why is a PhD usually structured to take about six years? Are there ever shortcuts to take less time?


Was talking to some friends about pursuing a PhD and some got turned off after learning it is 6 years because they say it would be exchanging the best years of your working life for someone that may not even guarantee a job you want

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9 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Depends on the field and the program. I did a bio PhD so I can comment on that. Our rule was essentially two first author papers or equivalent. That takes quite a bit of work, and it does work out to 6 years on average.

I took 5 years. I knew at least one person who did it in 3. Some took 9, 10, or 11 years (although many programs stop funding people after a certain number of years).

It also depends on the major professor. Some will simply not let you graduate “early” in their mind.

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