I am an international PhD student in Industrial Engineering at one of the average university. I have completed one year of my study. I already have an MBA from India. So it made sense to do PhD as I was very enthusiastic about this. I have good GRE scores, good academic history. I got TA position and funding for my first year. So I eagerly joined. But the moment I came here, I see new things each day: favoritism, racism. All the PhD students are made to complete 9 courses (just like MS students except the core courses), which doesn’t make sense as I already had my masters. I got scholarships for 4 courses each semester but was forced to take only 3 courses each semester citing work pressure. Now I have got an RA position, but this doesn’t have anything to do with actual research. I am made to sit in a local company with the workload of a full-time employee. This position is not in anyway related to my research proposal or dissertation topic. For my research, I will have to work concurrently with this RA position.
This is not I wanted. I wanted to work on my PhD in a lab, on the real problems. And not work for a company on shitty stipend and made to work as a regular employee. Moreover, my adviser is short-tempered, humiliates his students, yells, and bully. I have made up my mind to not be trapped in this environment for 4 more years.
What can I do now? I want to at least get a masters as I have a loan back in my country so, can’t go back. I have three more courses left. Whom should I talk to? Can they force me to do PhD? or if I quit with MS, can they ask me for full payment of fees? Can they not allow me to quit with MS?
I can’t go and ask dept. secretary because my advisor will get to know my intentions from her. For MS we need to complete 9 courses plus thesis. I have so far done 6 courses. I plan to take 3 courses this semester. All the PhD students are required to do this coursework even if they already have MS degree from USA. The MS students have to do 9 courses (2 doctoral level) from a certain list. The phd students have to do 9 courses(4 doctoral level). These doctoral level courses have the core subjects as prerequisites. The department head is very shrewd favoring a certain section of students. Even for such MS students, he waived off GRE scores and core courses. I know when he will get to know my intentions, he will try to block my graduation and scare me. I am just worried that after completing all courses, they don’t block my MS.
Thanks in advance!