1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Leaving PhD program with a Masters

  1. Mar 24, 2014 #1
    Could someone advise me on starting a PhD program and leaving after 2 years with a Masters? Do people do this and what are the problems associated with such a course of action? For example is getting recommendation letters a problem and so on...

    The reason I need to know about this is that it is quite possible that I'll be accepted to only 1 grad program where they don't really do research in an area I'm interested in, so I will want to move to another school after 2 years that does do research in an area I like.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2014 #2
    It's unethical to waste other peoples' time and money on a PhD spot that you don't intend to finish. Another student who would have have finished could take it.
  4. Mar 24, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    On top of ethical issues, some schools simply don't allow it. When I was enrolling my MSc in Auckland's department of physics, I was told if I want to quit half-way through my PhD, I get absolutely nothing. So In my case they suggest I start with MSc and switch to PhD if I'm still interested.
  5. Mar 25, 2014 #4
    You might be pleased to know that I've decided to not do what I thought of and take up a Masters option instead. I figured I didn't want awkwardness after 2 years into the PhD.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook