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What is the PhD student average age? Too late for your doctorate?

You may be worried about being too old to start a PhD. However, I would like to remind you that throughout my 15 years in academia, I have seen PhD students fresh from undergraduate and many mature age students who are looking for a new challenge or doing a PhD alongside their current role.

The average age of a PhD student varies depending on the field of study and individual circumstances but generally ranges from late 20s to early 30s. The average age upon graduation across multiple fields, in the US, is 31.5 years old.

This suggests that many students may start a PhD program directly after completing their undergraduate degree. However, there are many that pursue a PhD after working in their field for a few years.

I have seen that some students may take longer to complete their PhD due to personal or professional obligations. And overcoming these issues is as much of a challenge as their actual PhD.

If you like more information about the average age of a PhD student check out my YouTube video below.

In this article, we will look at the average age of PhD students and grab some data from universities.

One thing I want to say upfront, however, is do not worry about your age. There are many other things that are full more important than your age for completing a PhD. I have seen young PhD students struggle far more than mature age students.

Maturity and having things settled in your life can really help provide the stability required for finishing a PhD.

What Is The Average Age Of PhD Students?

 The average age of PhD students is quite varied, depending on the field of study.

Generally speaking however, the average age of a PhD student can range from 27 to 37 years old.

You can see in the table, below, that physical sciences and earth sciences PhD graduates are typically younger than those in other fields . This is because of the culture of going straight from your undergraduate into a PhD.

On the other hand, education PhD graduates are much older . This is because they typically have many more years of first-hand experience teaching in a high school or another educational environment. This delays the onset of their PhD admission significantly compared to other fields.

If you want to know more about age and grad school check out my other articles:

  • Typical Graduate Student Age [Data for Average Age]
  • Older PhDs student experiences – should you pursue a PhD later in life?
  • What is the average masters students age? Should you return to graduate school?
  • Balancing PhD and family life – tips for balancing a busy life

What age do most people get their PhD?

The age at which most people receive their PhD varies from person to person, but typically falls between the mid-twenties and early thirties.

The average age for a PhD recipient is approximately thirty-one and a half years old.

Of course, there are some who complete their PhD much earlier or later than this.

Many students complete their studies in their twenties, while others may spend longer due to life or work commitments.

Those who are already established in a career may only begin studying for a PhD once they reach middle age.

Although the age of most recipients is usually between twenty-five and thirty-five, it is important to remember that everyone’s journey will be different, so it’s important not to put pressure on yourself to finish within any particular timeframe.

Here is a list of fields and the average age upon graduation. That means, the age at which they start their PhD is 5 – 7  years earlier.

I graduated my PhD when I was 27 years old. This is due to a couple of reasons:

  • I did a four-year undergraduate masters which accelerated my entrance to a PhD.
  • I did my PhD in Australia which typically takes 3 to 4 years.
  • I was classed as an international student and therefore had to finish under three years otherwise I have had to pay $20,000.

All of these reasons meant that I was very young to complete my doctorate. However, throughout my later post-Doctoral positions I encountered people from every age bracket doing a PhD.

Importantly, it is never too late to get a PhD – here’s why.

When Is It Too Late to Get a Doctorate?

In my opinion, it is never too late to get a PhD, as long as you’re willing to commit the time and effort into pursuing an academic career.

I have seen older PhD students thrive in academia because they are working towards something they really care about.

One of the most important aspects is to make sure that you are prepared for the financial burden, as getting a PhD involves taking on loans or debt in order to fund the program.

Sometimes, older students have greater financial responsibilities such as mortgages and debt. Being mindful of your decreased earning power will help make your time during your PhD much nicer.

Some other aspects of getting a doctorate in later years include:

  • greater financial responsibility for family
  • ageing parents requiring care
  • children or other dependent people
  • mortgage stress
  • lifestyle expectations – going back to a student lifestyle may not be for every older PhD student.

Entering a PhD program with this in mind will help make sure that you are able to focus on your studies and minimise the distractions.

What Is The Best Age to pursue a doctoral degree?

There is no best age to pursue a doctoral degree as the best age to get a PhD depends on the individual’s circumstances.

For me, it was best for me to enter my PhD straight out of university. That is when I had the most financial security and energy and interest in pursuing a PhD.

For other people – career goals, interests, and motivation to do a PhD may happen at a later stage in their life.

Although, you can do a PhD too early.

Generally, it is recommended that students wait until they are at least 22 or 23 to pursue their PhD, as this gives them time to gain some life experience and an opportunity to develop and refine their academic skills.

Those who are pursuing a PhD later in life may find that having more years of work experience can be beneficial when it comes to finishing their studies.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to determining the best age to get a PhD; each person’s situation will be unique and you should factor that into your decision.

Is 30 plus too old for a PhD?

When it comes to deciding whether or not 30 is too old for a PhD, the answer depends on the individual.

 A PhD requires a great deal of dedication and commitment, so if you are willing to make that kind of commitment, then age should not be an issue.

Many people have entered into doctoral programs later in life and achieved success.

There are also some advantages to being a mature student;

  • life experience
  • Writing practise
  • A better understanding of your field
  • Professional experience to draw upon
  • Better networks

All of which can be beneficial when completing research or writing your dissertation.

That being said, it is important to consider how much time you will need to dedicate to your studies, as well as other commitments such as work and family. If you feel like you can manage both, then 30 and above is absolutely not too old for a PhD!

Wrapping up

This article has covered everything you need to know about the average age of PhD students. It is field dependent and many PhD students are typically in their 20s to early 30s.

Even though many people get a PhD straight out of their undergraduate, there are many benefits for older people to consider becoming a PhD student.

The personal challenges may be slightly different but the underlying challenge of creating new novel research and communicating that to the world via peer-reviewed papers and theses are the same.

starting a phd at 26

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.

Thank you for visiting Academia Insider.

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starting a phd at 26

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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Average Age of PhD Student: How Old Is Too Old?

