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Is there an age to begin a PhD?

  1. Feb 4, 2014 #1
    For some circumstances in my life I was not able to give steady continuation to my studies, so now I want to do a PhD but I have seen that some people finish their PhD by the age of 26-28. I am 25 so my question is: Am I too old to start a PhD?

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2014 #2
    Man I can tell you that you are not too old to start your PhD. There are people in their late 30s and early 40s that plan on going for their PhD.
     
  4. Feb 4, 2014 #3

    Choppy

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    I started my PhD at 25 and it's worked out fine for me.
     
  5. Feb 4, 2014 #4

    HallsofIvy

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    Of course, the coeds might not want to have anything to do with such an old man!
     
  6. Feb 4, 2014 #5

    Physics_UG

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    I am 28 and will be starting my phd this Fall. It doesn't bother me any.
     
  7. Feb 4, 2014 #6

    George Jones

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    I turned 27 (long ago) as I started my Ph.D.
     
  8. Feb 4, 2014 #7

    PAllen

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    I have a good friend who completed her Ph.D. (after travel, career changes, etc.) at 50 and is very glad she did. Not everyone can be a full professor at a prestigious university at 24 (only one living example I know of).[edit: found another: a living math professor who was appointed full professor at a prestigious university at 22.]
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  9. Feb 5, 2014 #8
    Thank you all for telling your experiences. This question came to me because I have seen the carreers of some remarkable physicists and for some reason I thought that maybe I am out of the age to begin a PhD in physics, but it is good to hear of all those good histories.

    thank you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  10. Feb 5, 2014 #9

    Choppy

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    This question comes up here quite frequently.

    I've never really understood why. I get the idea that because there's so much pressure on students to perform, or to appear "advanced" in some way that this somehow translates into needing to follow a neatly linear academic trajectory towards a PhD, or that the only way one can make a meaningful scientific contribution is if one finishes a PhD before age 30.

    But the reality is that everyone has his or her own unique set of circumstances to deal with. Sometimes you have to take a year off to work. Sometimes you get sick, or pregnant or have to become the primary caregiver in your family. Some people don't even realize they enjoy a subject until they're a little more mature.

    Life is all about decisions then.
     
  11. Feb 6, 2014 #10
    Yeah. sometimes I feel so much pressure given that sometimes I have a guy 4 or even 5 years younger than me on the same level. So that makes you feel that you are getting older. But I guess that you are right, not everyone has the same oportunnities to keep studying without stopping. Does anyone knows if the comitees that receive the applications take the age of the applicant as an important factor to take into account?
     
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