Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [phd]

Questions about the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, including requirements such as dissertations and university programs leading to a Ph.D.

116
votes
3answers
50k views

How does the admissions process work for Ph.D. programs in the US, particularly for weak or borderline students?

When applying to a PhD program in the US, how does the admissions process work? If an applicant is weak in a particular area, is it possible to offset that by being strong in a different area? Note ...
90
votes
18answers
78k views

Is doing two PhDs a good path?

I am studying a combined bachelor of engineering (electrical) and bachelor of mathematics; I just started this year and will graduate in 2018. The reason why I am doing double degrees and not a single ...
51
votes
4answers
24k views

How to contact professors for PhD vacancies?

I know many master's students who get an opportunity to talk to their potential PhD advisors well before applying. In most cases this opportunity is available by the professors with whom they worked ...
43
votes
8answers
22k views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

With a background in mathematical finance and desire to apply for a mathematics PhD in another field, do I need a second master's?

Pardon the dumb question if ever. I notice similar questions all sound like "can I get a second master's?" but mine is "do I need?" I am nearly finished with my master in mathematical finance. I have ...
44
votes
6answers
8k views

I've been admitted to multiple PhD programs, how should I choose between them?

I've been admitted to more than one PhD program, and I'm having a very hard time making a decision. The programs I'm accepted to have advantages and disadvantages with respect to one another. How do ...
65
votes
9answers
144k views

Is transferring to another university an option for an unhappy PhD student?

I've heard of people transferring between graduate schools because of their advisor moving to another school and taking their students with them. Do students ever transfer for other reasons? If a ...
92
votes
2answers
13k views

What is a “sandwich thesis”?

On the Internet, I have found that some people have graduated with a PhD by means of a “sandwich thesis”. Could anyone explain what it is?
92
votes
9answers
29k views

I want to do research but I'm too old for a PHD

I really love research. I started a research project in graduate school for my M.A. in English. My research topic is a very viable and interesting topic for a dissertation. I'll be 60 on my next ...
36
votes
4answers
7k views

Details an applicant should include/exclude in an introductory letter to a prospective grad school adviser?

I'm applying for graduate school (PhD in computer science), and I'm considering writing to faculty whose research areas match with what I intend to pursue, to understand: Whether they'd be looking ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Undergraduate research field different from PhD field

I am a Physics undergrad who is interested in pursuing a PhD in pure maths in the future (algebraic geometry/topology) but I am a bit unsure. My question is quite general, and I don't wish to provide ...
50
votes
5answers
60k views

When does one go for a double doctorate?

I would love to know the circumstances under which people opt for a second doctorate degree. Could a professor working in a university write up a thesis and submit it to his department to earn a ...
233
votes
20answers
22k views

How to avoid procrastination during the research phase of my PhD?

I just finished all of my coursework for my PhD program, and am entering the research phase of my degree with a topic already in mind. I've already started the research, but I'm already finding that ...
26
votes
4answers
19k views

Prospective PhD contacts potential supervisor but receives no answer after 2-3 emails, what to do?

Say a prospective PhD has a high reply rate (90-95%) to first contact emails with potential superviors. He/She has a well thought out e-mail, but a particular professor (here: USA) that is in the top ...
81
votes
15answers
34k views

What are the potential pitfalls of having a PhD?

This question follow's JeffE's comment here: In most industries, a PhD has negative value. I am curious about what potential negatives there may be with having a PhD, particularly in industries. ...
15
votes
3answers
19k views

Are there any research careers except professorship for a person holding PhD in pure mathematics?

I'm interested in mathematical research, but want to know if there are good jobs besides being a professor. Are there any lucrative research-centric careers out there for someone with a PhD in pure ...
26
votes
3answers
21k views

Rejecting a PhD offer after having accepted it. Advice?

I have accepted a PhD offer from a very good university to do a project very close to my interests. I have told the project supervisor I accept it. In the meanwhile I have managed to secure a PhD ...
55
votes
8answers
8k views

What questions should one ask to the former/current students of a professor before deciding whether to do PhD under him/her?