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Are you considering pursuing a PhD? You may be thinking that you don’t have the average age of PhD students? Well, we’ve all seen those images of fresh-faced twenty-somethings, latte in hand, typing away at their computers and hitting every academic milestone with ease. However, the reality of the situation is that you’re never too old to pursue your dreams – even if it means a PhD!

In this blog post, we’ll explore the average age of PhD student myths – and make light work of busting some persistent myths about older students in academia. So put those stereotypes aside and get ready to chuckle as we take a look at whether or not there is an age limit on success! After all, life’s too short (or long!) to skip out on big goals due to silly fears about getting older!

Debunking Some Average Age of PhD Student Myths

There are several persistent myths regarding older students in academia. One common myth is that older students have difficulty adapting to new technology and concepts, which can make them unable to succeed in a classroom setting. However, this is not true – while it may take some time for an older student to adjust to a new learning environment, they can often become just as successful as any other student once they understand the basics.

Additionally, another myth surrounding older students is that they lack motivation or enthusiasm for their studies. Wrong again! Many mature learners approach their studies with greater focus and commitment than younger students do due to their extensive life experience and knowledge.

Finally, another misguided belief is that older adults cannot keep up with the pace of grad school. This is also untrue – many older students can take on the challenge of a full-time course load and often excel more than their younger peers due to their discipline and determination.

Overall, these myths do not reflect the reality of older students in academia and should be disregarded by anyone. Older students are highly motivated and have a great deal of enthusiasm for learning. By dispelling these myths, we can create an inclusive academic environment where all ages can thrive.

starting a phd at 26

Average Age Of PhD Student Data

That being said, beyond all myths, how old is your run-of-the-mill PhD student? While the average age of PhD students is quite varied depending on the field of study, statistics reveal that in 2021 nearly 45 percent of individuals who received doctorate degrees in the United States were aged between 26 and 30 years old. Additionally, around 31 percent of doctorate recipients fell between the ages of 31 and 35 years old.

Factors That Influence The Age of Applicants to PhD Programs

Factors such as professional experience, personal background, and life goals all come into play in determining the average of PhD students. Many applicants may already have significant work history in their field before applying for a PhD. Alternatively, others may be younger with fewer years of work experience or coming straight out of undergrad. Some applicants may have other commitments outside of research, such as family obligations or jobs that limit their availability for a full-time program of study. Other factors such as finances and personal interests also play a large role in shaping the profile of an incoming PhD cohort.

In addition, it is important to note that competition among applicants can vary depending on the age of those applying. While younger students may have an advantage in terms of their energy and flexibility, they may also lack the professional experience that more established candidates possess. Meanwhile, older students may have successful careers but limited availability due to their career responsibilities.

When Is It Too Late to Get a PhD?

It is never too late to pursue a PhD. Average of PhD student data is only what it is: data! You have the room to be different! Many students take time off between their undergraduate and graduate studies or wait until after they have been in the workforce for some years before pursuing a doctoral degree. There are no age limits on getting a PhD, so it can be done at any stage of life. In fact, those who pursue a doctorate later in life often bring with them valuable experiences from the workplace that can benefit their research and writing projects. Ultimately, when it comes to choosing when to get your PhD, it is an individual decision — one that should be made based on personal and professional goals. With the right motivation and dedication , anyone can pursue a PhD at any age.

There are, however, practical considerations when it comes to taking on such a long-term commitment. If you have already started a family or career, for example, it could be difficult to juggle both your studies and other life responsibilities. Additionally, financial aid is often more limited for older students; therefore, finding alternate sources of funding may be necessary. Still, with proper planning and preparation, getting a PhD later in life is an achievable goal. Regardless of your age or stage in life — if you have the drive and ambition — getting your doctorate is possible.

starting a phd at 26

Can One Be Too Young to Enroll in a PhD Program?

It is never too early to start thinking about getting a PhD, but it may be too early to pursue one. Generally speaking, most students should have at least a bachelor’s degree before beginning doctoral-level work. This means that those who are still in high school or college should not yet focus on obtaining a PhD. Instead, they should concentrate on their current studies and make sure they lay the necessary foundation for doctoral study. Once the appropriate level of undergraduate education has been completed, then it may be time to start considering applying for and pursuing a PhD program.

(If you are wondering about what to look for in a PhD program, watch this quick video where I break it down for you.)

However, even if you have already completed your undergraduate degree, you may want to take some time off from formal academic study before starting a doctoral program. This will allow you to gain life experience and explore other interests, which can help shape your academic journey. Ultimately, when you have the necessary educational background and are ready to commit yourself to a PhD program, then it may be time to start the process of applying for and pursuing a doctoral degree.

starting a phd at 26

What Is The Best Age to Enroll in a PhD Program?

When it comes to enrolling in a PhD program, the best age to do so depends on a variety of factors. Ideally, someone who is interested in pursuing a PhD would be between 25 and 35 years of age due to the fact that they will likely be more mature and able to better manage the rigors of graduate school. Additionally, those with more life experience may bring different perspectives into the classroom as well as beneficial connections from their previous career experiences. Ultimately, regardless of age there are many successful PhD candidates; therefore applicants need to consider all aspects before making an enrollment decision.

Is Being 30 Too Old to Apply for a PhD ?

At thirty years old, it is not “too old” to apply for a PhD. As seen above, many successful students complete their doctoral studies after the age of 30. As long as you demonstrate strong academic credentials , relevant experience, and research interests that align with an available program, there should be no reason why an individual cannot pursue post-graduate education at any stage in their life.

Age does not necessarily need to be a limiting factor when deciding whether to commit to further study. Achieving academic success requires a combination of dedication and hard work regardless of your age. An appropriate amount of time and effort into studying can easily make the difference between success or failure in any academic venture. So, if you are thirty and considering applying for a PhD, go ahead and give it your best shot!

starting a phd at 26

Is Age a Factor in the Hiring Process in Academia?

