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What are the levels of college education and . . . ?

  1. Jan 29, 2007 #1

    I'm sorry if this may seem like an extremely elementary question, but i just want to get it straight. What are the levels of college education and how long do they take.

    I know that most basic is associates (2 years) then bachelaurete (4 years & does not require associates degree) masters degree (2 years and requires bachelors, right...) and then doctorate aka PhD (4-6 years? does it require a masters or do you get it right after bachelors?)

    I know professionals is squeezed in there somewhere. what is it? and what else am i missing from my educational tree
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2007 #2


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    by the way sometimes a doctrate can last forever!
  4. Jan 29, 2007 #3
    :rolleyes: maybe its meant to take that long so that doctors can keep their rep of being wise old guys
  5. Jan 29, 2007 #4


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    well, sometimes... ppl just can't get enough useful contribution to knowledge and keep getting their thesis rejected :rofl:
  6. Jan 29, 2007 #5
    PhD with no masters will be ~5-7 which a masters may be received along the way. A PhD if you already have a masters will take ~3-4.

    Something like med school(post bachelors) actually only takes about 4 years too I believe... but then you'll also have a residency period for I don't know how long.
  7. Jan 30, 2007 #6
    I wouldn't call what you have a tree, but rather a stick. As for your question on professional/trade education. Many of these are certificates necessary for entry into particular trades/careers. For instance someone with a BS in Business/Communications, will often have another form of certification along with that. And then in "Graduate" school, they will be working towards MBA.

    Education follows a similar trend (in the US at least); however, more often than not, at least in my experance with people studying to be teachers for high school level or above, a masters in a particular subject is required along with a teaching certificate, which is normally granted by the school that the student was attending, and the certificate has other requirements.

    And then their are other certifications for Computer Science/Network Admins, where particular groups offer classes on their software and techniques, which do not validate a bachelors or associates level education; however, to show that one has done the work, certificates are granted.

    And of course for those that aren't going through a tradtional (college/university) training other certificates and practices are undertaken.

    That depends on the school and program. Many PhD programs do indeed take more time to recieve the degree; however, after talking to PhD students with and without MS degrees, it seems that their projected times for finishing are about the same, at least in at my insituation (PhD students do have longer periods to finish their work though, as their is more there).
  8. Jan 30, 2007 #7
    Depends on where you are.

    In Australia...Standard is 3years for Bachelor degree + 1 year for honours. Assuming you get a high enough honours grade you can bypass the Masters. Then 3 years for PhD. And yes, we really are expected to finish the PhD within the 3 years. Which ultimately means from the time you start at university until the time you submit your PhD can theoretically be as short as 7 years.
  9. Jan 30, 2007 #8


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    Pretty much the same for the UK:

    BSc 3 years; MSc 1 year; (or MEng/MSci/MMath 4 years); PhD 3 years (or 4, then the funding runs out).

    I got my PhD (offically), aged 25 - 7 years and 2 months after starting at uni.
  10. Jan 30, 2007 #9
    It is unusual for people to get a PhD after 3 years. 4 is far more common.

    To complete the set in 7 years is very uncommon.
  11. Jan 30, 2007 #10
    Interesting. In the states it's 4 years for the bachelors (sometimes 5), 2 years for the masters, and then an additional 3-6 years for the PhD.

    I have heard of some experimentalists and humanities people taking 8-12 years to get a masters + PhD. :bugeye:

    Then to think that most PhDs spend 2-3 years in post docs before getting a real position is frightening.
  12. Jan 30, 2007 #11
    You're lucky :smile: I'm not entirely sure that I'll need it at this point, but my candidature runs out at the end of June (which is 3 years), as does my scholarship. I should be able to submit by then, so I'm not too worried...But I've had trouble even applying for an extension on my candidature, didn't even bother asking for a scholarship extension. They've really come down on it in the last couple of years. I think they're just sick of students taking 4-5 years to finish due to the way our university now funds departments (partly) based on PhD completions as opposed to current PhD student numbers as it used to be.

    Not a big deal in the scheme of things though. All up I think it will have taken me 7.5 years to finish. Took me an extra 6 months on my BSc due to a change of major 18 months into it.
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