Becoming an Expert by Getting a PhD Degree

Now transforming from a PhD student to a PhD candidate takes time. It just doesn’t happen in a blink of an eye. There is a process that you must take before becoming a PhD candidate. You must complete all your school requirements. That is when you can become a PhD candidate. The main role or task that PhD candidates go through is to make sure that they finish their research. And that they have out down a dissertation. 

In student terms, PhD will be like he is completing his final coursework. When someone says that you are in PhD candidacy, this specifically means that you are undergoing PhD training. You are to spread your wings, but you still need some guidance. Now when you reach that time when you are a candidate. It is a chance for you to show that you can do things by yourself. 

Now there is no need to worry because your committee is there with you. They also understand that it is the debut time you’re doing this kind of event. So they will guide you in whatever you need to pass this section. And feel free to get help from them in case things get complex. 

After all those explanations, so many students can differentiate between being a PhD student and a PhD candidate. So it is easy to go off the topic. So we need to understand why it is so.

PhD student versus PhD candidate

Ok, we cannot deny that being a PhD student and being a PhD candidate are all roads that lead to becoming an expert in a field. There are just a few differences between these two. Below are some of the differences.

  • Lack of structure 

When doing things like coursework, there elements like structure, deadlines that you must follow. Now that you are on another step. The lecturers want them. So you submit hand in your work within a certain period. A student must have this in after every quarter. It will ensure that you have completed tasks before you move ahead. 

Once you move from being a student to a candidate, you will not have deadlines and other things like a syllabus. This whole learning is up to you. A few people still find it hard to shift from the level of having structures to the level of having no structures. 

  • Academic writing

These skills are so crucial when it comes to putting down your dissertation. It is important. It is because you will need it here more than when you needed it at the coursework level. It is like a new language and a new way of explaining things. You cannot just write ‘people know M and N.’ You must write their identity. How to know this particular theory?

When you are still a student, professors will teach you this particular language, but, as candidates, this becomes a second language.

  • Making people happy

Another difference is, when you are a candidate for a PhD, you must reduce the number of people that you are going to make happy. If you become a PhD candidate, you have to keep the committee very happy. It is because they will determine if you are moving forward or you are going to stay in the same position for another time.


Know these differences so that you don’t mix the two up. It is because you need to understand if you a student or a candidate.

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