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How is life different when you're in masters vs PhD program?


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A little background: I went straight from undergrad into a master's program, then after I graduated I took 2 years off from school to work and get some "real world" experience.This fall I'll be heading back to school for a PhD. I feel like I have a general idea of what to expect from having done my master's program, but at the same time, I'm also expecting the PhD to be way harder/more time consuming.

So here's my question for those of you who have done both: How was your experience (in terms of time, work/life balance, intensity, etc.) different between your master's and PhD programs?

I know this will vary by discipline but I'd appreciate any thoughts. Thanks!

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My experience was actually that the coursework in my PhD program was easier than the coursework in my master's (I went to two different institutions) and you weren't expected to take as many classes. Why? The emphasis was on research and getting started on your dissertation. I also spent much more time applying for grants as a PhD student. Overall though, my work/life balance was about the same.

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