How Long Does it Take to Get a PhD? See Full Information : Current School News

How Long Does it Take to Get a PhD? See Full Information

Filed in Education by on March 12, 2021



If you have decided to have a doctorate degree, the next question should be how long does it take to get a PhD? Definitely, you will love to estimate how long it will take to get a PhD before getting the benefit of education. In this post, you will get to know what PhD is all about, how long does it take to get PhD, and the importance of PhD.

How Long Does it Take to Get a PhD? See Full Information

A PhD is one of the most prestigious academic degrees in the world, so what does it take to earn the title of Doctor of Arts or Science? How much effort is actually required? Is it true that PhDs are as difficult as everyone claims? Most importantly, how long does to get one, and will it be worthwhile in the end?

Interestingly, with all those questions in mind, here’s everything you need to know about doing a PhD

What is the Importance of Acquiring a PhD?

If you want to teach at a higher education institution, the degree is table stakes to get in the door. If you want industry leadership, the degree can deliver substantial credibility. And also, if youā€™re eyeing for that top-floor corner office, the degree can be a huge differentiator.

Having this title means you can change your title at that bank, with the credit card company, and on your passport. And if anyone asks why you can call yourself a ā€˜Drā€™ without knowing one end of a scalpel from the other, tell them that doctor comes from the Latin word which means ‘distinguished teacher.’

However, it became a common medical term after physicians were required to complete a doctorate before becoming licensed medical practitioners. But aside from the prestige and a few opportunities to show off, being an academic ā€˜Dr.ā€™ has several practical benefits.

To start with, it is a prerequisite for anyone who wants to build an academic career. And even if you decide against a career in the academy, having a Ph.D. on your CV will impress nearly all potential employers.

Finally, a PhD is lots of fun! Obviously it involves years of hard work, but you will also be spending time with people who share your interests and passions.

Also, there are plenty of travel opportunities for many PhD students. You could find yourself at a prestigious conference surrounded by the leading experts in your subject, or working on a research project in some of the world’s most exotic locations

Types of Doctorate Degrees

There are two basic types of doctoral degrees: the research-oriented degree, and the professional application degree (also called an applied doctorate). The difference between the two types of programs may be a bit murkier than you think.

Hereā€™s a breakdown of the two common types of doctorate programs.

1) The Professional Doctorate: An Application-Oriented Program

The professional doctorate (also called an applied doctorate, or terminal doctorate) is a degree that focuses on the application of a subject within real-world contexts or scenarios.

Most likely, youā€™ll want to pursue this type of degree if your goals include career advancement, meeting the requirements for certain high-level corporate jobs, establishing teaching credibility within the industry, or building a consulting business.

Some common professional doctorates include:

  • Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
  • Also, Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA)
  • Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
  • Doctor of Professional Studies ā€“ Instructional Design Leadership
  • And, Doctor of Finance (DPH)

This type of degree may or may not require a dissertation. Unlike the academia-focused research doctorate, the curriculum of the professional doctorate will encourages you to tackle real-world issues within their field, research and present a solution.

2) The Ph.D.: A Research-Oriented Doctorate

These degrees are commonly referred to as Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.s). Some common research-oriented doctorates include the following:

  • Doctor of Arts (D.A.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Also, Doctor of Business Management (Ph.D)
  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
  • Doctor of Theology (Th.D.)
  • And, Doctor of Public Health (DPH)

ā€œPhilosophyā€ in this sense refers to the concept of research and pursuit of knowledge, as opposed to the actual subject of philosophy. A core component of this type of degree is the dissertation process.

How Does a Doctorate Works?

How Does a Doctorate Works?

The path to a doctoral degree is typically comprised of four stages of coursework: a core set of research and prep classes, a set of major area emphasis courses, and electives courses

1. The Research Core

In most doctoral programs, you’ll start your degreeĀ with a common core of classes. The research core establishes the foundational skills you’ll need to complete the degree’s level of work.

This core often includes advanced writing methods, research methodology and design, applied statistics, colloquium courses, and courses in qualitative and quantitative research and analysis.

2. Major Focus Area

Once the research core is complete, you will typically take courses in your major emphasis of study.

For instance, if youā€™re earning a Ph.D. in Human Services, you will likely take courses in advanced study in research methods for public service, social influences of behavior, ethics in decision making, and advanced communication for the human services leader.

Also, if youā€™re earning a DBA (Doctor of Business Administration), you will likely take courses in organizational behavior, organizational systems, strategic thinking and decision making, ethics and change management.

Furthermore, if youā€™re earning a DHA (Doctor of Healthcare Administration), you will likely take courses in healthcare policy and regulations, healthcare economics and finance, quality improvement and process improvement, and health information governance.

