This is a little bit hypothetical question… Let's assume I finished my PhD in math in my country but I am dissatisfied with it (assume I live in a developing country). Also I have enough money and time. Can I apply for a similar PhD program in an another country? Is it theoretically possible?

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    Welcome to this side. I edited the question slightly by correcting some grammar (I hope) and removing the salutation in the end. You may roll-back the edit if I somehow changed the intended meaning.
    – Dirk
    Mar 8, 2016 at 12:53
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    @Dirk Is the title right? He wants a overseas PhD? Or should it be "abroad"? Mar 8, 2016 at 16:49
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    What is it you would hope to gain from the second program? Perhaps what you really want is a postdoc position.
    – chepner
    Mar 8, 2016 at 17:53
  • Looking at all the answers, I see that the best route for me is to get a MSc. degree in my country (since I have to wait for one or maybe two years for personal reasons) and apply for a PhD degree abroad... Thank you all... Mar 8, 2016 at 18:00

2 Answers 2


No, it's generally not possible. Almost all Ph.D. programs have a rule against admitting someone who already has a research doctorate. Under special circumstances, one might be admitted as an unfunded Ph.D. student in a completely different field; but in the same field, never.

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    Thank you... Is it possible get a Master degree in math in home country and get a PhD in math aboard?. Is there any restriction? Mar 8, 2016 at 12:52
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    Yes, that is actually very common.
    – Buzz
    Mar 8, 2016 at 12:55
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    One possible exception is if the PhD from the home country is of such poor quality that it is not recognized in the new country as a valid PhD.
    – Bitwise
    Mar 8, 2016 at 13:14
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    @Bitwise: Attending such a bogus institution would typically disqualify someone from admission to a Ph.D. program anyway.
    – Buzz
    Mar 8, 2016 at 13:23
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    Do you mean "...already has a research doctorate in the same field"? (As in, math after math, say). Because it is not very uncommon to see people with a Ph.D. in one field get another one in another (by field I mean discipline I guess, not an algebraist getting a degree in logic later) Mar 8, 2016 at 16:13

If you want to obtain a PhD from a 1st world country I think your best bet is to go to another country as soon as possible. It will be a lot easier to get into a PhD program with a masters degree from a similar country, and it will be easier to continue your career abroad if you have followed a funded PhD program (as opposed to paying yourself / getting a grant from your home country).

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