Does it take too long to get PhD? How long it takes?

How long does it take to get a PhD

The longevity of PhD lasts up to 6 years. It depends on many conditions and options that you take. The length of part-time phd varies from full-time phd and simultaneously with online PhD which takes only 1 year to get awarded. If this sounds right then here I have given subject wise length and duration of phd. How many years phd may take for each project.

How long does a PhD take subject-wise?

Country-Wise Length

Duration of Part-Time PhD degrees

How many years of Online PhD degree

Longer Ph.D.’s

Does it take more than 10 years to do a Ph.D.?

phd after a masters

Normally, a PhD after masters takes 4 years to complete in full-time mode and about 5 years in part-time mode. Again it depends on how you do research work properly during the said period. If you are not up to the mark, Ph.D. can pull you up to 10 years.

PhD after bachelors

If you want to start a direct PhD after bachelors, it becomes an integrated program. It takes 5 to 6 years to complete in full-time mode. There are no part-time options if you want to pursue phd after bachelors straight away.

phd in engineering

A PhD in Engineering takes around 6 to 9 years to complete. When you do it for full time, a Doctoral degree in Engineering could be around 4 years to finish. It highly depends on how you work. It also depends on the conditions that your university puts for submission of a thesis.

phd in physics

PhD in Physics can take up to 7 years to complete under part-time. But if you go for full-time PhD in Physics, it can take up to 3-4 years. Physics is all about the formulation of various theories. So research may sometime need time to prove certain results. This is where you spend most of the time. If you start your experiments early, it will benefit your time period.

phd in psychology

A PhD in Psychology can take around 8 years to complete under part-time or distance mode. If you opt for full-time phd it takes 5 years for sure. Psychology is about many time taking theories where you need to have a field study so much. This is how you will waste much of the time when a thing is not moving correctly in the field.

phd in history

A PhD in history is very easy to complete. As it is a subject based on only reading and analyzing rather than experimenting too much. There is not much of the fieldwork involved. It depends on how efficiently you finish it. It takes 2 1/2 years to get a PhD in history. It is easy if you are interested in historical figures and analysis.

phd in computer science

A PhD in computer science takes around 3 years to complete. It may take up to 4 to 5 years researching distantly. But it is quite an easy subject as there is so much information available on the internet. There is no problem in getting enough ideas for research.

phd in English

PhD in English has 2 fields of study. The first one is a PhD in English Language Teaching and the other field is a PhD in English Literature. It takes just 3 years for literature. But for ELT, it takes more time because it involves doing research from the students perspective. A lot of traveling and surveys are required.

phd in business

A PhD in business takes around 7 years time. It takes too long because you need to research from various backgrounds of customers. It is hard for some people who are introverts. If you are a person of a talker, then you can easily complete it in lesser times too.

PhD How many years in India?

It takes 3 years to complete a PhD in India as a full-time scholar. A candidate that is considering to do a doctorate in their preferred field for Ph.D. in India should consider not less than three years.

The country’s revised May 2006 Senate Memo No. 2006/318/05/14 requires that a student must take three years to complete their PhD course although this is not always the case.

Other factors determine the duration such as the nature of the course and the university chosen by the student. It is normal for some PhD. courses to take more than three years with some taking up to six years while others shorter time.

Although India’s duration for a full-time PhD. should be 36 months, some universities offer scholars specific courses for as less as two years. However, it should be noted that shorter duration does not mean that the quality of education is compromised.

How Long does it take a Phd from Australia

Australia is a lovely country that not only offers the world a magnificent landscape and rich culture but also educational opportunities. International students are at liberty to explore the academic resources available in the country’s 43 universities that offer Ph.D. opportunities.

Generally, a full-time PhD. in the country takes up to 36 months to complete according to the state’s education system.

This duration is desirable to many international students who wish to pursue their doctorate of choice especially if one compares it with other countries such as the United States where scholars are required to spend five whole years on their PhD.

The Australian education system is designed such that scholars can acquire advanced research skills in three years. The courses are based on pure research which transforms scholars to competent professionals.

PhD in the UK- How many years?

