I am a PhD student in electrical engineering and I am writing my first article, probably for a Q1 journal. My question is the following: in order to get a PhD degree, do you need to have one or several publications? Is this a typical requirement, or does it depend on the university where you are doing it?

  • 12
    It always depends on the University and Supervisor, there is no general rule.
    – Dr. Snoopy
    Sep 19, 2023 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


This depends on both the field and the university, or even the department within the university. In math, for example, such a requirement is rare. In some fields a "dissertation" is precisely a collection, perhaps three, of published papers with some summary material.

If you weren't yet in a program then a publication would help with an application, but it may not "count" toward graduation. Since you are already in a program ask locally and be sure about the requirements. Hopefully you have an advisor who can provide details.

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    In some areas (history, English, ...) a dissertation is the only 'publication', and often the next step if hired as a professor is to try and turn the dissertation into a book.
    – Jon Custer
    Sep 19, 2023 at 14:47
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    I would say it is perhaps country specific as well. In my country India, one have to publish articles before including them into their thesis according to current regulations. I am myself a PhD student in mathematics.
    – learner
    Sep 20, 2023 at 1:00
  • Yes, it is curious how this changes inside the same university. For example, for Computer Sciencie in my university (one in northern Spain), they usually need to do the thesis by "compendio", which is a collection of three published papers.
    – bardulia
    Sep 20, 2023 at 11:24

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