Author Topic: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation  (Read 10752 times)

clarkfan1979

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estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« on: November 20, 2016, 05:40:58 PM »
I received a few compliments regarding my writing ability. I think this all depends on your peers. I would consider myself to have an above average writing ability among my current peers. However, in my previous job, I think my writing ability was average at best.

A few people asked how many pages or how long it took to write my dissertation. They are often shocked when I tell them it was over a span of years and not months. Then I tried to go back and estimate the total number of hours on my dissertation and MA thesis. My MA is in General Experimental Psychology. My Ph.D. is Applied Social Psychology. Below is what I got.

MA Thesis: 1,000 hours (10 hours/week for 2 years)

*Ph.D. Dissertation: 3,500 hours (10 hours/week for 7 years)

* I think a normal dissertation should have taken about 2,000 hours. My advisor was difficult.


clarkfan1979

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2016, 05:41:51 PM »
Anyone else care to share their estimates?


I forgot to put that at the end of the post.

Rural

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2016, 06:26:51 PM »
 No clue, but it was a really fucking whole big lot, masters and Ph.D. both.

C-note

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2016, 06:39:50 PM »
My second year research project led right into my dissertation research so it's hard to say when I officially started on my dissertation or the amount of time I dedicated to it.

My Masters took less time than my PhD but not by much.

aprilchem

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2016, 08:29:34 AM »
Are you talking about just the actual writing part, and not the research to obtain the results contained in the dissertation?  If so, then my Ph.D. thesis took me two weeks of full-time writing to complete (so 80 hours or so).  It's about 220 pages, but not all text because I have a Ph.D. in a science field.  I passed the defense on the first try, and the committee-suggested corrections to the thesis took me about a day to finish up.

  The actual Ph.D. degree took me 3.5 years from start to finish. That is  below the average in my discipline (currently 5 years), but I worked 7 days a week, 12 hours a day for most of that time.  I was very disciplined back in the day.  Not so much now that I have a family...

Oh, and edited to add that I do not have a master's degree.  It used to be the norm for chemists to get a masters and a Ph.D., but now you pretty much go from BS to Ph.D. for most programs. Of the faculty in my department only one of us has a masters degree.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2016, 08:31:56 AM by aprilchem »

cats

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2016, 08:52:00 AM »
Are you talking about just the actual writing part, and not the research to obtain the results contained in the dissertation?  If so, then my Ph.D. thesis took me two weeks of full-time writing to complete (so 80 hours or so).  It's about 220 pages, but not all text because I have a Ph.D. in a science field.  I passed the defense on the first try, and the committee-suggested corrections to the thesis took me about a day to finish up.


I was wondering this too.  For my PhD, the writing of the actual dissertation did not take too terribly long in terms of hours, but there was also stuff like writing a dissertation proposal (only about 10 pages, but required a lot of background reading), putting together posters and powerpoint presentations for conferences (which is basically making rough drafts/outlines of your eventual dissertation), and then yeah...actually conducting some research and analyzing the results.

One thing I found about research writing was that although I'm quite good at it, I simply did not have the capacity to write for long chunks of time--it's mentally very draining and so there's only so much you can do in a day.  When I was in my ABD/writing phase, if I managed to bang out a page of completely new text in a day, I was doing pretty well.  I'd then spend the rest of my "work" time editing stuff I'd already written, touching up figures, running a few extra simulations to see if I could generate some further support for weak points in my story, or catching up on new literature to see if there was anything coming out that was relevant to my dissertation.  I could definitely see why the PhD takes a long time (mine took 5 years, which was supposedly our department's "average", though I only know of one person who finished in <5 years, and a number of people who took 6 or more...).

clarkfan1979

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2016, 08:44:56 PM »
I guess I was asking the total time to write it. However, if you conducted a study, the time it took to conduct the study counts as well. However, I'm not talking about classes, related research, etc...  I was more focused on the total amount of time to produce a MA thesis document or Ph.D. dissertation.

Because my entire process took 7 years, I was asked to re-write my introduction twice and update with more recent sources.

MsPeacock

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2016, 08:21:56 AM »
I have my Ph.D. in clinical psychology. I did data analysis for my dissertation. I had grand plans for a research design and data collection, but it became overly difficult to get participants and I was scheduled to move for my internship year. I ditched that project to do data analysis from a database that I had collected for the clinic I worked in.

The writing was torturous and I did not have a helpful committee (weeks of silence and then a sudden demand w/ short suspense date for some change). I spent about a year writing it - but that year was during my internship and a lot of my "writing" time was really inefficient. My goal was also to keep it simple and less than 100 pages. It was a fairly focused topic, so I did not need to do a 400 page literature review.

