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How long can you write a PhD dissertation?

So you’ve waited too long to write your dissertation. The deadline is closing and you’re not finished yet. Or, maybe you’ve been really busy and your research methods are just too effective. Maybe you have too much usable data, and need an extension.

How long can you write a PhD dissertation?

Really the truth is that it depends on more than one factor. There isn’t any hard and fast rule. Ultimately, how long you can take to write a dissertation depends on both factors you can and cannot control.

What’s Your Field of Focus?

As you’re working within your field, and researching for your dissertation, you’ll be busy. The time that you’ll get, as well as the requirements for the completion of your dissertation may vary by both school and area of focus.

Were You Busy?

With the deadline closing in, some schools are very strict. If you’ve missed it, or think you’ll miss it, you’ll likely need to apply for an extension. Depending on the school this might be difficult. Some schools will expect a really good excuse from you. Otherwise, they’ll think you weren’t busy and may not grant the request.

In some cases, this means filling out extension forms with your advisors.

Either way, getting an extension may not be easy

Do You Want to Keep Paying Tuition?

That extension might give you breathing room, but how about tuition? Are you paying again?

Your Own Goals?

Life has a way of getting in our way. Many people don’t finish college because they go home, take a year off, or just get caught up in life. This can especially be true when it comes to big life changes such as family health issues, births, weddings, and personal health problems.

Overall, it’s probably best to get started on that dissertation.

Many students find it helpful to set personal goals and deadlines. For example, have a date to have your research completed. Then, create a schedule for the writing of your dissertation.

Others will also reprioritize their life. It may be worth looking at what is causing you to get caught up, and not to get your dissertation. Is it legitimately life, or is other things?

Is it procrastination?

For a student, this may be the first time you’ve taken on an undertaking of this size. Rest assured though, with good focus, hard work, and a schedule - either imposed or self directed - you can complete you dissertation.