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37 for Ph.D

  1. Oct 9, 2005 #1
    Is it too late for a 37-year-old student to conduct a Ph.D research for degree?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2005 #2
    Nope! Definitely not.
  4. Oct 9, 2005 #3


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    37? You're over the hill!

    Just kidding - GO FOR IT!
  5. Oct 9, 2005 #4


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    It's not a matter of age- it's your family and professional situation. Do you have a family to support? Getting a Ph.D. takes several years of intense effort and sacrifice. Second, what reason do you have for wanting a Ph.D. Generally, a Ph.D is only necessary for an academic position. What have you been doing for the last 17 years? I would expect a 37 year old to be getting settled into a career by now.

    No, 37 years is not too old- but it would mean giving up more than a twenty year old would. Weigh the pros and cons carefully.
  6. Oct 9, 2005 #5
    I think it's never late...But i agree with HallsofIvy, it needs a lot of effort and dedication..
  7. Oct 9, 2005 #6

    Dr Transport

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    I finished mine at 36....you are definitely not too old........
  8. Oct 9, 2005 #7


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    As Halls pointed out, your age doesn't matter. What will matter is that doing PhD research is essentially a lifestyle; to dedicate the time needed to complete the degree, you won't be able to divide your time between working and studying like you could for a bachelor's degree, so you'd have to adjust to living on a minimal stipend for the next 4 to 6 years rather than whatever income you may have grown accustomed to (if you have to live off savings while in a PhD program, an older student also needs to factor in the effect that will have on their retirement funds/plans as well...it's not quite as simple as someone who is fresh out of college and never had any savings yet anyway and still has a long time before needing to worry about retirement).

    So, the obstacles are certainly not academic ones, they will be lifestyle ones. Make sure you really KNOW what you're getting into (it's definitely NOT a 9 to 5 job) and if you already have a family, discuss it with them. Make sure everyone who will be affected by this change in your lifestyle is prepared to accept it and support you through it.
  9. Oct 9, 2005 #8


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    I think it's up to you. If you feel you really like doing it and you're in a suitable position to do it, why not? I know a guy who's over 40 and he just wants to get his MS.
  10. Oct 9, 2005 #9


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    Francis Crick got his PhD at age 35, if I can recall correctly. And we all know what he did. ;-)
  11. Oct 10, 2005 #10
    Nah you not too old , I probally wont get my PhD till I am 33 or 34 and may end up leaving physics for Computer Science and that will probally add a few more years.
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