So - hours... I'd guess maybe 200 of writing... Maybe. There were weeks with many hours and other weeks with very little. I think 200 is probably about right.  That is 2 hours per page - which seems about right. That does not include looking for and reading reference articles, running stats, etc. A reference dense page might take many hours and another page w/ a graph or results might be much quicker.

How did you spend 3500 hours on just writing? How long is your dissertation?

2ndTimer

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2016, 12:57:47 PM »
My dissertation (Chemistry) took and hour/day, five days a week, for about four months so maybe 80 hours to write up.  The research consumed the previous two years.  The data had all been arranged and interpreted for publications and presentations over the same two years so it was just a matter of stringing it all together and writing a beginning and a conclusion. 

sol

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2016, 01:31:33 PM »
Exuding all of the work that had to get done before the writing, and the thousands of hours of reading articles and checking references, the actual time at keyboard was probably between 500 and 800 hours for my PhD thesis.

It's hard to estimate, because sometimes you'll sit down and bang out an entire chapter draft in one crazy night, and sometimes you'll spend an entire month redoing figures.

In general, I'm happy when I can reliably write two double spaced pages per hour of useable relevant text that makes it into the final draft, including citations.  16 good pages in an 8 hour day is a hugely successful day of science writing.  So if a typical thesis only has a hundred pages of actual text in it, not counting figures and tables and front matter and appendices, you should be able to write the entire thing in less than two weeks of dedicated effort.  If that pace were sustainable, which it rarely is because there is a lot of background effort required before you start just putting words down, in negotiating the right approach and structure for each section.

I would estimate there was at least two solid weeks of formatting work, to get everything into the university required arrangement for table of contents and signature pages and references listed and figure captions and everything else that goes into publication.

I don't think I know of anybody who went from zero to published in less than six months.  The time you spend physically writing is not usually the hold up.

clarkfan1979

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2016, 12:26:34 AM »
I have my Ph.D. in clinical psychology. I did data analysis for my dissertation. I had grand plans for a research design and data collection, but it became overly difficult to get participants and I was scheduled to move for my internship year. I ditched that project to do data analysis from a database that I had collected for the clinic I worked in.

The writing was torturous and I did not have a helpful committee (weeks of silence and then a sudden demand w/ short suspense date for some change). I spent about a year writing it - but that year was during my internship and a lot of my "writing" time was really inefficient. My goal was also to keep it simple and less than 100 pages. It was a fairly focused topic, so I did not need to do a 400 page literature review.

So - hours... I'd guess maybe 200 of writing... Maybe. There were weeks with many hours and other weeks with very little. I think 200 is probably about right.  That is 2 hours per page - which seems about right. That does not include looking for and reading reference articles, running stats, etc. A reference dense page might take many hours and another page w/ a graph or results might be much quicker.

How did you spend 3500 hours on just writing? How long is your dissertation?

The literature review took the longest. I probably found and read about 300 articles. About 200 of them made it into my document. It probably took 100 hours just to find the articles. Then it took about 1 hour to read each article. Then it probably took about 200 hours to put all the articles together into a rough draft. So that's 600 hours just for a rough draft of the literature review.   

MsPeacock

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2016, 08:26:56 AM »
I guess I wasn't counting finding and reading articles - just the physical writing. Putting together the lit review was very time intensive, and I didn't have anything like 300 articles to review.

Once I got to internship the medical librarian would take a list of articles from me and locate, copy, and send me them. What a time saver over doing the physical work myself (this was before electronic copies were widely available).

clarkfan1979

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2016, 03:00:47 PM »
I shared an apartment with Statistics Ph.D. student from China for one semester. He did his MA in China and told me that he had to take a 5 hour train ride (one-way) to retrieve articles for his MA thesis. Better not forget any articles!

Gerard

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2016, 10:42:04 PM »
During my PhD, I could write about 1500 to 2000 words in about four hours straight, and then I was crap for the rest of the day, at least as far as writing goes. So, maybe 40 or 50 of those half-days to get a full first draft? Then another dozen or so for rewriting.

If I did a second one, I would be way faster, if only because I'd spend less time whimpering or being drama royalty. I think that might be true for most of us.

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2016, 08:46:52 AM »
Hard to quantify, but I'd say I spent the better part of an entire year (full time) preparing my dissertation in developmental neurobiology. This included pulling and reading several hundred primary research reports, writing the dissertation, preparing the ~ 40 multipanel figures in the dissertation. This was before digital imaging existing and required shooting my data (e.g. Southern blots, thin layer chromatography) with a 35 mm camera, producing 1000s of prints to get that perfect shot (variable f-stops, exposure times, etc), cutting out the images, gluing them on cardstock into a multi-panel fig, re-shooting, etc...

