Students Corner

You Need 2 to 8 Years to Earn Ph.D. Degree: Explanation Article

How Long Does It Take to Get a Ph.D. Degree?

For lifelong learners, a Ph.D. degree is an excellent choice to pursue professional studies. Students with exceptional academic records and a strong interest in their respective fields might decide to take a Ph. D degree. However, Ph.D. degrees aren’t easy and take plenty of time, so you need to have a clear mindset about whether you would genuinely need or want a doctoral degree before enrolling in one.

If you want some information about a Ph.D. degree and are curious how much time it would take you to get one then you are in the right place. As we have you all the information you need in the article. 

What exactly do we mean by a Ph.D.?

Ph.D. is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase “Philosophiae doctor.” Ph.D. a.k.a Doctorate of philosophy classically implicates students individually executing unique and substantial research in a particular field or topic. The facts and data that the student collects convert into a thesis, which then publishes with the student’s name. 

Although, certain Ph.Ds. contain academically taught courses, the institutions always practically assess the students on the innovation and quality of their argument in the autonomous research plan.

Is a Master’s Degree Required to Enroll in a Ph.D.?

Many academic institutions require the students to have a master’s (MS) degree and a bachelor’s degree with a final score of 2:1 or higher. Many institutes consider the Ph.D. degree a step up; thus, the students who qualify for it have excelled in their bachelor/master’s. 

Certain universities might only ask for a master’s (without enforcing a 2:1 bachelors limit) or even a bachelor’s degree; the self-funded students or the ones with a lot of professional exposure and experience might also get enrollment in the Ph.D. program with a low grade in their masters or bachelors.

Instead of a Ph.D., you might primarily register for a one or two-year MPhil (Master of Philosophy) or MRes (Master of Research) degree instead of a Ph.D. If you make exceptional progress, you will get an upgrade to the Ph.D. program; otherwise, you might graduate with a Master’s degree.

So, the criterion for each educational institute for a doctorate degree enrollment is different, and thus you need to check with the university before being a part of the program.

However, one thing is inevitable that you will have to work hard and need a few years of your time to achieve this Ph.D. degree.

How long does a Ph.D. take for its completion?

The duration you would require to complete a Ph.D. depends on your university and what you are studying. There are two types of doctorate degrees; research-based and academic study-based. Usually, it would take two to four years before getting a doctorate. However, that isn’t a fixed duration, and certain factors might make it longer.

We have seen that the research-based doctorate (Ph.D.) degree candidates if completes their milestone of required publications in a couple of years then they actually earn a Ph.D. in just a couple of years. Whereas, some research work students take up to 6 years to complete their doctorate degree.

Typically, in the UK, students need three to four years to complete their Ph.D. degrees. In the US, the average period required to complete a Ph.D. degree is around 5.8 years. But in case if the students fail to meet the degree requirements then they can apply for a one-year extension.

As mentioned, various factors govern the duration of the Ph.D. degree.  It includes the university which will award you the doctorate, research, and academic requirements, and the time frame also varies between countries. 

Another critical factor that governs the duration of a Ph.D. is the subject that you intend on pursuing. There are certain subjects with a highly technical nature that require more time to complete than the others. For instance, Physics may take a lot of research, meaning that it might take students up to six years before achieving the Dr. Status. Psychology is another subject that takes a lot of time to complete. Getting a doctorate in Architecture will take almost 8 years. Biological sciences, on the other hand, need to least time frame to get a Ph.D. 

Is there a way to get the Ph.D. qualification sooner?

Usually, a particular class of students gets their Ph.D. in two years, while a tiny percentage of that even completes it in 12 months (Rare case). It isn’t easy to complete it in such a duration, but there is a possibility!

The most important thing is to have an impressive academic CV before you get enrolled for a Ph.D. in a university. 

There are specific notable names that have achieved the milestone of completing their degree in less than two years. Professor Stephen Wolfram is one name that is popular for this achievement as he then went on to creates a computer programming language, and if you manage to complete it like that, you will be in an elite company. 


A Ph.D. is one of the most prestigious academic achievements in the career of any person. However, it might sound like a great way to make an instant mark on your CV, and you need to remember that it will require plenty of hard work, dedication, and persistence before you finally get the Dr status. 

Dr. Youasf Saeed

I am Dr. Engr. Yousaf Saeed, the creator of this Fully Funded Scholarship platform. My academic journey has been marked by securing three significant international scholarships for my undergraduate and postgraduate studies, including the esteemed Australia Awards, CSC, and HKPFS. I am an affiliate of IChemE and have lent my engineering skills to renowned companies such as Aramco and BYCO oil refinery. My scholarly work is published in leading SCI journals, a fact that underscores my academic excellence, visible on my Researchgate Profile. Motivated by my deep-seated passion for education and dedication to fostering emerging scholars, i established this website to serve as a guiding light for international students aspiring to pursue their education abroad. As a distinguished educationist and mentor, i am specialized in steering students through the complexities of research and the journey towards achieving patents. Through this platform, I offer invaluable insights and mentorship, shining a light on pathways to fully funded scholarships, exchange programs, internships, and rewarding research career trajectories. My mission is to help students navigate the vast educational opportunities abroad, ensuring they grasp the chances that will shape their promising futures. Whereas you can also choose to follow me on my social media: - Facebook - Linkedin - Youtube