How long is a typical PhD program

<p>If you already have an MBBS degree (equivalent to MD) from a medical university abroad and wish to go for a PhD afterwards in the United States technically how long would a PhD program in the Neurosciences be. Does taking the medical school classes take off time for your PhD like save a year or two.</p>

<p>Is that even possible? do a lot people to that I heard its not looked well upon. I also have a BSC (bachelors in science) does that make any difference.</p>

<p>Neuroscience programs generally have a core curriculum, which means that all students take the same courses, plus some electives. If you can prove proficiency in, say, cellular and molecular neuroscience, then you can usually get a waiver to skip that course. It's probably not a good idea to waive, however, since you will have to pass a general exam given by faculty members in the individual areas before you will be allowed to write your dissertation. You will also have to complete two or three lab rotations. </p>

<p>Courses generally take two years. How long it takes after that depends on your research and your ability to complete the dissertation. The average time between entering the program and degree-granting in neuroscience seems to be between 5 and 6 years.</p>

<p>thanks for the reply_ I believe I read somewhere that how long the PhD takes usually depends on the candidates efforts to complete and move along with the degree, therefore some can do it in say like 4 years while others take like 6 so is it outlandish saying that if some of the prerequisites are fulfilled it can be done in like 3 years meaning moving on to write the dissertation and etc. </p>

<p>I have some clinical publications and 1 basic science lab experience with no pub does that count for anything showing I have some experience in the field. Lets say if I already knew what my thesis would be does that in any way save time.</p>

<p>Also I've noted that MD/PhD programs in the USA are 2 years basic sciences and 2 years of completing the PhD ie writing the dissertation and then 2 years of hospital clinical rotations. Am I still eligible to apply for that kind of PhD granted I already have the MD (basic and hospital clinical rotations) done or would I have to go thorough the whole process over again.</p>

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Also I've noted that MD/PhD programs in the USA are 2 years basic sciences and 2 years of completing the PhD ie writing the dissertation and then 2 years of hospital clinical rotations.

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Alas, it's 4 years for completing the PhD -- a typical MD/PhD in the US lasts 8-9 years total (four years of basic science/clinical rotations and four to five years in the PhD).</p>

<p>It's possible you may be able to have some course requirements waived as a result of your medical degree. But the largest time component of a PhD in the biological sciences is the dissertation work, not the coursework.</p>

<p>In my opinion, the easiest way to earn a PhD in the biological sciences faster is to come into the program knowing what you want to do, to do as few rotations as possible, and to start your thesis work immediately upon declaring a thesis lab. That will not necessarily cut your time-to-degree down to three years -- I know that at my institution, most thesis advisory committees would balk at graduating a student in three years unless the student's body of work was really extraordinary.</p>

<p>You are almost certainly not going to get any time taken off. Candidates who have already done an MS in neuroscience still have to do the full 5-6 years. Anyways, if you're serious about getting a PhD and having a career in research, you probably should not be looking for shortcuts right from the start. Some of your courses will be review, but that is how it is for everyone, whether they have an advanced degree already or not. You definitely will not be able to take a shortcut with research. If you know your thesis project and, more importantly, your thesis adviser is on board with it, then you can make steady progress, but this doesn't mean you'll be done any earlier... its more likely you'll just end up doing more overall!</p>

<p>I have my PhD in epidemiology, but the course of study generally depends on how long it takes to complete your dissertation research. If you need 4 years for the research, completion time will probably be about 6 years total between course work and research. If you can complete the research sooner, then you can finish earlier.</p>

<p>Oh, and if you have twins in the middle, it can take up to 8 years to finish :).</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>well I visited many MD/PhD program sites and noted they work in a similar sequence That being 2 years of basic science and 3-4 years of grad school (PhD) and then 1.5-2 years of clinical rotations. </p>

<p>Duke quoted:
While the typical student follows the plan outlined above, students whose research interests are well developed early in the first year may opt to begin the PhD at the beginning of their second year and then complete the two years of the clinical curriculum after finishing the PhD. While this is not the typical sequence, much latitude is granted to students interested in early research experiences.
So most MD/PhD programs are around 8-7 years; but some students are able to complete them in like 6-7 years depending on if they know what they want to research on. </p>

<p>So the actual PhD is like 4 years which is squeezed in b/w the MD program. I don't intend to speed up anything but wish to eventually go into clinical practice. It does matter how long of a hiatus you have taken form the clinical practice since residency programs think some of your clinical skills have detoriated. But I definitely wish to get a PhD any advice on what avenue to pursue.</p>

<p>
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Anyways, if you're serious about getting a PhD and having a career in research, you probably should not be looking for shortcuts right from the start.