There were at least 6 or 7 drafts leading up to the final version, which was expected to be nothing less than perfect, in terms of formatting, grammar, spelling, etc. Currently getting a numbing feeling shooting down my spine even thinking/reflecting on that horror.

TightFistedScot

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2016, 05:35:35 PM »
I received a few compliments regarding my writing ability. I think this all depends on your peers. I would consider myself to have an above average writing ability among my current peers. However, in my previous job, I think my writing ability was average at best.

A few people asked how many pages or how long it took to write my dissertation. They are often shocked when I tell them it was over a span of years and not months. Then I tried to go back and estimate the total number of hours on my dissertation and MA thesis. My MA is in General Experimental Psychology. My Ph.D. is Applied Social Psychology. Below is what I got.

MA Thesis: 1,000 hours (10 hours/week for 2 years)

*Ph.D. Dissertation: 3,500 hours (10 hours/week for 7 years)

* I think a normal dissertation should have taken about 2,000 hours. My advisor was difficult.

This is really interesting.

My writing can be sporadic so it's hard to say. My master's thesis was about 65 pages and I wrote it over 3 months following data collection/analysis (qualitative). It was too long ago to estimate the hours I spent. I was a more passionate and focused writer back then, though. I can't really write for longer than 2 hour stints anymore.  Of course the quality of my academic writing has certainly improved since my master's.

I just completed my PhD comprehensive exam this summer. PhD Candidate whut whut! LOL! It was 30 pages and took me perhaps 100 hours to write over approximately 2 months. Plus a 2 hour oral defence.

I will be beginning data collection mid-winter. Data analysis spring/summer or whenever I reach my target sample size. I need to interview 30 people and transcribe 50% of the interviews (I will hire a transcriptionist to do the rest of the interviews).... Then the hellish writing experience happens! Sometimes I question if I can even write a diss. Although in my program (public health) we have the option to write up our project in the form of 3 manuscripts so that's the route I'm headed.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 05:41:48 PM by Skinnin »

TheThirstyStag

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2016, 09:21:05 PM »
What an interesting thread.

I've never thought of mine from an hourly perspective.  Grad school was my full time job/lifestyle and it was 2 years to the masters, 5 (another three) for the ph.d. 

In terms of actual writing of the dissertation, I estimate it was the sole focus of the final 1.5 years, taking up about 75% of my time. 

4n6

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2016, 10:06:39 PM »
I also never thought about it in terms of time. I guess if I am just thinking about the dissertation it took me about a year to write it, including the proposal. And then it took me about six months after that to turn it into my first book. I probably wrote at least 3-4 days a week 4 hours in the morning and then I would always write from 5-7 at night. So about 4-6 hours. If we are talking just writing it probably took over 750 to 1000 hours. However, I write pretty fast. But if I include research and the like we are probably talking double that and that was accumulated over 2 1/2 years of doctoral coursework/comps.

SnackDog

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2016, 10:42:49 PM »
I remember I sat down one year in late August and decided I wanted to graduate in Jan. I worked backward with all the dates and determined I had six weeks to write up the dissertation including many figures and some large fold outs. It was a giant effort for 16 hours per day but I did it. While the committee reviewed it I fixed all the formatting to meet standards.

We routinely churn out technical papers which are twice as long and dense at work these days, but a huge team is involved. And frequently more than one language version. My compilation and editing skills are in frequent use as only a few people at work have the required skills.

Dee_

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2020, 05:10:17 PM »
I feel like there's a joke brewing here somewhere...Q: What do you call a group of PhDs reminiscing about grad school?

A: (no idea, somebody come up with a good punchline)

I'm closing out year 3 in a Chemistry-adjacent field now...trying to get out a manuscript during quarantine. Gotta focus and stay off the mmm forum, whoops. I'm finding pomodoro technique relatively helpful in staying focused. Any of you grad school veterans have any tips? Especially if you were juggling a kid, I'm due in August.

I always wanted to graduate in 4 years, but unfortunately I just got added to a project funded for 2 years so that's probably not going to happen.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2020, 03:09:04 AM »
I never had much desire to go the MA or Ph.D. route and after reading this thread I think that was a good call.


I might work on a Master's for my military career, it's not required, but at a certain rank for senior officers it can definitely set you apart from your peers. My previous business career it would not have made a difference. I was 100% commission and the only thing that mattered was a professional designation in that field. Depending on which military professional education I complete some of it does count towards a Master's degree. In fact if you do some of the resident courses at the Army War College you'll receive a Master's.