You might be wondering if the average age of PhD student data has an influence on hiring trends in academia. As a rule, age is not typically a factor in the hiring process for assistant professor positions in academia. Different universities and colleges have different policies, but generally speaking, age should not be considered when assessing candidates for assistant professor positions. Instead, universities focus on a candidate’s qualifications—academic accomplishments, teaching experience, research abilities, and other skills that could equip them to teach and mentor students. In the US , the average assistant professor is 46 years old. 67% of assistant professors are 40+ years old or older, 21% are between the ages of 30-40 years, and 11% are between 20-30 years old

A More Important Factor Than Average Age of PhD Students: Timing!

Applying to a PhD program is a life decision that should not be taken lightly. It requires careful consideration and planning , as it will significantly shape your future career path and have an important impact on the next few years of your life. Therefore, it is vital to make sure you apply at the right time in your life; when you are both academically and personally prepared for such an endeavor. This could mean waiting until after graduating with a master’s degree or dedicating some time to gain work or other experiences before applying. Whatever route you decide to take, make sure that you are adequately prepared before taking this big step into doctoral studies.

The timing of when to apply for a PhD program is just as important as age in determining one’s ability to be accepted into a program. Applying too early may mean you do not have the requisite experience or knowledge that would make you competitive for admission while applying too late means there may be fewer positions available and more qualified applicants vying for those spots. The ideal time to apply is after having accumulated enough research and professional experience so that you can demonstrate both your aptitude and capability for success in the program.

starting a phd at 26

Putting an End to Ageism in Academia

Ageism in academia is a real issue, with older professors and students facing discrimination due to age. Ageism manifests itself in the form of decreased opportunities for senior faculty members and students, as well as unjustified criticism or negative assumptions about one’s capability based solely on age. This type of discrimination can cause feelings of isolation and exclusion for those affected.

Institutions must do their part to combat ageism by instituting policies that promote diversity and inclusion regardless of age. Additionally, further research should be conducted to better understand how this phenomenon manifests itself in the academic setting and what can be done to address it. Only then will we be able to create an equitable learning environment where all ages are respected and valued.

The key to eliminating ageism in academia is recognizing the unique contributions that each individual has to offer regardless of their age. Everyone should be respected, valued, and given equal access to opportunities without fear of discrimination. Institutions must take the lead in implementing policies that promote diversity and inclusion while also encouraging open dialogue about ageism in the academic setting. With everyone’s collective efforts, we can work towards creating a more equitable learning environment where all ages are welcome and respected.

Parting Words…

It’s easy to understand why a lot of people hold on to the average age of PhD student myths that paint the picture of an ideal PhD student that is at once young and fits a certain mold. Conventional wisdom is entrenched in academic life, and it will take time (and effort) to unseat these misperceptions. The good news? More and more older students are seeing the benefits of seeking out a higher degree later on in life, proving that needing a particular age as an entry requirement for PhD programs is flat-out wrong.

With age comes experience, knowledge — and plenty of motivation– which many programs will find just as valuable as youth in their prospective candidates. If you’re over 30 and want to pursue a doctorate degree – don’t let anyone tell you “you’re too old.” Instead, laugh at their ignorance – because with any luck, your story will become more commonplace over time! So if you’d like help honing in on your PhD application process, whatever your age might be, check out our PhD application services today to get started! Got questions? Sign up for a consultation . It’s FREE!

With a Master’s from McGill University and a Ph.D. from New York University, Dr. Philippe Barr is the founder of The Admit Lab . As a tenure-track professor, Dr. Barr spent a decade teaching and serving on several graduate admission committees at UNC-Chapel Hill before turning to full-time consulting. With more than seven years of experience as a graduate school admissions consultant, Dr. Barr has stewarded the candidate journey across multiple master’s and Ph.D. programs and helped hundreds of students get admitted to top-tier graduate programs all over the world .

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What Is The Age Limit for A PhD?

Dr Harry Hothi

  • By Dr Harry Hothi
  • August 17, 2020

What is the age limit for doing a PhD?


I have seen and personally worked with PhD candidates of all ages, some older than me, some younger. In all my time within academia, I haven’t come across any university that places a limit on the age of an individual that wants to apply for and pursue a full time doctoral degree; indeed the practice of doing so would be rightly considered a form of discrimination at most academic institutions and even against the law in some countries.

However, a quick search on Google is enough to see that the question about age limits for doing a PhD is something that is asked quite often. This leads me to believe that there are many very capable potential doctoral candidates in the world that haven’t pursued their dreams of academic research almost entirely because they believe that they’re too old to do so.

age limit for doing a phd

There is No Age Limit for Doing a PhD

Simply put there is no age limit for someone considering doing a PhD. Indeed, on the opposite end of the scale, even the definition of a minimum’ age at which someone can start a PhD is not really well defined.

One of the youngest PhD graduates in recent times is thought to be Kim Ung-Yong who is a South Korean professor who purportedly earned a PhD in civil engineering at the age of 15 [1]. For the vast majority however, the practical considerations of progressing through the different stages of education (i.e. high school, undergraduate degree, a Master’s degree, etc.) mean that most won’t start their PhD projects until they’re at least in their early to mid 20’s; in the UK, for example, the average age for a PhD graduate is between 26 and 27 years old [2].

Meanwhile, the oldest person to be awarded a PhD degree in the United Kingdom is thought to be 95 year old Charles Betty, who gained his doctorate from the University of Northampton in 2018 after completing his 48,000 word thesis on why elderly expats living in Spain decide to return to the UK’ [3].

Charles Betty (Image:

What does the data say?

According to data published by the National Science Foundation (NSF), a total of 54,904 people earned PhDs at universities in the United States of America in 2016; 46% of all new doctorates were women and 31% were international candidates [4].

Looking at the age distributions available for 51,621 of these new PhD graduates in 2016, 44% (n=22,863) were aged 30 or below, 43% (n=22,038) were aged between 31 and 40 and 13% (n=6,720) were over the age of 40 when they were awarded their doctoral degree. In this same year, over 50% of PhD students in subjects related to physical sciences, earth sciences, life sciences, mathematics, computer sciences and engineering were below the age of 31, whilst less than 10% of these STEM graduates were older than 41.

