How Long Does It Take to Earn a Doctorate?

Doctoral graduates listen to commencement speeches

Grand Canyon University’s College of Doctoral Studies offers several programs that can help professionals develop in-demand skills to advance their career. If you’re considering earning your doctorate, then watch this video to hear Dr. Michael Berger, dean of the College of Doctoral Studies, discuss the question: How long does it takes to earn a doctorate?

Why Does It Take So Long?

The average national time to complete a doctorate in the U.S. is moving past seven years. He continues by stating that this is a widely variable average because while some students are completing their doctorates in as little as 3.5 years, others are taking a decade or longer. The reason for this is that doctoral students must research, write and publish a dissertation in addition to completing their coursework. Every dissertation journey is different, and each learner has their own committee, topic, research materials, data to collect and analysis and interpretation to make.

What Factors Are Involved?

The College of Doctoral Studies has found that some directions seem to lead to faster completion times. So, what are these factors? The first is the use of archival data. The second is the route that you take through the Institutional Review Board. The third is whether your study is quantitative or qualitative in nature. Also, if you can integrate and consolidate your doctoral committee’s feedback, then you may be able to move more quickly, and telling the members of the committee what comes next instead of waiting to be told can be beneficial.

Finally, there are sometimes unavoidable breaks, such as health, personal or family issues, that can delay doctorate completion.

To view Dr. Berger’s entire discussion, watch the video below.

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Grand Canyon University’s College of Doctoral Studies is committed to partnering with you throughout your doctoral journey. If you’re ready to earn your doctorate, then visit our website or click the Request More Information Button on this page for information about our selection of degree programs.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.