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</p>

<p>Heed this!</p>

<p>
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I have some clinical publications and 1 basic science lab experience with no pub does that count for anything showing I have some experience in the field.

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</p>

<p>You may be surprised by how many entering neuroscience students have much more than the above, and they all start at the beginning. Although every program handles this differently, the most competitive programs probably will not view the above as compelling evidence that you've mastered the subject matter.</p>

<p>
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Lets say if I already knew what my thesis would be does that in any way save time.

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</p>

<p>You cannot know now what your thesis will be since your advisor's own research will determine in part what it will be. The lab you select (and the advisor who agrees to support you) will shape your dissertation research, not the other way around. Yes, you'll select your own problem to solve, but it will be within the context of your advisor's research.</p>

<p>"Duke quoted:"</p>

<p>Duke is unique in our system for medical students. The first and second year of courses are collapsed into a single year of courses thus ensuring less than optimal retention of material and lower usmle scores than would be predicted by the entrants scores and grades.</p>

<p>You may find that you won't be able to go into clinical practice in the states. Indiividuals with MD or DO have an undergraduate degree, medical degree, internship/residency and some also have done fellowships. They also have board certification in their area of expertise. Along the way, they pass USMLE tests and (for DOs) COMPLEX test. Having a MBBS may qualify you for some residencies but you will face problems getting there. If you want to go into clinical practice, I suggest you apply for residencies right off the bat and use a fellowship as a way to hone your research abilities.</p>

<p>ok lets just say for arguments sake that I do want to get a PhD now I have an undergrad degree BSc ( equivalent to a BA in the USA) in the sciences and an MBBS. I know the other requirements are GRE scores, research experience and etc. pending I have all those fulfilled- Would I be able to apply as an international student or is there something that I'm missing that takes me out the running for getting a PhD</p>

<p>Of course you can apply as an international student. Many internationals had good results last cycle. You might want to look at the following thread to see what kind of applicants had the best results (note: it's a mix of domestic and international applicants):</p>

<p><a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/graduate-school/794776-2010-official-biosciences-interviews-results.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/graduate-school/794776-2010-official-biosciences-interviews-results.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>In most U.S. programs, an MD wouldn't matter for the program. You'd probably have to start over anyway. A medical degree is vastly different from a PhD, even a PhD in neuroscience. You might get some classes waived, but few programs will waive more than a semester of classes even if you have a master's degree in neuroscience.</p>

<p>The PhD does depend largely on the candidate's efforts, but averages are averages for a reason. On average, neuroscience PhDs take 4-6 years to complete. I'd imagine those with prior advanced degrees probably get through more quickly. Also, a lot of students come in thinking they already know what their dissertation topic is, but their interests shift and/or the realities of what they can actually do with the time alotted and their resources at the school (professors, equipment, lab space, money) become clearer. You probably won't finish in 3 years, but if it only takes you 1-1.5 years to finish your coursework and your examination period isn't too arduous you might be able to get out in 4.</p>

<p>But like NeuroGrad said...I came in focused on the time (must get out in 5 years!) and after finishing my second year, I have begun to settle in. No one wants to be around forever, but the primary focus must not be on the time involved but on the work you need to do not just to <em>complete</em> your requirements but to <em>excel</em> at them. Most people are getting a PhD for a reason - not just to have one, but to go into an academic or other career requiring a PhD. In order to get into those careers, you need publications, time in the lab, a good recommendation from your advisors, and possibly teaching experience. Those all add more time onto your degree progression (let's face it, any time you spend teaching could be spent blazing through coursework more quickly or writing your thesis or whatever) but may <em>also</em> add worth to your CV. It's of no use to get a PhD if you can't get a job afterwards.</p>