Conversely, 61% of PhDs in humanities and arts and 52% in other non-engineering and science disciplines gained their doctorates between 31 and 40 years of age. Interestingly, the analysis by the NSF found that 94% of doctoral candidates aged below 31 supported their research financially through research or teaching assistantships, grants or fellowships. Only 36% of PhDs aged over 41 at graduation reported receiving similar types of financial support; approximately 50% of this age group were found to have self-funded their studies.

The reasons for fewer doctoral candidates aged over 41 receiving external funding to support their time as research students is not clear. On the face of it, the data may appear to suggest a bias towards funding younger students which unfortunately may be the case in some instances. In Germany, for example, the German Federal Training Assistance Act (BAfG) provides funding support for higher education but places a limit of 30 years for undergraduate degrees and 35 years for postgraduate students at graduate school. However, another explanation, at least in some cases, may be that non-STEM related subjects are less likely to be associated with specific project funding and NSF analysis suggests PhDs in these subjects are more often undertaken by older doctoral candidates.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages?

No one should be discouraged from pursuing a PhD program or entering into higher education based on how old they are and indeed there are several (albeit subjective) benefits and disadvantages of doing a PhD in your younger’ or older’ years.

A perceived advantage may be that gaining a PhD in your 20’s can potentially give you more time to develop your career. Younger doctoral students could earn their PhD and enter into academic jobs before starting a family (although many people successfully carry out doctoral research whilst also looking after young children). You could even afford yourself the time and flexibility to implement a career change further down the line if you so wanted.

Conversely, entering a graduate school and becoming a PhD student in later years means that you’ll be doing so having gained a lot more life experience and for some STEM research projects in particular, having work experience in industry can be invaluable. As an older PhD candidate you’re likely to be better equipped to work independently and the relationships / connections you’ll have built over time may be a useful factor in helping you progress faster. I’ve met several older students at university who had the opportunity to undertake PhD research years ago but have no regrets in having waited and started the adventure in later years.

Finding a PhD has never been this easy – search for a PhD by keyword, location or academic area of interest.

It’s inevitable that the question of age limits for pursing a PhD is going to invite some controversial opinions from some people; this unfortunately may always be the case when talking about differing social and demographic factors.

There’s no doubt however that PhD programs can help career advancement or a career change regardless of age however there’s also nothing to stop you from becoming a graduate student just for the academic pursuit!

The answer here is very simple: there is no age limit for doing a PhD.





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Is it possible to start a PhD in mathematics at the age of 29? [duplicate]

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. I was initially focused on branches in analysis like operator algebra. At the third year of my undergraduate study, I experienced a financial loss in my family. It was only a slight loss and would not influence the life and regular plans of my family. But at that time I was not mentally strong enough and I could not concentrate on study. I postponed two years to graduate, in 2020.

These days I am trying to apply for a master program in mathematics. My GPA is not top, but fair enough, and I also did my graduation thesis carefully. I applied for several programs in Europe and received the conditional admission of Uni of Göttingen, but my Toefl grade did not meet the requirements. This year I have prepared all the things and I am going to apply for several master’s programs in Germany.

I am currently interested in low-dimensional topology and want to select this area as my direction. But when I apply for a PhD, I am 29 years old, is it a huge disadvantage? I also referred to several persons working on geometric topology, and the time cost seems to be high. But I am still enthusiastic about mathematics and want to get a bread.

Anyone could give me some suggestions?

  • gt.geometric-topology
  • oa.operator-algebras
  • 37 $\begingroup$ As far as I know it is not uncommon to start a PhD later in life, and 29 is not even that late. Age alone should not be much of a disadvantage. $\endgroup$ –  Wojowu Feb 28, 2022 at 9:43
  • 3 $\begingroup$ You may want to look at this thread. The "age gap" is somewhat smaller there but you should find some stories shared there encouraging! $\endgroup$ –  Wojowu Feb 28, 2022 at 9:44
  • 5 $\begingroup$ This post is also tangentially related: Too old for advanced mathematics? And maybe you can find some related posts also on Academia . $\endgroup$ –  Martin Sleziak Feb 28, 2022 at 9:46
  • 5 $\begingroup$ Lefschetz started his PhD at age 33. So no age is too late. $\endgroup$ –  Kapil Mar 1, 2022 at 12:03
  • 4 $\begingroup$ @Brady, OK, but the question is whether it's possible to start a PhD in math at age 29. What's true for, say, sociology doesn't necessarily hold for Mathematics. $\endgroup$ –  Gerry Myerson Mar 2, 2022 at 11:08

8 Answers 8

I don't think being 29 could ever be considered a disavantage on the intellectual or creative level to start a PhD. The comments below your question give you links to lists of famous mathematicians who were late starters. One famous example is Stephan Banach who wrote the equivalent of his master thesis at 28 and got the equivalent of what we call today a PhD at age 30.

I would nevertheless advise to be very careful on other aspects of a mathematician's carreer. Unfortunately, such a career is rarely based solely on talent and genius, unless you solve the equivalent of the Riemann hypothesis in your field. Financial and sociological issues are very important and might become more and more difficult to tolerate as you grow older.

If you plan to get a PhD and then move to industry and/or work for private companies, I guess (though I don't have a formal proof, only examples from friends and colleagues) that your professional life won't be any significantly different or harder than that of your colleagues who got their PhD a few years earlier than you. On the other hand, you have to know that there is an extremely fierce competition for jobs in academia.

It has now become standard to be on very unstable positions (called post-doc positions) for at least 3–4 years after the completion of your PhD. And sometimes up to 10 years! (I have seen that among younger colleagues.) During these years, you need to gain recognition from the bigwigs in your field, so that they can support your application for the next stage of your career: the tenure track position (which I will describe below). And that might be extremely difficult, even if you prove some big results.

