Sunday, July 31, 2016

Graduate Study: Full-Time vs Part-Time

A lot of students ask me which is better, full-time or part-time graduate study. Full-time study would mean that the student will take courses and write a thesis without other 'work' commitments. Part-time study on the other hand allows the student to have other 'work', such as being an instructor, in addition to taking courses and writing a thesis. I have done both, my MS was part-time and, currently, my PhD in full-time.

Part Time


  • The student earns while studying because he/she is employed.
  • The student can improve on his/her teaching skills.
  • Student may be given reduced teaching load.

  • Difficult to focus on research because of teaching-related activities such as grading and meetings.
Full Time

  • Can focus more on research and hopefully finish on time.
  • Can earn additional income if student is on study leave with pay.
  • Increased opportunity to travel because of more free time.

  • Dependent on scholarship for financial support.
  • Limited opportunity to practice teaching.

Essentially, it all depends on the student. Even if a student is doing the study part-time but has good time management skills, it is possible to finish on time.