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US vs UK PhD


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I'm a graduate student in the humanities, and I'm seriously considering undertaking my PhD work in the UK, for a variety of reasons (e.g. stellar faculty in my discipline, shorter time to complete the degree (3-4 yrs instead of 6-7 yrs in the US), easier access to certain research facilities in Europe). Does anyone have any thoughts on the pros and cons of earning a PhD in the UK as opposed to the US? Especially in terms of future job placement in the US as a university professor? Thanks!

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If you did not complete your MPhil or MST in the UK, I would worry about the lack of training and teaching experience you would receive while writing your DPhil. This might have an adverse effect when you return to the states without having taken methods courses, taught any large freshman surveys, or had the hands-on support an American university provides.

Don't get me wrong -- UK universities are great, and they provide much of the same training as a US uni. It's just that the systems are not aligned to provide the same training at the same time in one's career. I would look into what you would be missing out on by jumping ship halfway through your academic voyage.

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Thanks, Minnesotan. I'm actually going to earn my MPhil in the UK. So, if anything, I'd jump ship the other way around. I'm thinking ahead to PhD now because I don't know if I really want to move to England to get my MPhil only to move back to the States (all that money for moving!) one year later. I'd rather commit to the idea of staying there for the full ride. I've also heard, though I have to ask the individual schools about this, that TAing as a PhD candidate is possible in the UK. There students apply for TA positions, unlike in the US. I also wonder if UK PhD students have the *time* to publish, given the brief duration of the degree.

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