I know someone who, as a PhD student, answered an implicit \footnote{added as per suggested by Dan Petersen} question of Serre (you might call it a conjecture ) on cohomological invariants of some finite groups. Instead of congratulating him for his results, Serre became mad at this guy, accused him of stealing his ideas, saying that "the main steps of the proof were already known to him, and that he was going to publish very soon a paper answering his own question." The guy was forced by Serre's affiliates to rewrite his paper and explicitly mention that his work contains no original contribution as "everything was already known to Serre" (but of course not published).

His career in abstact algebra, which should have certainly flourished in the best possible way, considering his brilliant debut, brutally stopped there. This guy was only 25 or 26 at the time, and was strong enough to start a new career in another field. I can't however imagine him doing the same if he was 36 (instead of 26).

But that is a single example, and obviously, most PhD don't end up like this. On the other hand, even if you succeed in having your peers acknowledge your work in a positive way and find some good post-doc positions, you still are in the middle of the jungle. Indeed, if you gain enough support from the bigwigs in your field, you can only upgrade from post-doc positions to a tenure track position.

While tenure track positions are certainly less insecure than post-doc positions, they still aren't permanent positions. They last between 5 to 10 years, and the same game has to be played again with the bigwigs: publish (a lot and frequently) on the subjects which they consider to be interesting, gain their recognition and ask them to support your application.

Then, finally, after 10 to 15 years of such a life (where you might have to move out places every 2 or 3 years), you may hope for a stable and permanent position. Which means that if you start your PhD at 29 and plan to work in the academia, you might secure a permanent position at 40 at the earliest. Granting the fact that you have been able to give plain satisfaction to the numerous bigwigs you will encounter during this 10 to 15 years period of time.

I do believe this is really an important issue to consider before getting bogged down in the academia. You really don't feel the same about those things whether you are in your late twenties or you come close to 40.

  • 8 $\begingroup$ @Alex : I am certainly not tryng to discourage you from fulffilling your dreams. Mathematics is certainly worth devoting ones life to it. I am just trying to warn you that academia is far from being what it looks from this outside. It is a jungle! In my opinion, age only play a central role in some situations. When you are (very) young, you don't really care about job security and you recover very quickly from the humiliations the bigwigs may suject you to. I do believe that you become less and less able to tolerate such things when you get older. $\endgroup$ –  Libli Feb 28, 2022 at 19:28
  • 24 $\begingroup$ For those curious, this seems to be the paper referred to: . I do not understand why people like Serre do not understand that forcing (explicitly or implicitly) someone to write that makes you look like an enormous jerk. $\endgroup$ –  user2520938 Mar 1, 2022 at 8:34
  • 6 $\begingroup$ Regarding taking a PhD to industry: Be aware of the opportunity cost. Years invested in earning a PhD are years not spent building connections and industry-specific skillsets. (This is not to say a PhD-->industry is not worthwhile, but rather to be cognizant of the tradeoff.) $\endgroup$ –  Neal Mar 1, 2022 at 14:31
  • 10 $\begingroup$ I think the anecdote about Serre in this answer is inappropriate for many reasons: 1) It is a disparaging accusation against a person identified by his real name, made by an anonymous user. 2) It is based only on second-hand information about an incident which happened 10 years ago. 3) The student is easily identifiable from your description (see the comment of @user2520938), who would perhaps not like the affair to be dragged out in public, either. 4) It is not relevant to the question of whether it is a good idea to start a PhD at age 29. $\endgroup$ –  Dan Petersen Mar 2, 2022 at 4:42
  • 9 $\begingroup$ @DanPetersen : Life is full of unlikely events, sometimes very disappointing. I am sorry if this event involving Serre may shed some shadows on the naive picture of him you may have created for yourself. But the story happened exactly as I tell it. I was almost in first lines when it occured. $\endgroup$ –  Libli Mar 2, 2022 at 10:04

I completed my PhD at the age of 32 which is not uncommon to Israelis. We often lose several years due to military service. So starting at 29 might be a bit late, but it is not a disaster. It is more about talent and commitment. Good luck.

  • 12 $\begingroup$ Starting later in life, after having some life experiences can be a huge advantage. I witnessed many Israeli students doing their Ph.D thesis at Cornell, after completing their IDF time. They cut through their Ph.D work like a hot knife through butter. People going to grad school, straight out of the high school -> undergrad degree cycle, often get dizzy from the array of discussion and research topics, math's tangled history. $\endgroup$ –  Ryan Budney Feb 28, 2022 at 18:31

This is/was certainly possible.

Proof : Reuben Hersh started a PhD after 30 (born in 1927, he defended his thesis in 1962 at the age of 35) after having been working a decade as a machinist. He eventually became a successful professor at the University of New Mexico. His scientific work ranges from hyperbolic PDEs to Probability and Philosophy.

  • 5 $\begingroup$ Hersh’s experience 60 years ago shouldn’t count for much here. At the time, American academia was expanding, the academic job market was plentiful, and PhDs were quicker. That’s no longer true in the US, and I doubt it’s true in Germany. $\endgroup$ –  user44143 Mar 1, 2022 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @MattF. The OP did not address the question of job market, but only that of feasibility of a PhD at the age of 29. Hersh's example shows that the answer is positive. $\endgroup$ –  Denis Serre Mar 1, 2022 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ Check out Hersh's published dissertation, esp. p. 321: . Do you think someone today could get a PhD with a dissertation that "is virtually identical to" a paper only 18 pages long and described as "nothing but a straightforward use of Laplace and Fourier transformations"? I doubt it -- and that matters for someone today. $\endgroup$ –  user44143 Mar 1, 2022 at 18:09
  • 2 $\begingroup$ @MattF. Half (?) of the PhD theses in maths are either not cited, or forgotten after five years. That of R. Hersh is still a fundamental step in the theory of hyperbolic Initial Boundary Value Problem. Today, an advisor would ask the student (say R. Hersh grandchild) to elaborate around the 18 pages fundamental paper. It would extend to 100 pages, but the core of the thesis would remain about the same. $\endgroup$ –  Denis Serre Mar 1, 2022 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe the math would be no better! But adding another 80 pages would add another 6 months or year to the PhD. $\endgroup$ –  user44143 Mar 2, 2022 at 16:38

Just another example: I graduated late, then worked 2 years outside university, then started my PhD, defended my thesis at 37, and at 47 I became associate professor. Since you ask this frequently: my field is dynamical systems.

