many years for your phd

20 Business Schools for a Global MBA

Ilana Kowarski and Cole Claybourn Nov. 28, 2023

how many years for your phd

Surveys for 2024 Best Graduate Schools

U.S. News Staff Nov. 27, 2023

how many years for your phd

From Tue, Jan 2 through Fri, Jan 12 MCS will offer phone or Zoom appointments and virtual programs. Drop-ins resume on Tue, Jan 16, when our building at 54 Dunster reopens.

  • Crimson Careers
  • For Employers
  • Harvard College
  • Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
  • Harvard Extension School
  • Premed / Pre-Health
  • Families & Supporters
  • Faculty & Staff
  • Prospective Students
  • First Generation / Low Income
  • International Students
  • Students of Color
  • Students with Disabilities
  • Undocumented Students
  • Explore Interests & Make Career Decisions
  • Create a Resume/CV or Cover Letter
  • Expand Your Network
  • Engage with Employers
  • Search for a Job
  • Find an Internship
  • January Experiences (College)
  • Find & Apply for Summer Opportunities Funding
  • Prepare for an Interview
  • Negotiate an Offer
  • Apply to Graduate or Professional School
  • Access Resources
  • AI for Professional Development and Exploration
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Climate, Sustainability, Environment, Energy
  • Government, Int’l Relations, Education, Law, Nonprofits
  • Life Sciences & Health
  • Technology & Engineering
  • Still Exploring
  • Talk to an Advisor

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

  • Share This: Share How Long Does It Take to Get a Ph.D. Degree? on Facebook Share How Long Does It Take to Get a Ph.D. Degree? on LinkedIn Share How Long Does It Take to Get a Ph.D. Degree? on X

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

how many years for your phd

(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.”

Searching for a grad school? Access our  complete rankings  of Best Graduate Schools.

  • Skip to main content
  • Prospective Students
  • Current Students
  • Apply Apply
  •   Follow Us

Moody Graduate Logo@2x-2

How Do You Get a PhD? A Guide to the PhD Timeline

the-phd-timeline

Everyone who considers a doctoral degree knows a Ph.D. is a big commitment. 

Not only will it require all your mental energy, focus, and persistence, but it will also require a significant investment of your time. Your particular area of research, your institution’s policies and procedures, and the standard expectations within your field all play a significant role in how long it takes to earn a PhD. The average PhD length is five or six years, while some students may take eight or nine years.

Regardless of how long a PhD program takes,  there are some common stages of a PhD that all doctoral students share. These major and essential milestones shape the timeline for earning your doctorate . Read on as we take you through each step and explore the typical steps to a doctorate degree.

Are you just starting to apply to graduate school? Check out our Guide to  Graduate Admissions to get all your questions answered! 

How Many Credit Hours for a PhD?

The number of hours that you need to complete your doctoral coursework might depend on several factors: do you already have a master’s degree? Will you earn one en route to the doctorate? Or do you even need one? 

Different disciplines and research interests have their own PhD process, but even within your field of study, you may find that institutions have diverse pathways for obtaining that terminal degree. For most, coursework will take anywhere from two to three years to complete.

During this time, students can serve as graduate research or teaching assistants or could even lead their own courses as an instructor. In many degree programs, students develop their potential dissertation topics through their coursework and start to define what their research plans might look like in the next few years.

PhD Qualifying Exam and Comprehensive Exam

Many programs set up academic checkpoints to help keep students on track during their PhD journeys. The timing varies by program, but one of the most common – and possibly most stressful – forms of benchmarking is the PhD comprehensive exam or qualifying exam. Often administered around the end of the student’s coursework, these exams are your chance to demonstrate what you learned in your classes.

Testing is overseen by a committee of faculty from your department. Usually comprised of at least three members, your professors ask questions or assign writing prompts based on your experience in the program thus far. The format is generally a combination of written and oral exams designed to test your expertise in your discipline’s methodologies and significant content areas.

To better prepare yourself, research the number and kind of qualifying benchmarks the program will require in the university catalog before you begin your program. This will allow you and your advisor to effectively plan out the first few years of your degree and give you an idea of how you’ll be evaluated throughout your program.

Dissertation Prospectus and Defense

You may be required to complete and defend a dissertation prospectus before officially becoming a PhD candidate. A prospectus is a document outlining your dissertation plan, which includes an explanation of your research topic, a potential outline of your dissertation, the methodologies you intend to employ, the significance of your research question, and a bibliography including sources that form the foundation of your research.

Your prospectus allows your dissertation advisor to understand the scope of your project. It should be thorough enough that they can provide useful feedback to help shape your research plan. After some revisions, an approved prospectus is the green light to move into the next stage of your PhD.

Advancement to Candidacy

If you have heard the term ABD – “All But Dissertation” – then that means you are in the home stretch of your doctoral program!

Well, sort of…only your dissertation remains!

Dissertation Research and Writing

While you’ve made it through the coursework and qualifying exams, the dissertation is the culminating component of the doctoral degree. At this point, your approved research plan is ready to be set into motion. Depending on your discipline, this could be the stage where you travel extensively to conduct fieldwork, explore archives, or visit labs to collaborate on projects that relate to your dissertation work. For many students, the research phase can take a couple of years, but some may be able to complete it in one.

Writing your dissertation can be one of the most challenging parts of the whole PhD. process. Not only are you condensing years of research into a single cohesive document, but you are also formulating graphs, charts, and other textual references to help clarify your argument. Often, formatting can be a major challenge for many students. 

In this stage, it’s most helpful to seek out resources to help you with the writing process. Many universities have dissertation writing workshops where you can learn best practices, as well as support groups where students meet regularly and help keep each other accountable. Most universities also offer competitive dissertation completion grants, supporting students with additional funding so they focus more of their time and effort on completing this undertaking.

Dissertation Defense

Everyone gets nervous about this major rite of passage. It can be difficult to take criticism over something you have poured your heart and soul into for years. Remember, though, that a good advisor will not let you defend if you’re not ready, and you literally wrote the book on your topic!

The dissertation defense is not intended to tear your work apart but rather is your opportunity to prove your expertise to your dissertation committee. Many defenses are open to observers, so you should attend a few in advance of your own, especially within your department, to get a sense of what it’s like. 

First, you’ll present the main points of your thesis. Then the committee will ask questions so they can clearly understand your arguments. Finally, they’ll send you out of the room while they deliberate and decide if you pass or not. If all goes well, you’ll be addressed as “Doctor” the next time you walk into the room!

Get Started on Your PhD Journey Today

No matter what your particular timeline looks like as you work toward your doctorate, know that the faculty and other students within your program are frequently a huge source of support — which means you won't do this alone! Additionally, every school has resources to assist Ph.D. students, from libraries to writing centers to dedicated student support services. 

If you are excited about beginning your Ph.D. journey, we invite you to request more information or reach out to one of our admissions professionals today. Best of luck as you begin this transformational experience!

learn more about

what it takes to apply to and succeed in a PhD program. Explore our resource — A Guide to Choosing, Applying for, and Thriving in a PhD Program!

hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(3974384, 'aeb4e03d-f8e9-4232-9726-8852204e83e1', {"useNewLoader":"true","region":"na1"});

Request more, information.

Complete the form to reach out to us for more information

how many years for your phd

Published On

More articles, recommended articles for you, spotlight: university ph.d. fellow sara mosher.

SMU is proud to award University Ph.D. Fellowships to some of our most outstanding applicants. Get...

Why I Chose a Ph.D. In Civil Engineering: An International Student’s Story

Now, more than ever before, our society has placed increasing demands on the systems and structures...

5 Bad Reasons Not to Get a PhD

Whether or not to pursue a PhD is worth it decision, and it’s not unusual to invest time and effort...

Browse articles by topic

Subscribe to.

  • Online Degree Explore Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees
  • MasterTrack™ Earn credit towards a Master’s degree
  • University Certificates Advance your career with graduate-level learning
  • Top Courses
  • Join for Free

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.

[Featured Image] A woman in a library is holding a pen to her temple and looking at her laptop.

A PhD, or doctorate degree, is the highest degree you can earn in certain disciplines, such as psychology, engineering, education, and mathematics. As such, it often takes longer to earn than a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

While many PhD programs are designed to be finished in four or five years, the average completion time is much longer when you factor in the time it takes to research and write a dissertation. In 2020, doctoral students took between six and twelve years to complete their PhD [ 1 ]. By comparison, you can complete a master's degree in one to three years.

Let’s explore the requirements of a PhD, what often ends up adding to the length of time, and important factors you should consider when deciding whether it’s the right choice for you.

PhD requirements + general timeline

Doctoral programs typically include taking advanced courses, passing a comprehensive exam (sometimes called "comps"), and producing an original body of research, such as a dissertation. You may also be expected to fulfill a teaching assistantship or research assistantship, both of which are meant to prepare you for a career in academia or research.

PhD requirements

Advanced coursework: Graduate-level coursework that explores a number of advanced sub-topics related to your field

Comprehensive exam: An exam that requires you to show knowledge of your field, such as its history, important figures, major theories or research, and more

Dissertation: An original body of research you contribute to your field

PhD timeline

The specifics of a PhD program vary by college and university, but the following estimates give you an idea of what to expect during your time in graduate school:

Year 1: Complete advanced coursework.

Year 2: Complete advanced coursework and begin preparing for your comprehensive exams.

Year 3: Study, take, and defend your comprehensive exams. Begin researching your dissertation proposal.

Year 4: Submit your dissertation proposal to your committee chair, and, once approved, begin working on your dissertation.

Year 5: Finish writing your dissertation and submit for committee approval. Defend your dissertation and apply for graduation.

Read more: Should You Go Back to School? 7 Things to Consider

PhD timelines by focus

Some PhD programs take longer to complete than others. For example, earning a doctorate in a science and engineering field typically takes less time than earning a doctorate in the arts or humanities, according to data from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) [ 1 ]. The list below shows the median length of time it took doctorate students to earn their degree in 2020:

Physical and Earth Sciences: 6.3 

Engineering: 6.8 years

Life sciences: 6.9 years

Mathematics and computer science: 7 years

Psychology and Social Sciences: 7.9 years

Humanities and arts: 9.6 years

Education: 12 years

Learn more: What Is a Terminal Degree and Do I Need One?

Why does it take so long to complete a PhD?

There are a few reasons why it takes more time to complete a PhD compared to other advanced degrees.

Dissertations

Once a doctoral student has successfully passed their comps, they are considered “All But Dissertation” or “ABD.” Yet, the number of students who successfully complete their PhD program remains low—estimates show that nearly 50 percent of students drop out, often after reaching the dissertation phase [ 2 ].

The dissertation phase can often take much longer to complete than the other requirements of a PhD. Researching and writing a dissertation takes significant time because students are expected to make an original and notable contribution to their field.

Assistantship obligations

Teaching and research assistantships are beneficial because they can help pay for a PhD program, but they may also take time away from working on your dissertation. Some students are expected to teach at least one class per semester on top of their other obligations as graduate students.

For universities that reduce the teaching or research load students have as part of their assistantship, the times to completion tend to improve. Humanities students at Princeton University began finishing their degree in 6.4 years (compared to 7.5 years) thanks to the institution's financial support and the reduced number of classes students taught [ 3 ].

Other responsibilities

Doctoral students tend to be older. Graduate students pursuing a PhD in science or engineering were an average of 31.6 years old by the time they earned their degree in 2016, according to the National Science Foundation [ 4 ]. As such, some PhD students may have competing obligations, such as family. If a student’s funding has run out, and they have to find full-time work, it also may affect the time they can dedicate to writing their dissertation.

Is a PhD right for you?

People pursue PhDs for various reasons: Some want a job that requires the degree, such as teaching at a university, while others want the challenges or intellectual engagement that a graduate program offers. Identifying why you want to earn a PhD can help indicate whether it’s your best choice.

If your career aspirations don't require a PhD, it might be better to focus on gaining professional experience. Or if you're interested in an advanced education, a master's degree may be a better option. It takes less time to complete than a PhD and can lead to more career opportunities and larger salaries than a bachelor's degree.

Learn more: Is a Master’s Degree Worth It?

Benefits of a PhD

The primary advantage of earning a PhD is your increased demand and marketability in the workforce. In 2018, less than 5 percent of the United States population had a doctorate degree, compared to about 48 percent with a bachelor's degree and 21 percent with a master's degree, according to the US Census Bureau [ 5 ]. As a member of this elite group, the potential for advanced roles, promotions, or pay raises may be greater.

Even before you have a degree in hand, working toward a PhD gives you opportunities to hone valuable skills , including writing, research, and data analysis. Furthermore, completing a PhD program can demonstrate to potential employers that you have specialized knowledge and the fortitude to finish such an advanced degree.

Costs of a PhD

Beyond the time they take to complete, PhD programs can be expensive. The average cost of a PhD program in the United States is just under $100,000. At some schools, the cost of a PhD can exceed $200,000 [ 6 ]. While many institutions offer funding support in the form of assistantships or scholarships, many PhD students still graduate with student loan debt. In 2021, the average student loan debt for PhD was $159,625 [ 7 ].

Another factor to consider is the loss of income you might incur while you're working toward your degree. Some graduate students accept teaching or research assistantships to help fund the cost of their program, but these may not pay as much as full-time positions. Working on your education may also mean pausing the professional experience you’d gain in the workforce—and potentially losing out on promotions and raises. However, it’s worth noting that graduate degree holders earn much more over the course of their lifetime than bachelor’s degree holders, according to the US Social Security Administration [ 8 ].

Set yourself up for success

A PhD is a major accomplishment. As you think about your long-term goals and whether a PhD will help you achieve them, it's important to understand ways you can set yourself up for success. According to the University of Georgia, success in a PhD program often means [ 9 ]:

Understanding the demands and expectations of the program

Receiving adequate program orientation

Getting support from peers and faculty

Feeling a sense of belonging as a member of an academic community

These conditions underscore the importance of choosing the right program and school to fit your personal and professional goals. Take time to research the ways your potential institution offers financial support, mental health support, and career placement support, among other program features.

An advanced degree can be a lucrative credential. You can earn your master’s in a number of in-demand fields from top universities on Coursera. Earn a degree in computer science , business , management , or public health , all while enjoying greater flexibility than an in-person degree program tends to offer. Earning your master's can also help you discern whether a PhD makes sense for your larger objectives.

Article sources

Survey of Earned Doctorates. " Path to the doctorate , https://ncses.nsf.gov/pubs/nsf22300/report/path-to-the-doctorate." Accessed December 14, 2023.

International Journal of Higher Education. “ Who Are the Doctoral Students Who Drop Out? , https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1188721.pdf.” Accessed December 14, 2023.

The New York Times. " Exploring Ways to Shorten the Ascent to a PhD , https://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/03/education/03education.html." Accessed December 14, 2023.

National Science Foundation. " Science and Engineering Doctorates , https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2018/nsf18304/report/age-at-doctorate-award-what-are-the-overall-trends-and-characteristics/characteristics-of-doctorate-recipients-sex.cfm." Accessed December 14, 2023.

US Census Bureau. " About 13.1 Percent Have a Master’s, Professional Degree or Doctorate , https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2019/02/number-of-people-with-masters-and-phd-degrees-double-since-2000.html." Accessed December 14, 2023.

Education Data Initiative. " Average Cost of a Doctorate Degree , https://educationdata.org/average-cost-of-a-doctorate-degree." Accessed December 14, 2023.

Education Data Initiative. " Average Graduate Student Loan Debt , https://educationdata.org/average-graduate-student-loan-debt." Accessed December 14, 2023.

Social Security Administration. " Education and Lifetime Earnings , https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/research-summaries/education-earnings.html." Accessed December 14, 2023, 2022.

 A Data-Driven Approach to Improving Doctoral Completion. " Chapter 2: Description of Projects , https://cgsnet.org/cgs-occasional-paper-series/university-georgia/chapter-2." Accessed December 14, 2023.

Keep reading

Coursera staff.

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

You're viewing this site as a domestic an international student

You're a domestic student if you are:

  • a citizen of Australia or New Zealand,
  • an Australian permanent resident, or
  • a holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

You're an international student if you are:

  • intending to study on a student visa,
  • not a citizen of Australia or New Zealand,
  • not an Australian permanent resident, or
  • a temporary resident (visa status) of Australia.

PhD candidate

How long does a PhD take?

Study tips Published 1 Jul, 2021  ·  3-minute read

You already know a Doctor of Philosophy is a significant time investment, but just how long does it take to get a PhD?

Here, we look at the possibilities and average timeframes to help you prepare for the exciting journey ahead. We’ve checked in with our Higher Degree by Research team to get the official answers to how long a PhD takes to complete.

How long does a PhD take in Australia?

You should plan for your PhD to take at least 3 years and 3 months to complete when studying full time if you follow an ideal schedule. However, on average, we find people take 3 years and 9 months to complete a full-time PhD at UQ – and 4 years isn’t uncommon, either.

Remember : The world doesn’t pause while you’re doing your PhD. Life happens, which is why many people interrupt or postpone their PhD for a period before returning to the program later. No two candidates have the same journey – and that’s okay.

How long it takes to complete a PhD, UQ Australia

Keep in mind that these averages are only indicative of how long a PhD takes in Australia. While the timeframe may be similar in some countries, including most of Europe, you may find yourself studying for longer if you take on your PhD elsewhere. For example, 5-7 years (depending on discipline) is common for candidates completing their PhD in the US.

Can you complete a PhD in 2 years?

Occasionally, a candidate and their supervisory team might request special permission to complete a PhD earlier, and these are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. But the volume of work required to create substantial new knowledge in your field means it’s quite impractical to complete your PhD in only 2 years. After all, you’re striving to become the true expert of your chosen topic – this takes time and dedication without any shortcuts.

If you’re looking to undertake a similar program in just 2 years, consider the Master of Philosophy instead. It’s possible to articulate from an MPhil to a PhD – and sometimes completing an MPhil is the ideal way to extend your research skills before committing to a PhD.

How long is a PhD thesis?

Time isn’t the only logistical consideration you need to make when starting a higher degree by research. You may also be wondering how long your PhD dissertation will need to be (in Australia, this is more commonly called your thesis ).

A standard PhD thesis at UQ is up to 80,000 words .

The extensive research and writing required to complete a PhD further demonstrates why 3 years is the minimum timeframe for a PhD.

How can you stay motivated during your PhD program?

PhD tips to stay motivated

We know 3-4 years is a long time to dedicate to a single topic, and up to 80,000 words of academic writing isn’t a small undertaking. While the rewards of completing your PhD are well worth the time and effort , knowing this may not always be enough to keep you feeling inspired.

So, we asked some of our PhD alumni and candidates for their tips on staying motivated and avoiding burnout. Here’s what they had to say:

  • “I maintained motivation by setting micro goals . I broke up my days into 500-word challenges – I committed to writing a minimum of 500 words every day, no matter what. I also made sure to have regular breaks scheduled every year. This makes sure that I am well rested and have all my planned work completed before I go.” – Angie Knaggs, who completed a PhD about popular culture representations of masculinity in crisis
  • “Try to write something every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, a big chunk or just something small, on topic or irrelevant. Just get into the habit of writing every day . Also, do some exercise, stay in contact with friends and family, and maintain a life outside of your PhD – don’t let it be all-consuming.” – Ren Perkins, who is currently completing a PhD about keeping Indigenous teachers in the profession
  • “I remember working a lot of nights and weekends on my thesis! But, overall, I found the experience a fulfilling one. I had a great primary supervisor who was very good at keeping their students motivated.” – Brigid Lynch, who completed a PhD about population health

Are you ready to start your PhD journey? Learn more about the Doctor of Philosophy or apply today .

Share this Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email

Related stories

PhD alumnus Angie Knaggs

Is a PhD worth it?

9-minute read

Jennifer Corrin and Unaisi Narawa

What can you do with a PhD in law?

5-minute read

Glenn King and Sam Nixon

Tips for PhD students from Samantha and Glenn

7-minute read

Sally Staton and Emma Cooke

Can a sociology PhD topic help us better understand children?

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to get a phd.

This varies by country. 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.

Frequently asked questions: Graduate school

In the US, most graduate school applications require you to include:

  • Transcripts from previous educational institutions
  • Standardized test scores (such as the GRE or MCAT)
  • A graduate resume
  • 2–3 letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose

Some programs may ask you to write a personal statement in addition to, or instead of, a statement of purpose. You may also be asked to an interview .

Always carefully read the application instructions for the specific program you’re applying to.

Most medical school programs interview candidates, as do many (though not all) leading law and business schools.

In research programs, it depends—PhDs in business usually do, while those in economics normally do not, for example.

Some schools interview everyone, while others only interview their top candidates. Look at the websites of the schools you’re applying to for more information on whether they conduct interviews.

In addition to thinking about your answers for the most commonly asked grad school interview questions , you should reach out to former and current students to ask their advice on preparing and what sort of questions will be asked.

Look back through your resume and come up with anecdotes that you could use for common questions, particularly those that ask about obstacles that you overcame. If you’re applying for a research program, ensure that you can talk about the previous research experience you’ve had.

You should also read as much research in your field as possible. Research the faculty at the schools you’re applying to and read some of their papers. Come up with a few questions that you could ask them.

Graduate schools often ask questions about why you are interested in this particular program and what you will contribute.

Try to stay away from cliche answers like “this is a good program” or “I got good grades in undergrad” and focus instead on the unique strengths of the program or what you will bring to the table. Understand what the program is looking for and come up with anecdotes that demonstrate why you are a good fit for them.

Different types of programs may also focus on different questions:

  • Research programs will often ask what topics you’d like to research and who you would like to work with, as well as specific questions about your research background.
  • Medical schools are interested in your personal motivation, qualities such as integrity and empathy, and how you’d respond to common ethical dilemmas.
  • Business schools will focus on your past work experience and future career prospects, and may be particularly interested in any experience you have managing or working with others.

Some students apply to graduate school straight from undergrad, but it’s also common to go back to school later in life. The ideal time to do so depends on various financial, personal, and career considerations . Graduate school is a big commitment, so you should apply at a time when you can devote your full attention to it.

Your career path may also determine when you should apply. In some career fields, you can easily progress without a graduate degree, while in others—such as medicine, business, and law—it’s virtually impossible to move up the career ladder without a specific graduate degree.

Most graduate school applications for American graduate programs are due in December or January for a September start.

Some types of programs, especially law school, are rolling applications, meaning that the earlier you apply, the earlier you’ll hear back. In this case, you should aim to apply as early as possible to maximize your chances.

Medical school follows a completely separate timeline with much earlier deadlines. If you’re applying for medical school, you should speak to advisors at your university for more information.

A good starting point to aim for is about 18 months before you would start the program, or 6–9 months before the applications are due.

In the first few months of the process, research programs and study for any standardized exams you might need.

You can then begin writing your personal statements and statements of purpose , as well as contacting people to write your letters of recommendation . Ensure that you give recommenders plenty of time to complete their letters (ideally around 2–4 months).

In the US, the graduate school application process is similar whether you’re applying for a master’s or a PhD . Both require letters of recommendation , a statement of purpose or personal statement , a resume or CV , and transcripts. Programs in the US and Canada usually also require a certain type of standardized test—often the GRE.

Outside the US, PhD programs usually also require applicants to write a research proposal , because students are expected to begin dissertation research in the first year of their PhD.

A master’s degree usually has a higher upfront cost, but it also allows you to start earning a higher salary more quickly. The exact cost depends on the country and the school: private universities usually cost more than public ones, and European degrees usually cost less than North American ones. There are limited possibilities for financial aid.

PhDs often waive tuition fees and offer a living stipend in exchange for a teaching or research assistantship. However, they take many years to complete, during which time you earn very little.

This depends on the country. In the United States, you can generally go directly to a PhD  with only a bachelor’s degree, as a master’s program is included as part of the doctoral program.

Elsewhere, you generally need to graduate from a research-intensive master’s degree before continuing to the PhD.

A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3–5 years writing a dissertation , which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.

A PhD is intended to prepare students for a career as a researcher, whether that be in academia, the public sector, or the private sector.

A master’s is a 1- or 2-year graduate degree that can prepare you for a variety of careers.

All master’s involve graduate-level coursework. Some are research-intensive and intend to prepare students for further study in a PhD; these usually require their students to write a master’s thesis . Others focus on professional training for a specific career.

It’s best to ask in person if possible, so first reach out and request a meeting to discuss your graduate school plans.

Let the potential recommender know which programs you’re applying to, and ask if they feel they can provide a strong letter of recommendation . A lukewarm recommendation can be the kiss of death for an application, so make sure your letter writers are enthusiastic about recommending you and your work!

Always remember to remain polite. Your recommenders are doing you a favor by taking the time to write a letter in support of your graduate school goals.

This depends on the program that you are applying for. Generally, for professional programs like business and policy school, you should ask managers who can speak to your future leadership potential and ability to succeed in your chosen career path.

However, in other graduate programs, you should mostly ask your former professors or research supervisors to write your recommendation letters , unless you have worked in a job that corresponds closely with your chosen field (e.g., as a full-time research assistant).

Choose people who know your work well and can speak to your ability to succeed in the program that you are applying to.

Remember, it is far more important to choose someone who knows you well than someone well-known. You may have taken classes with more prominent professors, but if they haven’t worked closely with you, they probably can’t write you a strong letter.

The sections in your graduate school resume depend on two things: your experience, and the focus of the program you’re applying to.

Always start with your education. If you have more than one degree, list the most recent one first.

The title and order of the other sections depend on what you want to emphasize. You might include things like:

  • Professional experience
  • Voluntary and extracurricular activities
  • Publications
  • Awards and honors
  • Skills and certifications

The resume should aim for a balance between two things: giving a snapshot of what you’ve done with your life so far, and showing that you’re a good candidate for graduate study.

A resume is typically shorter than a CV, giving only the most relevant professional and educational highlights.

An academic CV should give full details of your education and career, including lists of publications and presentations, certifications, memberships, grants, and research projects. Because it is more comprehensive, it’s acceptable for an academic CV to be many pages long.

Note that, outside of the US, resume and CV are often used interchangeably.

No, don’t include your high school courses and grades. The education section should only detail your college education.

If you want to discuss aspects of high school in your graduate school application, you can include this in your personal statement .

A resume for a graduate school application is typically no more than 1–2 pages long.

Note, however, that if you are asked to submit a CV (curriculum vitae), you should give comprehensive details of all your academic experience. An academic CV can be much longer than a normal resume.

Always carefully check the instructions and adhere to any length requirements for each application.

If you’re applying to multiple graduate school programs, you should tailor your personal statement to each application.

Some applications provide a prompt or question. In this case, you might have to write a new personal statement from scratch: the most important task is to respond to what you have been asked.

If there’s no prompt or guidelines, you can re-use the same idea for your personal statement – but change the details wherever relevant, making sure to emphasize why you’re applying to this specific program.

If the application also includes other essays, such as a statement of purpose , you might have to revise your personal statement to avoid repeating the same information.

The typical length of a personal statement for graduate school applications is between 500 and 1,000 words.

Different programs have different requirements, so always check if there’s a minimum or maximum length and stick to the guidelines. If there is no recommended word count, aim for no more than 1-2 pages.

A statement of purpose is usually more formal, focusing on your academic or professional goals. It shouldn’t include anything that isn’t directly relevant to the application.

A personal statement can often be more creative. It might tell a story that isn’t directly related to the application, but that shows something about your personality, values, and motivations.

However, both types of document have the same overall goal: to demonstrate your potential as a graduate student and s how why you’re a great match for the program.

Ask our team

Want to contact us directly? No problem.  We  are always here for you.

Support team - Nina

Our team helps students graduate by offering:

  • A world-class citation generator
  • Plagiarism Checker software powered by Turnitin
  • Innovative Citation Checker software
  • Professional proofreading services
  • Over 300 helpful articles about academic writing, citing sources, plagiarism, and more

Scribbr specializes in editing study-related documents . We proofread:

  • PhD dissertations
  • Research proposals
  • Personal statements
  • Admission essays
  • Motivation letters
  • Reflection papers
  • Journal articles
  • Capstone projects

Scribbr’s Plagiarism Checker is powered by elements of Turnitin’s Similarity Checker , namely the plagiarism detection software and the Internet Archive and Premium Scholarly Publications content databases .

The add-on AI detector is also powered by Turnitin software and includes the Turnitin AI Writing Report.

Note that Scribbr’s free AI Detector is not powered by Turnitin, but instead by Scribbr’s proprietary software.

The Scribbr Citation Generator is developed using the open-source Citation Style Language (CSL) project and Frank Bennett’s citeproc-js . It’s the same technology used by dozens of other popular citation tools, including Mendeley and Zotero.

You can find all the citation styles and locales used in the Scribbr Citation Generator in our publicly accessible repository on Github .

how many years for your phd

  • How Long Does A PhD Take?
  • Doing a PhD

Sometimes, just knowing how long a PhD takes can be enough to sway your decision on whether a research degree is for you. So with that in mind, exactly how long does a PhD take?

In the UK, a full-time PhD takes 3 to 4 years to finish whilst a part-time PhD takes twice as long at 6 to 7 years. Alongside these average durations, there are time limits on how long you can be enrolled on to a PhD programme. To discover these limits, the factors which most influence doctoral degree durations and how the UK durations compare to international PhDs, continue reading on.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Full-time PhD?

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 thesis and sitting your viva.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Part-time PhD?

In the UK, a part-time PhD will typically take you 6 to 7 years; twice as long as doing a full-time PhD. The reason for this is that as a part-time PhD student, you would dedicate around 20 hours per week to your PhD as opposed to the typical 40 hours full-time students would put into their subject.

How Long Does a Distance Learning PhD Take?

Similarly, distance learning PhD’s take an average of 6 to 7 years to complete. This is because the vast majority of students who undertake a distance learning PhD do so because they can’t relocate closer to the university. Although these commitments will differ, they often mean the student isn’t able to dedicate 40 hours per week to their studies.

Students in STEM disciplines will often take longer to finish a distance learning doctorate degree than those in non-STEM disciplines. This because the progress of a STEM PhD student will be limited by how often they can access a laboratory for experiment work.

How Does Funding Impact a PhD’s Duration?

In reality, the actual time it will take you to complete your PhD degree will depend on your funding situation.

If you’re receiving  funding , it will usually only cover you for 3.5 years if you’re studying full-time or for 7 years at half the stipend if you’re studying part-time. Although this could vary slightly, most PhD funding providers, e.g. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), follow this timescale as indicated on their ‘ length of PhD studentships’ page. Because of this, most students who obtain scholarships try to complete their PhD within the timeframe of their funding so they don’t incur additional fees which they need to cover themselves.

It’s also worth noting that some funded PhD positions have additional conditions attached to them as part of their eligibility requirements. For example, they may require teaching undergraduate students, hosting laboratory sessions or attend presentations and conferences. This will be especially true if you’re on a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA). Although these shouldn’t add considerable time to the length of a PhD programme, they have the potential to do so if they aren’t managed properly.

As self-funded students cover their own annual tuition fees and other associated costs, how long they’ll spend to complete their PhD project will largely depend on their own personal financial situation. Because of this, most self-funded PhD students find it best to complete their PhD study in the shortest time-frame they can manage.

Are There Deadlines?

Yes – unfortunately, all good things must come to an end! Within the UK, the deadline for your PhD is defined as the last date which you must submit your final thesis by. This date is set by your university’s overall regulations and varies depending on the arrangements of your PhD, e.g. whether it’s full or part time. In the vast majority of cases, the adopted deadlines are four years for full-time PhDs and seven years for part-time PhDs from the date you were officially registered onto your programme, as shown below from the University of Leicester’s registration guidance page .

Registration for Length of a PhD_ How long does it take to get a PhD

This time-frame may vary from university to university. For example, the University of Sheffield adopts an additional year for part-time PhDs as shown below.

Programme time for PhDs - How long is a PhD

Can I Complete It Faster?

Although it’s possible to complete a full-time PhD in under 3 years, it’s a significant feat that’s rarely heard of. When these feats occur, they’re usually where the doctoral student already has extensive knowledge and experience in their field before undertaking their PhD.

Whilst it’s possible to complete a part-time PhD in under 6 years, it largely depends on your commitments outside your studies. For example, if you have a part-time career alongside your PhD, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to commit the additional hours required to complete your doctorate a year faster.

However, if instead of a steady part-time job you take on occasional work as a freelancer, you’ll be able to set aside many more hours towards your doctoral degree.

Will Having only A Bachelor’s Degree or Being an International Student Limit My Rate of Progression?

Not at all. While there are benefits to having a Master’s degree such as an additional year of learning and greater research experience due to your fourth-year dissertation project, this doesn’t mean not having one would limit you. A PhD is very different to both Bachelor and Master degrees due to being heavily research-based, therefore, both types of students will have just as much to learn on their way to completing their doctorate.

