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Programs Length of American Phd's

  1. Apr 14, 2007 #1
    I'm a British student considering doing a Phd in America. If I do a Phd in England it should only take 3 years, but I've heard that usually American Phd's take a lot longer (e.g six years +). However I suspect that this may be because the typical American student is much less advanced when starting their Phd. If I do an MSc before starting a Phd, would it be feasible to get it done in 3/4 yrs?

    The MSc courses I'm doing include:

    Advanced QFT
    String Theory
    Differential Geometry

    These will all be examined, and there's also a research component of the MSc which takes the whole summer.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2007 #2


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    It took me more years than I want to admit (mostly writing the dissertation) but certainly if you have a master's degree it should not take more than 3 years. You would want to be sure that the courses you take at one university will be accepted at the other.
  4. Apr 14, 2007 #3


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    This chapter in the essay may answer some of your questions here.


  5. Apr 14, 2007 #4
    Thanks very much for this info.
  6. Apr 14, 2007 #5
    Zapper, In Australia, it is possible for students to finish a Phd from finishing high school in 7 years. Which includes a 4 year honours degree + 3 year Phd

    Does it take longer than 7 years (from finishing high school) in America? How about the UK?

    However I heard that most physics Phds in our university need to extend their Phd time to 4 years. So theoretically 7 years but practically 8 years.
  7. Apr 15, 2007 #6

    BS in US: Typically 4 years
    PhD immediately afterward: Mean is 5 years

    So it averages 9 years. That doesn't mean you couldn't get it in 7 years. But cutting those 2 years is not necessarily in your best interest. You want to graduate when your research has developed enough (along with your knowledge and expertise) that you are well prepared for the next step after your PhD.
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