Similar to India and Australia, it takes a PhD. scholar in UK 3 years to complete the program regardless of which field they have chosen.

However, there is another program dubbed M Phil which acts as a bridge to a Ph.D. The course enables students that do not qualify for a PhD. to take classes that make them eligible if they pass.

M Phil courses take up to 9 months after which after the candidate has passed eligible to apply for a transfer to the Ph.D. course of choice.

During the three years, candidates are required to complete a thesis paper of not more than 100,000 words. The research paper must exhibit innovation and originality to satisfy examiners.

The three-year duration is considered adequate for a candidate to acquire technical research skills and techniques in the respective fields.

PhD from the USA

Unlike most countries that require students to take three years to complete their PhD., the United States has set the bar higher, and generally, it takes 4-6 years to complete a full-time PhD.

Although the maximum duration is six years and the minimum is four years, it depends on certain conditions. The U.S.’s education system requires that isolated situations such as candidates who join a PhD. program straight from an undergraduate degree must take five to six years to finish the course.

The traditional procedure is that a student first does a masters than the doctorate. A candidate that has completed a masters in their field or any other relevant field is scheduled to complete a PhD. course in four years.

It is worth noting that the four-year duration waivers off some courses which means that this program is only applicable to some classes.

Ph.D. from Sweden

Sweden offers an excellent option for scholars that wish to do doctorate courses in some of the best universities recognized globally.

The Swedish education system is unique in that it does not offer a PhD. the program, but instead, it offers plans that are based on research. The implication is that scholars will spend their time preparing for their thesis.

Incorporated in the Swedish education system are seminars and small courses that are essential to the scholar. The research-based program, seminars, and the short courses take a scholar four years to complete their PhD. program.

Apart from the four-year period for a full-time PhD., it is important to note that a student is awarded the doctorate title after attaining ECTS credits that total 240.

During the period, students are required to complete sections of scholarly works which are combined to form the dissertation. The dissertation can also be in the form of a monograph.

PhD from Germany

The German education system does not resemble those in most countries and is therefore unique. To begin with, scholars are not required to pay any tuition fee for the doctoral program, and therefore they are entirely free as long as the candidate has met the admission’s requirements.

Depending on the course chosen by the candidate, a doctoral program can take two to six years. The duration of the courses are divided into three categories according to two fields of study namely; arts and humanities and exact and natural sciences.

A scholar doing a doctorate in humanities and arts is required to cover a duration of four to six years depending on what they have majored. Candidates doing a course in exact and natural sciences are required to take four to five years again depending on the course that they have chosen.

PhD from Cyprus

Among the islands in the Mediterranean region, Cyprus is one of the largest and has all resources that one would desire including high-quality education for both local and international students.

Among the requirements for a candidate to enroll in Cyprus is that they are required to prove that they are proficient in English. It means that candidates are required to have a diploma in English.

However, certificates are also accepted such as IELTS, C2 Proficiency, C1 Advanced, and TOEFL. Generally, it takes a scholar at least three years to complete a doctorate program, but the duration can be extended. The period is only extended if the student requests for an extension and the length of extension cannot exceed two semesters.

Part-Time PhD in India

In India, it takes 4 to 9 years

The period for a part-time PhD. in India varies according to the nature of the program that the student has chosen to pursue.

Usually, the duration could last from as less as two years to as long as six years.  Some courses require two years, and in the case of external scholars, it needs three years.

The eligibility qualifications are similar to full-time candidates in that they should be postgraduates or present an equivalent.

During the duration of the study, candidates are required to produce a research thesis and minimum course credit. For students that are unable to attend on-campus classes, they can still do their doctorate in India through distant learning programs.

However, it should be noted that such degrees are not valued as much as those acquired through a full time learning basis.

Part-Time PhD inAustralia

In Australia, it takes seven years

Australia is a lovely country that not only offers the world a magnificent landscape and rich culture but also educational opportunities.

Although full-time Ph.D.’s are available to international students, part-time Ph.D.’s are not and therefore only local students are allowed to do them.

