PhD in three years

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003], Nov 17, 2002.

  1. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member

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    Does anyone know any three year PhD programs in bio sciences?
     
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  3. AegisZero

    AegisZero Senior Member

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    I have heard of some for bioinformatics, but I dont know if that is what you personally would count as a bioscience.
     
  4. CaNEM

    CaNEM Senior Member

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    It seems that how long it takes to do a PhD in the biomedical sciences depends greatly on the nature of the project, the hours and effort you put into it, and luck. I've never seen a program say "you will be done with your PhD in this many years." Three years seems quite low, however, and is probably not common.
     
  5. AegisZero

    AegisZero Senior Member

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    It is in fact extremely rare. So rare that it was a story told to me of this one guy who did do it during class. He discovered the TGF-beta signalling pathway though, and represent a class of people as rare as the 12 year old MSTPs
     
  6. uclachris

    uclachris Doctor Doctor Member

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    The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (in Europe) trys to get students out in 3 years...

    But why 3 years? If you want the abreviated Ph.D. go for the MD/PhD and get a mentor who will let you get out early.
     
  7. AegisZero

    AegisZero Senior Member

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    Also remember that most of Europe does M.Phil as opposed to Ph.D. The US version is more robust and requires more time.
     
  8. uclachris

    uclachris Doctor Doctor Member

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    Sorry that's wrong... depends where you go.

    A doctorate is a doctorate; being D.Phil or Ph.D. M.Phil is like a C.Phil which is like a Masters.
     
  9. isidella

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    I wish people would not refer to the PhD of an MD/PhD as "abreviated." It devalues the degree for no good reason. Chris, the first two years of med school are filled with classes that a normal PhD student would spend a year taking. Typically, students who enter MD/PhD programs also have a lot of research experience under their belt. So while a typical PhD stuents has to take time to "learn" how to do research, most MD/PhD students are good to go. (That sounds like a sweeping statement, but that is how I see things.)

    And while MD/PhDers can get the PhD in two (uncommon) or three years, I have seen it stretch into four and five years. There are very few programs who put a cap on the amount of time that can be spent doing research-and if the budget cannot allow it, students can fight for thier own grants to sustain the project assuming there are vital questions that need to be answered.

    I think that squeezing a degree into a time frame is a little risky. Can great research be done if someone is constantly checking thier watch?

    Isid
     
  10. AegisZero

    AegisZero Senior Member

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    At least in science, I know that a M.Phil is not as prestigious as an american PhD in the US because the latter process is longer and more rigorous. There are differences in the curricula as well, and those differences are important if you want to apply your degree to the US or Europe.

    Either way, I think Spiderman is looking for more domestic solutions.
     
  11. uclachris

    uclachris Doctor Doctor Member

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    all i said was if they wanted an "abreviated" meaning shorter time... that it would be best to go to an MD/PhD and then work something out with their would be mentor.

    I know many MD/PhDs, some took the route of I want out in 3 years no matter what, some took the route I want the results no matter what. Ultimately it rests upon the individual.

    Hell I didn't want the 6 1/2 year Ph.D. I was ready to be done after 5; but my mentor asked me to do more experiments. This would have not been asked of me if I was a MD/PhD.
     
  12. uclachris

    uclachris Doctor Doctor Member

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    Yeah.. and I know that in science a Masters is not as prestigious as a Doctorate.

    I was just saying that if he wants a quick route... EMBL is a great place.
     
  13. SunnyS81

    SunnyS81 Senior Member

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    I don't know about the schools you all have dealt with, but from what I've seen, a Ph.D. in biosciences typically takes about 6 years.

    From what I understand MSTP's have smaller, more focused projects, which allows them to get out in 3 years. Most bioprojects are time constrained (you have to let an experiment run), so most regular doctoral students take a few classes and do their experiments at the same time.
     
  14. Lancer_VII

    Lancer_VII Member

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    A post-doc in the lab I work in finished her PhD in 3 years - in England. You start research right away (no classes). Though if you do that, it's crucial you do one (or more) post-docs...
     
  15. IlianaSedai

    IlianaSedai Senior Member

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    You're confusing a Masters degree with a PhD degree. Europeans actually do get PhDs, and the M.Phil is a completely different thing (one step down from a PhD, but definitely requires more research than most US Masters degrees which involve taking more classes than doing research).

    Two reasons why Europeans finish more quickly.... 1) The first two years of a typical 5-year US PhD have coursework. You have to take classes because our undergrad is stuffed full of General Ed requirements, which doesn't give you the basic background that a European degree in the same subject would. 2) In some places, you will be funded by the government for your PhD for no more than 5 years, and after that you get kicked out. In the US, we take so long because we have coursework, hoops to jump, research supervisors insisting that we should stay longer and spend more time (when in other countries it's frowned upon if you outstay your welcome), and no limit on the number of years it can take. My friend who did her PhD at Cambridge had her desk and lab space taken away and given to another student after three years-- no choice but to finish in good time.

    Depending on where you are going, I also disagree with "needing" to do a postdoc. If you did your PhD in England and stay in England, I don't think there is even such a thing as postdoc-- you can start lecturing or doing research right away. There are great and highly prestigious universities outside the US where people do their PhD, and I think it is really unfortunate that so many Americans seem to think it's sub-par... but it is also hard for Americans to get in, so there we have it. =)

    But I see nothing wrong with stepping on the gas pedal if that's what you want to do. Whether or not you can manage to do it (rare in the US), stepping on it can't hurt, even if someone else is out there putting the brakes on you.
     
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  17. ItNeverEnds

    ItNeverEnds Senior Member

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    What's the rush to get a PhD? You'll end up doing the same thing as a post-doc once you're done.

    In the biosciences, 5-6 years is typical. Social sciences typically take 4-5 years. MSTP programs have 2-3 year PhD degrees, as the first two years of medical school provides the same type of academic background that graduate school would provide.
     
  18. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member

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    I am talking about PhD degrees in US only. Does anyone know about school that would let you graduate in three?
     
  19. uclachris

    uclachris Doctor Doctor Member

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    Almost any school will... The question is will you pass the requirements of (1) qualifying exams (2) classes (3) teaching and (4) publications and (5) research in three years.
     
  20. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    There most definitely are postdoc positions in the UK and it is the normal first step after a PhD, just like it is here in the US.

    The MPhil people are referring to is a masters by research, usually requiring 2 years, and no, it is not regarded anywhere as equivalent to a PhD.

    The PhD in the UK can be shorter than in the US (3-5 years), however, UK PhD students have been shown to publish on average exactly the same number of papers as US PhD students (actually the UK average was slightly higher in the study - but not statistically significantly so). The UK PhD is equivalent to a US one. The two education systems are however completely different. UK undergraduate includes classes at a level (and beyond) what most US PhD students take. Thus no classes are taken as part of the UK PhD system and instead UK students spend the entire time doing research. I believe someone has already alluded to this.

    I do not know of any PhD programs in the US that will get you through in 3 years.
     
  21. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    I knew a grad student who finished UNC-Chapel Hill's Dept. of pharmacology in 3 years. At the time was number #1 in the country. She worked 50-60 hours/week and published 3 papers. She is now on Faculty at Harvard WITHOUT doing a postdoc.

    Completing a degree in 3 years depends on you and the advisor you get.
     
  22. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    There are of course exceptions. It depends as much on luck as hard work and the advisor, but you must have all 3 to get through in 3 years. However, while it is possible for those lucky/smart/hard-working few, for most it is not, and I do not know of any PhD programs in the US that would take you on expecting you to be done in 3 years, let alone that would guarantee it for you.
     

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