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How long does it take to do a PhD in the USA. watch

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    How long does it take to do a masters degree and then a PhD in the USA, what is the minimum time and what is the average?
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    MS and MA degrees last for 1-3 years (average 2), but with a PhD it varies unpredictably.
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    iirc you don't need to do a masters to do a PhD, but I do know that they usually take 3 years or more to complete
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    (Original post by lucas13)
    How long does it take to do a masters degree and then a PhD in the USA, what is the minimum time and what is the average?
    You don't normally do an MA in the U.S a Phd can take up to 8 years.
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    (Original post by lucas13)
    How long does it take to do a masters degree and then a PhD in the USA, what is the minimum time and what is the average?
    Sometimes you can go straight from Bachelors to PhD. As stated above, the PhD can take up to 8 years, with the average time being around 5 years. But it does vary considerably depending on a lot of factors (subject, research, supervisor, funding, problems...).

    If you do a Masters after the Bachelors, the average time for that is around 1.5-2 years.
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    (Original post by chad_bro_chill)
    Sometimes you can go straight from Bachelors to PhD. As stated above, the PhD can take up to 8 years, with the average time being around 5 years. But it does vary considerably depending on a lot of factors (subject, research, supervisor, funding, problems...).
    As of 2007, the average length for a PhD was 8.2 years. PhDs taking 10 years or even longer are not at all uncommon in the humanities, but science PhDs are shorter and range from 5-7 years.

    (Original post by Helloworld_95)
    iirc you don't need to do a masters to do a PhD
    This varies tremendously from one field to another. There is not a single student in my department who came directly from undergrad -- everyone has either a master's (the majority) or relevant work/research experience (a few). In contrast, many of the grad students I know in other fields came directly from undergrad.
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    MAs are quite normal in the US and actually more common than the PhD.

    If you're concerned about the timing, make sure you choose a program that will offer a combined MA and PhD. In other words, they will give you an accelerated program for the MA and let you proceed directly to the PhD afterwards. No need to apply twice for two separate programs, and you can usually shave at least a year off the total time.

    How long it takes to finish the program will depend on what field you are studying.
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    Masters programs are typically 1.5-2 years.

    In the US, not all PhD programs require Masters to enter into the program. That said though, PhD typically take a minimum of 5 years. I know Columbia, for example, expects a PhD in psychology to take 7-8 years. PhDs in the US are far more time consuming than those in the UK.

    If you include our 4-year bachelors, students are looking at a total of 9-12 years minimum, if one does not include a masters program.
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    Is it true that American PhD programmes don't have time limits? In the UK, you can fail and be kicked off if you don't finish within 3-4 years but I hear of Americans spending nearly 10 years on theirs :eek4:
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    Interesting. I didn't know this. Is there a reason why PhDs take around double the length of time compared to US? More rigorous, expected to do more teaching?
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    (Original post by ch0llima)
    Is it true that American PhD programmes don't have time limits? In the UK, you can fail and be kicked off if you don't finish within 3-4 years but I hear of Americans spending nearly 10 years on theirs :eek4:
    That's typically true. If your performance is clearly subpar, the program will kick you out. However, no one in the US finished a PhD in 3-4 years. I've had PhD candidates teach classes here at NYU, some of which have changed their dissertation topics at least once. Most Universities will stop funding you after 5-7 years, but will not necessarily kick you out of the program.
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    (Original post by ch0llima)
    Is it true that American PhD programmes don't have time limits? In the UK, you can fail and be kicked off if you don't finish within 3-4 years but I hear of Americans spending nearly 10 years on theirs :eek4:
    yup,

    At my Uni there was a strict 4 year deadline.
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    (Original post by Minimalist__)
    Interesting. I didn't know this. Is there a reason why PhDs take around double the length of time compared to US? More rigorous, expected to do more teaching?
    Depends what you mean by rigorous. From my experience, my British PhD thesis is no more or less rigorous than US equivalents I have seen in the same subject. Nor are they more thorough. Basically, you could swap my thesis for an American one and you wouldn't be able to tell which was which (apart from institution names, British spelling etc).
    However, US PhD programmes include a taught component that takes 1-2 years, and usually a lot more research, only some of which goes into the thesis. We generally don't do lots of research that doesn't go in the thesis, because of the time limit.