SunnyDays

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2020, 02:09:37 PM »
I got a terminal Master's in Clinical Psychology (no thesis required, but can't go on to a Ph.D. either), which was fine with me.  Watching my fellow students that decided to go the thesis route made me glad I didn't.  I did do an Independent Research course in my 4th year of undergrad and a Ph.D. student commented that my thesis for that was more complicated than for hers.  So I regret that I couldn't have used that, but for the career I chose, a Master's was sufficient.  A PsyD would have been interesting, but no local-ish options for that at the time.

clarkfan1979

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2020, 04:14:08 PM »
I'm surprised this thread made a comeback. My break down of my 3,500 hours is below. This is the equivalent of 1.5 years of full-time work. It actually took me about 7 years from start to finish. 

Data collection was only around 100 hours total. I actually piggybacked off of someone else's grant funded project for my dissertation.

For writing, I had 300 references. It took about 100 hours to find the articles and print them out. Then it took another 300 hours to reach each article (1 hour piece). Then it probably took another 50 hours to organize the articles into groups. I'm at 550 hours and I haven't started writing yet.

My first rough draft of the intro probably took 3 months over the summer at 30 hours/week, so 450. It is about 100 pages long. Each additional draft probably took 150 each. Now I'm at 1,300 hours. I only used about 200-250 references. I didn't use the entire 300 references.

Methods: Writing up the method probably only took 100 hours. However, I needed to find previous research to justify some of my combined variables. That took me an extra 200 hours and needed to be approved by my advisor. Now I'm at 1,600 hours. This ended up being another literature search of another 50 articles based on methods only.

My advisor was very difficult with the analysis. I think I did about 10 drafts. I made some mistakes and was given books to read. The first draft took the longest because I actually had to run and relearn how to do some analysis. I'm guessing 300 hours for the first draft and 100 hours for each additional draft. This includes about 80 graphs and tables that need to be formatted correctly. Now, I'm at 2,800 total.

The discussion was the easiest. Maybe 200 hours for the first draft and 100 hours for two additional drafts. Now I'm up to 3,100 total.

At the very end, it had been 6 years since the first draft, so I was asked to add to the introduction based on research over the last 6 years. This was another 300 hours of finding 50-75 articles and adding about 40-50 new articles to the paper. Now I'm at 3,400. Add another 100 hours for final formatting and I'm at 3,500 hours.


rachellynn99

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2020, 10:09:07 AM »
I just defended my PhD from Texas Tech on Monday May 4th. Minor revisions which I have already turned in.

Course work ( 86 hours) took me 3.5 years which included every summer. Qualifying exams took a semester. Dissertation took 22 months with varying amounts of work per week. There were weeks I did nothing and weeks I probably worked on it 40 hours. I would say probably an average of 12 hours per week though.

Mine was a 5 chapter dissertation with Chapter 2 being the death of me. IRB took a month, pilot study data collection took another month, full scale was 6 weeks, then another month for analysis. Overall my dissertation was about 120 pages.

Glad to be finished and probably wouldn't have done it, if I would have known then what I know now type of thing.

nereo

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2020, 10:55:33 AM »
Thought this would be appropriate to share here:


Obviously not # of hours but length of dissertation
note:  not my graph or data.

FWIW both my MSc and PhD took fairly long, with extensive field seasons in very remote sites. 
My PhD involved over 4,000 hours in the field, a mere 350 hours in class, probably another 500 on coursework, and (estimated) 1,000 hours spent writing.
So - at/around 6,000 hours over 5.5 years.

Dogastrophe

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2020, 01:27:25 PM »
I bailed after the first year of a Masters of Engineering (20 years ago this Sept!). I ended up going the easy MBA route. Mad props to y'all for sticking with it for multiple years. 

HenryDavid

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2020, 09:04:31 AM »
I know this sidesteps the question, but . . . .
you don't start down the path of a PhD, and eventually a research/teaching position, if you're gonna count hours.

When I was a prof students sometimes asked how they could decide whether to do a PhD.
I always said "only if you just can't stop yourself, should you do it. "
Then the hours calculation doesn't matter.

CheapScholar

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2020, 03:23:31 PM »
I respect the PhDs a lot.  I did my JD and that was hard work.  I had some lengthy Directed Readings and did a legal thesis but nothing close to a real thesis that needed to be defended. 

Now I’m doing an LLM degree.  I could have done a JSD degree (tuition is free for me either way) but I just couldn’t imagine doing the thesis.