Generally, a part-time PhD. in the country takes up to 84 months to complete according to the state’s education system. This duration is desirable to many local students who wish to pursue their doctorate of choice especially if one compares it with other countries such as the United States.

The Australian education system is designed such that scholars can acquire advanced research skills in their chosen fields while they are still attending to other duties such as personal life and job responsibilities.

The courses are based on pure research which transforms scholars to competent professionals after the duration. Although it may seem like a long time, scholars must also consider other achievements that would otherwise not be possible on a full-time basis.

Part-Time PhD in UK

In the UK it takes six years

Due to the nature of part-time programs, it is a requirement that one must be local to be able to do a doctoral program in the United Kingdom.

For this reason, such programs are not available to international students. Therefore if one is considering to take a doctoral course in the UK and they are not citizens of the country, they should consider doing so on a full-time basis.

The only way that international students can access a part-time PhD program is through Distant Learning PhD. Program.

However, for local students, most PhD. and M Phil programs are available on a part-time basis, and they can be completed on an average duration of six years.

Generally, the courses can be completed in four years, but there are cases where students may require an extension. In that case, students are allowed to take as long as seven years to complete their doctoral program.

Almost all on-campus doctorate program in the UK is available on a part-time basis but to the candidates, as mentioned above.

Part-Time PhD in USA

In the USA it takes 9-10 years

Doing a part-time PhD. in the United States is probably the longest course that one can take globally compared to the period it takes in other countries.

Regardless of whether one has a master’s degree, a qualified candidate is still to take up to ten years to complete a doctorate program. Part-time Ph.D.’s enable students to achieve the doctorate program off-site which means that residency is required.

It is deemed necessary that students must interact with graduate peers and faculty members and this is facilitated by residency. Most programs require that candidates should have a minimum of one-year residency.

Before a part-time student is enrolled for a program, it is a requirement that they must take a qualifying exam like full-time candidates.

The qualifying exam is meant to prove that they are ready to go through the dissertation process. Although it takes longer for a part-time basis, the same dissertation quality as a full time one is required of part-time candidates.

Part-Time PhD in Sweden

In Sweden, The duration and length is eight years

In Sweden, the education system divides institutions of higher learning into two groups; namely full universities and university-colleges.

All these learning facilities offer both masters and bachelor’s titles. The differences arise in that only full universities provide doctoral title while the latter do not have entitlement.

However, times are changing, and the government has started granted some university-colleges the power to do so. While a full-time doctoral program takes four years to complete, part-time courses take much longer and can last for as long as eight years.

According to the higher learning education system in Sweden, one academic year is equivalent to 60 points, and the total points required aggregate to 240.

These 240 points are distributed equally so that one academic year needs scoring 30 points. In the country, master’s program is more common on a part-time basis and can be accessed on the duration of two years some of which include Master’s in Program in Open e-Government and Master’s in Interaction design.

Part-Time in Germany

In Germany, Part-time Ph.D. holds eight years

As mentioned earlier, the German education system is unique even when it comes to classifying PhD. programs regarding full time and part-time.

Usually, students studying in Germany either they are full time or part time have the same, and the value of the degree is the same.

There are no scholarships in the country and instead of students getting the same, the get regular salaries. This is because they are considered more of working researchers than students.

The norm is that students studying for the doctoral program are employed officially as teaching or research assistants. The difference between the two categories (part time and full time) is brought about by the amount of regular salary that one earns.

It is also dependent on the source of funding. Technically, in Germany, dissertations are written during one’s free time.

Part-Time PhD duration from Cyprus

In Cyprus, it takes five years for part-time

Among the islands in the Mediterranean region, Cyprus is one of the largest and has all resources that one would desire including high-quality education for both local and international students.

Among the requirements for a candidate to enroll in Cyprus is that they are required to prove that they are proficient in English.

It means that candidates are required to have a diploma in English. However, certificates are also accepted such as IELTS, C2 Proficiency, C1 Advanced, and TOEFL.

Generally, it takes a scholar at least five years to complete a doctorate program on a part-time basis, but the duration can be extended. The duration is only extended if the student requests for an extension and the duration of extension cannot exceed two semesters.