It wasn't easy to catch up. I had to accept a few things which look cool in your 20s but uncomfortable in your 40s.

  • $\begingroup$ Do your parents support this career? Is it not easy to overcome some anxiety of peer pressure in this process? $\endgroup$ –  Alex Mar 1, 2022 at 14:16
  • 2 $\begingroup$ I was lucky enough to work in very good and supportive teams. The difficult part was to move every 2 years or less and to wait my mid 40s to start building my own family. $\endgroup$ –  Paul Mar 1, 2022 at 14:39

As a yes or no question, then certainly yes.

You are at a tiny disadvantage though, which you obviously know to be posing the question. And tiny disadvantages sometimes gradually get bigger, but sometimes they feeble into non-importance. Ultimately, it probably won't be the deciding factor. But it will manifest itself: on the professional level, it might mean you get judged negatively by some (short-sighted, and hopefully not many) professors/panel members; and on the personal level, it might mean you'll attach more importance to your family and financial status than you would have done a few years ago. No one knows how it will play out, but those will be the issues. That's all it is.

I don't know much but I can assure you that no one will be walking about thinking "omg they're just starting their phd". But you're right that (referring to one of your comments) it isn't that easy to overcome the social/peer pressure, but what should be easy anyway. Just make sure you're aware of it and have your approach to cope with it (and not just ignore it - I've seen too many people fail their Ph.D.'s not because they're mathematically incapable but because they don't know how to deal with the pressures involved). Anyway, pretty soon you'll talk to enough people to realise few people care about your age, they just care what maths you do.

Also, as a small personal supporting note cause no one likes getting rejected and it was that bit that made me catch your post: good that you avoided Goettingen, my supervisor there literally told me I was too old to go for a postdoc (at 28). So look at it as a bullet dodged, if it helps. (By the way, Mihailescu is at Goettingen and he didn't start his Ph.D. until he was aroud 40! (He's great by the way, incase this last paragraph is otherwise too negative.))

  • $\begingroup$ 28 is common even if this is only the first post-doc…what I have realized is that being admitted to a master program is not difficult, it is a challenge whether I can find a supervisor afterwards. $\endgroup$ –  Alex Mar 1, 2022 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ it will be more difficult, but not terribly so (at all). there are plenty of posts here, on stackexchange, or on quora, about how to correctly approach a professor - learn about their research and if you find it interesting then tell them. you can't really fake this. and at that point they won't care about your age. (usually, but ye unfortunately there will be some cases where "at a tie" you could get marked down.) it's good to acknowledge that you're starting older, but that's where it ends - don't let it worry you. after that just focus on your mathematics. $\endgroup$ –  tomos Mar 1, 2022 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ Given what you say, why do you describe the disadvantage as tiny? Having less family time and less money are not tiny things for someone who has the values you suggest. $\endgroup$ –  user44143 Mar 1, 2022 at 18:35
  • $\begingroup$ i agree, i think i was just trying to say that the gap starts smaller and either gets bigger (if you miss out on things because you're judged too old, but you would have been fine and it would have been a chance to "catch up", or because as you say your family means you have less time for maths so your output decreases but that of your "competitors" doesn't) or gets neutralised early on (either through luck or being particularly good or particularly hard-working). but at the "beginning" there might not actually be that much difference between the candidates. $\endgroup$ –  tomos Mar 1, 2022 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ @tomos Thanks for your suggestions. Are you familiar with pure mathematics in Germany? I mean if there are comparatively abundant positions of phd there… $\endgroup$ –  Alex Mar 1, 2022 at 19:53

I started my PhD at age 30, and don't feel my age was a significant obstacle. However, I believe almost no one should do a PhD, regardless of age.

  • $\begingroup$ how come? if i may ask $\endgroup$ –  tomos Mar 2, 2022 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ There's nothing about an academic career that makes it worth staying extra years in school, taking one or more temporary positions, having little control over the city one lives in, just in the (possibly unlikely) hope that one will eventually find a tenure track position. Not to mention the fact that anyone capable of doing a PhD in a technical field could likely get a job in industry making 2x or 3x as much as a professor. $\endgroup$ –  Michael Benfield Mar 2, 2022 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ @tomos What he said is not comparatively unrealistic, if one has not set up a family or other burdens…No doubt pure maths requires strong brain muscle, and people are definitely the strongest in their young 20s, I acknowledge that…Different persons also have different stamina, and certain physical exercise could help maintain better. $\endgroup$ –  Alex Mar 2, 2022 at 19:01

May be I live in another part of the world? I never asked this question to myself when I started my PhD from Mathematics Department and I was 29 at that time :)

I thought I was too young to do a PhD :D

  • 1 $\begingroup$ Which field are you working in? $\endgroup$ –  Alex Mar 1, 2022 at 12:18

I think the bottom line is that some things are easier if you start earlier, but that talent and quality will ultimately find a way and that these things are not determined by your physical age. If you have something original to say, you should still be able to say it regardless of your age.

Note that obtaining a PhD at a relatively old age is quite common for Israeli mathematicians and physicists. For example, if you need inspiration, Yuval Ne'eman started his PhD in physics aged 33. His main contribution (age 36) was his discovery of the classification of hadrons using $SU(3)$ flavour symmetry (known colloquially as the ''eightfold way''). This is a major achievement in twentieth-century physics.

  • $\begingroup$ It's worth noting that Ne'eman's achievement was over sixty years ago: he was born in 1925, with the eight-fold way in 1961, and his related dissertation in 1962 ( ). $\endgroup$ –  user44143 Mar 1, 2022 at 18:47
  • 1 $\begingroup$ You are right. However, this does not contradict the fact that it is an interesting example of someone who started doing formal research relatively late in life but still made great advances. $\endgroup$ –  Hollis Williams Mar 1, 2022 at 20:41

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged gt.geometric-topology oa.operator-algebras career or ask your own question .

