Has anyone Mastered out of their PhD? How did you go about doing it? - The Lobby - The GradCafe Forums
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Has anyone Mastered out of their PhD? How did you go about doing it?


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My SO started her PhD in Fall 2023, and we are on the West / East coast. She is planning to leave her PhD and get a Masters since the LDR is not conducive to the relationship and for long-term planning. Both of our families and my career is on the East Coast, and this is an option that would work (and she would like to continue her PhD on the East Coast).

I wanted to help her figure out how the "Mastering out" works. We had a few questions:

  1. When is it appropriate to tell your program you will MS out?
  2. How do you go about telling your advisors without burning the bridge in the future? She would like to continue her PhD eventually on the East Coast. 
  3. Do you have to pay for the MS (e.g., do they cut funding immediately if you tell them in the Fall vs waiting until the Spring?)

[I know this is program dependent, but it is hard to ask her program directly since it might have repercussions]

Is it better to tell them in Fall 2024 or Spring 2025? And then based on when you tell them, do you have to pay for any portion of it? If anyone can share their experiences or are willing to DM us in private, we would very much appreciate it!

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