Similarly, whether you’re an international student will bear no influence on the duration of your PhD.

Finding a PhD has never been this easy – search for a PhD by keyword, location or academic area of interest.

How Does This Compare to the Duration of EU and US PhDs?

PhD hosted by universities within the EU, such as those in France, Norway and Spain, have the same programme structure as those within the UK. As a result, there are no noticeable differences in the time to complete a doctorate between UK and EU institutions.

However, this is not the case in the US. Compared to PhDs conducted within the UK or EU, PhDs conducted within the US take considerably longer to obtain. According to a  2017 study conducted by the National Science Foundation, a US government agency which supports research and higher education, the average time to get a PhD within the US is 5.8 years. Besides this, the average completion time can further increase depending on the disciplines. For example, they found doctorates within the humanities and arts to take an average of 7.1 years to achieve.

The primary reason for this difference is the way PhD degrees are structured within the United States. As mentioned previously, PhDs conducted within UK and EU universities are essentially broken into two sections – one covering the analytical aspects and the other covering the writing up aspects. However, within the US, doctorate programmes comprise additional sections. PhD students are first required to undertake 2 to 3 years of courses, which cover a broad range of topics related to their schools’ discipline. This is then followed by coursework and several examinations, which only once passed can the PhD candidate then start working on their research project and dissertation.

Browse PhDs Now

Join thousands of students.

Join thousands of other students and stay up to date with the latest PhD programmes, funding opportunities and advice.

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.

how many years for your phd

  • Log in
  • Site search

What is a PhD?

As the highest degree level achievable at university, completing a PhD shows that you've made a meaningful new contribution to your chosen research field

PhDs at a glance

  • Involves three or four years of full-time study, or up to seven part time.
  • Typically undertaken after achieving a Masters degree.
  • Can either be funded or self-funded.
  • Assessed through a written thesis and oral exam.
  • Many Doctoral graduates choose to pursue an academic or research career.

What is the meaning of PhD?

The term PhD or Doctorate of Philosophy is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase 'philosophiae doctor'.

A PhD degree typically involves students independently conducting original and significant research in a specific field or subject, before producing a publication-worthy thesis.

While some Doctorates include taught components, PhD students are almost always assessed on the quality and originality of the argument presented in their independent research project.

How long is a PhD in the UK?

Full-time PhDs usually last for three or four years, while part-time PhDs can take up to six or seven. However, the thesis deadline can be extended by up to four years at the institution's discretion. Indeed, many students who enrol on three-year PhDs only finish their thesis in their fourth year.

While most PhD studentships begin in September or October, both funded and self-funded PhDs can be undertaken at any point during the year.

If you're planning on studying for a PhD abroad, take a look at our individual country profiles .

Do I need a Masters to do a PhD?

The majority of institutions require PhD candidates to possess a Masters degree , plus a Bachelors degree at 2:1 or above. However, some universities demand only the latter, while self-funded PhD students or those with significant professional experience may also be accepted with lower grades.

You may need to initially register for a one or two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Master of Research (MRes) degree rather than a PhD. If you make sufficient progress, you and your work will then be 'upgraded' to a PhD programme. If not, you may be able to graduate with a Masters degree.

If you need an MPhil or MRes before enrolling on your PhD, search Masters degrees .

What does a PhD involve?

A standard PhD degree is typically split into three stages. A three-year PhD may follow this pattern:

  • First year - You'll meet with your supervisor to discuss your research proposal and agree an action plan with deadlines. You'll then complete your literature review, in which you'll evaluate and critique existing works to inform the direction of your project and ensure that your research will be original.
  • Second year - Your focus will shift to gathering results and developing your thesis, and potentially begin writing chapters of your thesis. You may also present your results and ideas at academic conferences, gain teaching experience, collaborate with other students on similar projects, communicate the benefits of your research to the general public through workshops, lectures and presentations, or submit work for publication in an academic journal or book.
  • Third year - Primarily involves writing your thesis, though your research may still be in progress. After your supervisor gives their approval, you'll submit your thesis before undertaking a one to three-hour oral exam ( viva voce ) in which you'll discuss and defend your thesis in the presence of at least one internal and external examiner.

How do I find a PhD?

As a PhD is different to other degrees, you're committing to more than simply an advanced qualification. You've chosen to engage in a large-scale independent research project and so you'll need to take into account a range of factors that will drive your search.

A methodical approach to the process is required and you'll need to consider the subject you're interested in carrying out research in and the type of Doctorate you're looking for, making sure this is the right project for you. Only when you're fully prepared and have a good idea of your research proposal should you search for PhD opportunities .

What other types of Doctorate are there?

Alternative types of PhD include:

  • Higher Doctorate - These are usually granted on the recommendation of a committee of internal and external examiners, which assesses a portfolio of published, peer-reviewed research you've undertaken over the course of many years. This type of Doctorate is usually for those with several years of academic experience. Common award titles include the Doctor of Civil Law (DCL), Doctor of Divinity (DD), Doctor of Literature/Letters (DLit/DLitt/LitD/LittD), Doctor of Music (DMus/MusD), Doctor of Science (DS/SD/DSc/ScD) and Doctor of Law (LLD).
  • Integrated/New Route PhD - This four-year PhD course is offered by over 30 universities and involves taking a one-year MRes before studying a three-year PhD. It combines taught elements with independent research, allowing students to learn different methodologies while building their transferable skills.
  • Professional Doctorate - Geared towards students of vocational subjects such as medicine, education and engineering, professional Doctorates are focused on teaching and so normally involve smaller research projects and thesis component. They're often favoured by those aiming for a career outside of academia and are usually supported by employers.

How much does a PhD cost?

Tuition fees vary, but usually fall between £3,000 and £6,000 per year for UK students and those from the European Union (EU) with settled status. UK Research Councils pay universities £4,596 per year (from 2022/23) on behalf of each funded PhD student, so this gives a good indication of the average figure.

For EU students looking to pursue a Doctorate in 2022/23, you'll need to have gained settled or pre-settled status to be eligible for student finance - see PhD loans .

Non-EU students may pay considerably more for their tuition fees.

Despite this, many PhD students are now part or fully funded - scholarships and bursaries are widely available, and particular attention should be paid to Research Council grants .

PhD studentships and assistantships involving a mixture of research and teaching are also common, with scientific studentships usually paid at a higher rate.

How do I apply for a PhD?

Some students propose their own research area and apply for funding, while in some cases a supervisor may already have funding for a project and advertise it like a job. When making a PhD application, you'll typically be asked to submit:

  • an academic CV
  • your academic transcripts
  • two or three academic references
  • a personal statement
  • a research proposal.

International students without settled UK status looking to study certain courses in medicine, mathematics, engineering and material sciences are required to comply with the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) . This involves undergoing a security clearance process with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. International students may also have to prove their English proficiency.

What can I do next?

Your ability to critically analyse, display intellectual maturity, and research independently and honestly is highly valued within academia and the workplace.

Many students who undertake a PhD get an academic job or become an industry researcher, possibly following the PhD with postdoctoral study, then a fellowship or lectureship.

Other career options will depend on your study area.

Discover what a PhD degree can lead to at your PhD, what next?

Find out more

  • Consider your PhD options at 5 routes to getting a Doctorate .
  • Get help with choosing your PhD supervisor .
  • Explore funding postgraduate study .

How would you rate this page?

On a scale where 1 is dislike and 5 is like

  • Dislike 1 unhappy-very
  • Like 5 happy-very

Thank you for rating the page

  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Kids Mental Health
  • Therapy Center
  • When To See a Therapist
  • Types of Therapy
  • Best Online Therapy
  • Best Couples Therapy
  • Best Family Therapy
  • Managing Stress
  • Sleep and Dreaming
  • Understanding Emotions
  • Self-Improvement
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Relationships in 2023
  • Student Resources
  • Personality Types
  • Verywell Mind Insights
  • 2023 Verywell Mind 25
  • Mental Health in the Classroom
  • Editorial Process
  • Meet Our Review Board
  • Crisis Support

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

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

how many years for your phd

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.

how many years for your phd

Ariel Skelley/Getty Images 

  • How Long Will It Take?

Before You Earn PhD in Psychology

Which type of degree should you get, can you finish your degree early.

Just 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.

At a Glance

Getting a PhD in psychology can take several years of graduate study. If you are thinking about becoming a psychologist, research your degree options to figure out what type of degree you need and how long it will take to enter your chosen profession. No matter what you decide, plan to spend anywhere from three to seven years in graduate school to earn a doctorate.

How Long Will It Take to Get a Doctorate Degree?

How long it takes to get a doctorate in psychology depends on various factors, including the type of degree you have selected, your educational background, and the individual doctorate program in which you have enrolled.

Most doctorate programs in psychology take between four to seven years to complete.

PhD in Psychology

Most PhD programs require at least five to seven years to complete. These programs often follow a scientist-practitioner model that trains professionals both in research and clinical practice.

In addition to regular coursework, you may also be expected to complete an internship or supervised residency. The program usually culminates in completing an original research project or dissertation.

PsyD Degree

Most PsyD programs require between four to six years to complete. A PsyD is a degree designed to train professionals to apply psychological knowledge to treating and helping people in real-world settings.

According to the American Psychological Association, PsyD programs focus more on applying psychological science, usually in the form of service.  

Most EdD programs require between three to five years to complete. EdD programs are often focused on psychology, counseling, or counselor education. They explore topics that involve both education and psychology.

It is important to note that many applicants to EdD programs already hold a master's degree in a related field. This differs from applicants to PhD and PsyD programs, who often begin their program of study with a bachelor's degree.

Before you begin your academic journey, it is a good idea to look at just how long it will take you to complete your degree. The amount of time it will take can depend upon various factors, including:

  • Your chosen specialty area
  • The program you select
  • The course load you can take each semester

A doctorate-level degree in psychology is required to work in many job areas, including as a licensed clinical psychologist or counseling psychologist. According to the American Psychological Association, a doctorate degree is also often required in fields such as school psychology or health psychology .

So how long does it take to get a PhD in Psychology ? First, it is essential to realize that the degree requirements can vary depending on the field that you decide to pursue. A PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy degree is not necessarily your only option. In some cases, you might want also to consider the PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) or the EdD (Doctor of Education) degree options.

The PhD, PsyD, and EdD are all great options, but don't let how long it takes to complete be the primary deciding factor. Before you decide to get a doctorate degree, start by deciding which type of degree is most suited to your professional goals.

If you want to conduct research:

A PhD in Psychology tends to focus on a research-based model of education. People with a PhD in Psychology are qualified for a wide range of teaching, research, and clinical positions in colleges, universities, hospitals, government offices, and private mental health practices.

If you want to treat mental health issues:

The PsyD degree option generally focuses on a practitioner-based model of education. Individuals with a PsyD degree can also teach or conduct psychology research, but they frequently work in applied settings to provide direct mental health services.

If you want to apply psychology to help students:

Finally, there is also a third doctorate option that you might also want to consider depending on your career goals. If you are interested in working as a school psychologist or in a related educational field, the EdD, or Doctor of Education, is a possible option.

