Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHigher Education (University +) · 9 months ago

How hard is it to get a PhD ?

At the age of 18, I went to study mathematics in Switzerland. I failed the first year and tried again for another semester, didn’t get it the second time so I got kicked out of the university. …

After that, I decided to study engineering since I liked maths but a maths degree was too hard, and once in engineering I passed my first year. This year I started my second year but I hated it, too much electricity and computer science which I am really not a fan of… I also felt nervous in class because I’m dealing with social anxiety.

I’ve always liked science, and I am now thinking of studying biology in France next year(I’m already living there) . I will be 22 years old and feel like I have wasted my parent’s money for over three years :(

I just hope this time it will be the right degree… 

I am really interested in neuroscience, and right now I would like to do a PhD in neuroscience and do research. How hard is it to get a PhD ? 

7 Answers

  • 9 months ago

    A Ph.D. isn't a taught course, it's a research position.

    You don't just take a Ph.D. and 'pass' by going to class and studying. In fact, they're often aren't any classes at all. You have to do research into new areas, put together ideas, look at other peoples' research, etc, then write a long thesis on a new area of your choosing.

    It's nothing like typical academia where someone else is teaching you stuff.

    Ph.D. positions are not courses, they're basically jobs with limited places that need to be applied for. The professor is your boss, and you have to do research which is relevant to the professor's field of specialty, and you have to do it to globally accepted standards.

    A lot of Ph.D. positions are paid. It's a job, not a 'course', and nobody is there to teach you anything.

  • Laurie
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    Although approximately half the population, by definition, has an IQ above average... and roughly 16% has an IQ above 115, only 3% of the population earns a PhD.

    More than ability, other factors such as finances, family responsibilities, lack of academic ambition, poor work ethic, etc. stop people from earning a PhD.

  • 9 months ago

    My PhD was the hardest thing I have ever done, by far.

  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    In the U.K. it is 3 years for a Batchelors, a year for a Masters then you can apply for a PhD. It is a further 3 years of research. So after 7 years you can apply for jobs. My son has done it.

    Reading your post sorry to say you have no chance of being accepted. You don't have the background or stability.

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  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    Anonymity lets me be frank: I don't think you have it in you.

    You need to first get the bachelor's degree, which typically takes four years as a full-time student, then take the GRE (a test something like the SAT) and apply to graduate programs. They will not accept students who did not excel at their undergraduate work or who do not seem intent on studying their field.

    Having flunked out once and changed majors twice is going to count heavily against you. Whether your studies in biology as an older student will result in such good grades and recommendations that you get into a graduate program in neuroscience depends entirely on you--your intelligence, your work ethic, your ability to stay on task even when you don't like the subject, your facing and largely overcoming anxiety as it impacts your college performance.

    One of our kids has severe social anxiety, for which she got cognitive behavior therapy, which helped her improve enough to go after the PhD. In your position, I'd consider that approach. Even if you don't get into a PhD program, your life will be better for it.

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    Easy if it's one you can buy online.  It's pretty much useless other than for bragging rights if you are the kind of person to get off on that.

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    How hard anything is depends on the individual who is attempting to achieve it. The fact that you would even ask this question makes me think it would be extraordinarily difficult for *you*.

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