3. Electives

In most doctoral programs, you will also be required to take certain electives within your field. This helps provide a rounded worldview to apply your doctorate in real-world environments.

For instance, if youā€™re pursuing a DPS (Doctor of Professional Studies) with an emphasis in Instructional Design Leadership, you may take a course from the DHA track if you want to apply for your doctorate in the public health environment.

How Long Will it Take to Earn Your Doctorate?

Hmmm! the long-awaited answer. The answer depends on the path you choose. The degree requires anywhere from 60 to 120 semester credit hours (or, approximately 20-40 college classes).

However, most Ph.D.s require the full 120 hours, while most applied doctorates are closer to the lower end of that spectrum.

On average, a Ph.D. may take up to eight years to complete. A doctorate degree typically takes four to six years to complete. However, this timing depends on the program design, the subject area youā€™re studying, and the institution offering the program.

Meanwhile, most PhD students in the UK take three to four years to complete a PhD; while in the US the median amount of time it takes students to complete their doctorate is 5.8 years.

It will also depend on which university awards the doctorate. The timescales also vary quite dramatically from country to country, so international students should always do plenty of research before applying for a PhD abroad.

Highly technical subjects such as physics often require years of research, meaning some PhD students study for up to eight years before earning ā€˜Drā€™ status.

The same goes for subjects such as psychology, where students have to complete long residences in a medical setting. And if you’re interested in a PhD in architecture, you are going to be in it for the long haul. A doctorate in architecture takes around ten years! The biological sciences tend to require the least amount of time.

Maybe I Can Study PhD as Part-time?

Many students choose part-time study because of the significant time commitment required to complete a Ph.D.  The majority of part-time PhDs are in Education, medicine, social studies, and veterinary sciences. They usually take six to eight years to complete, but there are many advantages to taking the long route to your doctorate.

Part-time students dedicate between 20-30 hours a week to their studies, which leaves plenty of time for work or raising a young family. It is also the best option if you are studying pleasure rather than with a specific career goal in mind.

Meanwhile, a full-time Ph.D. can be a stressful experience — tight deadlines and demanding supervisors might suck away some of the fun for those of you who enjoy a more relaxed approach to learning.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is Ph.D. Program Exams Like?

Doctoral students undergo a series of tests regularly before they finish their Ph.D. degrees. Usually, students take a rigorous test during the first year of Ph.D. studies to assess their expertise in a selected area of study.

In addition, to assess their basic knowledge of a certain Ph.D. discipline, students take a candidacy exam.

The tests are usually produced by school divisions, but some encourage students to select particular subjects within a curriculum covered by the examination.

2) What should I know before Starting a Ph.D. Program?

Before beginning a doctoral program, the most important thing to consider is whether the candidate is sufficiently committed and motivated to persevere, as well as whether he has the skill and ability to research at the desired pace.

Also, when choosing the right program, considerations such as the reputation of the program and the validity of the degree within your discipline count for much more than the potential for future income.

For doctoral programs, one should not have to pay, but to obtain important scholarships and teaching stipends.

3. How Long does it take to get a Ph.D. through Distance Education?

Distance learning is an option if you cannot be physically present at your university. Most distance doctorates are also studied part-time and take between 5 to 6 years to complete.

This option is increasing in availability, but it may be more difficult to administer in some fields that require regular laboratory work or access to specialized facilities.

Also, as a Ph.D. Long-distance student, you can expect to contact your supervisor by email, Skype or other electronic means, as well as potentially attending the institution of your study for a couple of weeks each year.

4. Is a Doctorate worth it?

Although money might be tight while you study, a Ph.D. is well worth the investment, especially in fields like law, pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical sciences, and finance. You would be more likely to receive a higher salary if you have a doctorate than if you only have a master’s degree.

5. Can I get a PhD. for free?

But full funding, at a very generous university, may mean exactly what it sounds like ā€“ everything you need is paid, with no money (or student loans) from you.

However, free PhD programs come at a cost. Thatā€™s why youā€™ll rarely find a free online PhD ā€“ most free PhD programs are on-campus.

6. Is a PhD Better than a Doctorate?

The biggest distinction between a doctorate and a Ph.D. is the definition of each word. A doctorate is a broad term that refers to a degree or rank. A Ph.D., on the other hand, is a particular degree that belongs to the doctorate category. A doctorate is a program that can result in either a professional or an academic degree

In summary, earning a Ph.D. is an exciting but daunting undertaking. If you want to develop a career in academia and climb the academic world, it is a must.

However, its complexity is the explanation for the harsh reality that most Ph.D. students will not graduate with a Ph.D. You must come to terms with yourself that dropping out is a possibility if care is not taken.

So whatā€™s your take on this? Share with us in the comment box. Also, do not forget to share this post via the share button below. You can as well subscribe to get the latest info on this topic and related topics.

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