|The archaeology graduate student lab where I spend most of my time.|
Anthropology, or the social sciences in general, have notoriously long doctorate programs. The natural sciences are generally faster. I think that is because those fields have more funding opportunities. The average time to attain an MA and PhD in my program is about 10 years (and I believe that is faster than many other anthropology programs across the country). I know you're all gasping, but let's just break that down. In my program, that is 2 1/2 years for the master's degree and 7 1/2 years for the PhD. While a little slow, I think that's actually not completely unreasonable. In the natural sciences, I think 6 years is pretty normal for a PhD, and 7 is certainly not unheard of. In many of those programs, you often don't have to get a master's degree, you can just skip to the PhD which is not an option in the social sciences.
So, when am I going to be done? I still don't know, but of course the closer I get the easier it is to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's funny though, some of the hardest work comes at the end of the program: the actual analysis and writing the dissertation. So, the closer I get the more difficult the work becomes and it is still not easy to estimate how much longer I will be here. But, to ease your minds that I will not be spending a decade in graduate school, I'll give you my best estimate: I think I have about two years left, give or take, but please don't hold me to that!