My friend (who spent 3-4 years in a PhD program, discipline in social sciences) is encountering a serious situation with his committee/advisor. They are asking him to leave the program because the committee did not approve of the dissertation proposal. Earlier last summer, my friend had re-written the topic of the proposal.
Is this common? What can he do? He's a bit reticent to inform me but it seems he's not getting the support of his adviser. Can he talk to the graduate director to request to change advisors at this point? Or should he beg the committee to let him stay and try to somehow reach a compromise with his advisor on the type of dissertation he can produce. Or should he quietly leave and not put a fight? I suspect they might make things difficult for him if he persists to stay. Or should he talk to the graduate school?