This fall, I will be a 2nd year PhD student in Microbiology. My ultimate goal is not to work in academia, but industry or government. After being a year in the program, I started to realize a masters degree may be more aligned with my future career goals. I find I like clear cut goals for my laboratory work, and very applied research. However, I would still like to keep the option of a PhD available. I have now found out, that I may need to move to a new program. My fiancee is a 4th year medical student who has matched into a residency across the country. While I never thought I would leave a program for a person, I can’t imagine spending 4+ years long distance. Would leaving with a master’s degree from my current program burn bridges with professors? Is it even feasible to start over at a new program? I have not yet advanced to candidacy. Would it be wise to wait until after? Any advice would be wonderful.

I applied to a state university for the Fall semester the first day that applications opened for transfer students.
The admission office wrote that decisions take 8-10 weeks.
After 10 weeks, I emailed the admissions office and they told me they would have an answer in an additional 2 weeks (for a total of 14 weeks from the initial submission date).
Today, 14 weeks after my submission, I emailed them and asked if they had any update since I would have to make living arrangements if I got accepted.

They responded:

The admission committee reviewed your application and determined we
need your spring grades. We will review your application once we get
an updated transcript in May or June. Due to limited space
availability, it would be helpful to have a back up plan for the fall.

Is it common practice to give students responses in such uncertain terms?
I responded asking if there was anything I can do to speed up the answer (e.g. giving them my current grades) but didn’t receive a reply.

I’m not sure that this is relevant, but my GPA is 3.86 (which makes me wonder why they would need to see my grades).

I spent more than half a year with a PhD supervisor, and am not happy with both aspects: relationship and academically. With time, it becomes obvious that our field of research doesn’t match. He reassured me that he had sufficient knowledge on my topic, but it turns out that he doesn’t. I’d say it’s the fault on both sides (I should’ve checked his publications more).

The biggest problem is that he doesn’t want to admit it, and either only gives me a very general advice, or blames my draft as not academic enough and tell me to revise the structure before he agrees to read it, and then he’d again give a general advice. He also prefers to meet only once every two or three months. I see no career prospect here, as he’ll retire in three years, and then his department will close (I couldn’t have known that before).

I consulted another professor that I met in a conference, who also specializes in my topic, and he said that my research is solid (plus, he gave me valuable inputs that I have never received from my own supervisor). Finally, learning about my problems, the second professor offered to supervise me, and said all I need to do is to apply at his university (in another state). By the way, I have neither working nor funding contract with my current university.

I know it sounds not very ethical, but I said nothing to my supervisor until I’m officially accepted by the new university. He’s old, proud, and quirky, often taking the slightest mistake (by anyone) as a conspiracy against him. He never admits he doesn’t master my topic, so he’ll blow a fuse if I tell him that when I announce about my leaving him. I simply don’t know to answer if he asks me why (and he will certainly do). Any suggestion how to handle this well? Thank you.

Now this year I am transferring. I have researched two schools that I am interested in going to, SUNY Albany and SUNY Buffalo. If I chose to go to SUNY Albany, I would be staying at home. Of course, I will be living at SUNY Buffalo.

I will be a CS major, and SUNY Albany does not have the best CS department. The schools don’t really seem to have a lot of effort on that end. It’s rather small, the classes are more “Information Science,” rather than “Computer Science,” which are totally difference and something that I don’t want to do. I don’t wanna do IS, I wanna do CS. SUNY Albany is a great school (especially for business), but not so well for CS. Even kids that go there for CS, the ones that I have talked to, says nothing bad about it but nothing great about it either.

SUNY Buffalo, on the other hand, is probably the 2nd best with it’s CS department out of all the SUNY schools (Stony Brook is the best). There CS department has seen nothing but growth and improvement, a lot of job/internship opportunities. So they clearly beat SUNY Albany by a mile (to me). However, if I go to SUNY Buffalo, that means I would have to take out more loans than I would for Albany.

My parents are gun ho about me going to SUNY Albany, and I think the only reason is that it’s cheap and I am staying at home. While yes, that really is a big reason, I am on the other side of the fence. Obtaining a CS degree and having access to internships in a already great CS program, while Albany seems to lack this.

Is this being greedy? I am trying to not be greedy, if Albany was great for what I want I wouldn’t even be on here questioning this. I am not doing this because I wanna “go away from home,” or because of, “the name of the school,” (it’s SUNY Buffalo not Stanford). I am just looking at graduating out of college with a job more importantly, and I think my parents are just looking at the pricetag more than what the pricetag is going towards. Am I being greedy? Am I making a good choice? Should I just deal with SUNY Albany and the mediocre CS department?

If I went to SUNY Buffalo, I would have to borrow loans. I would have to take out at least $40k in loans for 2 years (I am a transfer), that will include the Federal Direct Sub. $3.5k I just got in my financial award package. I also have a strong feeling my grandfather will pay for the tuition, so take that away from the $40k loan (tuition is about $6.6k for a year).

Regardless where I go, I will be taking out loans. Just SUNY Buffalo means I will be borrowing a bit more than SUNY Albany. Really, if I go to SUNY Buffalo I would only have to take out a bit more for housing. So is going to a better school costing of a bit more.

I’m a second-year PhD student and my PI is accepting a new job. My PI has yet to confirm whether or not I can transfer with her, but I am anxious about the whole situation. Are there any circumstances where they wouldn’t let me transfer?

I’m her only student, and the other two technicians cannot come with. I am hoping that this will somehow give leverage to letting me transfer, rather than her having to move and start the lab all on her own.

Much thanks in advance for all of your assurance…

  • anthony

I was a PhD student at a Portuguese University. I was there for 3 years. However, after several problems of unethical behaviour by my supervisor and some other problems with higher position professors, that I don’t bother talking about, I decided to transfer my PhD to another university in another country in the EU. However, I’ve got few questions about my action.


  1. I was accepted in the PhD procedure at my new university. I am afraid that, after the viva, or during the viva, I’ll have problems, because the work was done at another university. I can add 20-30% of new work, which I did at the new university, if I need to.

  2. I have defended a workplan of my thesis 5 years ago at the Portuguese University I studied at. Can my old University sue me, or in any way, take legal action against me? Of course, I can null my workplan, but I am not sure if that would solve the problem.

  3. I know I am the author of the thesis and I am first author of all papers of my thesis. Does that keep me safe, both from the side of the new university, and from the old one?

Any help appreciated, mainly from the legal (law) point of view.

I am studying in India in an engineering (CS) UG course and have completed my 1st semester my university (deemed to be) is limiting my potential more every day. I am willing to work hard and that does not seem to matter here, we pass anyway. There is no scope for improvements and I was hoping I could end another semester here and shift my credits to a better place abroad or in India itself.

All opinions appreciated.

I was in a Master’s of Economics program, one year completed, but got expelled due to my GPA dropping below what was needed. I was put on probation and was given one semester to pull up my average by getting an A in all three classes I was taking. But I only got an A in 2 of my 3 classes — I did not receive an A in my third class.

I have the option to apply for re admittance and will do so, but just in case I want to apply to other programs, perhaps as a transfer. If need be I’d apply fresh and start over.

In my new applications, should I explain my situation (life changes, job loss), or would it be better to not dwell too much on it?