This article provides an insight into what it is like to undertake an average week in a PhD Program.
As many new students get ready to embark on their PhD studies many come into the program not knowing what to expect. They have all already heard the horror stories about no sleep, studying all the time, with no time for their social lives. Many students will come in with questions relating to how much they will have to study. Will there be time to even eat? It is time to put some of those anxieties to bed and introduce applicants to a typical PhD program week.
PhD Program – The Patterns
The first thing that applicants need to know is that there is no such thing as a typical program week. It is up to the individual applicant to arrange their schedules in a way that works best for them. This will depend on a large number of factors:
- The subject area that you have dedicated your studies to. Students have to orient their schedules in a way that includes applicable lab or teaching time.
- The student’s individual learning style. Not everyone is going to be able to learn the same way and some students have a unique way of learning. It is important to identify your own brand of learning and be able to adapt it into a schedule that works for you.
- The schedule will depend on what stage you are at in your program. Beginning PhD applicants will be more research oriented while older PhD students will be dedicating time to work on their dissertations.
- University regulations and supervisor meetings.
Putting the Hours In
Working on PhD programs will take up a large amount of the students’ time. Many PhD students will tell you that they dedicate an average of 30-70 hours weekly on their PhD programs depending on the degree area. It is almost impossible to work or carry on much of a social life outside of these PhD programs.
Most students are driven to dedicate more time to their degree programs due to the restrictions on their financial aid such as scholarships. Many PhD scholarships will cover students completely for three years and anything after that will be left up to the student to figure out. PhD programs are expensive and students are motivated to complete their degrees while they are being covered.
Attendance is a very big part of PhD programs. The attendance policy doesn’t only cover labs and class time but it also covers visits with your supervisor. The supervisor is there to help students working through their degree programs by providing guidance and assistance when needed. Attendance also extend to cover all assignments that the student will be expected to complete during their studies. It is important to keep up appropriate attendance.
PhD Program – Responsibilities
There are many responsibilities that PhD students undertake while they are completing their PhD Degrees. Many PhD Programs make it the student’s responsibility to conduct their studies and ensure their own academic success. It is also the student’s responsibility to address their concerns with their supervisors.