Is this true?

<p>If a grad/PhD student has been working on their stuff for 6+ years, it means their advisor sucks?</p>

<p>The advisor probably failed as a boss, yes.</p>

<p>One of my professors took 7 years to complete her Ph.D in Economics. Her concentration was in History of Economics. She spent 3-4 years researching around the world.</p>


<p>Of course there are always exceptions...but is this generally true?</p>

<p>On the flip side of this, what can be said about people who finish in 3-4 years? I'm in a SROP this summer, and one of my grad student advisors will be done in 3. Would it be safe to assume the research ain't that hot?</p>

<p>It depends on the field. For humanities, it's not the norm to hear of PhD students taking anywhere from 7 to 9 years to finish. In the sciences, it's more like 4-6, depending on the PI's intentions. Also, it can also mean that the student isn't able to get a job or post-doc and PIs are happy to keep them around to keep conducting experiments. Sometimes, it's the student's fault. Sometimes it's the PI. Even it's the student's fault, some PIs would rather let the student crash and burn on his or her own rather than attempt to kick him or her out.</p>

<p>Next time, give your thread a better title.</p>

<p>Not always. Sometimes it means the student sucks, and sometimes it means that they both dropped the ball because the student picked a really ambitious project and the advisor didn't help her come to terms with reality, or sometimes it means that the PhD student has other obligations in life (a family, children, sick family members, a full-time job to pay the bills). Sometimes PhD programs just take that long. 6 years is the norm in one of my departments and it's not uncommon for students in my other department to take a 6th year while waiting for the job market to yield something good for them. Actually, 6 years is pretty good in both of my fields (if we're talking about the whole program. Now if you mean 6 years to finish the dissertation...that's different.)</p>

<p>No, I don't think it is true at all.</p>

<p>No, it is not true at all. Particularly in some humanities fields, it is quite common to take 7-8 years.</p>

<p>Most Ph.D programs will set out estimated time schedules on their programs. How long should it take? and etc. I know many programs will drop you if you take too long of breaks from your Ph.D. Example: The professor I worked for in my Junior year of college was a management professor took two years off during his program to work for a global consulting company. If he would of taken a couple more months he would of been dropped from his program.</p>