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Taking On the Ph.D. Later in Life

Rob Hevey, a Ph.D. student in a plant biology and conservation program, expects to finish his doctorate around five years from now, when he will be 66.

By Mark Miller

  • April 15, 2016

ROBERT HEVEY was fascinated by gardening as a child, but then he grew up and took a 30-year career detour. Mr. Hevey earned a master’s in business and became a certified public accountant, working for accounting firms and businesses ranging from manufacturing to enterprise software and corporate restructuring.

“I went to college and made the mistake of getting an M.B.A. and a C.P.A.,” he recalled with a laugh.

Now 61, Mr. Hevey is making up for lost time. He’s a second-year Ph.D. student in a plant biology and conservation program offered jointly by Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Mr. Hevey, whose work focuses on invasive species, started on his master’s at age 53, and he expects to finish his doctorate around five years from now, when he will be 66.

“When I walk into a classroom of 20-year-olds, I do raise the average age a bit,” he says.

While the overall age of Ph.D. candidates has dropped in the last decade, about 14 percent of all doctoral recipients are over age 40, according to the National Science Foundation. Relatively few students work on Ph.D.s at Mr. Hevey’s age, but educators are seeing increasing enrollment in doctoral programs by students in their 40s and 50s. Many candidates hope doctorates will help them advance careers in business, government and nonprofit organizations; some, like Mr. Hevey, are headed for academic research or teaching positions.

At Cornell University, the trend is driven by women. The number of new female doctoral students age 36 or older was 44 percent higher last year than in 2009, according to Barbara Knuth, senior vice provost and dean of the graduate school.

“One of the shifts nationally is more emphasis on career paths that call for a Ph.D.,” Dr. Knuth said. “Part of it is that we have much more fluidity in career paths. It’s unusual for people to hold the same job for many years.”

“The people we see coming back have a variety of reasons,” she added. “It could be a personal interest or for career advancement. But they are very pragmatic and resilient: strong thinkers, willing to ask questions and take a risk in their lives.”

Many older doctoral candidates are motivated by a search for meaning, said Katrina Rogers, president of Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif., which offers programs exclusively for adult learners in psychology, human and organizational development and education.

“Students are asking what they can do with the rest of their lives, and how they can have an impact,” she said. “They are approaching graduate school as a learning process for challenging themselves intellectually, but also along cognitive and emotional lines.”

Making a home for older students also makes business sense for universities and colleges, said Barbara Vacarr, director of the higher education initiative at Encore.org, a nonprofit organization focused on midlife career change. “The convergence of an aging population and an undersupply of qualified traditional college students are both a call to action and an opportunity for higher education.”

Some schools are serving older students in midcareer with pragmatic doctoral programs that can be completed more quickly than the seven or eight years traditionally required to earn a Ph.D. Moreover, many of those do not require candidates to spend much time on campus or even leave their full-time jobs.

That flexibility can help with the cost of obtaining a doctorate. In traditional programs, costs can range from $20,000 a year to $50,000 or more — although for some, tuition expenses are offset by fellowships. The shorter programs are less costly. The total cost at Fielding, for example, is $60,000.

Susan Noyes, an occupational therapist in Portland, Me., with 20 years’ experience under her belt, returned to school at age 40 for a master’s degree in adult education at the University of Southern Maine, then pursued her Ph.D. at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. During that time, she continued to work full time and raise three children. She finished the master’s at 44 — a confidence-builder that persuaded her to work toward a Ph.D. in adult learning, which she earned at age 49.

Dr. Noyes, 53, made two visits annually to Lesley’s campus during her doctoral studies, usually for a week to 10 days. She now works as an assistant professor of occupational therapy at the University of Southern Maine.

At the outset of her graduate education, Dr. Noyes wasn’t looking for a career change. Instead, she wanted to update her skills and knowledge in the occupational therapy field. But she soon found herself excited by the chance to broaden her intellectual horizons. “I’ve often said I accidentally got my Ph.D.,” she said.

Lisa Goff took the traditional Ph.D. path, spending eight years getting her doctorate in history. An accomplished business journalist, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in history at the University of Virginia in 2001 while working on a book project. Later, she decided to keep going for her doctorate, which she earned in 2010, the year she turned 50. Her research is focused on cultural history, with a special interest in landscapes.

Dr. Goff had planned to use the degree to land a job in a museum, but at the time, museum budgets were being cut in the struggling economy. Instead, a university mentor persuaded her to give teaching a try. She started as an adjunct professor in the American studies department at the University of Virginia, which quickly led to a full-time nontenure-track position. This year, her fourth full year teaching, her position was converted to a tenure-track job.

“I thought an academic job would be grueling — not what I wanted at all,” she recalls. “But I love being in the classroom, finding ways to get students to contribute and build rapport with them.”

As a graduate student, she never found the age gap to be a challenge. “Professors never treated me as anything but another student, and the other students were great to me,” Dr. Goff said. The toughest part of the transition, she says, was the intellectual shock of returning to a rigorous academic environment. “I was surprised to see just how creaky my classroom muscles were,” she recalled. “I really struggled in that first class just to keep up.”

Mr. Hevey agrees, saying he has experienced more stress in his academic life than in the business world. “I’m using my brain in such a different way now. I’m learning something new every day.”

His advice to anyone considering a similar move? “Really ask yourself if this is something you want to do. If you think it would just be nice to be a student again, that’s wrong. It’s not a life of ease: You’ll be working all the time, perhaps for seven or eight years.”

Mr. Hevey does not expect to teach, but he does hope to work in a laboratory or do research. “I’m certainly not going to start a new career at 66 or 67,” he said. “But I’m not going to go home and sit on the couch, either.”

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10 Time Management Tips for Older PhD Students Who Want to Balance Work and Studies

Breaking barriers: empowering black women over 40 to excel in information systems phd programs. , the top 8 must-know tips for phd preparation: how to get started.

PhD  Information

You’ve Decided to Pursue a PhD in Your 40s – Now, What?


First, I want to say congratulations on deciding to pursue a PhD in your 40s. Now that the big decision is made, let’s move to some less daunting activities that’ll get you sitting in your first classroom in a few months. ( Please note that the steps in this post are mainly directed toward pursuing a traditional Ph.D. However, these steps should also apply to DBA and Executive PhDs. ).

I classify these as early activities and application activities.  

Early Decisions to Pursue a PhD

The early activities involve some early decisions you must make. These decisions include; the location of the PhD program, the PhD concentration, and what to study. Once you have answers to these questions, the rest of the application process becomes a little more straightforward.

#1 Location:

The general location where you desire to do your pursue a PhD should be decided. For the most part, if you’re pursuing a PhD in your 40s, there’s a chance you have settled in a particular location. This means that you prefer to do a PhD near or around that location. On the other hand, you may be looking for a fresh start in life and have the flexibility to choose where you want to do it. In that case, you have many more location options: North, South, West, or East.

#2 Schools:

After you’ve decided on the general location, it’s time to hone in on the school or schools. If possible, try not to make that decision blindly. In other words, try and find someone who might tell you one or two things about the schools, the culture especially. Given that pursue a PhD education is more than just schooling, it’s important that you understand the culture of the people you’ll be working very closely with for 4 years. Some PhD programs are collegial. Others are not and could be stressful. If you’re in your 40s and 50s and seeking your pursue a PhD, you probably want to avoid PhD programs with non-collegial cultures.

#3 PhD Concentration:

There are many PhD concentrations in business schools. The one you select should complement your current skills or experiences. For example, if you are a technologist, you might consider pursue a PhD concentration in information systems. You might consider management science or operations research if you are a math or statistics professional. See our post on concentrations.

