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How Long Is a Dissertation Supposed to Be? Let’s Find Out!

How long is a dissertation? This is a question that practically every doctorate student poses at some period. It is not a novel question; it is posed every time an academic paper is given, not only for a dissertation.

The truth is there isn’t a recognised answer to the question. A more acceptable one would be “long enough to answer the research question.” Although not a satisfying response, it is the best from the standpoint of any academic professional.

This article comprehensively answers this question and offers a solid dissertation length guide. So let’s get straight to it!

How long is a dissertation paper?

The length of a dissertation, like many areas of academia, is multifaceted and varies by the subject of study. Multiple factors influence it, such as discipline, kind of analysis, and study area.

The institution of study may also determine the dissertation page length or the number of words.

However, using a generic description, the length of dissertation ranges between 150 and 300 pages. A good number of written dissertations fall within this range, but many still fall out of it.

For some people, a dissertation length of 140 pages is enough, but you might write to page 140 and still have a lot to write on your topic. Others can write 100 pages and sufficiently address their research problems and solutions. Similarly, some students write 200 pages and still have ways to go before finishing.

Every topic is distinct, as is each writer’s writing style. But several websites provide particular answers to an average dissertation length that are plain incorrect. This is because dissertations, by design, vary far too much to be tied down to a specific word or page count.

How long is a college thesis?

A thesis written in college is a bachelor’s thesis. This academic paper format is less demanding and intensive than its graduate or doctorate counterparts. An undergraduate thesis should be about 40 to 60 pages long.

However, the appropriate duration of a thesis project is determined by faculty guidelines and the directions of the supervising professor. The length is also determined by the complexities of the topic and the degree of research conducted.

How long is a thesis – the general approach

A thesis is an academic document presented for a professional qualification or an academic degree, which holds the writer’s findings and research. Typically, a thesis is part of a master’s or a bachelor’s course, while a dissertation is part of a doctorate.

In some countries, dissertations apply to both master’s and doctorate courses. For example, most institutions in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom use the term graduate thesis. This can represent both master’s theses and doctoral dissertations.

A thesis is typically around 40 to 60 pages long. This refers to bachelor’s programs and not master’s or doctorate. A master’s and doctorate thesis are much longer.

Master thesis length

A master’s thesis is typically between 50 and 80 pages long, not counting the bibliography. However, the length will vary depending on the topic and style of research, so you and your committee will select the suitable length. Students who write a master’s thesis are usually given two semesters to complete it. It is physically draining to write in a semester, so this gives enough time to analyse and test results.

PhD dissertation length

A PhD dissertation word count in most subjects will be 60,000 to 80,000 long, excluding footnotes, bibliography, and appendices. If the dissertation is longer than 100,000 words, the student must inform their supervising professor.


A thesis or dissertation length varies with the level of education, institution, discipline and the actual topics involved. Therefore, it would be best to always check with your dissertation committee and department to understand the length required. In some cases, there is leeway for writing a dissertation, while others give specific word or page count rules to follow.

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