Why PhD Takes 5 years
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Why PhD Takes 5+ years To Complete?

Please watch this video first before reading the article for better clarity.

Why PhD Degree Takes 5 or More Years For Completion and how to reduce it

If you’re in the midst of planning your future, then you’ve probably come to the realization that getting a doctorate degree is going to be necessary. That being said, it can seem like such a long time before you even start that new life as a graduate student. After all, how many people can commit to spending up to five years of their lives studying?

Luckily, there are ways that you can reduce the length of your program and get through this process faster than expected. Today we will be talking about some of the most important factors that determine how long it takes for students to finish their PhD programs and how you can speed things up by taking certain precautions along the way.

How long it takes to get a PhD degree and what determines the time? Why PhD Takes 5+ years To Complete?

It takes years, often many years, to complete a PhD. This is mostly due to the fact that a PhD is

a long-term educational pursuit. If you do not have the dedication to see it through, you will never get a PhD. If you have the right mix of dedication and skills, however, you can shave years off the process of getting a PhD, if not a full decade or more. Different universities have different criteria to determine who gets in. You can look at a number of different factors, such as the reputation and the university’s research output.

Which universities have the fastest PhD programs in USA & India?

The University of Chicago is known as the “Harvard of the Midwest” and has one of the top Phd programs in the country. It takes 6 years to complete a PhD degree from this university. MIT has a 6-year PhD program and is known for being one of the most rigorous universities in the world. The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has one of the most prestigious PhD programs in the country. It takes 6 years to complete a PhD degree from this university.

In India, a Regular Phd from IISC can take up to 7 Years, a PhD from a CSIR LAB on average takes 4.5 to 5 years. VIT, Vellore is known to award the fastest PhD in 3 years.

Don’t skip necessary coursework.

One of the main reasons PhD students take longer than necessary to finish their degree is that they don’t spend enough time on their research and coursework while they are earning their degree. Moreover, they end up skipping some of their required courses. If you do this, you will have to take additional time to catch up and finish your PhD degree. One way to avoid this problem is to ensure that you are taking the right number of credits while earning your PhD degree.

Networking and Help from Colleagues and Mentors

One of the best ways to shorten your time to completion is to find people in the same field as you doing research. You can look for conferences, workshops, journals, and other places where people in your field congregate and meet. From there, you can make connections with fellow researchers and start research collaboration. One important thing to remember is that you have to do your own research, but you can take help from your collaborators when you are stuck.

PhD degree requirements and factors that determine time taken

Your PhD degree requirements will play a major role in how much time it takes you to complete your degree. These requirements include things like the number of research papers you have to write, the number of students you have to teach, the number of hours you spend in the library, etc. The more the requirement, the longer it will take you to finish your PhD. Another factor that will play a role in how long it takes you to finish your PhD is your research topic. The topic must be in high demand and have a low supply. If you choose a topic that is low in demand and has a high supply, you will have to do more research and writing to complete your paper, which will take longer.

Research topics with high demand and low supply

A number of topics in the life sciences have low demand and a high supply. For example, take any topics from core subjects such as botany or zoology which does not have any industrial applications, On the other hand, there are topics such as Bioinformatics, Genomics, Proteomics, applying machine learning in Biology, statistical methods, and other topics that are in high demand. You can use these topics to get a Ph.D. degree and start your research career.

High research output, low output requirement in the early stage

One of the best strategies you can use to shorten your time to completion is to get published a lot while you are in the Ph.D. program. High-quality research papers are one of the best ways to get published and will increase your chances of being accepted for a peer-review journal or conference. You can also use other strategies, such as guest blogging, contributing to open-source projects, etc., to get published while in the Ph.D. program.

Key factors that determine how long it takes to complete a PhD

While many things determine how long it takes to finish your PhD degree, here are some of the most important factors.

  • Your research topic
  • Make sure that your topic is in high demand and has a low supply.
  • Research output
  • Make sure that you publish a lot while in the Ph.D. program.
  • Number of students you have to teach.
  • Time you spend in the library – Make sure you spend enough time reading and doing research.
  • Maintain a very good professional relation with your Phd Guide.

Steps you can take to shave off time in your Ph.D. program

If you want to get a PhD degree with the least amount of time, here are some steps you can take. Choose a PhD program with a short completion time, don’t skip necessary coursework, network with people who share your interests, and use open source to get published while you are in the PhD program. You can also look for PhD programs with accelerated degree programs, participate in research-based internships, and take classes outside your major subject. If a PhD program has these kinds of options, you can use them to speed up your degree and get a PhD sooner by reducing the time you spend in the classroom.

Final note:

Your time to completion will largely depend on the time you take to complete your coursework and get published and make connections with researchers in the field while in the PhD program. If you are serious about your goal of getting a PhD degree, you can use these strategies to shave years off the process.

Shekhar Suman is the CEO & Managing Director of BioTecNika Info Labs Pvt Ltd, An avid reader who is passionate about Bio Sciences and has gifted us BioTecNika