Application Activities for a PhD in your 40s’

Now Let’s look at some of the requirements for gaining admission to a Ph.D. program. PhD program requirements include taking a GRE/GMAT, identifying and sending your transcripts (bachelors and masters), writing your personal statement, securing some good recommendation letters, etc. Figure 1 is a visual of those steps. Steps 1 to 5 can take about 6 months to 1 year. We address GRE/GMAT and transcripts in this post.

Phd in your 40s:


doing a phd at 40

If you’ve taken a GRE/GMAT within the last 5 years, then you can skip this step. If you have not, you should start studying for the GMAT or GRE exam. Most universities in the US accept either of these. However, if you have a clearer idea of the schools you’ll like to apply to, you should find out their preference. Usually, this information is posted on their Ph.D. information website.

doing a phd at 40

#2 Get ready to send your transcripts:

If you’re a domestic student, the process of sending your transcripts to your schools of interest usually takes a few simple steps. Most universities have an automated process that allows former students to log in and order and sends their transcripts to schools for a small fee.

The process is a lot more involved if you’re an international student. International transcripts sometimes need to be evaluated and translated. There are college credential evaluation services that could evaluate your transcripts for a fee. This process can take a longer time to complete than you initially anticipated. So, plan accordingly. You could also call the graduate office of your schools of interest and ask if they could recommend an evaluation service or if they do the transcript evaluation themselves. Some schools do. So, it’s worth a try.

See more on writing your personal statement and securing some good recommendation letters .

doing a phd at 40

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Average Age of a PhD Student: When Is It Too Late?

Published by steve tippins on june 16, 2022 june 16, 2022.

Last Updated on: 16th June 2022, 05:06 pm

In 2020, the average age of a graduate from a PhD program in the United States was 33. However, 6% of the graduates were over 45. 

When people ask what the average age of a PhD student is, many times they’re really asking, “Am I too old to get a PhD?” The answer is almost always no. Let’s explore some different scenarios. 

When Is It Too Late to Get a PhD?

As an academic career coach, I’ve been asked by more than a few people if it’s too late for them to get a PhD. Some of these people were even in their twenties, worried that working for two years after their undergraduate degree had inexorably barred them from the halls of academia. 

Others were past middle age, looking for a career change. In either case, the answer is ultimately no, it’s not too late to get a PhD . However, there are some important things to keep in mind if this is something you’re considering.

Getting a PhD for Your Career

woman studying in her home office filled with plants

Let’s say you want to get a PhD to pursue a career in academia or elsewhere. You enter a PhD program at 25 or even 30, the average PhD duration takes six to eight years. That means you will finish when you are around 30 to 37. The normal retirement age to get Social Security in the United States is 67, so that’s at least 30 years ahead of you – lots of time for your career. If you look around academia, there’s a lot of people older than 67.

You have a chance for a very long career, even if you’re 42 and finish your PhD at 50. That’s still over 15 years before retirement age. These days, very few people stay at a job for 15 years. Rest assured that you have ample opportunity to have a meaningful career.

Student Loan Debt Considerations

If you’re 61 and taking loans out, it will be a while before you pay those off. Debt is something to think about before getting a PhD. If you can get into a PhD program that pays your tuition or even provides you a stipend, you may be able to graduate with a much smaller student loan debt. That assistance could allow you to consider a PhD later in life. 

What Is the Minimum Age for Getting a PhD?

top view of a woman studying in her home office

To get a PhD, you have to have graduated from undergraduate school. From there, some people can go right into a PhD program. If you graduate at the traditional age of 22, you’d be getting your PhD somewhere around age 25 at a minimum.

There are stories about people who graduate from high school at 12 and college at 16. They could theoretically get their PhD at 19 or 20. However, people like this are quite rare.

Can You Get a PhD by Age 25?

It is possible to get a PhD by age 25, particularly if you graduate from college at 21 or 22. If it takes three or four years to get a PhD, you could graduate by 25.

What Is The Best Age to Get a PhD?

The best age to get a PhD is three years ago. The second best time is now. In reality, the best age to get a PhD is whenever you are able to complete it. The earlier you finish your PhD, the more of a life and career you’ll have with it , but there is no optimal age.

Does Having a Master’s Shorten the Time it Takes to Get a PhD?

blonde woman at a master's graduation in the sunlight

Having a Master’s can shorten the time it takes to get a PhD , depending on your discipline. If PhD programs in your discipline are structured such that they assume you have a Master’s before you enter, then yes, you’re going to finish a PhD faster. 

If you enter without a Master’s, you may have to get the Master’s first to be allowed in the PhD program. Otherwise, you may have to take some remedial coursework. If your discipline is not set up in that manner, having a Master’s may not allow you to move faster.

Final Thoughts

As society ages and with employers having problems finding eligible workers, the problem of ageism will become less severe. Getting a PhD at any age is going to be a viable option. If you are interested in a PhD and it’s something you have a burning desire to do, don’t let age stop you. 

Are you considering getting your PhD? We’re here to help. Check out our Dissertation Coaching and Academic Career Coaching services.

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Steve Tippins

Steve Tippins, PhD, has thrived in academia for over thirty years. He continues to love teaching in addition to coaching recent PhD graduates as well as students writing their dissertations. Learn more about his dissertation coaching and career coaching services. Book a Free Consultation with Steve Tippins

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Getting a PhD in Your 50s and 60s: The Ultimate Guide

There’s a significant rise in the number of mature students returning to university to complete postgraduate degrees. You plan to be one of them. But you find yourself asking if it is feasible to start getting a PhD in your 50s and 60s. 

It’s never too late getting a PhD in your 50s and 60s because there’s no age limit in the pursuit of higher education. To give you a head start on this exciting new endeavor, we present to you the ultimate guide to getting a PhD in your prime years.

It is critical to know what to expect, such as the challenges and benefits of reviving an academic existence as a mid- or late-career student, so you can plan for the years ahead. Read on to find out how.

Why You Should Pursue a PhD at a Later Stage in Life

Why would anyone in their right mind regurgitate a period of woe and misery in their golden years when they should already be relaxing? Well, many people, not just nerds, love studying. 

There’s an entire population dedicated to life-long learning. They form the bulk of those going back to school to complete degrees that were halted mid-life due to the untimely arrival of kids, financial downfall, death in the family, or other unfortunate circumstances. These mature students don’t need a reason to return to school. Their passion drives them.

For others, the purpose is economical. Those in the middle of their career embark on a PhD to change its direction, improve their prospects, upgrade their qualification set, or to accrue further knowledge. In fields like teaching and research, a doctorate is a veritable advantage.

Nina Grunfeld , founder of Life Clubs , a network that helps people achieve life changes, explains that many, particularly women, want to return to study because they’re disgruntled or have a desire to improve themselves, revive their career, or discover new passions.

“A milestone age is often a trigger,” Grunfeld adds.

“At the Open University , favored by many part-time learners, numbers of postgraduate students over the age of 45 have been increasing steadily for the past three years, with the greatest rise (32%) in students over 65.”

Others undertake a PhD to crown a significant achievement or just to prove they can do it. This writer’s friend did it to slap her diploma in the face of her wealthy future sister-in-law, who denigrated her economic status. Education, after all, is one of the world’s greatest equalizers. 

Most crave a PhD for the prestige the three letters can add to their names. If, however, you have a natural yearning for knowledge and in-depth study of a subject you’re passionate about, the heck with your age. Go for it!

Getting a PhD in Your 50s and 60s: the Ultimate Guide

Reasons Not to Get a PhD

Thoroughly assess your reasons for pursuing a PhD, because although it’s fulfilling academically, it’s also a huge financial commitment. If you’re dissatisfied with your current job, or you think it would just be fun to be a student again, neither will give you the strength to withstand the rigors of extreme study.