FIPurpose

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2020, 04:25:47 PM »
Been thinking a lot about doing a Maters/Phd for Computer Science. That chart is actually a bit relieving to know that the average CS thesis is only 140 pages or so. That actually makes it sound a lot more doable. lol.

SunnyDays

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2020, 09:01:07 PM »
Been thinking a lot about doing a Maters/Phd for Computer Science. That chart is actually a bit relieving to know that the average CS thesis is only 140 pages or so. That actually makes it sound a lot more doable. lol.

Seems like the harder sciences have shorter theses.  And probably a quarter of the paper will be a list of references.




nereo

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2020, 04:31:25 AM »
Writing the actual thesis was an almost bizarre experience.  Mine was 228 pages before references, and took me a solid year to write (actually a bit longer), not including all the text I repurposed from previous publications.

On average I’d finish just a few sentences per day.  Often 8-10 hour days.  But the realty was there would be some days with little progress at all, where I’d write and re-write the same paragraph for hours.  Then I’d manage t get several pages written, only to go back and delete all of it when the model didn’t fit or the track changed.  Whole weeks went by when I seemed to make zero progress.

Just settling on the wording within a sentence could be maddening.  In normal conversation people might say something like: “we’ve know that predators can control prey populations for over a century”.  In the thesis I’d scratch the word “know” to something else (‘believe’...?), and then reference the history of predator-prey studies.

Thesis meetings (infrequent with my advisor) were another horror. I remember finally having a sense of accomplishment as one chapter was nearing completion before I met with my advisor.  45 minutes later I went back to my (tiny) office and deleted a month’s worth of writing.

Gerard

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2020, 07:18:00 AM »
Seems like the harder sciences have shorter theses.  And probably a quarter of the paper will be a list of references.

Or tables that summarize days of work. I worked in a field that spanned disciplines, and I was always having to convince my colleagues that a couple of tables in my students' theses were the equivalent of 40 pages of argumentation in theirs.

Ze Stash

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2020, 09:32:39 AM »
Seems like the harder sciences have shorter theses.  And probably a quarter of the paper will be a list of references.

Or tables that summarize days of work. I worked in a field that spanned disciplines, and I was always having to convince my colleagues that a couple of tables in my students' theses were the equivalent of 40 pages of argumentation in theirs.

+1 on the tables. My Masters was in Economics/Finance and I spent roughly 12 months on my model and data analysis and only about 1 1/2 months actually writing the thesis in the end. It also ended up not being that long at 60 pages not including references and appendix. My supervisor knew how much time and effort went into the analysis so was able to honor that though. I'm glad I only started writing everything up when the analysis was finalized, otherwise I would have had to start over countless times, whenever I realized another flaw in my model or analysis.

OtherJen

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #33 on: July 06, 2020, 01:26:23 PM »
Been thinking a lot about doing a Maters/Phd for Computer Science. That chart is actually a bit relieving to know that the average CS thesis is only 140 pages or so. That actually makes it sound a lot more doable. lol.

I hate to tell you this, but my immunology dissertation was 160 pages (so within the box plot). It still took me 5.5 years to finish that degree.

OtherJen

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #34 on: July 06, 2020, 01:28:33 PM »
Seems like the harder sciences have shorter theses.  And probably a quarter of the paper will be a list of references.

Or tables that summarize days of work. I worked in a field that spanned disciplines, and I was always having to convince my colleagues that a couple of tables in my students' theses were the equivalent of 40 pages of argumentation in theirs.

Or months or years of work. I had one image of a Southern blot in my dissertation that represented an entire summer of failures and one extremely happy result in August. The tables and graphs of data from mouse experiments represented 3 years of work.

OtherJen

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #35 on: July 06, 2020, 01:29:58 PM »
I know this sidesteps the question, but . . . .
you don't start down the path of a PhD, and eventually a research/teaching position, if you're gonna count hours.

When I was a prof students sometimes asked how they could decide whether to do a PhD.
I always said "only if you just can't stop yourself, should you do it. "
Then the hours calculation doesn't matter.

This is the best advice. A PhD doesn't make sense if it isn't a labor of love. Financially and socially, you're probably better off with a master's or even a bachelor's in some fields.

clarkfan1979

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Re: estimated hours for a MA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation
« Reply #36 on: July 06, 2020, 05:00:56 PM »
I think I need to clarify.

It took me 5.5 years and 3,500 hours total for the dissertation only.

If we are counting everything, grad school was 7 years full-time (45 hours/week) and an additional 4 years part-time (10 hours/week), which is about 18,500 hours total. This breaks down to 3,500 hours for the dissertation only and 15,000 hours for everything else.