10 Youngest Ph.D. Holders In History (Age, Location)

Youngest Ph.D. Holders In History: Every academic guru’s goal in life is to be one of history’s top-ranked Ph.D. holders among those under the age of thirty.

Most graduates who are thinking about pursuing a postgraduate degree are undecided. This can be the consequence of additional years of education, in-depth research, and the time required to become an expert in their subject.

When it comes to choosing the correct field of study, though, it may be a challenging but rewarding process.

To help you stay motivated, we’ve produced a list of some of the most impressive Ph.D. recipients in history, all under the age of 30.

Who is a Ph.D Holder?

Ph.D. is the abbreviation of Doctor of Philosophy. To teach at the university level in most countries or to have an advanced position within one’s field of study, one must hold an advanced academic or professional degree such as this.

‘Philosophy’ is derived from the Greek term Philosophia, which means ‘”love of wisdom” in English. One who has obtained a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of contemporary society was considered to be a person with a college degree.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree still demands a love of intelligence, but it is now reserved for those who have pursued knowledge in a much more specialized discipline.

Who are the Top 10 Youngest Ph.D. Holders In History?

  • Balamurali Ambati at Age 17
  • Kim Ung-Yong at Age 15
  • Karl Witte at Age 13
  • Akshay Venkatesh at age 20
  • Erik Demaine at Age 20
  • Charles Homer Haskins at Age 19
  • Juliet Beni at Age 19
  • Sho Yano at Age 18
  • Norbert Wiener at Age 17
  • Ruth Lawrence at Age 17

Balamurali Ambati – Earned Ph.D. at Age 17:

Balamurali Ambati is an Indian-born, US-based ophthalmologist. According to his parents, he was already able to do calculus at the age of four, a feat that most teenagers find challenging. At the age of 11, he co-authored a research paper on the topic of AIDS.

At the age of 13, he graduated from New York University and then went on to Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

In 1995, he graduated at the age of 17 and became the youngest doctor in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

Balamural went on to complete much of the medical training he needed later in life. Until now, he has been the youngest practicing doctor in the world at the age of 24.

A number of people can benefit from his knowledge and skills today because of it. He is involved in research projects and performs sophisticated surgeries and medical treatments around the world and abroad.

With all these, he became one of the top 10 youngest Ph.D. Holders in history and in the world.

Kim Ung-Yong – Earned Ph.D. at Age 15:

Kim Ung Yong is a South Korean child prodigy who once held the Guinness Book of World Records title for the highest IQ ever achieved, with a tally of 210 points.

The Korean alphabet and 1,000 Chinese characters were reported to have been second nature to him at that age. He authored a best-selling book at the age of 3 and was already adept at solving calculus-based issues.

He was accepted into Grant High School, Los Angeles, when he was just 5 years old after impressing the school’s administration.

Aside from that, he was featured on Fuji TV in Japan and demonstrated his expertise in solving differential equations.

For his master’s degree and NASA job, he was just 8 years old. He attended the University of Colorado in Boulder to study nuclear physics. One of the youngest Ph.D. holders in history, he was just 15.

This success didn’t always bring happiness to young Ung-Young, however. Therefore, he cautions that academic excellence does not equate to success and achievement.

As  youngest person to get a Ph.D. in South Korea, he’s currently a professor at Chungbuk National University, where he can assist others realize their full potential.

Karl Witte – Earned Ph.D. at Age 13:

Karl Witte, the youngest-ever Ph.D. recipient, was born in 1800 and died in 1883, making him the record holder. He was a kid model for his father’s book, “The Training of the Child.”

It was at the age of 9 when Witte was able to communicate in several different languages.

Karl was a Ph.D. student at the University of Giessen in Germany when he was just 13 years old. Because of this, he holds the record for the world’s youngest Ph.D. holder, one that has yet to be broken.

For his studies in Italy in 1818, it is believed that he went there and became a lawyer. A love for reading led him to become an expert on Dante, an Italian poet.

Karl Witte is one of the youngest Ph.D. holders in history.

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Ruth Lawrence – Earned Ph.D. at Age 17:

Mathematical genius Ruth Lawrence, a native of England, earned an O’level and an A in pure mathematics at the tender age of 9. She is one of the youngest Ph.D. holders in the world.

In 1985, at the age of 13, she became the youngest British individual to get a first-class degree and graduate from Oxford University in modern times. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics the following year.

She earned her PhD in mathematics from Oxford University when she was 17, and went on to become a junior fellow at Harvard University when she was 19. She later rose to the rank of associate professor at the University of Michigan.

While in Israel, Ruth accepted a position as an associate professor of mathematics at the Einstein Institute for Mathematical Research at the Hebrew University.

Algebraic Topology and Knot theory are two areas in which she has made significant contributions.

Akshay Venkatesh – Earned Ph.D. at age 20:

Akshay Venkatesh, an Australian of Indian origin, was born magnificent. At the age of 11, he competed in the 24th International Physics Olympiad in Williamsburg, Virginia, and won a bronze medal.

A year after his Physics Olympiad success, he moved to mathematics and won two more medals. He finished his secondary studies at 13.

Akshay then enrolled in the University of Western Australia, where he graduated three years later, at the age of 16, with First Class Honours in Pure Mathematics.

This year’s finest graduate from the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Dentistry, and Medicine, J.A. Woods Memorial Prize.