On the other hand, if you’re sure that gaining this qualification will fit in with your life goals, then forge ahead!

The Benefits of Pursuing a PhD

Do you want a research doctorate, or do you want to teach? Both are the standard reasons for undertaking PhD studies. Once completed, a PhD will make you an expert in your chosen field, possibly even beyond borders!

Apart from aspects previously mentioned, especially beneficial for older people is the fact that learning builds new neural connections that improve cognitive ability, memory function, and problem-solving ability. Education is also good for boosting one’s spirit. Classroom or online learning is a social endeavor that breaks isolation and fosters social connections. 

According to the American Council on Education , social connection with teachers and peers is one of the reasons mature students over 50 pursue higher learning.

There are retirement communities (some located on campus) that partner with colleges and universities to offer residents post-secondary courses. Most of these are on the East Coast, but there are a couple in California and Florida.

Political scientist Chris Blattman explains how a PhD intangibly molds an individual: “A PhD program doesn’t just teach you, it socializes you. It gradually changes what you think is interesting and important, the peer group you compare yourself to, the value you place on leisure and family over career, and the kind of life you will value when you emerge.”

How Long Does It Take to Complete a PhD Program?

Most full-time students can complete theirs in five to six years. Part-timers can take as long as eight to 10 years. Students with a master’s degree complete their PhD in four or five years.

Some programs, like the MACRM (Master of Arts in Public Policy with Certificate in Research Methods) at the University of Chicago’s Harris Public Policy , offer a combination of methods. This master’s program provides intense and applied research training plus the option of a PhD at the end.

Study Methods

Studying for a PhD here is different compared to Europe. Our students are usually in direct contact with their professors. They’re expected to do a lot of teaching and marking, which encroaches on their free time off-campus. The earlier you accept this, the better you’ll cope and adopt solutions.

According to the World Economic Forum , the USA had the most doctoral graduates in 2017: 71,000. Germany and the UK followed, with 28,000 each.

In 2016, about 14% of all doctoral recipients were over age 40, per the National Science Foundation . Educators see increasing enrollment in doctoral programs by students in their 40s and 50s.

At Cornell University , women drive the trend . “The number of new female doctoral students age 36 or older was 44% higher in 2015 than in 2009,” says Barbara Knuth , senior vice provost and dean of the graduate school.

What Are the Requirements?

Generally, a PhD applicant should have completed a relevant undergraduate degree. Ideally, he should have also secured a master’s degree (with substantial research) in a related subject. Thankfully, this is optional here. Most PhD programs in the US, unlike in the UK, don’t require a master’s degree for admission. Students can move straight to doing a PhD with an undergraduate degree.

Here’s a sample of PhD requirements from the University of California, Berkeley , a public research university regarded as one of our most prestigious. This is a list of their graduate programs and application deadlines. We chose Berkeley as an example, because it had the highest number of top-ranked doctoral programs nationwide, according to a National Research Council report .

Required documentation includes, but isn’t limited to official transcripts, course descriptions from previous institutions attended, proof of language proficiency, references, and cover letters.

How to Apply

For admission to your chosen institution, visit its website. Check its rankings, course listings, faculty, and requirements specific to your field of study. Talk to other students and professors, learn about your desired department, and uncover the social scene.

Deadlines for applications to PhD programs are usually between December and February. You’ll get an answer by April. Most institutions recommend that you apply way in advance to give both parties plenty of time for arrangements. They require international students to have a TOEFL score of around 90, but this varies depending on the institution.

In Europe, students choose their PhD subject area before they apply. Here, potential PhD students can take up to a year or two deciding on their research subject while attending classes at a graduate level. Students normally apply to more than one institution—and separately because there’s no central organization that processes applications.

Students in Europe are expected to apply with existing knowledge of the subject via a master’s degree. They begin PhD studies right away. Here, universities accept that students don’t have an in-depth understanding of their subject and permit them to decide later.

Tips to Get a (Slight) Advantage

Get the best quality general research pre-training possible. Apply to as many top schools as you can. Visit all the institutions that accepted you. Narrow down your choices according to fit and quality.

Applying to many places is crucial because the admissions process is competitive and random. Whittling 100 promising candidates down to 30 is subjective. Even outstanding candidates might not be admitted.

Institutions are more likely to admit you if you demonstrate a good fit with their faculty. That’s why you have to research the faculty and their work, and explain how you fit in. Mention in your cover letter the staff members you see as complementary to your research. Note that deciding committees in politics programs take cover letters more seriously than their counterparts in economics.

Strive to gain entry into one of the top 10 schools in your field because it gives you a better chance at an academic job. This is true in economics, the most hierarchical field in social science.

Which University Should You Attend?

Getting a PhD in Your 50s and 60s: the Ultimate Guide

Rankings shouldn’t be the main deciding factor, but they’re an excellent indicator of educational expertise. To choose the best from the 4,000 nationwide, see this list of our best universities in 2020 and how they feature in worldwide rankings. The top five are Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and Princeton.

How to Choose the Right Institution

Consider these factors.

Your field of study, their programs, specialties, facilities, and faculty rating. Your choice depends on your preferred career and the course credit you’ve accumulated. 

If you’re certain about your field of interest and feel confident it will sustain you for the entire program, you’ll have a greater chance of getting accepted.

Researching their specialties will tell you if they’re appropriate for your area of study. See what areas they’ve worked in, their study focus, what they’ve published, and how well their work has been received. Also, investigate the quality of their student-faculty, as a postgrad study is collaborative and intense. You need to have the right people in your group.

What is the university best known for? Choose one renowned in the field you’re interested in to ensure you have the appropriate experts on hand to help you. Evaluate the kinds of research projects done in the university.

Choosing a venue depends on your circumstances. Staying near your home allows you to work part-time while studying. Most PhDs require only occasional visits to the university, so you may opt to take the course far from home, then travel when necessary. Alternatively, you could move closer to your university for greater immersion into the social scene and a closer connection to the student community.

If you choose to study away from home, contact your chosen university’s accommodation office first. Many university towns have student accommodation in place, but spots tend to go quickly, so apply early. Next, research on- and off-campus accommodation. Check online local listings and bulletin boards for private rentals.

Social Life

Check out student life on social media. What organizations do they have? Are they the sort you would want to join?

Staff/Student Ratio

The more staff available to each student, the better.

Choose From These Categories of Institutions

  • Public Universities (aka state colleges)—open to anyone who qualifies. They’re funded by state governments. Being larger, they can accommodate many students and offer a wide variety of degree programs. Some offer scholarships.
  • Private Non-Profit Colleges —their tuition is much higher than that of state universities or community colleges, but they don’t profit from it. As they’re smaller, they offer specific courses and specialized degrees. They receive funds only from tuition fees and donations.
  • Private For-Profit Colleges —similar to non-profits in course study and general cost, but they’re set up as a business. This affects the type of degree programs offered.
  • Liberal Arts Colleges —offer one expansive area of study rather than specific degree tracks. As they’re smaller, instructors give you more attention. Though most focus on undergraduate education, some offer good postgraduate degree programs too. Campus culture is quite different from that of a traditional university.
  • Online Postgraduate Colleges —perfect for those juggling jobs and family as it offers flexibility in assignment completion. Most coursework and classroom discussions are held online, but you may have to go to a physical classroom part of the time, especially as you get closer to graduation. An online degree is as valuable as one you physically attend.