Despite the years of work, earning your PhD, PsyD, or EdD can be well worth the effort. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that workers with a doctoral or education specialist degree in clinical, counseling, and school psychology will find the strongest job opportunities.

Generally, if you have a strong background in psychology and have completed all of the necessary prerequisites, you can finish your doctorate sooner than students who have not taken the prerequisite courses.

Carefully planning your degree can also help ensure you complete the program requirements quickly.

Be sure you have a clear idea of what you want to do with your psychology degree once you've completed it. Do you want to teach, or is research more appealing to you? Are you interested in seeing clients, or are you planning to combine your training in psychology with another field, such as law or medicine?

If you need help deciding, make an important with an academic advisor at your school. They can help you explore your options and answer any questions you may have.

What This Means For You

No matter the degree you decide to pursue, earning a doctorate in psychology requires a significant investment of time, money, and effort. Because of this, it is essential to carefully consider your goals before deciding on a graduate program. You should also think about whether you need a doctorate or if a master's might be more appropriate.

Gee DG, DeYoung KA, McLaughlin KA, et al. Training the next generation of clinical psychological scientists: A data-driven call to action .  Annu Rev Clin Psychol . 2022;18:43-70. doi:10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-081219-092500

Loyola University. Can I get my Psy.D. without a Master's in Psychology?

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

Franklin University. Is getting a Doctorate in Education worth it?

American Psychological Association. Frequently asked questions about graduate school .

Bureau of Labor Statistics. Psychologists . Occupational Outlook Handbook .

Carr, A. Clinical Psychology: An Introduction . London: Routledge; 2012.

Kuther, TL. The Psychology Major's Handbook . Boston, MA: Cengage Learning; 2016.

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

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

  • 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.

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Listen to the blog!

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, 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.

Want more free tips? Subscribe to our channels for more free and useful content!

Apple Podcasts

Like our blog? Write for us ! >>

Have a question ask our admissions experts below and we'll answer your questions, get started now.

Talk to one of our admissions experts

Our site uses cookies. By using our website, you agree with our cookie policy .

FREE Training Webinar:

How to make your grad school application stand out, (and avoid the top 5 mistakes that get most rejected).

Time Sensitive. Limited Spots Available:

We guarantee you'll get into grad school or you don't pay.

Swipe up to see a great offer!

how many years for your phd

  • Home »
  • Blog »

How Long Does It Take To Get A PhD (Doctorate)?

Find your perfect postgrad program search our database of 30,000 courses.

  • by Charlotte King
  • In General , PHD

Doctorate Degree

As with many things in life, how long it takes you to get a PhD depends mostly on you. Because doctorate degrees are flexible, the duration of study can vary. But if you work hard and are disciplined, how long will it take you to get a PhD

Find A PhD

How long is a full-time PhD?

In most cases, PhD research involves full-time study. You should expect to dedicate around 35 hours per week to your work. However, in busy periods, such as writing up your thesis , you may need to work for considerably longer. 

In the UK,  it usually takes three to four years of full-time study to gain a PhD. Time is spent carrying out research and collecting data towards a thesis. Your thesis can take a year to write and will offer an original contribution to your subject.Once you have completed your thesis you will usually have to undertake a PhD viva to present, explain and defend your research.

Most students begin a PhD after completing a relevant masters course. A masters degree will usually take around one year to complete if you are studying full time, or two to five years if you are studying part time. So from undergraduate to doctorate, you should expect it to take at least four years full time.

In Europe, the time it takes to gain a PhD can vary depending on the country and the subject of study. For example, in Germany, a PhD in a scientific subject might take two to three years full time, and a doctorate in the arts or humanities may take four to six years full time. In Norway, all PhDs usually take three years on a full-time basis. Most countries are similar to the UK, where you complete your PhD once you have done a relevant masters course.

In Norway , all PhDs usually take three years on a full-time basis – here is a great explanation from the  University of Oslo . It can take up to six years to complete a PhD on a part-time basis, but this way of studying is unusual. 

The USA has a different university set up to the UK and Europe as most doctorate degrees are gained by going to Graduate School straight after you have completed your undergraduate degree. This means that the time it takes to gain your masters-level qualification is built into the time it takes to get your PhD. It is common for it to take four to five years to gain a Doctorate from the time you start Graduate School, but it can take up to eight years of full-time study. It depends on the institution and the type of PhD you choose.  

Some institutions, like Franklin University, allow students to transfer credits and count professional work experience towards their doctorate degrees, so you could complete a PhD in as little as three years.

How long is a part-time PhD?

Studying for a PhD part time is a good way to accommodate other work or life commitments alongside your research. Typically, it takes twice as long as a full-time PhD and you will study for around 20 hours a week.

Not many PhD students undertake their doctorate on a part-time basis, but those who do will have between five and seven years to complete their PhD. 

Part-time PhDs are unusual in Europe. In Germany, you could expect a PhD to take four to eight years. France is similar to Germany, and it takes around three to four years for a full-time doctorate in the sciences, and four to five years for a doctorate degree in the arts and humanities. At the University of Oslo, it can take up to six years to complete a PhD on a part-time basis. 

Part-time and online PhDs are more common in the USA and these take anywhere from five to 10 years to complete.

How long is a distance learning PhD?

There are some doctorate degrees which are studied by distance learning. These online PhDs allow students to study at a location and time that suits their schedule. These tend to be part time only and usually take up to seven years to complete. 

Entry requirements for a PhD

In the UK the vast majority of PhD candidates will begin a PhD after completing a relevant masters course . A masters degree will usually take around one year to complete if you are studying full time, or two to five years if you are studying part time. Once you've gained this qualification you can move onto the doctorate after you have excelled at your PhD interview.

Different countries in Europe have different traditions and regulations surrounding doctorate degrees. Most countries are similar to the UK, where you complete your PhD once you have done a relevant masters course. 

Why does it take so long to complete a PhD? 

Due to the complexity of the study and the amount of original research required, PhDs typically take longer to complete than other undergraduate degrees. It can take a long time to create a thesis, since you must make an original and noteworthy contribution to your field.

What is the deadline for finishing a PhD?

The deadline for submitting your PhD will be set by your university. In the UK, the deadline is defined by the last date on which you can submit your thesis. For most PhDs, the deadline is four years for full-time students and seven years for part-time students. It may be possible to extend the deadline up to four years, but this is at the discretion of the university. 

Does funding impact the length of a PhD? 

Generally, PhD funding providers will cover you for a set amount of time during the course of your PhD. Most students will aim to finish their PhD within the timeframe set by their funding provider to avoid incurring additional fees. 

Self-funded students cover their own tuition fees and other related costs, therefore many self-funded students aim to complete their PhDs in the shortest time possible. 

Read more about postgraduate tuition fees on our fees and funding information page .  

Find your ideal PhD

Search for your ideal PhD or browse our collection of helpful PhD articles on Postgrad. 

amber student accommodation

Editor’s note: this blog post was originally published in April 2018, it now contains some updated information.

amber is one of many potential private accommodation options for international postgraduate students. Other private student accommodation options are available and Postgrad.com advises you to research all your options thoroughly before making such a commitment. Postgrad Solutions accepts no responsibility for your choice of student accommodation and does not endorse or support amber.

Related articles

How To Get A PhD

How To Find A PhD

How Much Does It Really Cost To Study A PhD In The UK?

Are You Ready For A PhD?

Dos & Don'ts Of A PhD Interview

Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries

Elisha June 25, 2019, 9:49 p.m.

I’m Wanting to be a child therapist so what degree would I need for this and how long would I be at uni for Thankyou

Charlotte King June 28, 2019, 1:59 p.m.

Hi Elisha, A bachelors degree in counselling, social work, or child psychology is often a good start for a child counselling career, and most child counsellors are usually required to earn graduate degrees as well. So that would be a minimum of 4 years study.

Amoo Monsuru Olukayode Nov. 24, 2021, 2:44 a.m.

I want to study abroad in any UK country

Charlotte King Dec. 6, 2021, 9:37 p.m.

We have a comprehensive section on postgraduate study in the UK to help you make your decision > https://www.postgrad.com/study-in-uk/ I hope it helps.

Juli Hanes March 9, 2023, 4:42 p.m.

You always provide great examples and real-world applications, thank you for your valuable contributions.

Charlotte King March 13, 2023, 5:08 p.m.

Thanks Juli!

Leave a comment

All contributors must be over 16 year olds

By submitting your comment you agree to our privacy policy .

  • Accommodation
  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)
  • Distance Learning / Online Study
  • Infographic
  • International Students
  • Jobs and Careers
  • Mature Students
  • MBA Programs
  • Personal Statement
  • Student Life
  • Student Welfare
  • Study Abroad
  • Study Advice
  • Study In Australia
  • Study In Europe
  • Study In Ireland
  • Study in UK
  • Study In USA
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Top 10 Lists
  • Universities

Postgrad.com

Exclusive bursaries Open day alerts Funding advice Application tips Latest PG news

Sign up now!

Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries

Take 2 minutes to sign up to PGS student services and reap the benefits…

  • The chance to apply for one of our 5 PGS Bursaries worth £2,000 each
  • Fantastic scholarship updates
  • Latest PG news sent directly to you.

how many years for your phd

How to get a PhD?

Interested in obtaining a phd learn more about the steps to earn a phd, careers with phd, list of colleges offering programs and more..

Updated by TCM Staff on 15th April 2021

How to get a PhD: Steps and Requirements Explained

15th April 2021

College Monk — How to Get a PhD

A PhD is a postgraduate doctoral degree awarded to those students who produce an original thesis and make a significant research contribution to their respective field.

PhDs are available for those in a variety of different fields, and it’s often considered the highest and most well-respected degree available. Earning a PhD truly establishes someone as an expert in their field and indicates the deepest level of knowledge on a particular subject.

What is a PhD?

PhD — technically short for Doctor of Philosophy — is a type of doctoral degree, often considered the highest-level degree one can earn.

A PhD is a type of research degree that requires students to do an extensive amount of research and produce an original work, known as a dissertation.

People often use their PhD as a launchpad to pursue a career in academia. But, it’s also a popular option for those pursuing a career in STEM.

Those with PhDs make up a fairly exclusive club. Data from the US Census Bureau shows that fewer than 5% of the population holds a doctorate. And it’s not surprising, considering it often takes up to eight years to achieve this coveted title and requires writing an original dissertation the length of a book.

A PhD is actually just one type of doctoral degree. PhDs are research-focused. The other type of doctorate is application-focused (also known as an applied doctorate).

why PhD image

Source:  https://strathsltresearchers.wordpress.com

PhD admission requirements 

Not just anyone can earn a PhD. Given how well-respected the title is, it takes a lot of work and very specific criteria to enter a doctoral program.

The most basic requirement that all PhD candidates must have is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. You won’t be accepted without this. You also usually need a high GPA.

Another requirement is a statement of purpose. In this statement, doctoral candidates will describe why they’re seeking a PhD, what they’ve done so far to prepare themselves, and what goals they plan to accomplish later.