Before deciding to do one's PhD under a certain professor, what questions should one ask of his/her former and current students? Many students (including me) are not sure what exactly to ask. May be ...
79
votes
15answers
187k views

Is it possible to work full time and complete a PhD?

Is it achievable to perform a doctorate while working in a private company (not in college) full time (8 hours per day, 5 days per week)? Or is it too much work or stress?
48
votes
3answers
13k views

How long before PhD graduation should I start applying for post-doc positions?

My earliest PhD graduation date is 10 months away. Funding permits me to stay 1–3 months longer, so the final date is still uncertain. It is never too early to make contacts for possible post-docs. ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Will one 'C' grade due to health issues ruin my chances of admission into a top grad school?

I am in the third year of my undergraduate degree now, and in the process of applying for Graduate schools and Med schools. I have a burning questions about a creepy "C" in my transcript. To ...
28
votes
3answers
87k views

How much detail to include in first email to potential PhD supervisor?

First, I must mention that I found these questions helpful: Prospective PhD contacts potential supervisor but receives no answer after 2-3 emails, what to do? What to do when emails to a potential ...
24
votes
2answers
3k views

Priority of application materials for admission decision

As I've already saw, many people here are related to admission process. And I want to ask their opinion on what is priority of all stuff from application: what is the most important (letters of ...
53
votes
8answers
18k views

Is a PhD right for you if you hate doing research in your free time but love doing it as a job?

Say for example you are a new PhD student and realize that you hate doing research in your free time but you are more than willing to spend several hours in the morning to do research. Was your ...
74
votes
11answers
289k views

PhD candidate vs PhD student

I see researchers working on their PhD calling themselves PhD Candidates, other call themselves PhD students. What's the difference between a PhD Candidate and a PhD Student? According to two ...
30
votes
5answers
7k views

PhD in the US compared to Europe

I start my master studies this fall in quantitative finance/economics in Europe. Since this will just take 3-4 semesters I want to take a look ahead and obviously PhD is one option to do. So I am ...
28
votes
2answers
27k views

What are the main differences between undergraduate, master's, and doctoral theses?

When I did my undergraduate thesis, my adviser was expected big on students expecting them working really hard, so it ended up as a reduced master's thesis (most of the reviewers said that it was an ...
60
votes
9answers
49k views

Is it appropriate to buy a “thank you” gift for a PhD supervisor?

I am nearing the end of my PhD and I would quite like to buy a "thank you" gift for my supervisor (although, she's the socially awkward type who I'm sure will be greatly embarrassed to receive one). ...
13
votes
5answers
6k views

Implications of being accepted without funding to a computer science PhD in the United States?

I was accepted into Ohio State University CS PhD without funding. I have heard that people who can show their capability may get funding after getting into the program. Is this understanding correct? ...
35
votes
2answers
58k views

What are the 'right questions' to ask professors at a visit day for prospective graduate students?

I'm in mathematics, though I don't know if the answers to this will be field-dependent. There have been previous good questions that answer what to ask graduate students here and only somewhat ...
67
votes
5answers
49k views

What does it mean if a professor asks you to draft his reference letter for you?

This question is, honestly speaking, probably somewhat opinion-based, but I still want to give a shot. A professor acceded to my invitation of writing a reference letter for me. Nevertheless, unlike ...
47
votes
5answers
47k views

Non academic career options for PhD in Math

I am thinking of getting my M.S. in Computer Science. I chose C.S. because I enjoy programming and because its a solid choice, career wise. Low unemployment, good pay, all that jazz. But my real ...
80
votes
7answers
31k views

Use of first person in a PhD Thesis

Is there a non written rule to which person to use in the PhD thesis, 5 years of using "We" in the papers have brought me to the innate necessity to do it every time I describe something. Recently, ...
39
votes
7answers
23k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages to completing a Masters program before applying to a Ph. D program?

