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Blogger: Three Years is Plenty

[email protected] says that while some who "completed a five, six, or seven-year PhD," might hear of a three-year doctorate "and say 'Well, it clearly must be inferior," that's not necessarily the case. In fact, Cath argues that a three-year PhD program requires that students really buckle down. "I was in the lab full time from the first day of my PhD. … No need to register for a master's first: 'Here’s a set of [pipettes] and a lab coat, now go!'" she recalls, adding that she "loved getting into the nitty-gritty details so early." Indeed, Cath claims she completed her thesis in only three months. Of course, abridged programs have a fair share of pitfalls. "The downside is that you're much less likely to publish well, if at all," she says of a three-year PhD, adding that "the lack of fellowship writing experience could also be a problem in some departments." In the end, though, Cath says it's all about weighing the options.

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