Finally, PhD applicants will need several letters of recommendation. 

If you’re considering pursuing a PhD, it’s critical that you work to build relationships with professors and mentors who might recommend you. There’s a lot of competition, especially for the top PhD programs, and excellent recommendations will help you to stand out.

Keep in mind that the requirements might vary somewhat from one school to the next, so it’s important to do your research and decide ahead of time where you’ll apply.

Steps to obtain a PhD

Earning a PhD is no easy feat. It takes most students years to do so. Let’s look into the steps someone must take to get a PhD.

Step 1: Complete an undergraduate degree

Before you can take the next step toward your PhD, you’ll first have to receive a bachelor’s degree through an undergraduate program at a reputable university.

This education will provide the foundation for your more advanced coursework later. It’s important that you maintain a high GPA throughout your undergraduate years.

Step 2: Complete a master's program

Once you complete your bachelor’s degree, the next natural step is to pursue a master’s degree.

Graduate school requires that a student take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). A master’s degree typically takes about two years to achieve, and will be in a particular field of study.

While not technically required for a PhD, most people earn a master’s degree before earning their PhD.

Step 3: Apply for a PhD program

Once you complete your graduate program, it’s time to apply for your PhD program.

There are many doctoral programs to choose from, so it’s important that you research and find the best fit for your field of study.

During the application process, you’ll have to submit the following:

  • A completed application
  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Your GMAT or GRE scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose

Step 4: Complete your coursework

When you begin your PhD program, you’ll start by taking your coursework. 

As is usually the case with undergraduate and graduate programs, you’ll likely have some required courses and some electives. Usually, students will prepare their own plan of study for the courses they’ll take over the next couple of years.

Step 5: Prepare a research proposal

A research proposal is a document that outlines what, exactly, a PhD student will focus on during their research. 

A research proposal should include the major question or questions someone plans to answer with their dissertation, and how exactly they plan to arrive at that answer. 

Even though the proposal won’t be a part of your final thesis, it plays a vital role in shaping your PhD.

Step 6: Complete a literature review

The literature review is the first thing you’ll do before starting your project report.

In this review, you’ll conduct an in-depth study of all the research in your field. During this phase, a doctoral student should critically assess the existing literature on their topic and find gaps they may be able to fill with their research.

Step 7: Research and collect results

Once a student has completed their literature review, they’ll do more first-hand research and perform experiments to help answer the questions they’re exploring for their dissertation.

Step 8: Produce a thesis and write a dissertation

Doctoral Dissertation Image

Source:  https://www.wikihow.com

Once you’ve completed your research and gathered sufficient results, it’s time to write your final thesis and dissertation. 

Though the two terms are often used interchangeably, your thesis is the argument or conclusion you’ve arrived at, while your dissertation is where you demonstrate your thesis.

Your dissertation is the culmination of all the research you’ve done. Dissertations are original work and often focus on a newly developed theory. A dissertation is roughly the length of a book, and can often take years to produce.

Step 9: Viva Voce

Viva voce is a Latin phrase that means “with living voice” or “by word of mouth.” It’s also the final — and one of the most important — steps in the process of earning a PhD.

Unlike other degrees, where you take a final exam, a PhD candidate must defend their thesis before a panel of appointment examiners. It’s common for the examiners to ask many questions, and this process can often take several hours.

Once you successfully complete your viva voce, you’ll be awarded your doctorate and can add that coveted “Dr.” to your title.

Online colleges offering PhD programs

Many students choose to pursue a PhD through an online doctoral program for the flexibility and convenience it brings. 

Here are a few popular online PhD programs:

What can you do with a PhD?

A PhD is the highest-degree that someone can earn. But after all those years of work, what exactly can you do with your degree?

One of the most common career paths for someone with a PhD is academia. Those with a doctorate degree often go on to teach at universities or spend their careers performing research, not all that different from what they did to earn the degree in the first place.

But academia isn’t the only option for PhD recipients, nor is it the most lucrative. 

PhD students often study STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, and math. Those industries are thriving today more than ever, making it a great field for those holding a doctorate.

What can you be in phD Image

Source:  https://www.jax.org

Some of the highest-paying PhD fields include:

  • Information assurance
  • Computer science
  • Biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Organic chemistry

Though academia and STEM may be the most common paths for PhD participants, they’re hardly the only ones. There are many options available to someone with a PhD. Other non-STEM fields include clinical psychology, market research, business development, linguistics, and intelligence.

A doctorate is the highest level of degree someone can achieve. There’s no doubt that it takes a considerable amount of work, and it takes most people years to achieve this recognition. 

It’s important to understand these trade-offs before you get started. But once you earn your PhD, you will hold one of the most highly-respected titles in the academic field and have a lot of doors open to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. 1) How long does a PhD take?

A. According to CBS news on an average, an American Student takes 8.2 years to complete their Ph.D. This can change according to various courses and in various countries.

2. 2) What qualifications do I need?

A. In US Bachelors degree holders can also apply for Ph.D. For applying in a PhD program one should have completed 16 years of formal education. Qualification in the entrance test is also necessary.

3. 3) Can I take PhD as a part-time?

A. Yes, part-time PhD is possible, and it has a more flexible schedule with classes and degree completion. In some programs, a minimum one-year residency is required. But, part-time PhD will take more time, and managing a part-time PhD will be more challenging.

4. 4) What is M.Phil?

A. A M.Phil qualification is less advanced than that of a PhD. In this, the students are expected to master a content area and it can be mastered in two years. Moreover, the PhD dissertation takes more time than an M.Phil dissertation.

5. 5) What are Financial Aid options available for me?

A. For Ph.D. there are a lot of financial aid opportunities available in the form of Scholarship and loans. Eg: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

/images/cornell/logo35pt_cornell_white.svg" alt="how many years for your phd"> Cornell University --> Graduate School

Filter by category, how many years will it take to complete my ph.d..

Date: July 2017

I am a student at a university in the south and am currently completing a dual enrollment program consisting of a Middle Grades Education Master’s degree with a concentration in English and an undergraduate degree in English secondary education with a minor in psychology.

I have noticed that the doctoral programs at Cornell are interdisciplinary and seem to be specialized for each student. I was wondering with my current degrees what my options might be for a doctoral program, how many years it would take to complete it, and if I would be able to focus on English, education administration, or psychology applied to children/adolescents.

I thank you for taking the time to read my email and I hope to hear from you soon.

–Curious Prospective Student

Dear Curious Prospective Student,

Thanks for your interest in Cornell. You are correct that our graduate field structure does allow students to interact with faculty across a range of disciplines and specialties. Students often use this flexibility to find new ways of exploring research questions with guidance from experts across several related fields. Successful applicants to Cornell Ph.D. programs come from many different backgrounds so it’s hard to say which programs would be the best fit for you, but we do have several tools online that could help you explore your options.

Because Ph.D. students work closely with faculty members I encourage you to use the search tool on our Field of Study page to identify individual professors who are conducting research in the area(s) that most interest you. In the example below, you’ll see that I searched for the term “adolescent” and found several faculty members in the field of human development who are doing work that may align with your interests. Once you identify the faculty you’d like to work with you can see which programs they are affiliated with.

We also publish a number of interactive dashboards that allow students and applicants to view the median time it takes students to earn a degree in each field. If you look at the data for the field of English language and literature, for example, you’ll see that the median time to earn a Ph.D. is just shy of six years.

I hope this information is helpful to you as you consider applying to graduate school! We’ll post a modified version of this Q&A to the “Ask a Dean” page.

Best regards,

Jason Kahabka, associate dean for administration

Academia Insider

How many years of school does it take to get a PhD? How long does it take?

Embarking on a PhD journey is akin to strapping in for an intellectual rollercoaster ride.

From the buzzing classrooms of the USA to the revered halls of European universities, the timeline for earning this illustrious degree can dramatically vary. But what exactly does this journey look like, and how much time should you anticipate devoting to it?

In terms of time commitment for a PhD, the United States tends to require the most, with students typically taking between 5 to 8 years to complete their degree. On the other end of the spectrum, countries like the UK, Germany, France, and Australia generally require less time, typically between 3 to 4 years, with other countries like Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, China, India, and Brazil falling in between.

Is it a matter of years, or should you be prepared for a commitment spanning a decade? Moreover, why does it differ so much between countries?

Whether you’re a curious observer or a prospective doctoral student, this deep dive into the heart of PhD programs across the globe promises to be enlightening!

How Long Does It Take to Complete a PhD?

The response is not cut-and-dry as it largely varies, but especially so between different regions of the world.

Generally speaking, a doctoral program in the USA tends to take longer, with a timeline usually falling between three to six years, and in some cases, it may take even longer.

This is contrasted by the shorter duration of PhD programs in Europe, the UK, and Australia, which typically spans three to four years.

Here is how long a PhD can take in different countries:

The first step of a USA PhD journey involves completing coursework.

This phase takes around one to two years, with the goal of deepening the PhD student’s understanding of their chosen field of study and providing a solid foundation for their impending research.

The unique and often challenging aspect of a doctoral program is the original research, which forms the basis of the dissertation.

Depending on the complexity of the chosen research topic, this phase can take several years in the USA, while it may be slightly quicker in Europe, the UK, or Australia due to the structured nature of these programs.

After writing the dissertation comes the defense phase, which can take another year or more in the USA, and this too can be somewhat quicker in other regions.

Once I submitted my PhD in Australia I had to wait 6 months before the decisions were made – luckily I have a job!

If you want to know more about the length of a PhD check out my other article:

  • How long does it take to get a PhD part-time? Complete a PhD on your own time. 
  • How long does it take to get a PhD? Complete a PhD quickly

How many years of school to have a PhD in total? 

Acquiring a Ph.D. degree requires several years of dedicated study and research.

Here’s a rough estimation of the years of education needed to earn a PhD starting from kindergarten:

*Note: Master’s Degree is often not a requirement for enrolling in a PhD program in the USA but it is common in other countries. In the USA, you can usually proceed directly from a bachelor’s degree to a PhD, in which case the total cumulative years would be less.

  • Generally, a minimum of 8-10 years of education beyond high school is required to earn a Ph.D.
  • Bachelor’s Degree is the first step towards achieving a Ph.D., which takes around 4 years.
  • After getting the Bachelor’s degree, one needs to complete a Master’s degree, which typically takes 2-3 years.
  • Following this, the academic journey continues with a doctoral program, which takes another 4-5 years.

During this time, students are engaged in coursework, comprehensive exams, and extensive research work, culminating in a Ph.D. dissertation that represents their original contribution to their field of study.

Why Does It Take So Long to Complete a PhD?

To begin with, a PhD isn’t about skimming the surface; it’s about diving deep into your chosen field. The degree is a testament to your advanced knowledge within your area of study, and this requires time. Picture it as a winding tunnel of discovery, from which you emerge as an authority within your field.

The second, and perhaps more intriguing reason, is the element of trial and error. Every PhD student has a unique tale of failure and success; it’s essentially a rite of passage. From refining research questions to troubleshooting experiments and revising dissertations, the road to earning a doctorate is peppered with challenges.

