Do you Need a Masters to Get a PhD?

So, you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree successfully with outstanding grades and incredible research skills. Well, one of your biggest dreams is to become a doctor of philosophy in your relevant area; but a master’s degree lies in between. Thus, you want to know: do you need a Masters to get a PhD? Or is it possible to continue a PhD without a master’s degree?

However, the customary path to get a PhD is to obtain a bachelor’s degree preceded by a master’s degree, then comes the PhD. Nonetheless, a few students prefer to avoid a master’s degree to get enrolled in a doctoral program in order to complete their studies earlier.

So, stick to this article till the end to get the answer, can you get a PhD without a masters?

Do you Need a Masters to Get a PhD?

Not necessarily!

A master’s degree is not essentially required to get a PhD. There are plenty of universities that offer PhD without masters right after bachelor’s completion. These organizations do not demand students to get a master’s degree to fulfill the admission criteria.

In other cases, some PhD programs allow students to bypass a master’s degree and enroll in the doctorate degree directly after the bachelor’s degree. Several institutes also offer dual enrollment programs. These programs allow students to acquire a master’s graduate degree during their PhD.

Anyhow, plenty of educational institutes offer one-year master’s programs that are useful for students to save their time for the enrollment of a PhD. This master’s degree provides students with more discoverability opportunities before going for a doctoral program.

Now, you know that you can get a PhD without a master. But also consider some of the pros and cons of skipping a master’s degree to get a PhD.

Benefits of Skipping a Master’s Degree

When you bypass a masters to directly enroll in a PhD program, you would find various advantages of doing it.

Timing Opportunities

Sometimes, enrolling in a master’s degree may reduce the opportunities to acquire a doctoral degree for students. When you skip this program, you can afford to get enrolled in a PhD program of your choice and get an opportunity to write a research paper to fulfill your dream.

Time and Cost-Efficient

It is obvious that enrolling in a doctoral program directly after the bachelor’s degree absolutely saves you time and money as well. You don’t have to spend two years obtaining a master’s degree. Also, you would save money from the master’s degree fees.

More Time for Research

If you want more time to complete your PhD research, then avoiding a master’s degree is worth it. When you enroll in a master’s program, your time would be limited to get your PhD dissertation done. It would become challenging to set up and execute the long-term projects required for your thesis. However, enrolling straight to PhD provides you adequate time to do elaborated research and conduct other tasks for the best output.

More Funding Opportunities

Funding is another amazing benefit of enrolling in a PhD program. Most PhD programs offer students with full or partial funding along with a stipend over their tuition waiver. There are a number of external funding opportunities as well including major fellowships and national scholarships that prefer PhD students overmasters.

Better Job Opportunities

If you’re only a master’s degree holder, but with a good experience in your relevant field, a PhD scholar would still get a good designation without even any experience. Even many universities prefer candidates with PhDs for teaching and lecturer positions.

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Drawbacks of Skipping a Master’s Degree

While deciding between masters vs PhD, consider some downsides of skipping the master’s degree. 

Identify your Area of Interest

There are voluminous research projects in different areas that make it difficult to pick a research topic for your dissertation. However, doing masters helps students understand their area of interest and provides them an opportunity to try out innovative strategies of research without any risk of loss.

Less Time to Obtain Research Skills

Moving straight to a PhD program is a drastic change to your academic period. It’s just like skipping a massive step and climbing the following one. You need to start the ball rolling to develop your research skills quickly. Since a master’s program helps students enhance their research and critical skills that you might need to start over.

No Master’s Degree

If you decide to withdraw from a master’s degree and enroll in a PhD program directly, they would end up completing their education without any degree. However, in case you don’t complete your PhD, you won’t have a Master’s degree.

Limited Universities Experience

Usually, students acquire their bachelor’s degree from one university, master’s degree from another, or get their PhD done from a different institute. Every organization holds a different environment that provides students with an opportunity to explore. Hence, skipping a master’s degree may restrict your university exposure.

Can You Get a PhD without a Bachelor’s Degree?

Rarely, but yes!

There are exceptional cases. You can earn a level doctorate without bachelors, but you need to stay active in your area of interest. You would have to demonstrate that you contribute actively in your work, study, career, academic tasks, and self-interested projects, and now you wish to get a PhD.

Your elongated experience in your field would require you to have vast knowledge in your field of interest. Your work should present your existing knowledge to meet the criteria.

How does a PhD without a Masters Work?

In masters vs PhD, If you consider getting a PhD without a masters, make sure to acquire a bachelor’s degree. Moreover, you should show compelling academic performance in your bachelor’s program. Make sure that you have all the academic skills required to tackle a PhD program.  If you strive to get a PhD without a master’s degree, submit a great and convincing research proposal and prove yourself as a capable researcher.

Take Away

So, do you need a masters to get a PhD? Not really! You can get a PhD without a Master by just obtaining a bachelor’s degree. taking this path towards your PhD has got plentiful benefits that save you effort, time, and money. In addition, jumping directly to PhD, make sure to consider some of its drawbacks as well. Also, work on developing your research skills and identify your field of interest.

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Statham Beau

Statham is an educator, writer, and a content strategist. He is the senior content strategist and head at Scholarly Help holding a sum of 10 years of global experience. Statham helps firms and organizations of all sizes and expertise to build numerous pieces of content online. He also teaches at Strayer University, Virginia as a research expert, who instructs students to write slaying research papers, thesis, and dissertations.