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PhD seeking spouse


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  • 4 weeks later...

PhDs take at least 4 years counting coursework and dissertation writing time at reputable schools. Typically the first two years are coursework (subject area as well as research methods, statistics, data analysis, etc.) and of course teaching a class or two for the department/school. The last two years are teaching classes in your subject area/department while also researching and writing your dissertation. So any advice we could offer would be dependent upon your spouse's goals, subject area, and geographic location. Are they going to relocate to do this? Are they going to try a distanced based program? The 4 year commitment helps the school gain some value from you for paying a stipend for the degree earned. When I was at Pitt, the PhD stipend was about $18,000 a year and tuition was waived for all classes (I'd hope the stipend has gone up since I was there). I got a notice last month that Carnegie Mellon's Business Technology (BIT) PhD program is offering about $32,000 a year stipend for new students.

If your spouse chooses a distance based program, make sure it is accredited and realize in academia there is a stigma to view distance based PhDs as second tier even from decent schools. At my University, in the College of Business, we don't hire tenure track faculty who don't have their PhD from an accredited in-residence university. We hire adjunct and short time faculty lecturers from other programs, but not tenure track faculty. I'm not sure about the humanities and other disciplines as far as hiring decisions, but have your spouse do some research before they spend money and time on a degree that might not pay for itself.

If you want to earn a decent wage as a faculty, get a degree in business, engineering, or computer science. The other disciplines (English, Art, History, Science, etc) pay far less. And in the business school, accounting and finance generally pay the most followed by Computer Tech/Management Info Systems.

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