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What Is The Average Dissertation Length?

Published by at March 4th, 2024 , Revised On March 5, 2024

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to answering the question, “How long should my dissertation be?”. However, the standard is as follows. 

Shorter Dissertations

Some fields or programs may have shorter dissertation requirements, particularly in disciplines where the research tends to be more focused or where a shorter document suffices to convey the research findings. In such cases, dissertations might range from 50 to 100 pages or even shorter.

Average-Length Dissertations

For many doctoral programs, particularly in the humanities, social sciences, and some STEM fields, the average dissertation length falls between 150 and 300 pages. This length allows for a thorough exploration of the research topic, a review of literature, methodology, data analysis, and a discussion of findings.

Longer Dissertations

In certain scientific or technical fields and interdisciplinary studies, dissertations can be longer, ranging from 300 to 500 pages or more. These longer dissertations often involve extensive data collection, complex analyses, multiple experiments or case studies, and detailed discussion of results and implications.

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Factors Affecting Dissertation Length

There are a number of factors that contribute to the length, including

Field of Study

Your dissertation depends on your discipline. Humanities and social sciences usually have a lower average word count compared to sciences and engineering because the latter requires extensive data analysis and experimentation. 

University Requirements

Most universities have certain specific guidelines influenced by department and faculty expectations. It is important to go through them before you start writing. 

Research Methodology

The complexity of the research design and methodology can impact the length. Dissertations having comprehensive data collection might need additional space for detailed justification. 

Literature Review

Depending on how novel your research topic is, the length of your literature review varies. If there is a lot of research done on your variables, your dissertation will be longer. 


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About Alvin Nicolas

Avatar for Alvin NicolasNicolas has a master's degree in literature and a PhD degree in statistics. He is a content manager at ResearchProspect. He loves to write, cook and run. Nicolas is passionate about helping students at all levels.