Ask Your Intended University These Questions

  • What are my chances of finding a job after graduation? See the career prospects below.
  • How flexible is your program? This depends on the subject area. The Humanities and the Arts offer a greater degree of flexibility than science-oriented ones. North American institutions offer slightly less flexibility than their European counterparts. See whether you can pick and choose components, or if the whole program is indelibly fixed from beginning to end.
  • What research resources are available? Decent computer networks and an equipped library are not enough. Serious research requires office-based administration support, reprographic services, and essentials of a proper business center. Disregard any institution that lacks support.
  • How versatile is your department? Some departments prefer one research method. Others favor newer ones, non-traditional teaching styles, or a radical approach. Extensive departments offer a wider spectrum of methods and potential areas of study. You may thrive better with a broader tradition of research methodologies or value the security of knowing what is expected of you.
  • What are your non-academic amenities? Also, check out other facilities, like leisure programs, for maintaining a work/life balance. Small universities in remote towns offer lesser cultural or social options.

How to Get Into a Top Institution

Entry into the top 10 or 15 schools is extremely competitive. Focus on getting exceptional recommendations, experience, grades, and GRE scores. Most departments appoint a small committee of four to six faculty members for admissions. The committee changes every year, so results are hard to predict.

Work on research projects with professors. Try before you commit. Become a research assistant (RA) in your department or secure RA jobs with professors in top departments in your area. This will help with references and your statement.

How to Fund Your Studies

Getting a PhD in Your 50s and 60s: the Ultimate Guide

The cost of traditional programs can vary between $20,000 to $60,000 per year. Shorter programs are cheaper. If a PhD is going to drown you in debt, think twice. Attend an institution with full funding if you can. This is often a barter deal: free tuition in exchange for research and teaching.

Another reason for applying in advance is to give plenty of time to arrange funding. Deadlines for application for funding can be as early as December for studies beginning in the fall. Many students can get part or full funding through scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, loans, and government assistance. Help is also available for parents, such as childcare subsidies, single-parent grants, bursaries, and free school meals for children.

Some PhD students will receive a university stipend with an assistantship position, but this varies between institutions and between departments within institutions. This is an example from Cornell University . Many government schemes like The Fulbright Program offer scholarships.

You can also obtain bursaries from abroad. An example is the Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries in the UK, open to all nationalities. In Canada, senior citizens can have their tuition waived for one undergraduate and graduate degree.

What to Do After Admission

Once you’ve secured funding and accommodation, these are the next steps:

Find a Supervisor

Write your research proposal if you’re self-proposing your PhD. Then find an institution and a supervising academic to support you during your research. Choose those with whom you’ll work well. To achieve this, you must network and meet people in your field of research.

Apply for an Assistantship

Doctorate assistantships are advertised on university websites and wherever academic jobs are advertised. Applications for these are very competitive, so apply for several.

Clarify Duties in Your Department

While researching and writing, many PhD students take on additional responsibilities, such as helping professors and lecturers with their classes or marking and evaluating undergraduate work. These extra tasks may be paid or not.

Prepare for Your Dissertation Early

A dissertation is a means to contribute new knowledge, theories, or practices to your field. Introduce an entirely new concept, develop it, and defend its worth. Your dissertation should be around 70,000 to 100,000 words.

Your subject area will determine if you have to write your dissertation while attending classes or do so after research completion. Regardless, preps always help at crunch time.

You are expected to defend your dissertation with a public presentation. Afterward, you will have a private session with the dissertation committee to evaluate if you’ve earned your doctorate. This is why it’s important to have a positive relationship with faculty, peers, and supervisors.

Career Prospects 

What type of job can you expect after graduation?

Traditionally, graduate school hones students to become future scholars and live an intellectual life, produce innovative research, and become professors at four-year institutions. Fulfilling research careers are plentiful, but there are other ways PhD recipients can use their degrees to benefit society. For instance, they can pursue alternative academic careers in K-12 administration or the nonprofit sector.

The top 10 to 20 schools staff the top 100 to 200 universities. So PhDs outside the top 30 schools are unlikely to lead to careers in research universities, though this varies by discipline. Graduates of lower-ranked programs can work for the government or at teaching universities, international institutions, and think tanks. Job satisfaction rates are usually high.

If you aim to teach in a business department in a community college or a four-year school, an MBA may be enough. You need a doctorate, however, for a full-time job at a four-year teaching-focused school. Community colleges may hire you full-time with just a master’s, but you’ll be competing against those with doctorates.

Jobs should properly compensate you for the time spent completing your PhD. Ask your targeted institutions what the employment rate is for their graduates and their links to prospective employers. Institutions with strong ties to private companies offer more chances of future employment.

Ultimately, it boils down to your chosen subject matter. Some PhD courses like law will definitely enhance your career. Non-vocational fields like Greek mythology, however, are less likely to improve your future earning capacity or alter your career trajectory. Intellectually, of course, the reward is priceless.

Advantages of Being an Older Student

The obvious one is that your decision to return to university is likely the result of planning over several years, not a rushed, uneducated hack at the dartboard. This gives you ample time to choose your field of study.

Your work experience, professionalism, people skills, and ability to manage multiple commitments will prove invaluable throughout your studies. Course tutors also treat older students differently than their younger, undergraduate counterparts—in a good way.

Keeping Up With the Young Ones

Despite there being no age barriers in a PhD entry, age makes a difference somewhat on campus. The gap in the life experience of a young adult and a mature student is vast. The ramifications for the latter have to do with social life, interactions during class discussions and group projects, and how older students are treated by professors and non-academic staff.

For an Equal Footing…

Join organizations, societies, and sports clubs. These aren’t exclusive to undergraduate students. Not all activities are drunken, drug-crazed meet-ups. Being a part of a campus association could benefit your career development in the way of learning a unique skill or developing a new interest.

Maintaining a Balance

Many mature students return to school juggling study with family and work commitments. This makes prioritizing studies challenging. Some, especially working moms, feel guilty about not giving everyone equal attention. So they study part-time or employ creative means to manage their time.

Avenues of Support

As a mature student, you may wonder how you’ll cope with the demands of scholastic life as you’ve been out of academia for many years and can’t remember the last time you wrote an essay.

Fear not. Most universities run workshops on topics like researching, essay writing, referencing, and library use—usually at the start of the academic year. Approach your university for help with matters off-limits to family and friends. Ask your tutor for advice. Your cohort group is also a source of support and shared experiences.

The Value of Networking 

Although a PhD elevates academic achievement, it doesn’t guarantee employment in your field. Networking adds value to your career and provides growth opportunities. Relationships ease career transitions needed to pursue better opportunities. Give back by sharing your connections and expertise.

Ageism and Sexism in Academia

US universities may not be perfect, but education-related discrimination is minimal compared to many countries. Be thankful for this, and take advantage of the privilege. To illustrate what women PhD applicants have to deal with in other countries, in China , you cannot apply for a PhD after age 40.

In the Philippines, admissions departments ask invasive questions and request antiquated requirements, such as copies of marriage certificates. These are requested from both foreign and local applicants but ONLY WOMEN. You may think this requirement is from a patriarchal provincial college, but it’s an item from actual requirement lists from two of the country’s Ivy League universities, which are supposed to be progressive.

The pursuit of a PhD is a life-changer. We trust the pathways we presented will help you make the right choice based on your needs and preferred course of study. Good luck with your aspirations in higher education, which will hopefully lead to your dream career. The fulfillment will surely be unparalleled. 

A Scottish student in her 50s encapsulates the postgraduate sentiment impeccably: “There is value to being an older PhD student, and there is value to universities having us. There just needs to be more of us.”