It’s a dance of adaptability and resilience, and it takes time to perfect.

In essence, while earning a PhD may take around four to seven years, or sometimes even a decade, it’s a testament to a PhD student’s perseverance, deep knowledge, and invaluable contribution to their field. The time to completion may seem daunting, but the rewards it brings are worth the journey.

What are the benefits of earning a PhD? 

The time it takes to earn a Ph.D. equips students with critical thinking and problem-solving skills, preparing them to tackle real-world challenges.

Here are some of the benefits that can come from doing a PhD.

  • Expert Problem Solver : A Ph.D. equips you with the skills to tackle complex problems in your chosen field. This makes you a specialist problem solver, adept at overcoming unexpected challenges.
  • More Opportunities : Holding a Ph.D. can open up numerous career opportunities, from academic roles to advanced positions in industry and government. It’s a degree that can provide an extra edge in the competitive job market.
  • Recognition as an Expert : Earning a Ph.D. grants you the title of ‘Doctor’, signaling your expertise in a specific area. This recognition can be satisfying personally and professionally.
  • Perfected Learning Skills : Ph.D. students become expert learners, honing the ability to self-learn and adapt, skills that are invaluable in every aspect of life.
  • Improved Communication : A Ph.D. involves presenting ideas, writing complex papers, and participating in debates. This improves your communication skills, enabling you to articulate your ideas effectively.
  • Identity and Personal Growth : The challenges faced and overcome during a Ph.D. journey significantly contribute to personal growth and identity formation. This experience often results in increased resilience and a sense of accomplishment.

While many Ph.D. students enroll with academic aspirations, the doctorate degree can unlock opportunities across industries. A Ph.D., after all, symbolizes the apex of academic achievement and positions its holder as an expert in their field.

Do PhD students get holidays

PhD students, like any other student or working professional, do get holidays during their academic journey.

The nature and duration of these holidays may vary significantly depending on the institution, the field of study, and individual needs and commitments.

I know that many institutions expect their PhD students to treat it as a job and only have minimal time off during their studies.

That being said, it is important to note that PhD students often maintain a high level of commitment and dedication to their research, irrespective of holidays.

The flexibility and autonomy offered in doctoral programs mean that many PhD students continue their research or writing tasks during these vacations, either out of sheer passion or to meet pressing deadlines.

Additionally, some PhD candidates may use the holiday breaks for conferencing, networking, or attending workshops to further develop their skills and knowledge within their research area.

Wrapping up

As we reach the end of our exploration into the world of doctoral studies, it’s crucial to remember that the journey to a PhD, while rigorous and time-consuming, is a unique and rewarding endeavor.

It’s not just about the title or the prestige; it’s about the knowledge you gain, the skills you develop, the resilience you build, and the contribution you make to your chosen field.

The path to earning a PhD is not a race; it’s more of a marathon.

The differing timelines across countries further emphasize that this journey is not one-size-fits-all, with each nation having its distinct approach.

Whether you are a high school student considering your future, a bachelor’s graduate thinking of further studies, or simply a curious reader, it’s essential to understand that a PhD journey is no walk in the park.

It requires substantial investment in terms of time, energy, and often, personal sacrifice. But, the sense of achievement and personal growth that accompanies such a monumental accomplishment can be transformative.

It’s more than the learning ; it’s the lifelong skills you acquire and the person you become in the process. The sense of purpose, the adaptability, the strength of character, and the capability to critically engage with the world are perhaps the most significant gains from this journey.

If you are considering this path, know that it takes more than intellect – it takes courage and an unwavering dedication to the pursuit of knowledge.

So, if you’re prepared to strap in for this intellectual rollercoaster ride, know that it’s a journey worth embarking on.

how many years for your phd

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.

Thank you for visiting Academia Insider.

We are here to help you navigate Academia as painlessly as possible. We are supported by our readers and by visiting you are helping us earn a small amount through ads and affiliate revenue - Thank you!

how many years for your phd

2024 © Academia Insider

how many years for your phd

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Here's how you know

The .gov means it's official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

The site is secure. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

A New Year – A Great Time to Focus on Your Financial Future

A person pressing buttons on a calculator

Happy New Year! As we welcome another year, it’s a great time to focus on your financial future. Whether you’re beginning your career or have been working for many years, now is the perfect time to learn about your retirement options (or refresh your memory!), review your progress, adjust your plan for reaching your retirement savings goal if needed, and take action. Here are some tips to help you get started: 

Starting a New Job 

If you're entering the workforce, retirement probably seems far off. But if you start saving now, you have one huge ally: time. 

Mid-Career and Life Events 

If you’re in the middle of your career, you may have more responsibilities at work and home and you may have more expenses. It can be hard to focus on retirement planning, but be sure to make it part of your overall savings and money management plan. 

Nearing Retirement 

If you are close to retirement, your planning is more focused – and you’re probably more motivated to save. 

Download these resources to get started:

  • Retirement Toolkit  

For more information on planning for retirement, your protections under the federal law governing your retirement plan, or how the Employee Benefits Security Administration can help you, visit our  website . You can also contact a benefits advisor with your questions by visiting  askebsa.dol.gov or calling 1-866-444-3272. Assistance is available in over 120 languages. 

Un año nuevo: un buen momento para centrarse en su futuro financiero

Por Lisa M. Gomez

Lisa M. Gómez es subsecretaria de la Administración de Seguridad de Beneficios del Empleado del Departamento de Trabajo de EE. UU.

  • financial advice
  • financial literacy
  • financial planning
  • Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
  • retirement savings

SHARE THIS:   

Photo of rotary phone. Lots of things improve with time. Consumer protections should too.

USA TODAY

How many work hours in a year? We counted the days and crunched the numbers.

Posted: January 4, 2024 | Last updated: January 4, 2024

The workplace doesn’t look like it did four years ago, namely because of the lack of the “workplace” itself. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers were more likely to work from home in 2022 than in 2019, with 34% of employees doing all or some of their work at home. 

The “American Time Use” survey also found for full-time workers, men worked an average of 8.3 hours per day and women 7.8 hours.

Here’s a glimpse at the American work year in numbers: 

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

How many working hours in a year?

There are about 2,080 working hours in a year for an employee who works a traditional 40-hour workweek. The average employee works around 8 hours per weekday, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you multiply a week's worth of work by the 52 weeks in a year, you get 2,080 hours.

That number doesn’t include holidays or paid time off, however. There are 11 federal holidays recognized by the U.S. government. Federal employees have all 11 off, and if you’re lucky enough to receive the same benefit, you’ll get an extra 88 hours off your annual tally. 

U.S. employees receive an average of 7.6 paid holidays per year, according to a Forbes survey, with the most common being Thanksgiving, Christmas, Independence Day, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day.  

The mystery of Presidents Day: Not every state celebrates the same. We found out why.

How many working days in a year?

For a traditional five-day workweek, there are 260 working days in a year. Without accounting for time off, that means you spend approximately 71% of your year working. 

Subtract however many federal holidays your company allows (and the vacation time you’re planning) and that’s how many working days you’ll have this year. 

How many hours in a year?

With 365 days in a year and 24 hours in a day, there are 8,760 total hours in a year. 

Between $5.15 and $16 an hour: Here's which state has the highest minimum wage

Just Curious for more? We've got you covered

USA TODAY is exploring the questions you and others ask every day. From "Who is running for president in 2024?" to "What state has the lowest population?" to "How old is Barbie?" − we're striving to find answers to the most common questions you ask every day. Head to our Just Curious section to see what else we can answer for you. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How many work hours in a year? We counted the days and crunched the numbers.

Asynchronous-first communication approach is a must for organizations and leaders who want to thrive in the new challenging world of work, whether their workplace is fully remote, hybrid or in-person.

More for You

Donald Trump Wants Jack Smith to Pay

Donald Trump Wants Jack Smith to Give Him Money

costco-hotdog-soda

Costco makes a major menu change at its food court

U.S. Attorney for the District of Colombia Matthew Graves speaks about the unfolding of the January 6 attack on the Capitol during a presentation ahead of this year's third anniversary in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Capitol riot, 3 years later: Hundreds of convictions, yet 1 major mystery is unsolved

Starting in 2023, people with Medicare Part B may be able to save money on their premiums, as well as their annual deductible.

Older adults can save on 2023 taxes by claiming an extra deduction. Here's how to do it.

Chaos erupts in Tiffany Henyard meeting over expenses: 'This is a dictatorship'

Chaos erupts in Tiffany Henyard meeting over expenses: 'This is a dictatorship'

Nearly 17,000 people may have died from hydroxychloroquine: study

Nearly 17,000 people may have died from hydroxychloroquine: study

Donald Trump's Massive Victory If Election Were Held Today

Donald Trump's Legal Arsenal Just Got Stronger

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., secured votes on amendments that would halt further U.S. financial assistance to Ukraine.

Dem Florida Rep. Eskamani Hits Marjorie Taylor Greene Over Jan. 6 Event

FILE - In this image taken from video, Lynda Bluestein smiles during an interview in the living room of her home, Feb. 28, 2023, in Bridgeport, Conn. Bluestein, who pushed for expanded access to Vermont's law that allows people who are terminally ill to receive lethal medication to end their lives, died in Vermont on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. Bluestein had terminal cancer and ended her life by taking prescribed medication. (AP Photo/Rodrique Ngowi, File)

Terminally ill Connecticut woman ends her life on her own terms, in Vermont

Elon Musk isn't convinced by Mark Cuban's defense of DEI: 'His hypocrisy convinces no one'

Elon Musk isn't convinced by Mark Cuban's defense of DEI: 'His hypocrisy convinces no one'

Texans Furious Over Governor Greg Abbott’s Property Tax Package

Texans Furious Over Governor Greg Abbott’s Property Tax Package

Hezbollah leader promises response to Hamas official’s killing

Opinion: Iran’s day of reckoning is nearing

Trump’s Lawyers Keep Pretending New E. Jean Carroll Trial Is a Redo. It’s Not.

Trump’s Lawyers Keep Pretending New E. Jean Carroll Trial Is a Redo. It’s Not.

California police clear historic People’s Park in surprise midnight operation

California police clear historic People’s Park in surprise midnight operation

This photo shows Vanessa Joy. Despite receiving enough signatures to appear on the ballot, Vanessa Joy, a transgender woman has been disqualified from an Ohio House race because she omitted her previous name, raising concern that other transgender candidates nationwide may face similar barriers. Joy found out Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024. (Vanessa Joy via AP)

A transgender candidate in Ohio was disqualified from the state ballot for omitting her former name

NFL News: Ravens sign elite running back to support Lamar Jackson in the playoffs

NFL News: Ravens sign elite running back to support Lamar Jackson in the playoffs

What is airplane mode, anyway? 5 travel questions about flying with phones answered

What happens if you don't use airplane mode on a flight? Here's the answer to that, and more common travel questions.

Bradley Fighting Vehicle

US Bradleys Are Killing It on Ukraine Frontlines

Smoke rises during Israeli strikes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip

Israel-Hamas war: IDF 'dismantling Hamas command centres' in Khan Younis

What Is Mastocytosis?