However, it should be noted that there is a doctoral program that can be completed in 3 years while others can take as long as eight years.  One example is a Doctorate in Public Administration offered at the University of Nicosia. The program takes 3-8 years for completion.

How long Does it take to get an Online PhD

Apart from the part-time and full-time doctoral program, there is another category of a program that enables students to pursue their dream doctorate courses at the comfort of their homes or countries of origin without necessarily traveling to foreign countries.

Such are known as online Ph.D. Programs. It is necessary for students to choose wisely the institutions where they wish to study for their courses.

There is no specific duration for these types of courses, and it depends on the faculty’s requirement. The length that one takes to complete an online PhD program is dependent on the number of credit hours required for a given course to be considered complete.

Typically, the duration is taken to complete such a program on a part-time basis two times the time taken to finish it on a full-time basis. This means that a 90-credit hour course that is scheduled to complete in three years on full-time should take a part-time student seven years to achieve the same.

The duration can be altered because some facilities allow for the transfer of credits from other PhD. programs.

Due to the nature of online PhD. programs, the dates or deadlines for submitting assignments are also different because it depends on the faculty requirements and the date that the course started.

Academic years are different thus students may be taking the same online course but in different institutions. However, it should be noted that deadlines are not the same for full-time and part-time students and they are dependent on the arrangement made by the student and the institution.

More attention is paid to the credit hours which means that the faster the student can complete the credit hours, the shorter the deadlines for submitting assignments. This is the case for students who may wish to achieve a doctorate in the shortest time possible.

Complete PhD in one year easily

Currently, there are online PhD. programs on certain websites that offer PhD. scholars the opportunity to complete a doctorate course in as little time as one year.

Although it is highly recommended that one should not go for this option, it is still possible. Usually, online courses require three years for full time and seven years for part-time.

These shortcut programs are often known as accelerated programs, and one can quickly complete their course without ever seeing the corners of campus lecture halls.

The programs require that scholars can put the required credit hours for one year. Though it may be tempting to accelerate one’s degree, it is highly recommended to refrain from such programs because the title attached to them may not be reputable and in almost all cases it is not.

Are shorter online PhD degrees Valid?

No recognition if you do online PhD in a shorter time

As discussed, online courses are designed to make earning a PhD. easier and within a short time compared to on-campus programs.

A doctorate program is meant to make the scholar acquire necessary research skills.

For this to be possible, it is essential that the scholar works closely with the supervisor which means that the two parties must have face-to-face meetings intended for the discussion of the dissertation.

It is only through these meetings that the supervisor can be able to advise the scholar effectively. The nature of online courses makes them less recognized and build a bad reputation for the PhD. holder.

Furthermore, there are many online PhD. programs on the internet that are offered by scam institutions that are not recognized or certified as institutions of higher learning.

As stated, online degrees are not recognized, and therefore most of the institutions offering the same are only in it for the money that they extort from unsuspecting students in the name of tuition fees.

The notion that one can earn a doctorate in a year is ridiculous, and the only thing that is most likely to come out of it is a fraud.

The desire to complete a PhD. program in a short time and without having to travel to foreign countries may end up in wasting money of fake tuition fees especially since such programs are offered on the internet on websites that can be brought down anytime.

For those that are genuine as in the case of Distant Learning, the degree earned is not recognized and therefore the student will have wasted their fees and time which are resources that are hard to come by.

Consequently, it is better to dedicate one’s resources in a part-time program since it is more flexible and still earn a reputable degree.

Our analysis of online courses presents findings that make us highly recommend doctorate aspirants to refrain from doing the PhD. online.

We suggest that one identifies a reputable organization physically before applying for the desired PhD. program. This will save the candidate a lot of resources in times of time, labor and finances.

There is no need to spend a lot of time trying to achieve credit hours in unreasonable duration while at the same time paying for the same only to end up with a title that is not recognized in the job market.

Instead, we recommend that one opts for a part-time program because the title is recognized like a full-time on and the only difference is the time taken to complete the course.

Will you get govt. jobs for a shorter Online PhD

You will not get government jobs

Although there are isolated cases where an online PhD. can be counted for a doctorate, this mostly happens in the private sector.

