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Gap between undergrad and PhD?

  1. Jul 20, 2013 #1
    I'm just starting back to school as for a BS in Physics and my plan is to follow that up with a PhD. While I can largely get my BS as a part time student over the next 4 years, when it come time to work on the PhD, I'll of course have to do school full time. I do have a plan in place where most of my finances should be in order where I'll be able to give up my current full time job, but just in case I'm off a little bit, what kind of gap between finishing undergrad and start starting a PhD is acceptable?
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 20, 2013 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    It's whatever the admission committee thinks is acceptable. It was 15 months for me.

    However, it is not realistic to plan on working part-time while pursuing a PhD. First, pursuing a PhD is a full-time job. Second, it's likely to delay your PhD. You might be OK with that, but the department may not be. Particularly, they might not want to give you a stipend for the extra time.
  4. Jul 20, 2013 #3
    I'm hoping I won't need a part time job, but my point was that once I get started on the PhD track, it'll be school that's my full time focus any my current full time job.
  5. Jul 20, 2013 #4


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    A gap is generally acceptable. In fact, I think it would do a lot of people some good. However, I think you should give up any plan to have any job while doing a PhD. I can't speak for every department, but in my department at my school, it was explicitly prohibited having a job while receiving a stipend. This essentially translated into no graduate student was allowed a job because we all received some form of stipend. What may be possible is working during the summer, while even that is highly discouraged, most people and departments can understand that unless they are paying you for that time, you need money to live.
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