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Hey there, my name is Anja, I’ve seen and supported my mom’s incredible transformation in her fifties. Seeing how my mom “awakened” and took full control over her life really impressed me. I got inspired and started dreaming about how we could inspire more people, especially women, to open up and create a second life for themselves. That’s how the idea of aginggreatly.com came to life…

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Academics Anonymous: 'Why are you doing a PhD at your age?'

I’m concerned that my age will render my PhD worthless, at least as a passport to an academic career Studying for a humanities PhD can make you feel cut off from humanity

At virtually every conference I've attended as a doctoral candidate, I've noticed a similar reaction whenever I strike up a conversation with my fellow students. They exude a faint, but perceptible air of deference.

Sadly, this is not in recognition of my academic brilliance, but my greying hair and crow's feet, which tacitly suggest that I am more qualified and experienced than I actually am. You may be as young as you feel, but sadly, initial impressions tend to be based on how old you look.

When I reveal that, though I am 42, I am in fact a student, the response is invariably, "Oh, I thought you were an academic." I can't help feeling that this reaction masks an unspoken enquiry: "So why are you doing a PhD at your age?"

This is certainly a question I've asked myself over the past three years of my part-time doctorate, and there still doesn't seem to be any rational answer. I'm spending money I can ill-afford in the pursuit of a qualification, which may or may not offer the slenderest of chances of becoming an academic. I was warned, of course, that the arduous journey of a humanities PhD doesn't offer the guarantee of a job at the end of the process.

Entering an already saturated job market

A former supervisor whom I contacted for a reference prior to resuming study after a 20-year hiatus told me that I was more or less wasting my time in seeking to enter a saturated job market populated by those younger, fresher, hungrier and less shop-worn than I.

A newly qualified doctorate-holder in their 20s has, it's safe to say, enjoyed a fairly seamless career progression: BA, MA, PhD. They are straight arrows – I am an unguided missile by comparison, with a career history built upon under-performance in a range of fields.

A nagging voice that whispered "this isn't what you should be doing with your life" sabotaged any commitment to establishing a presence in the corporate world.

Of course, there are benefits to beginning a PhD in later life. Being older doesn't necessarily make you wiser, but in my case, it has made me more disciplined about the process of writing.

After graduating from university in 1994, I meandered from job to job and eventually trained as a journalist. I hated the job, but it taught me to write to strict deadlines, an attribute which has proved invaluable when juggling the demands of a full-time job and two young children.

Sleepless nights

I don't have the option of planning a day of study – I fit my studies in around my life. I typically squeeze in my doctoral work during evenings and weekends, but in fact, trying to segregate family, work and PhD time is virtually impossible – my doctoral work is always on, running as a background programme throughout the day.

I have not experienced an unbroken night's sleep for the past five years – I am invariably up in the small hours banishing ghosts, dispensing milk or searching for misplaced comforters. As I have discovered, chronic sleep deprivation makes sustained concentration a daunting task.

If you begin a PhD in your early 20s, there's a strong presumption that this represents a career choice. If you begin a doctorate in later life, this is often interpreted as a desire for intellectual stimulation, rather than an ambition to secure employment as a teacher and researcher.

Older doctoral candidates seem under-represented in the teaching and lecturing undertaken by postgraduate students. Thanks to the demands of work and family life, I don't enjoy many networking or social encounters with my peers – but I do enjoy the benefits of a stable home environment and a steady source of income. Instead, I've been able to build up a roster of contacts on Twitter and other social networking sites.

Why I want to work in academia

Why do I keep going? Because after living in the banality of the corporate world, I have a renewed respect for academia, for open-mindedness and intellectual honesty.

It's true that higher education is becoming increasingly corporate – academics are hostage to the jargon of marketers, and are being forced to demonstrate that their research has an impact beyond the scholarly community, and that their teaching embodies "employability", irrespective of its intellectual merits.

I recognise that there is a correspondent ruthlessness within academia – the demands of maintaining an impressive roster of publications, of success in securing funding, and of competing with other highly intelligent, motivated people for a dwindling pool of jobs.

But there's also the very real joy of research, of reaching the limits of your intellectual boundaries, of being invited to contend with ideas that matter. And that's why I continue along the lonely road of the PhD – I've revived a part of me that I'd lamented, thinking it gone forever. And seeing it revived – and occasionally flourishing despite all life's obstacles – is enough.

This week's anonymous academic is studying for a humanities PhD at a Russell Group university.

If you'd like to contribute an anonymous piece about the trials and tribulations of university life, contact [email protected] .

Join the higher education network for more comment, analysis and job opportunities , direct to your inbox. Follow us on Twitter @gdnhighered .

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How old is too old for a PhD?

Are there any age limits (formal, informal, or guidelines) that schools use when deciding to accept someone into a PhD program? I'm most curious about the upper age limits. For example, will most schools accept someone in their 40's? How about their 50's?

  • graduate-admissions

enthu's user avatar

  • 7 Personally I would be heavily surprised if a university does use age as a factor especially if one is still in the working age range –  Eminem Sep 26, 2012 at 6:01
  • 1 Related q: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/902/… –  Bravo Sep 26, 2012 at 14:53
  • 16 I'm a little surprised this is being marked duplicate of a question which was posted 2 years after this question was posted (July 2014). –  earthling Apr 6, 2015 at 22:30
  • 5 @earthling few years ago, an 80-year old student in my uni graduated with a PhD. –  santa Oct 26, 2015 at 1:20
  • 19 Dead. Dead is too old for PhD. –  NovemberSierra Oct 15, 2017 at 1:12

11 Answers 11

I would imagine most institutions would consider it discriminatory to judge on age, and in some places it would just be illegal. The real consideration is always whether the prospective candidate has a reasonable chance of success. Having appropriate education, or a reasonable substitute is of course the main criterion, though demonstrating research-level ability always helps (research publications etc.).

Personally I have seen PhD candidates of all ages. There's some skew to the distribution across disciplines (business and history for example often have higher proportions of older doctoral candidates than, say, mathematics), but this seems to be more a socio-cultural thing than any institutional influence.

Luke Mathieson's user avatar

  • 2 I completely agree with this post. There was a 6x year old PhD candidate in my old group that worked 4 days of the week for a company, while 1 day in the week he would be working on his research. He needed a bit longer than more 'traditional' PhD candidates but still finished his PhD successfully. –  Bas Jansen Feb 28, 2017 at 14:38
  • @bas what university was this? I doubt top schools allow for part time PhDs. Must be a state school, or some European country? –  PKHunter Jun 20, 2020 at 23:17
  • It was at a European institute yes, with his PhD being funded by his company. –  Bas Jansen Jun 25, 2020 at 10:11

At the university where I work, there are no limitations or guidelines on appropriate age ranges for a Ph.D., and I'm sure this is true throught the US since age discrmination would be illegal. In practice, we see the opposite problem regarding age: the application rate in mathematics is very low after the mid-20's, although we would be happy to consider older candidates. It may be that they just aren't interested in applying (if you have a family or are used to earning a high salary, then going back to school may be difficult or unappealing; furthermore, everyone is exposed to enough math in childhood that perhaps relatively few people first discover a fascination with it at an older age). However, I fear that there are people who would really like to go back and get a Ph.D., but who do not apply, because they believe they are too old to do mathematics research or because they do not believe they will be admitted. That would be sad, since I've known several extremely successful mathematicians who entered grad school well beyond the typical age.

