How do you do a PhD - with or without a master's degree?

Pursuing a PhD degree might be the finest decision you ever make in terms of personal development. PhDs are required in areas where highly specialized and high-level research capabilities are in great demand in today's economy. This post will guide you through the process of obtaining a PhD with or without a Master's degree.


A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is the greatest avowal of informative and scholarly capacities for individuals intrigued by the more scholastic side of life. The fixation on research, with a broad and intensive methodology that only a few students accomplish, quarantines a Ph.D. from any remaining degrees. The Ph.D. program is widely regarded as a training ground for creativity, critical thinking, negotiating skills, professionalism, and self-assurance. It's one of the hardest educational paths to take, but the rewards are enormous. You are motivated to continue in the face of hardship by the sense of success and delight you gain from it. You don't have to worry about swimming in a stagnant pond if you know how to swim in a rushing river.

Why pursuing a Ph.D. is worth it?

A Ph.D. makes a candidate more appealing to employers seeking higher-level, research-driven roles. Critical thinking, complex problem solving, and effective decision-making are the top three talents required for every industrial position. To put it another way, you must be able to recognize issues, identify the correct problem, and then choose the correct solution to that problem. What do you think?– In all three of these categories, Ph.D. thrive. Hence, the Ph.D. will qualify you for more employment and provide you with more career alternatives than a bachelor's or master's degree. PhDs get paid more and are in more demand than non-PhDs. Professionals that know how to produce knowledge rather than merely repackage it are in high demand. Inventive thinking and entrepreneurship are at an all-time high.

How to get a Ph.D.?

Attending college and completing a bachelor's degree program relevant to your Ph.D. research area is the first step toward earning a Ph.D. After that, you should carefully assess the options for doing it. Is a master's degree required in this subject, or can you jump right into a Ph.D. program? In any case, admission examinations such as the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) will almost always be required in order to apply to graduate institutions.

Is a Master's Degree required for a PhD?

This is an often debated subject, prompted by some misconceptions about the notion that a PhD is the highest level, implying that it would follow a graduate (master's) degree. A graduate degree and a Ph.D. are both recognized advanced education that operates at a level greater than the three-year/four-year undergraduate certification. Is a graduate degree one of the prerequisites for a Ph.D.? It is possible to progress straight from a bachelor's to a Ph.D. in some instances, although students with a master's degree may be able to skip certain courses and accelerate their Ph.D. It all depends on which country you are going to do your Ph.D. in, and the research area.

If you wish to apply for a Ph.D. in most European Union nations, you must first get a Master's degree. The only time you can be excluded from a Master's degree is if your Bachelor's degree takes four or more years to finish, as was the situation prior to the Bologna system. Let's take a look at some of the best study destinations across the world and discover how you might pursue a PhD without first earning a Master's degree.

  1. If you hold a 2:2, also known as an Honors Bachelor of Science, you may be able to apply for a Ph.D. to study in the UK. Some universities, such as the University of Liverpool, even enable you to enroll in a PhD program without having a Master's degree
  2. .
  3. In Germany, there is also the option of a fast-track program leading to a PhD This effectively implies that after completing your Bachelor's degree, you may enroll in a one-year study program that will prepare you for your PhD degree.

  4. Most Ph.D. programs in Canada, like those in Europe, require a Master's degree. However, similar to Germany, they have a fast-track option that permits you to move to a Ph.D. after only one year of Master's if your degree is of the M.Sc. kind.

  5. The United States, on the other hand, is a notable exception. It is extremely rare for students to pursue a Master's degree before pursuing a Ph.D. This is because it is not a rigorous requirement for American institutions. At the same time, it is true that PhD programs in the United States often endure for 6 to 8 years, but those in the European Union are supposed to last for 3-4 years.

  6. Australia is similar to the United Kingdom. In most cases, a Master's degree in research is required to apply for a Ph.D. program. However, if you have a Bachelor's degree with honors or a double degree, you may still be considered for a PhD.

What about India?

It is feasible to pursue a Ph.D. without completing a postgraduate degree in India, but this is not viable without a proper GATE score. But, if you are a working professional, you may be able to participate in the 'external Ph.D.' program. A working professional does not need to take a qualifying test, and more information may be received from the relevant institution. GATE/JESTCEED/CAT/GMAT is required if you do not work.


Though you have the possibility of doing a Ph.D. without doing a master's, do you think that you will get all the recognition and benefits, like a Ph.D. holder with a master's degree? Certainly not. There are some advantages to pursuing a Ph.D. after completing a master's degree. While doing master's, you can evaluate yourself whether you have to go for a PhD since master's study is more complex than undergraduate study. You have the option of choosing a new field of study for a master's and you can continue doing the same for your Ph.D. You may be able to transfer some of your Master's credits toward a Ph.D., particularly in the United States and Canada, but not always. This can result in a significant reduction in the amount of time you spend obtaining your Ph.D. With master's getting admission for PhD is easier, the chances of receiving scholarships are bright and the job market after your PhD is great with attractive financial benefits. Then what else you want, proceed with confidence.


Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao27 Jun 2021 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 4

A very nice article from the author. A PhD will give the candidate the required training to work in a troubled area and come out with an answer to the problem. When we go to a doctor he recommends various diagnostic tests to identify the problem and then he suggested the medicines. The important point here is to identify the problem and knowing the root cause for this problem. A PhD holder will have the required talent and training to go and find out the root cause. Once the reason is known finding out the solution will be very easy.
A PhD will never indicate that the person has done excellent research and found out a new point. But PhD indicates he was trained well to come in handy in troubled times. When the system is running normally we may not feel the necessity of a PhD in the system. But all the difference will come when an unexpected problem comes.
There are instances where people completed their PhD without going for a master's degree. One of my uncles was a professor in civil engineering at Andhra University. He did his PhD in Russia. He went to Russia after his BE in Civil Engineering and complete his PhD there.

Author: Sheo Shankar Jha27 Jun 2021 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

The article is overall interesting providing the aspirants the sufficient inputs when and how one should continue one's Ph.D. The aspirants should have clear strategies when to go in for a doctorate degree. He has highlighted the fact that it is not essential to possess a postgraduate degree before undertaking a doctorate programme, the same can be done straightaway with their bachelor level of Engineering. A Gate - score with an impressive percentile would be essential to make entry in any public undertaking and that, too, with their some incentives for joining the company. While earning the experience of the industry, one can seek for a Ph.D programme from a reputed university for which they need to apply the doctorate programme. One can pursue the Ph.D programme after having acquired the requisite experience. Experience gained by the industry will facilitate one to persuade the doctorate programme with sufficient inputs for the ongoing research.

Author: Venkiteswaran30 Jun 2021 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 8

This article gave some new information. The thought about the possibility of a Ph.D. after a 3-year bachelor's never occurred to my mind. I give the credit to this article on that information. Of course, conditions are there and ifs and buts as in any alternatives.

Along with this I also have to mention with a bit of sadness that slowly the quality of Ph.D. (academic and not conferred Doctorates) is dwindling much. It appears that many other considerations other than the quality or usefulness and application, are influencing the award of such citations. We cannot dismiss it justifying that quality dilution and deterioration are occurring in every other sector too.

The article concludes by emphasizing the benefits of a Masters's degree for pursuing a Ph.D. and cites valid reasons for that. Just as the Integrated M.Sc etc gets the benefit of one year to the students, we may also see in future, integrated courses aiming in-built Ph.D. too, but what I personally feel is, that such specific focus citations should be kept out of the academic enclosures and should be given purely on real quality research and applicable results.

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: