Figure

II-29d: Median Years Working on the Dissertation,* by Primary Type of Financial Support and Broad Field of Study,** for PhDs Graduating 2011–2013

* The median estimated time in coursework and exams cannot be directly compared to the total median time in program used in Indicators II-29a and II-29b because the questions about time in particular stages of doctoral study are worded differently. (See “About the Data” for details.)
** Life sciences includes agricultural sciences and natural resources; biological and biomedical sciences; and health sciences. Physical sciences includes mathematics and computer and information sciences. Social sciences includes psychology.
Source: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED; a custom tabulation of SED data was prepared for the Humanities Indicators by NORC at the University of Chicago).

The median estimated time working on the dissertation cannot be directly compared to the total median time in program used in Indicators II-29a and II-29b because the questions about time in particular stages of doctoral study are worded differently. The question on the dissertation stage reads, “After coursework and exams, how many years did you work on your dissertation (non-course related preparation or research, writing, and defense)?” and asks respondents to round to whole years.

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