    At the end of the day, if we could go beyond the 4 year limit, and could get funded for it, lots of us would hang around for 8 years, coz it's pretty sweet being a PhD student if you like your subject.
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    (Original post by Dirac Delta Function)
    Depends what you mean by rigorous. From my experience, my British PhD thesis is no more or less rigorous than US equivalents I have seen in the same subject. Nor are they more thorough. Basically, you could swap my thesis for an American one and you wouldn't be able to tell which was which (apart from institution names, British spelling etc).
    However, US PhD programmes include a taught component that takes 1-2 years, and usually a lot more research, only some of which goes into the thesis. We generally don't do lots of research that doesn't go in the thesis, because of the time limit.

    At the end of the day, if we could go beyond the 4 year limit, and could get funded for it, lots of us would hang around for 8 years, coz it's pretty sweet being a PhD student if you like your subject.
    I see. Yes, getting a £13,000 tax-free stipend for 8 years sounds like a good deal :cool:
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    (Original post by lucas13)
    How long does it take to do a masters degree and then a PhD in the USA, what is the minimum time and what is the average?
    Masters degree = 1 or 2 years depending on the program.

    PhD = typically 5 years. It takes that long because of the research component. Some students choose to do an MD/PhD degree which is about 7 years.

    I don't know what the rest of the folks here are talking about, it's not "timeless" nor is it "10 years". Nobody wants to be in school that long or have to pay that much!!
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    (Original post by neuro101)
    Masters degree = 1 or 2 years depending on the program.

    PhD = typically 5 years. It takes that long because of the research component. Some students choose to do an MD/PhD degree which is about 7 years.

    I don't know what the rest of the folks here are talking about, it's not "timeless" nor is it "10 years". Nobody wants to be in school that long or have to pay that much!!
    I wish it were typically 5 years. NYU Philosophy takes 5-7 years, Columbia psychology takes 7 years, Penn expects no less than 5 years. In the humanities, it's typically over 5 years for a PhD. UPenn, for example, allots up to 10 years for the student to complete the PhD in psychology.
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    (Original post by NYU2012)
    I wish it were typically 5 years. NYU Philosophy takes 5-7 years, Columbia psychology takes 7 years, Penn expects no less than 5 years. In the humanities, it's typically over 5 years for a PhD. UPenn, for example, allots up to 10 years for the student to complete the PhD in psychology.
    Do grad school in the west coast, UC system is pretty great . Crazy expensive, but I think it is worth it.

    Are you majoring in all the above...hardcore!

    UPenn, really? That's like med school years all together! I think in this case they should have some kind of limit.
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    (Original post by neuro101)
    Do grad school in the west coast, UC system is pretty great . Crazy expensive, but I think it is worth it.

    Are you majoring in all the above...hardcore!

    UPenn, really? That's like med school years all together! I think in this case they should have some kind of limit.
    I'm a double major in philosophy and politics, minors in psychology and sociology. Sadly, NYU won't let students triple major, otherwise I would have dropped my sociology minor and picked up a psychology triple major instead.

    I'm not familiar enough the UC system to know, but, for PhD programs, do they stipend their PhD students? For example, NYU psychology department pays for your tuition, gives you healthcare and benefits and pays you or rather stipends you $22,000 per year for five years for your living expenses.
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    (Original post by NYU2012)
    I'm not familiar enough the UC system to know, but, for PhD programs, do they stipend their PhD students? For example, NYU psychology department pays for your tuition, gives you healthcare and benefits and pays you or rather stipends you $22,000 per year for five years for your living expenses.
    I'm a PhD student at UCLA. I get tuition, a stipend (nowhere nearly $22K, sadly), and health/dental insurance. In return, I work as a teaching assistant (for the unfamiliar, I grade papers and teach ~20 students for one hour a week).

    The UC system is getting hit really, really hard by budget cuts, though, and I consider myself very fortunate that I received funding...many don't.
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    (Original post by lucas13)
    How long does it take to do a masters degree and then a PhD in the USA, what is the minimum time and what is the average?
    Oh man. Don't do both. That'd be a complete and utter waste of your time. Decide on doing one or the other and stick with it.

    Masters Degree: 2 years.

    PhD: 4 years+

    Usually it's more than four years because you're working full-time and in school. But, yeah, defo don't do both.
 
 
 

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