Why Does a PhD take so long?

May 20, 2022
It can be scary signing on for 3-5 years of being a student.
More often than not, something that scares people away from advanced degrees is the time commitment to the program.  
For some, that involves walking away from a job and into an unknown academic landscape.  
For some, it’s hard to imagine becoming a student again.  
Why do PhD programs take so much more time than MS/MA programs?  There are many answers to this question.  
  1. A PhD is a commitment to become a scholar and researcher.  
  2. A PhD is a commitment to opening doors, getting a raise, or finally seeing that advancement in your field.
  3. A PhD requires you to create new knowledge, not just study and take tests.
That’s the reason it’s not for everyone.  A PhD isn’t a jump through a hoop into your new future; it’s a journey into your new life.  As a PhD student, you’ll not only be a student, but a genuine academic in your field.  You’ll work with the best and brightest and contribute in meaningful ways to current research.  Sure, you’ll have to take some classes and check some boxes, but along the way you’ll also be a teacher, researcher, and writer, and you’ll leave with a hefty CV full of impressive work- not to mention your kick-ass recommendations from impressive people in your field.  
A PhD is so much more than just “3-5 more years of school”.  
It’s 3-5 years of figuring out your path.
It’s 3-5 years of getting PAID to be a scholar, and contribute to your studies.  
It’s 3-5 years to network and connect.  
It’s 3-5 years to create new knowledge and share that with the world.
And most importantly-
It’s 3-5 years of your future in the making. 

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