Anonymous Mathematician's user avatar

  • 4 If only your message was more widely publicized! I'm writing as a mid-50s PhD student who looked at dozens of department web sites at top research universities. I can't remember a single mention of older applicants and whether they'd be well received or successful in those PhD programs. I had to in-person interviews, and neither said anything positive about older applicants. –  MrMeritology Jul 4, 2014 at 6:54
  • 1 I'm 65 and now applying to grad schools (computer science). I just completed my second MS (in CS), the first earned many decades ago in mathematics. I'm only applying to some highly ranked programs. We'll soon see! :-) –  Rafael_Espericueta Oct 24, 2017 at 23:03

This is a slightly different view of some issues raised in a recent answer .

That answer stated some of the disadvantages of being a mature PhD student, but missed several major advantages that mature students can have, especially if they have worked in their field of study.

I worked in the computer industry from 1970 to 2002, when I left to become a CS graduate student, completing my PhD in 2009.

Long hours. The article asked "Are you ready to pull all-nighters and push yourself to the limit (mentally and physically)?". I was definitely not ready to pull all-nighters, and never needed to. I had spent decades on projects far more complicated than one student's studies, and knew better than to leave a hard-deadline task until just before the deadline.

Over-long working hours lead to mistakes and reduced productivity. It is much more efficient to mix work with plenty of sleep and a reasonable amount of exercise and relaxation. Mature students have had more time to get work-life balance under control than recent graduates.

Not well paid. The article seemed to assume financial dependence on the PhD program. That is true for most recent graduates. Mature students, especially after successful careers in a technical field, may have other financial resources. I supported myself and paid my tuition out of my investment income while living in a house I owned.

Background knowledge. This is the area where a mature student may have the biggest advantage. There is an immense difference between passing an undergraduate course in a topic and spending several years of one's working life living and breathing it.

Staying employable in the computer industry for decades requires continuous study. I had already read some of the assigned papers for seminar courses, and earlier editions of a couple of course textbooks. Studying was easier in college because I could get advice on what to read, saving me the effort of working out what I was going to need to know next year.

After the PhD. In my case I took a year off to celebrate after the PhD, and enjoyed it so much I retired. I can still use my skills answering questions on StackOverflow, helping a college robotics team, and participating in open source software development. That is an option I would not have had thirty years earlier.

If I had looked for paid work, I would not have considered jobs as a postdoc or similar. That would ignore almost all of my resume. I was more likely to return to industry, because I prefer a pure technical path that the academic world does not seem to offer.

Community's user avatar

  • 1 I think my answer was misread. I didn't want to point shortcomings of mature graduate students. I simply wanted to put out there some issues that one should think about before plunging in, according to my limited experience. In your case, you had all the correct answers and succeeded. Good for you! However, I've seen mature PhD students failing because they didn't think about these stuff. I simply wanted to say "Follow your heart, but make sure you think about these points before they bite you!" –  electrique Oct 31, 2015 at 22:44
  • 2 @electrique I didn't see your answers as pointing out shortcomings, but as having been written very much from a young person's point of view. –  Patricia Shanahan Oct 31, 2015 at 23:22
  • 2 +1 Just got my PhD at 57. Didn't work long hours. Was able to do most of my research during work hours because my area of research was of interest to the company, so I had a good income. –  mhwombat Oct 14, 2017 at 17:32

I know this is an older question but recently similar questions have popped up. So, I'll give my input as a recently graduated PhD.

My answer : It's never late to do a PhD, but you need to be well informed what you are signing up for. I explain.

Long hours . During my PhD I needed to work crazy hours. It's a creative process that can consume all your time. I was thinking about my work day and night. It's easy to say that I'll work 8-5 on my PhD, but I don't know any PhD student that managed to do that. You can count for lost weekends, lost vacations, sleepless nights before the big conference deadline, etc. Are you ready to pull all-nighters and push yourself to the limit (mentally and physically)? Is your family ready to accept this state of living? Will your wife/children (if any) show understanding?

Not well paid . Then, it's the financial part. Some PhD positions are well-paid, some positions (e.g. in most UK unies) you just survive, and other are unpaid. At the age of XX, you are probably used to some specific quality of life. Are you willing to sacrifice this for doing a PhD? If the position is paid, then does the salary cover your current expenses? If it's unpaid, do you have the financial resources to support yourself and your family for 4-5 years?

Background knowledge . How up-to-date are you with the current developments in your field? Many people start their PhD right after the master studies, thus they are in the studying mood and usually are up to date. You might be required to take some of those graduate level courses. These assume some background knowledge. Do you have / remember that? Especially in technical fields, you need to keep updating all the time...

After the PhD . Then it's the reason. Why do you want to do a PhD? Is it for the knowledge? After the PhD, what do you dream to do? If you plan for an academic career, you should know that you'll have to start from a lower position (postdoc, lecturer, etc.) and work your way through the ranks. Early-stage academic positions demand a huge amount of time. If you want to go for industry positions with PhD requirements, they usually have an experience requirement, so be prepared to start low.

My experiences . I believe age by itself is not a problem. I've had a colleague in his 40s doing a PhD and he did an excellent job. On the other hand another student in his 50s that gave up after 6 months. His computer skills were very bad and it was clear that he lacked (or had forgotten) key knowledge in the field (electrical engineering). Although we all tried to help him out, the pressure was too high and at the end of the day, you have to carry your own weight.

Good luck in whatever you decide!

electrique's user avatar

I recall one case at Ohio State where someone who had retired from the US Army at age 55, then entered graduate school in mathematics.

Ohio State also had a program where tuition is waived for anyone over age 65 (or was it 60?). I recall a few such people taking a graduate course in math, but none working on a Ph.D.

GEdgar's user avatar

  • 1 The University of Maryland has a similar program. –  cpast Apr 6, 2015 at 17:47
  • 3 My great aunt took advantage of such a program at a college in Brooklyn, amassing two additional undergraduate degrees. She was a student until she passed away at age 100. –  Stella Biderman Oct 14, 2017 at 12:47

It really depends on which institute you are attending. I did my undergrad at UC Irvine where it was very rare to see older grad students. Most grad students at UCI were accepted directly from their undergraduate programs but at the University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM) where I am doing my PhD, most students have a few years of experience and so are a few years older ~30+. It never hurts to call the program head directly.

Noble P. Abraham's user avatar

I received my PhD at the age of 65. I have a job working in my humanities profession as an adjunct and getting the expected pay for it. I have been hired for the maximum amount of hours permitted. My department chair seems to like me. My position is not a lucrative one but a retirement job. It is a job where I can research and write at my leisure without worrying about having to publish.So, jobs are out there and if being in your 30s, 40s, 50s plus is stopping you, think about what you really want from academia -- careers in teaching colleges are increasingly going on-line. The old-time professor has retreated to the nursing home. Academia is now more about corporate structure and business modeling. All academics should have updated computer skills and ready to learn anything new placed upon the desk. Publish on line. Team up with younger co-workers. Be passionate about the job at hand. In some ways, I am lucky. I do not need a tenured position. In surveying the field, I'm not sure I would want one.

user81294's user avatar

I am 73 and in my second year of a PhD program. It will be my second doctorate - the first in law and this one in sociology. I also have an MBA which I earned after I became 70 years of age.

I really never think about my age; I just do it because it's what I want to do.

user109515's user avatar

  • That's inspiring –  earthling Jun 12, 2019 at 13:52
  • This truly is a super thread and posts like yours are so heartening, inspiring. Thank you and all the best for your phd! –  PKHunter Jun 20, 2020 at 23:33

If we agree that PhD holder at any level in academic position primary duty is to stimulating young scholars to correct path then expertise is vital. Consider a professor with years of experience in industry can profoundly support youth to learn meaningful objects than naïve one. the most shortage in developing countries academic education clearly is that scholars really don't know what is expecting them after graduation. skillful professor equipped with advanced theory and IT capability has profound affect positively rather very young tyro who still needs help. the best age in my opinion for PhD is in range of 35-45.

