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Programs Duration of PhD in Canadian Universities

  1. Sep 3, 2012 #1
    How long would it take to attend a Physics PhD at a Canadian university?
    I mean, a PhD without a Master. 4-5-6 years? I am not able to figure out from the web!

    Thanks :-)
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2012 #2
    I don't know of any schools that allow entry straight to PhD. There are requirements you must fulfill to get your PhD including course-work, a comprehensive exam, and a thesis. That thesis typically requires 3 published papers within it. The expected time to completion is 4 years, plus 1 for a Masters if you transfer directly from Masters to PhD, or 2 if you complete the Masters. This is the expected time though so it could be more or less.
  4. Sep 3, 2012 #3
    UBC allows straight entry to PhD.
    UoT also provides for it, but it strongly recommends to spend two terms as a Master student.
  5. Sep 3, 2012 #4
    UBC might allow direct entry in exceptional cases (apparently) but it also requires that you complete the same amount of coursework as you would for the Masters program. So tack on an extra year to the expected 4 years.
  6. Sep 3, 2012 #5
    Interesting. So 5 yrs is the standard timeframe.
    ok thanks :-)
    Are you a grad student in Canada?
  7. Sep 3, 2012 #6
    Entering 4th year undergrad. I'm working on my grad school applications.
  8. Sep 3, 2012 #7
    I see.
    Good luck!
  9. Sep 3, 2012 #8
    In Canada (I'm not sure about the United States), it's reasonably common in some disciplines to be admitted straight into a Ph.D program with the expectation being that the students will earn their Master's "along the way". Some schools won't even admit students who plan to stop at a Master's.
  10. Sep 3, 2012 #9
    OK very kind of you!
  11. Sep 3, 2012 #10
    I have never heard of this being the case at any of the Universities I have inquired about or discussed among my professors (in Physics). The standard is that students apply for a Masters program and have the option of transferring directly into their PhD without obtaining their Masters if they show excellence in their grades and have the permission of their advisor/grad committee.
  12. Sep 4, 2012 #11
    UBC and UoT state it is possible clearly on their website. Maybe, however, these are exceptional cases and/or student already with a Master degree.
  13. Sep 4, 2012 #12


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    As I recall during my days at U of T, at least in the sciences, those students with an undergraduate degree under certain exceptional circumstances can apply directly to a PhD program.

    However, this is relatively uncommon -- the more standard process would be to apply to a Msc program (duration is either 1 or 2 years, depending on the program -- I believe it is 1 year for physics -- and is typically at least partially funded), then proceed directly to a PhD program without further application (PhD programs are usually fully funded).
  14. Sep 4, 2012 #13
    If I apply I will hold a Master degree, so I think I could apply for the direct entry to the PhD, from what I gather.
  15. Sep 4, 2012 #14


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    It's different if you already have a (recognized) master's degree. In that case, most Canadian schools will look at you for direct entry into a PhD program.
  16. Sep 4, 2012 #15
    Good to know, thanks. Now I am starting to understand it better.
    I am going to enrol to obtain a Master degree from a major UK university so it could be fine, I hope.

    In this case, it would take 4-5 years?
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