<p>Also, don't use MD/PhD programs as a guide. They are designed to be shorter than doing the degrees independently; that's why they are joint degrees. You will not be doing a joint degree; you will be doing two separate degrees and it takes separate degree time.</p>

<p>If you want to go into clinical practice, why even get the PhD? If you want to have research credentials, look at an MS in clinical research or a similar degree (Emory has such a program, for example) or maybe an MPH with a research specialization.</p>

<p>My program is 2 years for a Masters then another 3-4 for PhD. I am studying Computers and Technology. It goes by very fast though!</p>

<p>hey juillet thats seems like a great idea, I want to strengthen my research credentials before applying for a residency. Can you tell me my other options. I know you stated the MS, could you specify exactly masters in what? Like link to further information would be helpful, along with any other options that I could have to strengthen the research aspect of my CV</p>

<p>I was talking about something like this, a master's in clinical research:</p>

<p>Emory</a> | Laney Graduate School</p>

<p>It's a two-year program for those who hold doctoral degrees and the equivalent. It helps clinicians learn more about clinical and translational research - like conducting clinical trials of medications or new treatments, or translational studies bringing basic science in line with clinical science to prepare new treatments or medications for clinical studies.</p>

<p>Another option is to get a research-focused degree in public health, like the MS or master's of science in public health (MSPH) in epidemiology:</p>

<p>RSPH</a> | MPH and MSPH: MSPH Program</p>

<p>MS</a> Overview | degree offerings | academics | Mailman School</p>

<p>Those are research-oriented master's programs that teach students how to do research using epidemiological methods - so it's not really preparation for clinical research, but rather if you wanted to do public health research. Most schools of public health have similar programs, so I'd look around - there are schools of public health all over the U.S. Some of the top 10 are Johns Hopkins, Emory, Columbia, Minnesota, Michigan, Berkeley, UCLA, Harvard, UNC-Chapel Hill...can't remember the last one. They're not in the right order, either. Lot of other places have them too, like George Washington, UA-Birmingham, UIC, Yale, and Maryland just got a new school.</p>

<p>ETA: University of Washington was the other one. Pittsburgh has a great school too, as do BU and Tulane. Check out the list:</p>

<p><a href="http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-public-health-schools/rankings%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-public-health-schools/rankings&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I am a Neuroscience PhD as well. The average neuroscience PhD in the US takes 5.5 years to complete. You will not receive any reduced time because you have an MD or any other existing degree. (MD/PhD programs are a completely separate track and you will not be eligible for them with an existing MD) Program length primarily depends on your individual experience in the lab that you will do your research in, and thus also the lab's PI (your mentor). It is a good idea to find out what the average length of completion is for individual neuroscience PhD programs at any one school, and when selecting lab, it is also good to consider how long it typically took for previous grad students to complete their PhDs with that particular mentor.</p>

<p>With an MD, you do not need a PhD to do research. You could try to find a post-doc, although your options and success will be somewhat dependent on how much prior research experience you have. You can definitely work your way into research with an international MD, but if you have no research experience, you may need to work in a lab to get experience/publications before labs consider you for post-doc. I know several international MDs that have gotten into research this way though.</p>

<p>I met a professor at an ivy league school which finished his in 3 years. In the hard sciences.</p>

<p>^That's pretty uncommon. You'd have to know what your dissertation is and start working it from day one, with all the correct materials and everything, and have your experiments go your way.</p>

<p>I listened to a faculty candidate seminar the other day from a guy who graduated from undergrad in 2005, finished grad school in four years with five Cell/Nature/Science first-author papers, and is now applying for a faculty position at Harvard.</p>

<p>Freakishly smart people are freakishly smart. The rest of us mere mortals will take 5.5-6 years to get our PhDs.</p>

<p>" ^That's pretty uncommon. You'd have to know what your dissertation is and start working it from day one, with all the correct materials and everything, and have your experiments go your way. "</p>

<p>Yeah, and also work 16 hours each day to ensure your experiments work. he also published close to 10 papers while in the program.</p>

<p>It was actually in 3.5 years to be exact- sorry for the misinfo- but its definitely possible to do 4 years. Work 7 days of the week in a smart way for 16 hours a day for 4 years.</p>

<p>C'est fini</p>