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What's the shortest amount of time a PhD can be completed in?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Ahrenhase

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 07:25 PM

Considering going for molecular biology, have a couple years lab experience.

Edited by Ahrenhase, 16 September 2011 - 07:51 PM.


#2 casandra

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 07:58 PM

Considering going for molecular biology, have a couple years lab experience.

It depends on the country, institute or the university....but I think, in a regular program, the shortest would be 3 years...there could probably be exceptions (less than 3 years) but those would be rare and really.... exceptional ....
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#3 bob1

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 01:20 AM

The minimum time that you are allowed to finish, in the UK/European/commonwealth system is 2 years typically. It would be extremely unusual to finish in that time, even if you were already working on the project (so you know the literature, techniques etc.) before you started.

The average time is about 3.5 years.

#4 hobglobin

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 01:22 AM

...and especially the topic/project...If you have a great or stunning idea or discovery then less than two years can be enough. I once meet a PhD student who did it this way...one among many (around 60 perhaps I met so far). A regular PhD program can of course prolong it because of a fixed schedule.
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#5 Curtis

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 11:30 PM

I finished in 2 years and 9 months. my boss finished 2,5 years. It depends on the country though. I hear many people finish PhD more than 3 years.

#6 Adrian K

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 10:37 AM

I finished in 2 years and 9 months. my boss finished 2,5 years. It depends on the country though. I hear many people finish PhD more than 3 years.


Mind to PM me which lab you do your PhD? I thought of joining in the near future... ^_^
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#7 Ahrenhase

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 08:35 AM

Wow! I'd be studying in the US. Until now, I typically heard 4-7 years, but I guess that's just the average.

#8 Rute

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 05:07 AM

In the US PhDs tent to be longer than in EU. To my knowledge in the US your PI decides when you'r ready to defend the thesis while in the EU you have a fixed time to finish.

#9 pito

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 11:09 AM

In the US PhDs tent to be longer than in EU. To my knowledge in the US your PI decides when you'r ready to defend the thesis while in the EU you have a fixed time to finish.


You forget to mention one big difference: in most european contries you need a mastersdegree to do a PhD....

In usa you dont...

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#10 Rute

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 02:35 AM

That is also true. Still. honestly i don't belive the master makes any difference :x I did it and it didn't bring a lot more to what i knew... What's really important it's your undergrad. Unfortunately, it's becoming a lot more simpler to do un undergrad.

#11 gebirgsziege

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 03:45 AM

doing an extended undergrad is not common in most European countries (correct me when I am wrongPosted Image), although it is tried to establish it.
Still a rule of thumb for time spent on the different biological degrees here in Europe is: undergrad (with BA or similar) - 3-6 month (although I have not seen many of these people enter a lab during the last 9 years since this degree was introduced at my university); masters degree 1-2 years (depening on PI and time spent on the project by the student - know people who took more than 5 years because they were not focussed on their project);
PhD usually a minimum of 3 years (used to be two years) because of the coursework required- average from what I have seen is 3.5 - 4.5 years again depending on the project, PI and personal motivation of the PhD student. So in total it takes you 4 - 7 years until you get you Master and PhD - which is similar to the US time.

Edit: getting simpler - I think there are too many ways to get through the system without knowing anything afterwards - and always have been. In Austria we have the "problem" that we do not have any restrictions at the universities - so everybody who is qualified to do so can enter every university and study he wants (which is good) but we more or less have the same amount of money, (practical) courses and teachers than 15-20 years ago but more than 10 times as much students. So it is getting easier for the students to hide when they do not know anything.

Edited by gebirgsziege, 13 December 2011 - 03:50 AM.

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