How To Get a PhD

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How To Get a PhD

Not many people have a Ph.D., and rightfully so because they are the hardest academic prestige to obtain, which require not only a certain kind of person but also a lot of dedication, years of research, experience, studying and preparing. While it is true that not all fields give you the opportunity to get a Ph.D., the majority do, and if you are perseverant enough and dedicated enough, you can achieve your goal. It will take years and years of preparation, experience, research, and study, but let's see how to get a Ph.D..

Get Your Bachelor's Degree

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The very first thing that you will have to do is choose your field and complete the first step of your university education in that field, getting your bachelor's degree. This is usually the easiest step as well, and while it can be a bit overwhelming at times, it does present you with a lot of free time compared to the other steps, giving you the chance to prepare and further your knowledge thus preparing for what is to come. Once you have your Bachelor's Degree, you will need to continue pursuing your academic ambitions.

Get Your Master's Degree

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This is the second diploma that you will need to get in order to qualify for the Ph.D. exam itself, however not for the program as a whole, and in some cases, people apply for the program with a Bachelor's degree and earn their Master's degree halfway through the doctoral program. There are quite a few ways in which you can go about earning this diploma, either by enrolling in a dedicated master's program or going to graduate school, getting an Advanced Degree and then jumping to a Master's Degree. In some cases, like with various medical fields and research fields, you will be very short on time so you will be forced to adapt and work on your Master's and Doctoral at the same time more or less.

Find A Researh Program

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This is not as easy as it sounds because not everyone can be considered a doctoral candidate and you will have to jump through quite a few hoops in order to gain consideration for it. First of all, you will need to supply a statement of purpose, transcripts from previous post-secondary schools and letters of recommendation from professional references, then you will have to take the G.R.E. (Graduation Record Examination) in order to be admitted into the program itself. While this might not seem like much, getting the letters of recommendation will be a nightmare, plus you will have to go through a very difficult and unforgiving exam that is designed to weed applicants out at the slightest mistake, so prepare for the worst.

Do The Coursework

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This is a bit of a misnomer because a Ph.D. program is not structured the same way a Bachelor's or Master's program is and there are not actual courses or grades to speak of, rather the overall progress is dictated by the completion rate of your actual dissertation. You will have to pass qualifying exams at predetermined times throughout the duration of the program as well as meet other time sensitive criteria along the way. The overall completion time of the program, because of its unstructured and demanding nature, can take anywhere between 3 and 8 years to complete on average.

Do The Research

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While you're in the doctoral program, you will have to do a lot of research in order to write your dissertation and advance your overall progress, however, the research will have to also be original research which will require you to do things like going out into the field, publish new theories and gain valuable and extensive, work experience in the field. The way in which the progress of your research is tracked here is through written and oral examinations as well as yearly meetings and discussions with your doctoral advisor or team of advisors, depending on the field. Once you've completed your dissertation, and have met all the criteria it is time to take the final step.

Present Your Dissertation

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Once everything is done, it is time to take the final step and present your findings and dissertation to an academic committee which is usually made out of several other Ph.D.s, advisors and leading figures. While it might seem rather straightforward, it is not because you will not only be presenting your book length research paper, but you will also be defending it and proving it in front of the committee which will be hellbent on disproving it.

This is more or less the final examination, having all the arguments, all the proof and all the knowledge that you need at your disposal in order to both present and defend your paper, and if you pass, you will be awarded a Ph.D. and ascend tot he top of the academic ladder.

As one would expect, getting a Ph.D. is not an easy task, it is actually the hardest thing that you will ever have to do in regards to the academic field, however, it is a feat that holds may reward for the ones who pursue it. The road will be very difficult, filled with constant obstacles and you will be racing against the clock more often than not, however if you are dedicated enough and willing to sacrifice every bit of free time that you have for the foreseeable future, you will get your Ph.D and you will get the merits that you deserve.

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