Research in Higher Education

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 319–335 | Cite as


  • Belinda Crawford Seagram
  • Judy Gould
  • Sandra W. Pyke


A sample of factors presumed relevant to thetime required to complete doctoral degrees (TTC) wasexplored in a survey of 154 recent graduates of NaturalScience, Social Science, and Humanities doctoral programs at York University. In addition to thevariables of gender and discipline, characteristics ofthe supervisory relationship, as well as the graduate'sfinancial situation and enrollment status, were investigated. On average, respondents took5.94 years to complete their degrees with students inthe Natural Sciences the fastest completers. Althoughthere were no significant gender differences in TTC, male graduates were more satisfied withtheir doctoral education overall and the quality ofsupervision they received (from both their supervisorsand their supervisory committees) than were females. Males were also more likely to collaborate withtheir supervisors in the preparation of research papers.With respect to financial support, respondents who wereslower completers reported receiving more years of teaching assistantships. Additionally,respondents from the Natural Sciences reported receivingmore years of teaching assistantships and researchassistantships than respondents from the other disciplines. A multiple regression analysisrevealed that the following combination of variablesaccounted for 30% of the variance in TTC: beginning thedissertation research early in the program, remaining with the original topic and supervisor, meetingfrequently with supervisor, and collaborating withsupervisor on conference papers.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Belinda Crawford Seagram
  • Judy Gould
  • Sandra W. Pyke

There are no affiliations available

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