In the public sector, such a doctorate is not recognized, and therefore the holder may be treated as one who does not have a PhD.

The situation is even worse when the holder is trying to secure employment in government institutions. Governments never hire scholars with online PhD. since they lack fundamental research skills and techniques.

Such techniques are necessary for solving complex problems in the real world. Experience owned by those with these degrees is all hypothetical as opposed to the practical experience required by government institutions.

When looking for employment in learning facilities, this is the first disqualification that eliminates the candidate from the application process.

Faculties prefer employees that have completed their course on a physical basis because it shows that candidates are capable of interacting with faculty members and familiarizing with the organization’s setting.

Colleges like governments also require the first-hand experience which can only be acquired through full time and part time programs as opposed to online courses.

Students who choose to complete their PhD. programs online risk acquiring only hypothetical or theoretical knowledge. It means that they do not have a real understanding of problems facing society and therefore may not be in a position to provide solutions to the same.

A PhD. holder is expected to have advanced research skills that enable them to identify complex problems as well as their causes.

They must have the ability to apply creativity and innovation to present possible solutions to such issues. Unfortunately, students with online degrees lack the knowledge to execute such responsibilities and therefore they are at a disadvantage compared to other scholars.

Less Salary compared to full-time PhD

If a graduate with an online course manages to secure employment, they are not treated equally with one that has completed their course on a full-time basis.

First of all, their degree is not recognized and therefore they are not respected as one having the ‘Doctor’ title should. Consequently, the amount of money attached to their salary is much less compared to other PhD. holders.

They may also be faced with challenges when it comes to promotion which means that they are likely to remain in the same job portfolio for a long time even if they have acquired working experience.

Does it take more than 10 years to do a Ph.D.?

Our answer is absolute ‘yes.’ Under some exceptions, it may happen.  Usually, when you join your PhD, you are very much interested to do it in 3 years. You are very determined. But after one year you lose interest due to some of your personal reasons or many other bad reasons.

This is the time you start losing interest and motivation when you really had it at the beginning of your PhD. This is the common reason that I have seen with most of the PhD students who are still doing a Ph.D. even after 11 years. Of course, 11 is greater than 10.

But this is true that many Ph.D. candidates are in great trouble to finish their Ph.D. in a stipulated period of time. There are many causes for this. The main cause that I have noticed is that they are not in a good relationship with a Ph.D. supervisor. This is the main drawback.

The second reason that I found was they fell in love with a girl or a boy and they date PhD students and remain careless. The other noticeable reason is that PhD students usually lose interest basically.

They might have been demotivated by some other friends. They may think that doing PhD is a bit overqualified. So you must really think about whether you give in to all these reasons.

You will end up with a lot of confusion and continue doing PhD for more than 10 years. You need to restrain all the above-given temptations.

This is where you will become successful. If you are not able to do this, better you do not take the admission. As I have already said that you cannot opt for PhD if you are not dedicated and committed to the cause of doing PhD.

There are many other reasons like you may be busy with other professional works while doing your Part-time PhD. Usually, you do 10 years Ph.D. when you opt for part-time and be busy in your professional area. This is something insane and not the correct way of pursuing your PhD.

Never place yourself in such a position. It is a mockery tomorrow when you tell others that you did PhD for a long time of 10 years. But sometimes this is also a privilege in some countries.

But you waste a lot amount of time and life doing PhD. When you become old enough, you will not have the strength to do justice to your qualification. You will be weak to work as the days and age pass by.

So take all the duration of your PhD seriously and take step by step action on how to lessen your PhD time to just 3 years. Even under some exceptional conditions, you can also finish your PhD in just 2 and a half years.

But this requires a lot of effort and Scopus Indexed Publications. Anything is possible if you want to decide something very precious to your life.

This is just doing your PhD and finish it asap with all the determination and good results. Stay on the campus and involve actively in the research areas.

Meet the other research scholars and discuss some points of your Ph.D. problem. In this way, you can get rid of all temptation and become successful. There may be some family problems. But take some time to relax and accept.