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Can You Start a PhD at Any Time? 10 Things to Consider Beforehand

Can You Start a PhD at Any Time? phd students smiling

To answer your question straight away: Yes, you can!

Since there is no age limit for PhD admission, it’s never too late to advance your professional career or your personal fulfillment with an online PhD degree.

When it comes to the average age of PhD students in general, it’s 29 across OECD countries with 60% of entrants aged between 26 and 37 years old.

Now, what would be the best age to start a PhD greatly depends on your post-graduation plans.

Before embarking on this quest, you need to clarify two important things:

First is properly understanding the time, cost, and job prospects. 

Second is being aware of the fact that if your goal is to enter elite programs and advance the research frontier, it may get tougher as you get older.

Can You Start a PhD at Any Time? graduation hat

To start, let’s go over the basics:

What is a PhD Degree?

PhD is a globally recognized postgraduate academic degree and also the highest level of academic qualification you can achieve.

It’s awarded by universities and higher education institutions earned for submitting a thesis or dissertation, based on extensive and original research in a candidate’s chosen field. 

How Long Does a PhD Take?

If you wonder how does a PhD program work, earning your degree usually takes 3 to 4 years if studying full-time, whereas a part-time PhD takes twice as long as 6 to 7 years.

No time to commit to full time studies yet you don’t like the idea of waiting on your degree for more than half a decade?

No problem! With the flexible University of Zambia’s online PhD in Business Management, you can be the master of your time! 

The programme lasts for 3 years and is designed to prepare you to immediately apply the skills, knowledge, and competencies into the workplace.

How Many PhDs Can You Have?

As much as you like! If you have that much time that is.

The only restriction for obtaining a PhD is to have a bachelor’s/master’s similar to that in that field. For example, a science student can not do a PhD in law and vice versa.

Can You Start a PhD at Any Time? brain picture

Let’s get on with the business! Coming up is the most important part of your PhD journey:

10 Things to Consider Before Getting Your PhD Degree

If you are planning to apply for a PhD program, you’re probably seeking advice from fellow students, professors, administrators, your friends and family, and lastly the Internet. 

With so many sources it’s hard to know which advice to focus on and what will make the biggest difference in the long run. 

So before you go back to daydreaming about receiving the Nobel Prize, here are ten things to seriously consider beforehand. You never know which of these tips may save you from potential anguish and help you make smart decisions as you embark on your path to a PhD.

  • Make sure you really want to do a PhD degree
  • Actively seek out information about PhD programs
  • A PhD is not a continuation of your undergraduate program
  • Consider taking a break 
  • You can change your area of study
  • Choose the PhD program with a variety of research options
  • Embrace the change
  • You will need strong management skills 
  • Expect to learn research skills on the go
  • There are no real breaks

Make Sure You Really Want to do a PhD Degree

To be honest with you, completing a PhD is quite a task. On numerous occasions, you may feel like Wile E Coyote chasing after the Roadrunner – a little bit out of your depth a lot of the time. It’s three to four years of your life, so make sure that time really counts. 

After all, it’s possible to make it big in the industry without a doctoral degree. However, a PhD degree can be a very useful qualification with many transferable skills to add to your CV.

Some of the essentials include time management, organizational skills, prioritizing workloads, attention to detail, writing skills, presenting to an audience – and most importantly – resilience.

Actively Seek Out Information About PhD Programs

Don’t wait for your career center or department to lay out a plan for you. Stay proactive in your search by consulting your career center counselors, your professors, the Internet, and especially your department’s alumni who are in or graduated from your desired PhD program. 

First-hand experiences will almost always trump the second-hand information you get to collect.

A PhD is Not a Continuation of Your Undergraduate Program

This may sound obvious, but many students ignore this fact until they have jumped head-first into a PhD program. The goal is shifting from completing an assigned set of courses to developing significant and original research in your chosen field. 

Even though you will have required courses to take, especially if you do not have a master’s degree yet, these are merely complementary to your research as they provide a broad and deep knowledge base to support you in your research efforts.

Remember that at the end of your PhD program, you will be evaluated based on your research, not on how well you did in your courses. As grades are not critical as long as you maintain the minimum GPA requirement, you shouldn’t pay them too much attention at the expense of research projects. 

Consider Taking a Break 

Burning out or ending up trudging through the PhD program is unfortunately a not-so-rare scenario among the academics. 

Taking a break of a year or two or even more after graduating may be necessary to gain some perspective. Many graduates take a job for five or more years before going back to get their PhD.

You can use your gap to explore different areas of research without having school work or a thesis competing for your attention.

Getting research experience can help focus your interests and give you a leg up during the application process.

You Can Change Your Area of Study

When transitioning between college or another research job to PhD studies it’s perfectly acceptable to completely change research areas.

One of the best aspects of being the PhD student is that you can make the research your own.

For example, if your undergraduate research was in atomic physics, you can transition into applied physics and apply much of what you learned as an undergraduate to your current research. 

In case you decide to switch from the scientific to a non-scientific field such as social sciences or humanities, this claim is still valid, though the transition is a bit more complicated and more of a permanent commitment.

Can You Start a PhD at Any Time? Eiffel Tower and first phd in Paris,

Choose The PhD Program With a Variety of Research Options

Even if you believe you are committed to one research area, a couple of years of active work in that field may reassure you. Think ahead and find a PhD program with at least three professors working on an array of topics you could imagine yourself working on.

Many graduate programs require you to pick a research advisor before even starting. As such arrangements often do not work out, several PhD programs give students one or two semesters to explore different research areas before making their choice.

In your first year, you should explore the research of a diverse set of groups and network as much as possible to find your right pick.

Embrace The Change 

Resilience is key for completing your PhD. Stay open to change and embrace the chance to experiment in different ways. 

Who knows, you might even end up with a thesis chapter including all of your failures, which at the very least is something interesting to discuss during your viva voce.

You Will Need Strong Management Skills

Compared to college, PhD studies are on a whole new level when it comes to your regular obligations. 

Apart from finding time to attend your lectures and finish your homework, you will need to squeeze in some quality research time along with scheduling meetings with other students to collaborate on research.

Keep in mind that you’ll most likely have to teach for a number of semesters, as well as attend any seminar that may be related to your research or that just piques your interest. 

Even though it may seem simple enough to put this all into your calendar and stay organized, be prepared for schedules to go awry, and be ready to timely adapt.

Expect to Learn Research Skills on The go

The truth is, very few college students or even PhD students receive formal training on how to write scientific papers, present their research to others, or even peer-review scientific manuscripts. 

Following by example is one way to go, but going down this road can sometimes be quite aggravating.

You should either seek out talks or interactive programs offered by your department or career center, or ask a more experienced graduate student or your advisor for advice on these topics.

What’s really important is that you don’t get discouraged but instead plan to make extra effort getting used to these procedures and systems.

It’s gonna pay off big time once you realize you’ve become quite adept at quickly and clearly explaining your research to others and at outlining scientific papers and grant proposals.

There Are no Real Breaks

Sadly, you can’t forget about your PhD over the weekend.

Expect it to travel with you, work with you, even go to bed with you. Once committed to this path, you will need to find the time to get your work done, regardless of your calendar (or your clock!).  

Still, don’t get disheartened too easily. What is three to four years of regular commitment compared to a lifetime of extraordinary opportunities ahead of you?

What Are The Benefits of Doing a PhD? 

Apart from getting to call yourself a ‘doctor’ without knowing one end of a scalpel from the other, obtaining a PhD degree is a prerequisite for building an academic career. 

And in case you choose a different career path, having a PhD on your CV will impress nearly all potential employers. It will make you a very attractive candidate to employers looking to fill higher-level, research-driven positions. 

Furthermore, with this degree you will be qualified for more jobs and will have more lucrative career opportunities than you would with just a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

What Are The Benefits of Doing a PhD? did you know - facts

Finally, a PhD can bring you a lot of joy as you’ll get to spend time with people who share your interests and passions. 

Also, did I mention plenty of travel opportunities? You could find yourself at a prestigious conference surrounded by the leading experts in your subject, or working on a research project in some of the world’s most exotic locations. 

If that doesn’t sound worthy of your efforts, maybe you should read from the top.

Should You Get a PhD?

In the end, It’s up to you to make it worth it. Obtaining your PhD will leave a sinkhole in your budget, and may even lead you astray on your career path. 

Still, if you play it smart, your studies will provide you with a great return on investment as PhD graduates statistically earn way more than their counterparts and have the lowest unemployment rates among all academics.

And to wrap it up, we answer some of the burning questions to help you make the final decision:

  • Can You do a PhD at Any Age?

Absolutely yes! All it takes is having a strong determination, and also strong nerves.

  • What is The Right Age to do a PhD?

There is none, as every age is the right age when you are ready to do it, when you have the experience and maturity to do it, and of course, when you find the right project.

  • Can you do a PhD in 2 years?

It is possible, depending on the field and of course your university. However, completing your PhD in such a short amount of time takes having most of the groundwork needed to fulfill your graduation requirement already accomplished before you actually begin your studies.

  • Is it Too Late to Start a PhD?

It is never too late to pursue a PhD. So, chin up and give it a shot!

  • Is 35 Too Old to Start a PhD?

It’s definitely not too old to start a PhD program. Given that work experience is common before beginning a PhD, a great number of students are in their mid 30s when they begin the program.

  • What is The Average Age to Start a PhD?

The average age at entry to enroll in a PhD program is 29 on average across OECD countries.

  • When to Start a PhD?

Right away! The Online PHD in Business Management from the University of Zambia will enable you to make a significant contribution to business practice through an extensive and innovative research-driven program. 

Explore everything the program has to offer you by visiting our prospectus page .

Also, if you have any questions, get in touch here as we’d love to hear from you!

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  3. How to Find and Apply for Fully Funded PhD Programs in Canada

    Are you considering pursuing a PhD in Canada? If so, you may be wondering how to find and apply for fully funded PhD programs. In this article, we will guide you through the process and provide valuable insights on securing funding for your...

  4. Is it too late to start a PhD at 26? : r/AskAcademia

    No. It's never too late to do anything. A PhD is really just a job. No need to assign any more of your self worth in it than any other job.

  5. I'm 26 years old and I'm about to finish my master's degree. I ...

    First, you are never too old to start a PhD. The more important question is why do you want a PhD. If you plan to pursue an academic career, you need a doctoral

  6. What is the PhD student average age? Too late for your doctorate?

    Too late for your doctorate? By: Andy. Updated on: April 26, 2023 ... This suggests that many students may start a PhD program directly after

  7. Is it too old to start a Physics PhD at 26?

    1 Answer 1 ... In the US at least starting at 26 would still put you in one of the largest age groups. Looking at the data from the Council on

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

    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

  9. Average Age of PhD Student: How Old Is Too Old?

    There are no age limits on getting a PhD, so it can be done at any stage of life. In fact, those who pursue a doctorate later in life often

  10. Stupid decision: too old for PhD?

    You're never too old to do a PHD. The only decisive factors should be: Will I have time for it? How will I fund it? Will it improve my employment

  11. Starting PhD at the age of 25 [closed]

    You're certainly not too old to start graduate study and have a very productive career. Share.

  12. What Is The Age Limit for A PhD?

    ... PhD graduate is between 26 and 27 years old [2]. Meanwhile, the oldest person to be awarded a PhD degree in the United Kingdom is thought to

  13. Is it possible to start a PhD in mathematics at the age of 29? [duplicate]

    I can't however imagine him doing the same if he was 36 (instead of 26). But that is a single example, and obviously, most PhD don't end up like

  14. Can You Start a PhD at Any Time?

    When it comes to the average age of PhD students in general, it's 29 across OECD countries with 60% of entrants aged between 26 and 37 years old