His thirst for knowledge led him to Princeton University, where he received his Ph.D. in 2002, at the age of 20. This makes him one of the world’s youngest Ph.D.

After obtaining his Ph.D. at MIT in 2002, he became a Clay Research Fellow. He is currently a professor at Stanford University. He is a respected mathematician who has contributed to various fields of mathematics.

Charles Homer Haskins – Earned Ph.D. at Age 19:

Charles Homer Haskins is the Johns Hopkins University’s youngest-ever PhD recipient. As a child, he was a prodigy, speaking Latin and Greek with ease.

While attending Johns Hopkins University, he received his degree at the age of just 16. A few years after that, at just 19 years of age, he graduated from the same university with a PhD in physics.

At Johns Hopkins University, he was hired as a professor in 1890 before moving to Wisconsin University to teach. A graduate studies program that he created at Harvard is still being used today.

The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century, which he wrote in 1927, is widely regarded as the first medieval history book written in the United States.

Haskins may not have been enough of a professor without a smattering of politics thrown in. As a member of President Woodrow Wilson’s World War I-era committee on territorial issues, he was instrumental in helping to find solutions.

Haskins was also a member of the United States delegation to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, which was held in the city. With his solution to the German issue in mind, he presented it to the conference and it was adopted.

Juliet Beni – Earned Ph.D. at Age 19:

Juliet Beni was a senior in high school when she was just 15 years old. She earned her doctorate in psychology from the University of California, Riverside in 2012. She also graduated as the University of California’s youngest ever Ph.D. holder.

A doctor is her longtime ambition, thus she’s enrolled in the University of California, Irvine, in the Haider program in Biomedical Science to pursue that objective.

She plans to attend the University of California, Los Angeles, to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. Juliet Beni is one of the youngest Ph.D. holders in world/history.

Sho Yano – Earned Ph.D. at Age 18:

In terms of IQ, Sho Timothy Yano was considered something of a genius at the age of eight. His ability to read and write at the age of two, play the piano at the age of 4, and compose music at the age of five were all attributed to him.

When he was 8, he took the SAT, which was considered a stress test, and scored 1500 out of 1600. Upon completing his ninth grade year at the American School of Correspondence, he enrolled at Loyola University Chicago, where he received his bachelor’s degree at the age of twelve.

At the age of 18, Yano became the youngest Ph.D. holder in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Chicago.

Norbert Wiener – Earned Ph.D. at Age 17:

Norbert Wiener, a Columbian-born German great artist, was another. Math was Norbert’s father’s primary subject of instruction when he was a child.

Ayer High School and Tufts College were both his high schools of choice when he was 11 years old (now called Tufts University). After graduating from high school at the age of 14 in 1909, he received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

Norbert didn’t go on to get his master’s or doctorate right away in his chosen field of study. Before returning to mathematics, he studied biology and philosophy. In 1912, at the age of 17, he received his Ph.D. from Havard University, making him the university’s youngest ever Ph.D. holder.

A lifelong learner and adventurer, he spent time working as a journalist and contributing to the development of anti-aircraft artillery during WWII.

Finally, he was the father of cybernetics and made groundbreaking work that helped shape the field we know today.

How old are most PhD students?

Applicants to PhD programs in OECD countries average 29 years old, with 60% of those applying being between the ages of 26 and 37. Around 25% of doctoral students in OECD countries are from outside the country.

Is 27 too old for PhD?

There is no upper age limit for PhD students. However, most people begin at an early age.

Be aware that as competition for PhDs rises, so does the average age of those seeking them. With a little bit of practice and dedication, you should be good to go.

Who is the youngest graduate in the world?

On the list of the world’s ten youngest professors, Michael Kearney ranks #1.

In 1994, at the age of ten, Michael Kearney graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in anthropology.

Laurent, who graduated from high school at the age of eight after just one year and a half of study, became the youngest person ever to do so.

Up until this point, despite being diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD), he managed to outperform every expectation, and amazed the world with his exceptional talents and intellect.

At the age of ten, he graduated from college, setting a record for the youngest college grad in the world that has not yet been broken.

Read more: How long does it take to get a Doctorate Degree?

Frequently Asked Questions about the Youngest Ph.D. Holders In History:

Can you finish Ph.D. in 3 years?

A PhD can be completed in three years, yes. These things can definitely happen, but only if you’ve got the support and persistence of a large group plus a lot of luck.

A typical PhD student will spend anything from four to eight years completing their degree.

What can you do with a PhD in history?

  • Grant writer.
  • Public affairs specialist.
  • Research fellow.
  • Curator.
  • Editor.

At what age did Charles Homer Haskins earn his PhD?

He earned it at the age of 19, at Johns Hopkins University.


Most graduates who consider pursuing a post-graduate degree often second-guess themselves. This can be due to extra years of schooling, research, and time spent becoming a specialist in their specialty.

Choosing the correct field of study can be a difficult, yet ultimately rewarding process.

Awesome one, I hope this article answered your question.

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Paschal Uchechukwu
Paschal Uchechukwu

Paschal Uchechukwu Christain is a professional and passionate SEO writer on Education, including homeschool, college tips, high school, and travel tips.

He has been writing articles for over 5 years. He is the Chief Content Officer at School & Travel.

Paschal Uchechukwu Christain holds a degree in Computer Science from a reputable institution. Also, he is passionate about helping people get access to online money-making opportunities.

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