I'm getting quite confused about how long it takes to actually *finish* the PhD after submitting. Obviously, I'm sure this varies widely between individuals and institutions but I'm looking for some rough guidance...my uni website has just made me more confused. I would ideally like to be able to say to potential employers and on my CV that I finished in three years but I'm not sure what exactly counts as 'finishing' (hope that makes sense).
I started in Oct 2013. My current plan is to submit in early Oct 2016 (end of the summer holiday), so it counts as a Summer Term 2016 submission (have checked w uni and this is definitely correct).
Assuming my examiners don't take a million years, my viva would hopefully be no later than Dec 2016. With the optimistic hypothetical outcome of passing with minor corrections (a girl can dream right?), then maybe I'd be done and dusted by Feb 2017. Not sure how far I need to book graduation in advance but I could attend the March or May ceremony.
So...if that's my rose-tinted timetable, when have I actually finished? Oct 2016, Dec 2016, Feb 2017, etc?
You are finished when you sign over the hard copies and PDF of you thesis to the registrar, once the examiners (or internal examiner if minor corrections) have accepted your corrections post-viva.
A letter will then come through the post shortly after to confirm the award of your PhD.
If the worst you have incurred is minor corrections, you can effectively call yourself "Dr." post viva. It's a strange feeling when the examiners say "Congratulations Dr. Nesrine!!!".
However, you don't officially become "Dr." until you receive the letter - I was addressed as "Dr." in print for the first time at this point. The actual certificate and (if you want it) graduation ceremony are window dressing if you like.
Some will argue with some validity that point comes when you sign over the hard copies and PDF of the thesis to the registrars as the examiners have already accepted your corrections.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply.
I'm a little curious now when I hear people say they finished their PhD in three years because it seems that between submission and final acceptance, there's got to be a minimum turnaround time of a few months. That would mean they're submitting well before the summer (roughly speaking). However, I guess if you are granted an early viva and pass with no corrections, that turnaround in theory could be just one month.
Question is, with the timetable I've outlined above, could I conceivably say I finished my PhD in three years, or is that pushing it? I don't want to sound like I'm being sneaky! I'm just genuinely wondering what people with PhDs think (and put on their CVs).
I'd always assumed when people said they'd finished in whatever time that they meant handing in before the viva. As very few people would be able to say 3 years if they were waiting for corrections to be accepted surely? I've never really thought about it before though so I might be wrong! No one in my institute hands in before 3.5 years anyway, and most people take the full 4, the joys of unpredictable science =)
It's a hard call really. To give an example, I submitted in September 2014, right on my 3.5 year mark. I received my results at the end of November, 2014 with very minor corrections, completed these and resubmitted by December 13th, and had my thesis officially ratified December 23rd. So while I can say the initial process only took 3.5 years, the actual process of examination & corrections took longer, rounded out to under 4 years.
Technically, you are finished the thesis once it has been ratified (so all corrections approved, hard-copies resubmitted to be housed at the school etc).
Ian mentioned that the letter gives you the title, that's dependent on country. Here in Australia, you are not a doctor until you graduate officially at the ceremony, where you are 'hatted' (unless you opt for not going, in which case you wait for the testamur to come in the mail). While I'm 'technically' a doctor and have been since the thesis ratification in December where my letter indicates that I've completed, I have to wait until May to actually use the title in an official capacity because that's when the next round of graduations are.
You won't be able to say you completed in 3.5 years but you can say you submitted. After all, we can say we've submitted an article for review, but we can't say it's an actual article until its published. Your thesis as submitted is not a completed work because it's under the examination (or 'review' stage) and susceptible to a fail or revise/resubmit.
As for your timeline, it's doable, but don't plan on it. There are a number of unknowns that will be completely out of your control, such as how long examination takes, or how long it takes to get your reports back, what your results will be and how long that will take, how long it'll take to get your corrections approved and then ratified etc.
When people say they have finished, I think they generally mean when they submitted. That's what the 4 year deadline is for anyway. I know people that took 5 months before they had a viva and then another 6 months for corrections, so way past the 4 year limit.
Thanks for your responses. Sorry for taking ages to reply. The website's stopped telling me when someone's responded to my threads...probably my fault.
I've definitely taken a second look at my submission plan, and decided that it's worth trying not to rush, especially my supervisors seem to love taking their sweet time getting feedback to me. I suppose I should be grateful that I get feedback at all. And as you said awsoci, life does tend to get in the way...I had to have emergency surgery in my first year and couldn't walk properly for five months so I know that firsthand!
It seems a little silly to me that you're 'not allowed' to use Dr until graduation. I always thought the graduation ceremony was just an opportunity to celebrate with others and take some nice photos. What exactly can the university do if you decide to call yourself Dr before then? That's a genuine question for people who know more than me. As Ian said, I thought graduation was kinda 'window dressing'.
Masters DegreesSearch For Masters Degrees
An active and supportive community.
Support and advice from your peers.
Your postgraduate questions answered.
Use your experience to help others.
Enter your email address below to get started with your forum account
Enter your username below to login to your account
An email has been sent to your email account along with instructions on how to reset your password. If you do not recieve your email, or have any futher problems accessing your account, then please contact our customer support.
or continue as guest