Ms Phd Advisor Assignment Submission

I will begin by offering my sympathies on what sounds like a tough situation.

I think that you need to have a frank talk with your advisor ASAP. What he's telling you to do might or might not be good advice. Which one it is depends, in particular, on how serious the problem really is and/or what the prospects are for fixing it by the deadline. Practically speaking, the first is something that will be primarily determined by your thesis committee. If you think the work is without value but the committee disagrees, then you will still end up with a master's degree, which is what you presumably want. Of course it would be better to turn in a thesis that you feel better about and/or is actually better / not flawed that option still on the table? If you have no motivation, are not enjoying your program and are seriously considering quitting right now, then it may not be. From a rational perspective it's hard for me to see what advantage there is to quitting a program and getting no master's degree versus getting a master's degree with a thesis that is (either apparently or objectively) rather poor. You shouldn't try to hide the flaws from your committee -- that would be a form of academic dishonesty -- but it's hard to see why it shouldn't be grudgingly acceptable to you if it's grudgingly acceptable to them.

The worst case, it seems to me, is that you are headed for a thesis that is not going to be acceptable to the committee and your advisor somehow doesn't care to get involved enough to avoid this. That's what you want to find out.

I really don't want to create a conflict with my advisor.

No one wants to create a conflict with their advisor, but in your situation your aversion to conflict seems not to be what an objective, outside observer would regard as rational behavior. Always assuming that you behave civilly and that your advisor has no extra-professional leverage on you....what's the worst thing that can happen if you have a real professional falling out with your advisor? You might get kicked out of the program without a degree? That's what you're contemplating anyway, so this seems to be a situation where if you can't get what you want without rocking the boat, then go ahead and rock it. (This could be bad advice if you want to start up a different master's program elsewhere and you need your advisor's recommendation. But that doesn't sound like it's the case.)

From the vantage point of someone who does not know you or your situation but has seen some pretty shaky work be awarded a master's degree, I would encourage you to avoid the impulse of bailing out on your degree unless there is no other reasonable alternative. I think it's very likely that N years down the line it will be strongly in your best interest to have the credential in your pocket. I think most people who don't continue on in academia forget mostly to entirely about their thesis work whether it's good or bad, and I don't know of many mechanisms that would dredge up this past work.

Hang in there, and good luck.

How to Find a Faculty Advisor

All new GRA's and GTA's must participate in the thesis advisor selection process during the first month of their first semester in the Woodruff School.

The process for assigning new, undesignated GRA's to research projects and advisors accommodates both student and faculty desires to the maximum extent possible. You are expected to interview at least three faculty members. By the deadline, submit your top three projects or advisor choices to the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies on the Faculty Advisor Interview form. Similar feedback is obtained from each faculty member.

The Chair of the Woodruff School and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies make the final GRA/GTA project-advisor assignments based on:

• Student preference
• Faculty preference
• Project priority (externally-funded projects have the highest priority)
• Current distribution of graduate students among advisors

Changing Your Faculty Advisor

If you wish to change your advisor, you must first discuss the matter with your current advisor and satisfactorily complete all your graduate research assistant and research obligations and find a new faculty advisor.

To initiate your Change of Advisor request, please go to:

Fill out the form and submit. Your current advisor will automatically be sent an email to approve this request and "release" you. Your new advisor will then automatically be sent an email to approve this request and "accept" you. The request will then be automatically routed to the Office of Student Services. Upon the Office of Student Services approval, your file will be officially updated.

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