Hamed Jabarian's user avatar

No age is too old, but your prospects for what happens after - what you might be able to do with your degree - do change.

Deipatrous's user avatar

It always amazes me that there are so many questions about what the maximum age for a PhD is and none about what the minimum "age" (experience) should be.

In my opinion, no one should be awarded a Ph.D. without a minimum of 20 years of professional experience. With the sole exception of doctorates "honoris causa" that could be awarded at any age, to recognize the merits of the true geniuses that so rarely appear.

Therefore, every educational institution should not only allow, but prioritize, the return of professionals who can contribute knowledge and experience in their work areas and want to share his/her knowledge in the form of a thesis.

At least in my country every year there are thousands of new doctors under 30, whose PhD thesis do not deserve the wood of the tree in which they have been printed.

pasaba por aqui's user avatar

  • 1 Are you sure you are not confusing a phd degree with a medal for successful professionals? –  user111388 Feb 5, 2021 at 19:38
  • 1 First, it's (where I am) 3-4 years after a master degree. Next, a phd is a recognition that one did useful scientific research, not that one revolutionized the world. This one can do after 9 years of studying. Just like a Bachelor degree is saying that the person knows the basics of their field, a phd degree does not say that the holder is the best. Also, it would be bad to generally give degrees only to industry researchers as companies do not do research for mankind's advancement, just to make more money. For example, I don't know of any progress in companies regarding literature science –  user111388 Feb 5, 2021 at 20:20
  • (@user111388) NP problem: a problem that allows an exponential number of articles and thesis stating that they are better than the previous one. –  pasaba por aqui Feb 6, 2021 at 18:54
  • I don't understand what is this supposed to mean. Anyway, a phd thesis does not have to be better than the ones before. I think the recognition you are looking for is a "professorship". –  user111388 Feb 6, 2021 at 19:01
  • A PhD is not a DSc. The latter is all but forgotten and the former is often used as if it were the latter. All of this is a bit strange and the result of a convoluted history, but this is where things stand. –  Deipatrous Jun 7, 2022 at 8:45

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doing a phd at 40

Is it OK to start a PhD at age 40?

You're 40 years old right now. So realistically you will finish your PhD at the age of 45 or even more if you're doing it in countries like the US or Canada . So if you are going to try and get a tenured post, you have to bear this in mind. Many mature students would struggle to find a suitable tenured post.

Is 45 too old to get a PhD?

What age is too late for phd.

There is no age limit for PhD. However, he had some doubts at the time of beginning and he has considering taking another year off. So many people start their research early 22s.

Can I start a PhD at age 30 45?

That is a typical age for Ph. D. in the US though depending on the area of your study. It may be too late for mathematicians and hard scientists, but the 30–45 age range should be good for applied/social sciences and humanity areas in which practical experience matters.

What is the average age to start PhD?

The median age at entry to doctoral programmes is 29 on average across OECD countries with 60% of entrants aged between 26 and 37 years old . On average across OECD countries, 25% of enrolled doctoral graduates are international students.

Is It OK To Start A PhD At 40?: Doing A PhD In Your 40s.

Is 35 too old for PhD?

Your age shouldn't make too much of a difference . It is very unlikely… that you will have any difficulty finding a job, especially as a PhD. There is a worldwide shortage of top-class engineers and PhDs are expected to be senior. Plus you will have the advantage that all your knowledge will be fresh and up-to-date.

Is doing PhD worth it?

Besides this, a PhD degree helps you develop valuable transferrable skills, which are held dear by the employers . The very nature of the degree teaches candidates to be team players, problem solvers, have great presentation and communication skills apart from having an analytical mind and perseverance.

Is 50 too old to start a PhD?

There are no age limits for the PhD . There are folks who start a PhD in a subject they have always wanted to study after retiring from a regular job. Universities will welcome 50 to 60 year olds, who often have a great time fulfilling a lifetime ambition.

Can I do PhD at 37?

At 37, you are probably a potential or hopeful “career changer,” looking for a PhD to move into academia . That is pretty common, I was one myself, and I also was faculty in a program for mid-career doctoral learners (=career changers). About opportunities in academia, it all depends on the field.

Can I get a PhD in 2 years?

Yes, you can finish a PhD in 2 years , but it is very rare and only a small group of students make it. A PhD is one of the world's largest most coveted scholarly awards, so what would it truly take to be prepared to contact yourself a Doctor of Arts or Science?

Is 55 too old to get a PhD?

Which phd is most in demand.

In recent years, chemical engineering has been recognized as the best doctoral degree by salary-offering steady job growth and high early career and mid-career salaries. Chemical engineers often work in biotechnology and business services as researchers.

What is the salary after PhD?

PHD Student salary in India ranges between ₹ 0.4 Lakhs to ₹ 12.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 4.1 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 114 salaries received from PHD Students. Very High Confidence means the data is based on a large number of responses.

Does having a PhD make you more employable?

A PhD makes a candidate very attractive to employers looking to fill higher-level, research-driven positions. Furthermore, with a PhD you will be qualified for more jobs, and will have more career options than you would with just a bachelor's or master's degree.

Which PhD has highest salary?

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) PhDs tend to pay the most, according to research conducted by Payscale. Electrical & computer engineering is America's most lucrative PhD, with early career pay reported to be approximately $102,000.

Is PhD higher than bachelor degree?

Which One Is Higher: A Masters or a PhD? For most students, a bachelor's degree is the 'first' degree. Second is a Masters degree. Third is Doctorate degree, such as the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), is a 'terminal degree'.

Is doing a PhD hard?

Contrary to popular belief, a PhD is not intellectually difficult but it calls for discipline and stamina. A PhD, especially in the humanities, is a lonely affair.

How many CEOs have PhDs?

This indicates that the vast majority of CEOs have some sort of higher level education. We also find that nearly 20% of CEOs have a MBA degree whilst only 10% have a PhD.

What is the most difficult PhD?

1. Boarded Medical Doctor : After spending about eight years to earn your first degree, you are faced with between three and six years of residency. This is the most competitive field in education which means you must have passed through a very rigorous process to earn this certificate.

What is the easiest PhD to get?

  • Doctor of Education (EdD). ...
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). ...
  • Doctor of Theology (ThD). ...
  • Medical Doctorate (MD). ...
  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). ...
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

Can you do a PhD at 60?

It's never too late getting a PhD in your 50s and 60s because there's no age limit in the pursuit of higher education.

Can a PhD be called Doctor?

Doctor as a noun Throughout much of the academic world, the term Doctor refers to someone who has earned a doctoral degree (highest degree) from a university. This is normally the Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated PhD (sometimes Ph. D.

Can I do PhD while working?

With a little time management and organisation, a part-time PhD combined with a full-time job is not impossible . One useful tip is to try to make some of your research at the end of your working hours at the office, not when you arrive at home, when you will be already too tired.

How long is PhD after Masters?

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD After a Master's? You may be able to complete your doctoral program in three to four years if you opt for an accelerated online program. On average, traditional on-campus PhD programs take around eight years to complete.

Is getting a PhD harder than med school?

MD/PhD programs are even harder to get into . According to AAMC, an average matriculant at a medical school has a GPA of just under 3.7 and an MCAT score of 515. Matriculants of MD/PhD programs have an average GPA of 3.8 and an MCAT score of over 517.

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Atlanta braves slugger ronald acuña jr. becomes 5th player in mlb history to join elite 40-40 club.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 22: Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves hits a home run in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 22, 2023 in Washington, DC. The home run was Acuna's 40th of the season. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. etched his name into MLB history Friday night when he hit his 40th home run of the season and became the fifth member to join baseball’s exclusive 40-40 Club.

With his first inning blast off Washington Nationals pitcher Patrick Corbin, Acuña becomes just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to join the elite 40-40 Club – players who have hit 40 home runs and stolen 40 bases in a single season.

Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Canseco was the first player to display the rare combination of speed and power, when he hit 42 home runs and stole 40 bases in 1988. San Francisco Giants Barry Bonds matched Canseco’s stat line in 1996 with 42 homers and 40 steals. In 1998, Seattle Mariners Alex Rodriguez belted 42 home runs and had 46 stolen bases. Alfonso Soriano was the last player to accomplish the feat when he hit 46 home runs and stole 41 bases for the Washington Nationals in 2006.

Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuña Jr. gets a hug from the team's manager, Brian Snitker, after hitting a solo home run during a game against the Washington Nationals on Friday, Sept. 22.

No other member of the 40-40 Club has come close to matching the base-stealing prowess that the 25-year-old Venezuelan has shown in 2023. As of Friday, Acuña has stolen a whopping 68 bases this season, which leads the big leagues .

The 2018 National League Rookie of the Year and four-time All-Star is making a strong case to claim his first Most Valuable Player award this year. Acuña is sporting a .338 batting average and 101 RBIs to go along with his impressive home run and stolen base totals.

Acuña’s Braves defeated the Nationals 9-6 Friday and boast the best record in baseball at 99-55 with the postseason set to start on October 3.


  1. Why Do A Doctorate In Your 40s?

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  6. Doing A PhD Forces You To Be Open And Honest With Who You Are

    doing a phd at 40


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  6. Start Working On Your PhD EARLY


  1. Taking On the Ph.D. Later in Life

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  2. You've Decided to Pursue a PhD in Your 40s

    Applying You've Decided to Pursue a PhD in Your 40s - Now, What? By Obi August 6, 2022 Updated: February 17, 2023 No Comments 5 Mins Read First, I want to say congratulations on deciding to pursue a PhD in your 40s.

  3. Is it OK to start a PhD at age 40?

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  4. Starting a PhD at 40

    The internal desire, gut feeling and conscience that must work together alongside, has to be the most significant factor to determine starting a Ph.D. at that age. Always carry the age factor you...

  5. Starting a PHD at 40 : r/PhD

    Starting a PHD at 40 Getting my PHD has always been a dream and desire but I've opted for a career and money for the past 12 years. I have about 5 more years left in my career before I'm ready to start a PHD program at which time I'll be 40. My desire would be to get a PHD in accounting and teach tax accounting.

  6. Should I get a PhD later in my life at 40 or 50? : r/PhD

    Should I get a PhD later in my life at 40 or 50? Hey guys. I tried getting PhD twice. The first time, I decided to leave the program very early. I quit because I could not adapt to life in a different country, it was a warmer country, and it was too hot for me. In addition to that, I was constantly feeling lonely.

  7. Average Age of a PhD Student: When Is It Too Late?

    Last Updated on: 16th June 2022, 05:06 pm In 2020, the average age of a graduate from a PhD program in the United States was 33. However, 6% of the graduates were over 45. When people ask what the average age of a PhD student is, many times they're really asking, "Am I too old to get a PhD?" The answer is almost always no.

  8. 5 Reasons To Pursue a PhD at Mid or Late Career

    Reason #1: There are no age limits to PhD programs, nor is age a factor in selection. Many people believe that graduate programs have age limits or a bias against older applicants. This is completely untrue!

  9. Getting a PhD in Your 50s and 60s: The Ultimate Guide

    Apart from aspects previously mentioned, especially beneficial for older people is the fact that learning builds new neural connections that improve cognitive ability, memory function, and problem-solving ability.

  10. Is It OK To Start A PhD At 40?: Doing A PhD In Your 40s

    Yes, it is absolutely ok to start your PhD in your 40s. Should you start your PhD in your 40s? That is a much different story and it depends on you. Here are some factors to think about when...

  11. Academics Anonymous: 'Why are you doing a PhD at your age?'

    If you begin a PhD in your early 20s, there's a strong presumption that this represents a career choice. If you begin a doctorate in later life, this is often interpreted as a desire for...

  12. How old is too old for a PhD?

    How old is too old for a PhD? Asked 11 years ago Modified 1 year, 3 months ago Viewed 44k times 57 Are there any age limits (formal, informal, or guidelines) that schools use when deciding to accept someone into a PhD program? I'm most curious about the upper age limits. For example, will most schools accept someone in their 40's?

  13. Jumping Back in

    At the end of my science undergraduate degree, it felt as if two main choices were presented to me, find a graduate job, or start a PhD. Many people will make their choice and never look back, but perhaps you are on a graduate scheme / have full time job and have decided you want to dive back into the academic world - a situation I found myself in last year.

  14. Starting a PhD at 40: anyone else doing this a bit later in life?

    Starting a PhD at 40: anyone else doing this a bit later in life? : r/PhD So, it has yet to be formalised, but I've found out that I will get funding to start a PhD this September. I just turned 40, so I'm not a very… Advertisement Coins 0 coins Premium Powerups Explore Gaming

  15. Doing A PhD

    The PhD thesis is the most important part of a doctoral degree. This page will introduce you to what you need to know about the PhD dissertation. This page will give you an idea of what to expect from your routine as a PhD student, explaining how your daily life will look at you progress through a doctoral degree.

  16. Can I start an MD/PhD Program at an Older Age

    Embarking on a premed journey at 40 years old and planning to start his postbac courses this Fall at a 4-year college. If he started medschool at 43 with a 7-year MD/PhD program plus a 4-year residency, he won't be working until 54. With a PhD in Social Science discipline and NPH and working at public health and related fields.

  17. Doing your PhD in your 40s and 50s : r/PhD

    Doing your PhD in your 40s and 50s. I know you are out there. What are your thoughts about the advantage of doing a PhD at our advanced age? Pros for me: Emotional stability (lots of existential angst already worked out of my system) Minimal social distractions (more consciously choosing my social calendar) More able to take criticisms and ...

  18. Mid 40's

    9 years ago T TheEngineer 98 posts In my University (in UK), when attending PhD research skills seminars and workshops, I always meet many students who are in 40s and 50s. Some of them are university staff with Masters degree and upgrading to PhD. In my view PhD has nothing to do with age, it's about the drive and passion that you have. 9 years ago

  19. Is 40 too old to get a PhD?

    Can I do PhD at 40? Yes. If you get accepted to the program you want you most certainly can. What age is too late for PhD? There is no age limit for PhD. However, he had some doubts at the time of beginning and he has considering taking another year off. So many people start their research early 22s. Is 45 too old for PhD?

  20. Is it OK to start a PhD at age 40?

    Is it OK to start a PhD at age 40? Asked by: Ona Nicolas II | Last update: July 1, 2022 Score: 4.3/5 ( 9 votes ) You're 40 years old right now. So realistically you will finish your PhD at the age of 45 or even more if you're doing it in countries like the US or Canada.

  21. Quora

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  22. Starting medical school at 40.....with a Ph.D

    59. Reaction score. 0. May 9, 2007. #2. Just finishing up a PhD in medical genetics with a focus in cardiology. Have to make a decision in the immediate future regarding deferrals to start and location to attend (was accepted at 2 schools). I am 39. If I deferr to start, I'll be 40 when I matriculate.

  23. Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuña Jr. joins 40-40 Club, becomes 5th baseball

    Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. etched his name into MLB history Friday night when he hit his 40th home run of the season and became the fifth member to join baseball's exclusive 40 ...