I've been considering applying to graduate school of some form or another in Mathematics. During my undergraduate years, I did decently on my undergraduate coursework (mostly A-s, some As, a B) but ...
38
votes
4answers
15k views

Can a professor influence the graduate admissions committee if he or she is interested in a particular student?

I've had a promising Skype interview with a great professor from a top-level university in US. Our research interests are closely related and he encouraged me to apply BUT he says that all decisions ...
40
votes
12answers
303k views

How can one differentiate between Dr. (PhD) and Dr. (MD or DO)?

Reading the question posted here left me with a more general question: Given the professional title and name: Dr. (First Name)(Last Name), is there some way to differentiate between the holder of a ...
34
votes
6answers
10k views

Why is discrimination based on citizenship allowed in PhD funding in the UK?

This question is specifically aiming at the UK PhD admission system. Having spent roughly 6 years in the UK - 2 years A-Level and 4 years undergraduate, I am now moving forward into applying for PhD ...
30
votes
3answers
13k views

Dissertation acknowledgements

I'm at the stage in writing my dissertation where most of the substantive aspects are finished and the only tasks left are more or less administrative. However, one thing that I've been avoiding is ...
10
votes
3answers
6k views

Does one need a master's in math before taking a PhD in pure math?

I finished bachelor's in mathematical finance and am nearly finished with master's in mathematical finance (I am already done with thesis), and I plan to pursue a PhD not in mathematical finance but ...
47
votes
5answers
30k views

How to find a good topic for a PhD research proposal?

In many countries an application for a PhD position includes a written research proposal, so my questions is what are some advises/strategies to come up with a good topic/idea for a PhD research ...
42
votes
4answers
10k views

How do you earn opportunites to review journals or conference papers?

Critical reading is a very useful skill for most PhD students (and postdocs and researchers in general). Instead of assuming that everything you read in a scientific paper is right, it's useful to ...
24
votes
5answers
24k views

Is it possible to make leaving a PhD look good on a CV / Resume?

I am in the process of leaving my PhD programme in life sciences at a top university in the UK. A PhD is simply not for me and I find the work/life balance to be intolerable; in addition, my PhD so ...
18
votes
1answer
26k views

Net salary for PhD in German university

I have an offer of a Mathematics PhD position at the rate of €28000 gross in a German university. The position is itself great, a really interesting topic, but obviously I need to compare the ...
31
votes
3answers
12k views

Is it necessary to obtain permissions for copying figures from published articles in your proposal/dissertation?

I am currently writing a proposal for my research topic and I want to copy figures from published articles into my proposal document. To put it in perspective, almost all the copied figures are to go ...
31
votes
2answers
5k views

Can I use the work in my journal/conference publications as chapters in my dissertation?

At my institution, I am required to publish four papers in addition to my PhD thesis. Of course my planned papers are related to my dissertation project, but I'm not sure if it could be considered ...
28
votes
3answers
3k views

Co-authorship for not very involved supervisor

I have now completed my PhD by research. I received support from my supervisor in the form of advice on my chapters (for which I am indebted to him; we have a very good working relationship). The ...
17
votes
6answers
6k views

Why is there such variation in PhD length internationally?

I'm an undergrad in Australia, and at this stage I want to go on to do further study in maths (or maybe physics/CS, still have a few years till then). Should I do so, I imagine that I will want to ...
14
votes
5answers
5k views

After PhD in Aerospace Engineering, could I be admitted into a top university for a second PhD in Computer Science?

I currently work as an Aerospace Engineer for the Department of Defense for nearly 6 years now, and I have a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from a top-10 university in the United States. I am seriously ...
41
votes
8answers
132k views

When can you call yourself doctor?

I just passed my dissertation defense. This means there is nothing left but paperwork to get my doctorate. Among the various congratulations I've received a couple have termed me: Dr. My assumption ...
16
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it worth self-funding a PhD to attend a top 10 university?

What should I opt for? Option A) very well paid PhD, around €3000 per month at a respectable university or; Option B) a non-paid PhD, where I have to pay €2000 per year at one of the top 10 ...