I planning to drop out of a PhD program after one semester because of my encounter with a professor with little experience.

This professor is also very intervening, non-perceptable, unapproachable, and worst of all, willing to go to any extent to sabotage my career.

The advisor altered credits of some courses to make sure that even though I got As in those courses, they will have a tiny efect on my cumulative average grade.
Obviously, when I apply for another university, the fact that I’ve quit and my average grade will raise some questions.

So, what can I say in my statement of purpose that will put my quitting in the best possible light?

I planning to drop out of a PhD program after one semester and apply to another top university for a PhD program. This is because of my encounter with a professor with little experience and who is very intervening, non-perceptable, unapproachable and worst of all willing to go to any extent to sabotage your career. The advisor meddled with credits to make sure that I cannot be in good academic standing even though I got A’s in courses. Obviously, I have to submit my transcripts from all universities, and my quitting and grade will raise some questions. So, what can I say in my statement of purpose (or anywhere, I suppose) that will put my quitting in the best possible light?

Thanks in advance for all your help!

I am in community college, and I emailed my calc prof a few days ago asking if he could give me a LoR so I can transfer.

I’m not close to him on a personal level, but he knows who I am and I have been involved in the class (going to office hours, attending review sessions, sitting in the front, etc.) I also gotta B in his class. I mean I could go ask one of my English profs, but as a Comp Sci major I feel asking a math prof would be best. Plus he knows this is my second attempt at Calculus.

The very main reason why I am asking him is because he is an alum to the school I want to transfer to, and which I am asking a LoR to. But also, he is the only prof that I have been somewhat willingly involved in the class.

He hasn’t responded to my email for a few days, should I give it more time? He has office hours tomorrow, but I don’t want to take it away from the students using it for review for our finals next week. Should I wait till after finals to follow up? This isn’t a university I’m at, it’s only community college so like the classes aren’t that big, so he know who I am and stuff. It’s not even due until June 1st, but the admissions is rolling admissions so it’s not the decisions are all out at once. So I just think I’ll set the due date to a month whenever after he agrees to do it.

I’ve never done this before so I have no idea any criterias or anything. I just know that I should give him a decent amount of time, and have been told about a month seems reasonable.

Similar questions have been asked but my specific concerns have not be addressed.

Like many others, I’m currently in the first year of a PhD program (A) in US and resolve to transfer (reapply) to other programs because of unmatched research agenda here. Last year I was also admitted to another program (B) and, after communicating with the target professor there, I decide to reapply to that. For the re-application this year, logistics are simple because I could retrieve all the materials from last year and I’ve found potential reasons to convince. Of course, there is no guarantee: I could probably end up being rejected by B. If that happens, I will decide to try again next year.

Now the problem comes. I really hesitate to tell my advisor at this time (before my first attempt). If he knows and I get rejected this year, I might end up nowhere at all. Even if he lets me stay, I think it’s hard to tell about the second attempt next year without irritating him.

As in the first year of PhD I focus on coursework and get less involved with his research projects, I do not use his recommendation letter for my first attempt of transfer. That way, it seems safe to tell him only if I get accepted at my first attempt. If rejected, I will simply ignore this attempt and only tell him about my second one next year (also I will need his letter then). What’s your advice?

Additional info:

  • I’m in a social science discipline, where it’s not uncommon for students to change advisors halfway and/or simultaneously work with multiple professors within the same program. But I still resolve to transfer because there’s no other professor in my field within program A.
  • I will be funded through my current advisor’s project funding from next spring semester.
  • The target professor at program B knows my current advisor, but when I talked to him about my intention to transfer he didn’t discourage me, which is why I feel it a decent step to take.

I’m currently a first-year PhD student in the US (in the middle of the first semester). However, I’m not satisfied with the program here and want to re-apply to other programs. While doing that, can I simply exclude the current PhD program in my CV? Will it be a serious problem of credit? (I have not had any course grade, nor am I asking for recommendation letters from any professors here)

As the title says – I’ve been accepted into another (better) PhD program that is far more aligned with my interests and will be a better place for my dissertation; should I finish out my current semester of doctoral coursework or just take the “W”s and be done with it (only my 3rd semester, not ABD yet)? I don’t need these credits in my new program; further, finishing this semester is going to be a PAIN and will probably negatively effect my perfect GPA (it’s a heavier than normal load + I got behind in applying to my new program). Will withdrawing mid-semester (I’m still within the window for properly doing so) have unforeseen consequences?

Thoughts? Advice? Public Bludgeoning?

(TLDR: If I transfer from a musicology PhD to a music performance/pedagogy DMA program, would any schools give me substantial transfer credit for the elective seminars and foundation courses I took during my PhD coursework? If so, which schools might allow this?)

In short, I’ve achieved candidacy for the PhD in musicology at a well-regarded university (I have not really started writing). I also have a BM and MM in musicology. However, my reasons for pursuing musicology for all these years were not the right ones–I settled for it because at the time I felt that I would not be a competitive candidate for a performance or pedagogy degree program on my primary instrument (piano). That was probably accurate given the school I intended to (and did) attend. Then I started to think that musicology and academia might be what I actually wanted–but all the signs were there that the field is just not a good fit for me, nevermind the terrible job market. I just ignored the signs and went all the way to formulating a proposal and passing all my qualifying exams.

