Age versus PhD studies


I am 53 years old and have interest in pursuing PhD studies, am I too old for that ?


No. I am mid-40s and am in touch with people online who are in their 60s and doing a PhD.


Hi bashu, I am 50 and in my third year of a full time PhD. As chickpea says, there are lots of us mature students around, and we can argue that our life experience gives us an advantage (organisation skills, time management, communication skills etc.). However, depending on your study area, you may find it a challenge to get offered a place, particularly if you are looking for a funded PhD. I worked as a scientist but in a management role for many years, and when I decided to go for my PhD my lack of recent experience in the lab seemed to be a factor. As it is I am now very happily looking at a scientific area but from a business management perspective in a business school. So, think about what you really want to do, and persevere with the applications. Good luck!


Friend of mine is 67 and on a fully funded PhD. he is retired and fancied doing it... He wobbled a bit on year 2 but is due to complete in Jan.


Hi bashu,
If you really interested in pursuing PhD, there is no age limit I think. I wish you good luck.


There was a PhD student in his late 50s in my department (fully funded as far as I know), and there were two of us in our 30s as well. It's unusual, but certainly not unheard of.


In my early 30s and among the youngest in my department. In my experience beyond maths and science students who seem to go straight through bachelors, masters and phd in one continuous push everyone I have known has had a period working or come from years outside of academia.

Generally the ones at the older end of the returnee group are the ones who are most dedicated and successful too.