Length of time for completion of a program

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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sumthin
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:32 pm

Length of time for completion of a program

Post by sumthin » Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:18 am

Does anyone know where to find the average length of time for students to graduate from a PhD program. Not all of the schools I have applied to have the data readily available. Also, is this an acceptable question to ask the graduate director after admission?

cohomonoid
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:52 am

Re: Length of time for completion of a program

Post by cohomonoid » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:04 pm

It's definitely a good question to ask the DGA, before or after admission. It's very important for you and the school, and demonstrates seriousness about what you're getting into.

I have seen this information posted on a few sites, like Duke's here https://gradschool.duke.edu/about/stati ... statistics, but not on most. Several sites say things like "students in good standing can expect funding for 5 years and can apply for longer" or similar.

According to Duke, the U.S. average for math PhDs is 5.3 years. I have always heard about 4-6, and rarely much longer, unlike the 8+ years of slave labor that some biology PhDs etc end up doing.

5IsTheLargestInteger
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:36 pm

Re: Length of time for completion of a program

Post by 5IsTheLargestInteger » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:53 pm

Looks like the upper bound is at least 19 years (source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Streleski)

kuz
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:32 am

Re: Length of time for completion of a program

Post by kuz » Wed Feb 10, 2021 1:03 pm

5-6 years is normal. Some schools are a little quicker: Princeton's maths PhD program is four years, though you're always guaranteed a fifth year of funding. Some have reputations for being slower: Purdue, for example, often has PhD students stick around for 7+ years. This can be tied to when you are expected to pass your general exam/qualifying exam; Princeton expects this at the end of your first year, most schools by the end of your second year, and some schools third year or later.

Farmerpling117
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:33 pm

Re: Length of time for completion of a program

Post by Farmerpling117 » Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:55 pm

kuz wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 1:03 pm
5-6 years is normal. Some schools are a little quicker: Princeton's maths PhD program is four years, though you're always guaranteed a fifth year of funding. Some have reputations for being slower: Purdue, for example, often has PhD students stick around for 7+ years. This can be tied to when you are expected to pass your general exam/qualifying exam; Princeton expects this at the end of your first year, most schools by the end of your second year, and some schools third year or later.
I'm currently at Purdue and it is weird because the students here either finish their quals in the first year or take longer than three years to finish their quals. So some graduate in 4-5 years and other graduate in 6-8 years which causes our average graduation time seem longer than it has to be.



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