In the interval between starting coursework and achieving candidacy, I’ve developed as a musician and teacher to the point that I think I actually might be competitive as an applicant to some DMA programs in these areas. (I’m not expecting to get into a place like Juilliard, Eastman, Peabody, Michigan, etc.) Thus, I am wondering how feasible it would be to apply to such a program and expect to receive transfer credit or some type of seriously advanced standing for all the language requirements, musicology and theory seminars, etc. that I took for my PhD coursework. Obviously this may vary by school, so if anyone has experience in this area with a particular school, I’d love to have your endorsements.

(Editing to clarify: what I’d be seeking transfer credit for would be the 500 and 600-level history seminars I’ve taken at my current institution, not the initial Graduate Placement Exams that I’m sure every incoming DMA person has to take. I’m not worried about my ability to pass those.)

Since I have a private studio along with some other independent business pursuits, and I (largely)* intend to freelance rather than pursue academia, I’m not extremely concerned with the program’s prestige level. I just spent a lot of time in coursework in the wrong field and I’d like to recycle that course credit into something actually relevant to what I’ll be doing after graduate school. I’m also concerned that if I hold a PhD–even in a field I don’t intend to pursue afterward–I could be thought of as “overqualified” and shut out of some future job opportunities. (*I say “largely” because I might be interested in something like academic advising at the same school where my spouse will eventually be employed, though I am pretty sure most advising positions don’t require a PhD.)

Is a transfer of this type even possible? Or would every single school require me to start over with my coursework–which may include music history seminars with professors I’ve connected with at conferences (who might be wondering what happened)? I should also note that the transfer will not be possible within my current university’s School of Music, since one of my potential degree programs does not exist here and, while the other one would be tempting, I have exhausted all my financial aid eligibility with the musicology TA funding I received. I’m not worried about how this will “look” since the reason for transfer would be hugely obvious, given that I’d be jumping into a different field not offered at my current university.

Another (minor) question is whether or not schools would let me do this without asking me to go back and earn an MM in performance or pedagogy first. My MM is also in musicology and I had no official performance coursework during that degree.

Thank you for your ideas!


I’m an American who will be starting a pure math PhD at a relatively prestigious US public university later this month (I realize that it might seem pointless ask a question about a program I haven’t yet begun; however, I think that my question is basically independent of these concerns.)

Moving to Europe is one of my goals in life (just to clarify, it has been since before 2016), and while applying to grad schools I seriously contemplated studying in Germany. However, friends and former professors, as well as professors from my current PhD program, with whom I spoke while visiting, advised me that it would likely be much easier to find a research job if I completed a PhD from an American university. Based on this advice, I accepted the offer from my current program.

It seems to me now, however, that this advice is likely false—while I have heard that German academia is considered to be quite closed to outsiders, it seems that there are quite a few mathematicians with PhDs from German universities who have acquired desirable research positions outside of Germany, and my impression is that a PhD from a well-regarded German university is quite competitive on the international and the European job market. Moreover, it seems questionable to me that a PhD from a moderately/relatively prestigious American university would give one an edge in the academic job market outside the US (perhaps I’m wrong, here, though).

Given this situation, I am considering applying to a Master’s program at a certain German university which is quite strong in my area of interest, and
which also seems to have some connections with my current program (in terms of research collaboration), with the intention of completing a PhD at the same university afterward. In terms of personal preference, I would (based on prior experience) much prefer to be residing in Germany, so continuing on at my current program doesn’t seem appealing if it’s not likely to be more advantageous in terms of finding a job in Europe after finishing my PhD.


  • Is it likely that leaving my PhD program for a Master’s in Germany after a year would damage my career prospects?
  • In this or a similar set of circumstances, is it possible to leave one’s PhD program without burning bridges completely?

I have an F in calculus 1 that I took through HS via a duel credit course 7 years ago, my parents moved me schools at the time after the withdrawal date and my HS was the only with duel credit program so I was given an F. I’m retaking in the spring of 2018 at a community college since I’m taking precalc this fall. I am wanting to apply to a University that requires 3.0 gpa (which I’m above even with the F), a B or above in general chem, and a B or above in Calculus 1. The deadline for the program that I want is Dec 1 to attend Fall 2018, is there any hope that I can be accepted if at the time Chem will show Pending, calculus will still show F until Spring 2018? Would a recommendation letter from a Math teacher help? Or an academic explanation? Or are my chances already ruined?
Ps I cant apply for spring of 2019 because the program that I want doesn’t accept anyone on that term nor will scholarships be available at the time. And if I do fall 2019 I would have to take a break to avoid going over the max transfer credits.

I am an international student studying computer science starting my 3rd year at “North American University” in Houston, Texas to earn my Bachelors of Science. This university is having accreditation problems and if they do not receive a new one by December, I am screwed. I want to know where can I transfer USA/Canada/Europe in order to continue my education (at least transfer 1 year of credits worth) and not pay more than $10,000 per semester for tuition + dorm + meal plan. Current accreditation is ACICS which has been shut down by the US Department of Education. I am aiming to purse a PhD at University of Houston, although I’d love to transfer there, the price is too high ($35,000). Any advice or help is appreciated, if more info is needed, I’ll add any.

Extra info:

  • Currently pursuing Bachelors of Science in CS
  • So far earned 66 credits
  • Ideal transfer cost must not exceed $20,000 per year (including tuition, dorm, and meal plan)
  • Involved in Machine Learning Research