Can you get a Ph.D. without a master’s?
In some cases, students who are accepted to a Ph.D. program without already having a master's degree will earn one as they’re earning the Ph.D. On the other hand, there are also colleges require that all applicants already possess a master's degree before applying. Coursework for the masters can parlay over into Ph.D. coursework, allowing for a seamless transition between degrees. In scenarios where students take more than a couple years to complete their master's requirements, their department will often let them take courses that count toward the Ph.D. degree before master's requirements are met.
Do Ph.D. students get paid?
If you receive some kind of financial assistance through your home department, this usually is coupled with a graduate assistantship or part-time position of some kind. Graduate assistants get paid in the form of a stipend. These positions are essentially a "full scholarship" but usually require some work, about 15-30 hours a week, from the student.
What are the demands of a Ph.D. Program?
A Ph.D. program is not a continuation of your undergraduate program. For full-time students, graduate school requires nothing short of a 60-hour work week. In order to keep up with the tremendous amount of reading and writing, in addition to attending and teaching classes, grading papers, or helping your department in some way, you will be spending early mornings before class and late evenings after your job completing your assignments and responsibilities. This kind schedule often puts personal and social agendas on hold for several years.
Is it worth it to get a Ph.D.?
As far as a career goes, the degree certainly separates you from the pack and increases your earning potential in the long run. The degree is helpful in this regard, both inside and outside of academia. There is evidence that Ph.D.'s are quite valuable in the private sector, especially in research and development fields.
Is it hard to get a Ph.D.?
If you are accepted to a reputable university that is regionally accredited, chances are you have what it takes to complete the degree. For many of us, school is all-consuming and leaves little time for much else. That's one of the hardest parts of completing the Ph.D. Making it through coursework and getting your dissertation proposal approved is one thing, but sticking with your dissertation research and writing is one of the hardest components of the process. The Ph.D. Completion Project found that only about 49-64% of students, depending on the field, actually advance beyond ABD status and complete the degree.
How long does it take to get a Ph.D.?
I was in combined master's degree/doctoral program in the humanities. All told, including coursework, research, and the writing of both a master's thesis and a dissertation, it took me eight years to finish. The lines are blurred as to when my master's work ended and the Ph.D. work started. And this is the case with other schools where the MA is built into the Ph.D. process. The Ph.D. Completion Project considers a general seven-year timeline, beginning with the third year of the student's program (when coursework is wrapping up and the student continues on their own in research/dissertation mode). They show that some students finish shortly after coursework. There's another spike a couple years after that. The timeline depends on your field, stamina, and availability.
How much does it cost to get a doctorate degree?
The average in-state tuition in for the 2012-2013 academic year was $16,425. The cost of graduate tuition increased by $200-400 each year since 2000, so we can predict that the average cost will be around $17,435-18,435 during the 2018-2019 year. An under-estimated factor in the overall cost of attending school is the cost of living.
What types of funding, if any, can I expect from a Ph.D. program?
Depending on the nature of the program, graduate students often take on teaching positions or assistantships. For newer graduate students, teaching positions usually entail co-teaching an undergraduate course with a professor. Advanced Ph.D. students may have classes of their own. Assistantships can range from working in your home department’s office on-campus to working in a library or archive. These are the worker bees of the graduate school. You will find them doing any number of tasks as needed from year to year.
How would you describe your assistantship and/or teaching experience as a Ph.D. student?
I was fortunate to have both an assistantship during my MA and teaching positions throughout my Ph.D. With both jobs, I encountered a giant learning curve but they were excellent opportunities to learn the ropes and obtain some real hands-on work experience in academia. If you are offered a position, do not turn it down.
How is the quality of life for Ph.D. students?
It is very easy to bury yourself in your work, and that can be emotionally and physically draining. It is important to make time for yourself and to see your friends and family. While in graduate school, I met some of my dearest friends who changed my life. It would not have been possible to develop those relationships if I did not make the time to do so.