When you do your PhD there may be chances that your own PhD colleagues are not interested in doing PhD. They want to quit. By seeing them you too will pull up with a desire in your heart. You will also want to quit.

This happened many times with many scholars. So never take others as an example to demotivate yourself. Rather I suggest being determined and highly confident about doing your PhD course.

You will become good and can finish your PhD faster than your desired time.

When you join Part Time PhD, you will be also doing some job. Most of the time your job is in some private industry where they will stress you up with many targets.

You can easily fall into that madness of doing the job. You will completely forget your basic responsibility of Part them PhD. You want to impress your boss in your professional job and lose your Ph.D. goals.

Those who are with this behavior, I recommend to think about this and change your lifestyle and the way you move in your professional job.

Always have an eye on what is happening your Part-time Ph.D. and stick to the research work timetable. Do not just skip doing research for the sake of reaching the targets given by your boss in your professional area.

If you are not able to do justice to your Part Time PhD, it is better to quit your professional job and take up those jobs with lesser tasks and with no stress and pressure.

This way you can be out from that professional madness. You can very well look up your Ph.D. and do regular research without giving any justifications.

Cultivate this great habit of being a Ph.D. student and scholar. Nowadays this kind of quality is typically lacking with many of the Ph.D. aspirants. Without doing some reading, how can you play the game of Ph.D?

You need to read a lot of books related to your PhD subject area. You will get a lot of ideas with this. These days technology is so high that we are not in a position to read practically any book.

We want to spend reading on the mobile screen. But you will never succeed with such gadgets. The only reason is once in 5 minutes you fell to check your Whats App status.

This is not exactly the way to read. That is why I suggest with many experiences that to read only by holding a book. This way of reading will solve many of the problems of reading in an interesting and understandable way.

Never choose a topic what others suggest or you never ask someone to suggest a topic to research. In this way, you will fail to do a Ph.D. with good interest.

It is you who have to decide by sitting at your place quietly and working out on your interests in your subject areas. You choose the topic and afterward, you can discuss the same with your colleagues or well-wishers.

Ultimately once the topic is finalized it is you who have to prepare the dissertation and not the other. So do it all by yourself when choosing a topic for your research at the beginning of your Ph.D.

Your guide and supervisor may choose a topic in which she or he is good at. Never listen to them. They will spoil you that way all of your interest. You try to defend how interested are you to work on the topic that you have taken.

Do not feel shy and give in to their wishes. This happens most of the time and you will not be able to pursue your PhD with good zeal and interest.

In case if your PhD supervisor is not agreeing with your topic, I suggest you strongly to change the university all the way. There will be many in other universities who can really guide you in your research. After all, you are the researcher and they are the only guide.

Wait with patience till you get a good supervisor who can support you in your topic of research. You are going to enjoy your 3 years Ph.D. if you get to work on the topic of your choice, shape, and wish.

Be warned that your 3 years dissertation is not shared with others or any other professors. This will just slap you. There may be chances to copy all your dissertation and submit to journals before you do it.

This way all your hard work will go away. Your full 3-year collection of new research ideas and experiments will go in vain. You cannot trust your friends for the sake of goodness and shyness. Never share your dissertation for proofreading to one person.

Divide your dissertation into different modules and pages. Do proofreading with many different people. This will keep you safe as no one gets tempted to copy one module or a page of your dissertation.

Nobody feels to do it. That one page of your dissertation is useless to publish into a journal.  So split your dissertation pages into many and choose whom to give them.

This is the best formula not to become a victim of the plagiarism.

Final Words on PhD Time Duration

It just depends on you alone. There is no special duration. You do it and you get it. This is the slogan of PhD. If you do it perfectly, you will finish not less than 3 years. Never opt for one year Ph.D. and 2-year Ph.D. This is all rubbish and you will end up not getting good jobs after doing such low quality and unrecognized Ph.D.’s.

Syam Reddy

Hello, My name is Syam, Professor of English and Mentor for Ph.D. students worldwide. I have worked years to give you these amazing tips to complete your Ph.D. successfully. Having put a lot of efforts means to make your Ph.D. journey easier. Thank you for visiting my Ph.D. blog.

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