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how many years of school do most adults take to get their phd?

how many years of school do most adults take to get their phd?

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Christopher’s Answer

After you have completed your undergraduate degree, you can expect to take 5-9 years to get a PhD depending on what you are studying.
Typically to get a PhD you first need to get a master's degree. That will take 2 to 3 years. My experience was most people in my economics department took 2 years to complete their master's degree. But my friends in other programs sometimes took 3 years. I'm sure there are people in other departments who took 4 years, or even 5.
The time is takes to get a PhD varies greatly based on what you are studying and who your adviser is. In economics I saw lots of people complete there PhDs in 5 years, in biology I saw a lot completing in 7 years. Within the economics department I was in, I saw students assigned to one advisor taking 7 years while other -equally talented- students assigned to another advisor only require 5 years.
I got a PhD in economics which is a somewhat unique degree. Economics departments typically enroll graduate students in an assumed PhD program and have you earn a master's degree in the process of pursing the PhD. Basically it is a consolation prize in case you are unable to successfully complete a PhD. So the entire process to get a PhD in economics skips the master's degree stage enabling a student to get a PhD in about 5-7 years after enrollment (assuming you stay with the same department for the entire time, if you transfer to another department or school after getting your master's degree you would have to start from scratch and should expect taking 5-7 years from your start at the new school).
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Brittany’s Answer

The timeline to complete a program can typically stretch to about eight years, but this varies greatly depending on several factors. These include the type of program, its specific requirements, and whether you're studying full or part-time. However, it's important to remember that this journey is unique to each individual. Unforeseen circumstances in life can sometimes cause unexpected delays in your progress. For instance, as a current Ph.D. student, I initially planned to graduate in 2023, but personal hurdles caused a slight detour. I've since adjusted my route and am now set to graduate in 2025. The main point to remember is that with a well-thought-out plan and strong support network, you can reach your goals within your anticipated timeframe.
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Joseph’s Answer

It depends on where you start counting from, the route you take and where in the world you study. I'd consider "adult" as being around 18 and starting undergraduate University study, so we're ignoring around 14 years of childhood schooling.

Here in the UK, if you do well enough in a 3 year undergraduate BA/BSc, you can be accepted straight into PhD programmes without a Masters, so if you stay in full-time education full time and without taking gap years, you could theoretically be done in as short as 6 years. The average is more likely to be 7-8 years total though, and you can nearly double the numbers if you only study part time.

In the US, the system is different - hopefully other people can advise better. I understand a Masters is generally not required, but the PhD itself can be longer, and you're looking more like 4-6 years. There's also differences in undergraduate study with different types of degree to consider.
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Jerome’s Answer

From my experience, typically you are looking at 4 years for a BA, 2 more years -or so- for an MBA and then another 3to 4 years for a PHD.

From the time you graduate high school, roughly 10 years to get a PHD. Seems like a long time, but it will go by quick.
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Dani’s Answer

This is dependent on the program requirements at the school you're attending to obtain the phd from. I selected a school where 18 courses are required before I can even start my dissertation research phase. Depending on what else is going on in your life, the length of each term, and your employment status while you're in school can determine how long it takes you. Most schools have a time limit as to how long you have to complete all the requirements for the degree (6 or 7 years), so for some it takes that long.
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