Can you do a Ph.D. part time?

Steven Swanson

I haven’t been able to find any data on this, but consensus among faculty I’ve talked to is that it is possible but extraordinarily rare. There are probably a few reasons for this, among them:

  1. Getting a Ph.D. takes a long time (4-7 years) when you are working at it full time. Doing it part time would take, presumably, much longer.
  2. Students usually get paid to do their Ph.D., so working is not as necessary.

Finally, as an advisor, I’d be hesitant to advise a Ph.D. student part-time. The project they would be working is my project too, and I want to make progress as quickly as possible.

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