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seroteamavi

Is a transfer possible on the Ph.D. level?

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The news of Anatolios leaving Boston College for Notre Dame got me thinking.

 

Just out of curiosity, let's say disaster strikes: one's POI gets a job at another institution, or let's say the program cancels stipends or foists excessively burdensome expenses upon its students, and one is early into a program, has anyone ever heard of Ph.D. students transferring institutions altogether?

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Absolutely. Sure, it's not common per se but it does happen. Regarding a POI leaving an institution, I've seen it work one of two ways 1) the student comes with the POI or 2) the POI arranges for a new advisor to oversee the student. I've never personally seen a situation of a student leaving School A for School C, because their POI took a job with School B.

 

Regarding transferring for other reasons: spouse takes a job offer, better aligned research interests, etc - it happens, just not that common.

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I've heard of people staying at their current institution and having the advisor who left serve as an external reader for the dissertation as well.

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I've heard of people transferring as late as their fourth year. Obviously, that's extremely uncommon and would only happen probably in situations where an entire department is being dismantled by the university or something. I have a colleague who began a PhD program last year, didn't like it, applied to new places and got in to a much better school. That school wants her to start over (technically) because she only completed a year in the first program, but she's fine with that. They might even be letting her transfer some of the course work over so that she could potentially start her exams a little earlier.

 

I even had a prof from my second MA program advise me to take whatever funded offer I received and spend my first year applying to better programs on that school's dime. I found that to be...distasteful to say the least. But I guess that does happen.

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