Many students who have done graduation have a number of questions in their minds about higher studies. The question that disturbs them the most is that how much time is required to get a doctorate degree. They want to know how many years of their life will be spent getting a doctorate degree. In this article, we will talk about different factors that decide the time period required to complete a doctorate degree. We will mainly focus on the universities in the US and the United Kingdom.

A student must think carefully before starting a doctorate-level degree program. It may take several years to complete a Ph.D. in certain subjects. The Ph.D. degree demands full devotion from the students. Ph.D. degree holders advise the students to carefully think about whether they really want a doctorate degree or not.

It has been said that it takes an average of 4 -5 years to earn a Ph.D. degree both in the UK and the US.  However, factors that can extend this time period are discussed below.

The most important factor that decides the duration of a Ph.D. degree is the dissertation. A Ph.D. student is required to produce an original academic dissertation in order to get the degree. They have to produce and successfully defend their dissertation in front of a dissertation committee in order to successfully get a Ph.D. degree. It is such a tough job that many Ph.D. students fall out of their degree programs because they continuously fail to defend their dissertation in front of the committee. Survey results show that only 56% of the students who begin their Ph.D. degrees are successful in defending their dissertation and getting a degree.

A Ph.D. student has to come with a dissertation after he has completed the course requirements and has cleared the examination. The courses required for a Ph.D. usually take two to three years. If a student is able to pass all the courses on the first attempt, he can fulfill the course requirements in just two to three years. After that, the time is consumed in producing and defending a unique academic dissertation.

Another important issue in getting a Ph.D. degree is funding. You must calculate your resources before starting a Ph.D. degree. If you want to earn a Ph.D. degree in minimal time, make sure you have enough funding to support your studies as well as your dissertation. If you fall short of funding in between your degree, you may have to find a job to meet the expenses. In that case, you will have to give your important time to your job. This will decrease your focus on your studies and you will need more time to complete your Ph.D. degree.

If you are willing to do a Ph.D., you must keep in mind that the purpose of a Ph.D. is to prepare you as a scholar. You may be required to publish papers in top-class journals of your field. If you fail to publish papers, this will further delay the time to get a Ph.D. degree.


We hope that this article on how long does it take to get a Ph.D. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.


About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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