What Is Mastocytosis?

We've detected unusual activity from your computer network

To continue, please click the box below to let us know you're not a robot.

Why did this happen?

Please make sure your browser supports JavaScript and cookies and that you are not blocking them from loading. For more information you can review our Terms of Service and Cookie Policy .

For inquiries related to this message please contact our support team and provide the reference ID below.

I took a cold shower every day for a year. Here's what happened.

how many years for your phd

The cold water hits my face, then my body, like ... well, cold water. Abrupt. Icy. Chilling. Shocking. Then, somehow, soothing?

Nearly every day for the past year, I took a one-minute cold shower after my morning hot shower. I got the idea after editing a piece from a USA TODAY medical contributor: "Multiple research studies show that cold exposure is a 'good stressor' that floods our brains and bodies with adrenaline and dopamine, increasing our energy and focus and elevating our mood," wrote Dr. Michael Daignault . The recommendation is generally for a cold plunge pool, but he said a shower would work, too.

But was this a good idea? The truth is its health benefits are up for debate , like many health and wellness trends. But my habit probably isn't doing any harm, either.

'Lean into' the cold shower

Adrenaline and dopamine to start my day? Sure, I thought. Maybe I'd relax more. Breathe deeper. I'm a journalist (and a human), after all, so stress comes with the gig. "Instead of fighting our body’s natural reflex to breathe like this, lean into it and focus on quality breathing," wrote Daignault. "Over time, aim for progressively colder water and a longer time. One to three minutes daily is ideal."

Lean into it I did, no matter the temperature outside nor the location. In Washington, D.C., in Portugal, in New Jersey, in California, what have you. Some mornings I turned the water cooler than others. Some mornings I probably rushed that one minute. Either way, I breathed, deeply and slowly and felt my heart rate decrescendo like a piece of music.

Was this actually working, even if I wasn't exactly adhering to perfect guidance? Or was it all in my head?

How long should I take cold showers for each week?

Likely a mix of both. Potential health benefits go beyond aiding energy and focus; it could even boost your metabolism and curb inflammation. Groups like adventurous athletes might be more inclined to take a freezing dip in the first place, in hopes of healing injuries.

I'm not quite at that level, but I've been working out more. Strength training, running a few miles twice a week and taking high intensity interval training classes. Health benefits have evidently cropped up for me elsewhere (though, like many, I could certainly improve my diet), so who's to say exactly what I've been getting out of the cold showers in this regard?

Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford Medicine, Andrew Huberman , suggests 11 minutes per week over two to four sessions should do the trick.

"For deliberate cold exposure , *it doesn’t matter how you get cold as long as it’s uncomfortable but safe* (temp varies by person)," he wrote on X (formerly Twitter) in 2021. "Most studies were done with submersion in water to the neck, limbs, feet & hands in. Showers & layer shedding fine too but not much science there."

Former "Biggest Loser" trainer Jillian Michaels points to the same 11-minute recommendation, but that "the cold shower's better than nothing." Also remember to not heat up again: "The key is to let your body reheat itself," she told me just before the new year. "That's where a large amount of the benefits come from with regard to metabolism."

Hmm: The Rock takes a cold shower every day. Should you? Here's what experts say.

My cold shower plan for 2024

This year I plan on sticking with my cold shower routine. If anything, it makes me take stock of myself in a given moment. I stop thinking about what I have to accomplish that day. Stop worrying about what's going to happen next week. Stop stressing about what the next month will hold.

I focus on the here and now, because when ice injects itself into your veins, that's all you can do. Pause. Slow. Breathe .

Here's to a 2024 full of deep breaths for everyone. We're going to need it.

Noted: Why Epsom salt is a good home remedy this ER doctor says

IMAGES

  1. How Long Does It Take To Get A Phd Degree

    how many years for your phd

  2. How Long Does It Take To Get A Phd In Education

    how many years for your phd

  3. How Many Years For PhD After Bachelor's

    how many years for your phd

  4. How Many Years For PhD After Masters in the USA

    how many years for your phd

  5. How Many Years Is A Doctorate Degree

    how many years for your phd

  6. How Long Does It Take To Get A Doctorate In Business Administration

    how many years for your phd

VIDEO

  1. MIC Session From your PhD Masters Thesis to a Start up session

  2. Why you didn’t get into a PhD part 1 #phdrejection #phdapplication

  3. PhD Degree 11 Deepest Historical Study!

  4. How Can I Avoid Common Mistakes in a PhD Robotics Program?

  5. Top 5 CAREER Options After PhD (0 years of experience required)

  6. How much I make as a PhD student

COMMENTS

  1. 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. By Ilana Kowarski | Aug. 12, 2019, at 10:20 a.m. A Ph.D. is most appropriate for someone who...

  2. 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. By Ilana Kowarski Aug. 12, 2019, at 10:20 a.m. U.S. News & World Report (CAIAIMAGE/TOM MERTON/GETTY IMAGES) A Ph.D. is most appropriate for someone who is a "lifelong learner."

  3. How Do You Get a PhD? A Guide to the PhD Timeline

    The average PhD length is five or six years, while some students may take eight or nine years. Regardless of how long a PhD program takes, there are some common stages of a PhD that all doctoral students share. These major and essential milestones shape the timeline for earning your doctorate.

  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 such, it often takes longer to earn than a bachelor's or master's degree.

  5. How Long a Doctorate Degree Takes: Fast and Slow Doctoral Programs

    Apr 21, 2023 Obtaining a doctorate degree is the pinnacle of academic achievement and positions you as a leading expert in your field, thereby paving the way for diverse career opportunities. It is worth noting, however, that not all doctorate programs are created equal, and the duration of the program may vary depending on the subject area.

  6. Master's vs PhD

    A PhD, or doctoral degree, takes 3-7 years to complete (depending on the country) and prepares you for a career in academic research. A master's is also the necessary first step to a PhD. In the US, the master's is built into PhD programs, while in most other countries, a separate master's degree is required before applying for PhDs.

  7. How Long Does It Take to Earn a Doctoral Degree?

    Many PhD programs are designed to take just three to five years. And PhD programs are not the only road to a doctoral degree. You could also choose to earn a professional doctorate. What is a professional doctorate? Simply put, it's a doctoral degree more geared toward professional practice.

  8. How long does a PhD take?

    You should plan for your PhD to take at least 3 years and 3 months to complete when studying full time if you follow an ideal schedule. However, on average, we find people take 3 years and 9 months to complete a full-time PhD at UQ - and 4 years isn't uncommon, either. Remember: The world doesn't pause while you're doing your PhD.

  9. FAQ: How Many Years Does It Take to Complete a PhD?

    A Ph.D. typically takes between five to six years to complete but may take longer based on the program and the student. During the first half of a Ph.D. program, you usually complete coursework and exams. The latter half is for dissertation work, which can take between one to three years.

  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 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 ...

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

    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.

  13. What is a PhD?

    What does a PhD involve? A standard PhD degree is typically split into three stages. A three-year PhD may follow this pattern: First year - You'll meet with your supervisor to discuss your research proposal and agree an action plan with deadlines. You'll then complete your literature review, in which you'll evaluate and critique existing works to inform the direction of your project and ensure ...

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

    Most PhD programs require at least five to seven years to complete. These programs often follow a scientist-practitioner model that trains professionals both in research and clinical practice. In addition to regular coursework, you may also be expected to complete an internship or supervised residency.

  15. 9 things you should consider before embarking on a PhD

    9. There are no real breaks. In a stereotypical "9-to-5" job, when the workday is over or the weekend arrives, you can generally forget about your work. And a vacation provides an even longer respite. But in a PhD program, your schedule becomes "whenever you find time to get your work done."

  16. How Long Does a PhD Take?

    You'll normally spend at least three years of full-time PhD study on your topic, beginning with research and data collection before moving on to 'writing up' your work. As with other levels of study, your PhD will be your main focus and you'll be expected to dedicate a lot of your time on it.

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

    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.

  18. How Long is a PhD (Doctorate Degree)?

    Part-time PhDs are unusual in Europe. In Germany, you could expect a PhD to take four to eight years. France is similar to Germany, and it takes around three to four years for a full-time doctorate in the sciences, and four to five years for a doctorate degree in the arts and humanities. At the University of Oslo, it can take up to six years to ...

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

    It's important that you maintain a high GPA throughout your undergraduate years. Step 2: Complete a master's program. ... Once you complete your graduate program, it's time to apply for your PhD program. There are many doctoral programs to choose from, so it's important that you research and find the best fit for your field of study. ...

  20. Can I do a PhD after masters? How long does it take to get a PhD?

    PhD Dissertation Defense. 1-2 semesters. 13 years. The length of time to complete a PhD varies depending on several factors. On average, in the US it takes about six years, with three years dedicated to coursework and another three years for the dissertation project. Factors that can influence the duration include:

  21. How long does it take to get a PhD? Complete a PhD quickly

    It usually takes many part-time PhD students around 6 to 10 years to complete their PhD. This is longer than the typical three-year duration for full-time PhDs, but it allows students to keep their job and other commitments while working on their degree. Many PhD students opt for the part-time program in order to balance work and study commitments.

  22. How many years will it take to complete my Ph.D.?

    If you look at the data for the field of English language and literature, for example, you'll see that the median time to earn a Ph.D. is just shy of six years. I hope this information is helpful to you as you consider applying to graduate school! We'll post a modified version of this Q&A to the "Ask a Dean" page. Best regards, Jason

  23. How many years of school does it take to get a PhD? How long does it

    Generally, a minimum of 8-10 years of education beyond high school is required to earn a Ph.D. Bachelor's Degree is the first step towards achieving a Ph.D., which takes around 4 years. After getting the Bachelor's degree, one needs to complete a Master's degree, which typically takes 2-3 years.

  24. A New Year

    Happy New Year! As we welcome another year, it's a great time to focus on your financial future. Whether you're beginning your career or have been working for many years, now is the perfect time to learn about your retirement options (or refresh your memory!), review your progress, adjust your plan for reaching your retirement savings goal ...

  25. How many work hours in a year? We counted the days and crunched ...

    How many hours in a year? With 365 days in a year and 24 hours in a day, there are 8,760 total hours in a year. Between $5.15 and $16 an hour: Here's which state has the highest minimum wage

  26. What Started the Apple Watch Ban Saga? A Late-Night Email to CEO Tim

    December 27, 2023 at 2:58 PM PST. At about 1 a.m. California time in 2013, a scientist emailed Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook with an irresistible pitch. "I strongly believe that we ...

  27. What Recession? How So Many Economists Got It So Wrong

    Last year at this time, 85% of economists in one poll predicted a recession this year — and that was an optimistic take compared to the 100% probability of a recession forecast two months earlier.

  28. Cold shower benefits: The truth about cold plunge and your health

    The cold water hits my face, then my body, like ... well, cold water. Abrupt. Icy. Chilling. Shocking. Then, somehow, soothing? Nearly every day for the past year, I took a one-minute cold shower ...