I'm doing a PhD in two fields in the US (a joint PhD), and I expect to finish it in two years. I only hold a bachelor's degree from a European university. There is an option of getting a Master's degree along the way to my PhD (either in one or in both of my fields). Are there any benefits of doing this? I realize that it may be a little late to ask this question (people who choose to get a Master's degree along the way, do this after the first two years typically; but many choose not to get it at all), but I'm still curious whether it would be worthwhile doing. If that matters, I plan to pursue a career in academia.

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    If you are set on getting a PhD, I don't see any benefit, personally. I went straight from Bachelors to PhD and have never had any reason to want the Master's degree. The benefit along the way, I suppose is if for some reason you don't finish the PhD, you at least have something.
    – CephBirk
    Jul 15, 2022 at 19:01
  • Do you have to do anything different for the master's? Jul 15, 2022 at 19:16
  • @AzorAhai-him- I believe I don't (except technical actions like submitting some e-forms).
    – user158592
    Jul 15, 2022 at 19:19
  • How are you expecting to get a PhD in two years? Jul 15, 2022 at 19:39
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    Where I went many moons ago, after passing the qualifying exam they awarded a Masters automatically. So one picked up a Masters by default on the way to the PhD.
    – Jon Custer
    Jul 16, 2022 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


There are jobs out there, including in academia, where a masters is mandatory and a PhD is an advantage. If you get a masters degree in the course of your PhD, you can get those jobs before your PhD is awarded. This is particularly helpful during the period when you have completed your PhD requirements but did not have your degree awarded yet.

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