Question from Sam – Are there any PhD programs in US where PhD can be completed in 2 yrs with just research and course work.

Wouldn’t that be nice, if everyone can find a university to complete  PhD  in 2 years.  I have heard stories about PhD in 2 years. But, I don’t know anyone who complete PhD in 2 years nor any programs where PhD can be completed in 2 years.

First you have to understand what is required to get PhD degree.

Above 2 articles should give you an overview about PhD degree.

PhD Graduation Timetable

Following table is from How Long does it take to Complete PhD

Milestone Time Since Admission
Completion of diversity courses 1.5 – 2 years
Submission of Research proposal 2 – 2.5 years
Admission to candidacy 2.5 – 3.5 years
Dissertation defense 3 – 5 years

Minimum you must plan to study PhD for 4 to 5 years. If you cannot complete the dissertation within 5 years, then it can take longer.

Related : The PhD Experience : What’s Involved



  1. Minimum 4 years I would say in normal circumstances and fields like engineering, agriculture. If your field is Physics, Chemistry, Microbiology, Horticulture it may take even more as your professors push you for more publications. dont forget that last one year just passes quickly in defense, corrections on dissertation, job hunt, post doc search etc. The situation is so bad that after Ph.D. people are doing Post-Doc for 4-5 years and applying for jobs.

  2. This was a useful article…. I will possess my master’s degree by nov-2013.I am from engineering background. i need the information regarding the eligibility of PhD. Did the experience from industry was mandatory for doing phd in the top universities of US. Kindly elaborate the procedure for doing PhD in this regard will help me in that aspect.

  3. Hey,When u are on F1 visa u can work only 20hrs per week.In case u are into any integrated program then i think u would get full time internship/CPT/OPT full time.

  4. How much can one earn while doing PhD? Does the student get a regular 20 hours/week work permit or one can do PhD while having a full time job?

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