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I planned to graduate this summer, and I went through all the process of applying for graduation and my advisor signs all of these.

  • Now I have just 2 weeks to meet the deadline to officially graduate this summer. I have emailed by advisor to help me prepare my final results, proofread my thesis document. This is 2 weeks back, and I don't have any reply so far.
  • I get an email from my advisor saying that I can't delay and have to postpone my graduation next semester. "It is best for you to make an official decision to cancel your graduation, since it is getting too close to the oral defense deadline as well as reviewing thesis."

I am OK to graduate next semester, but what I can't bear to understand is the carelessness of my advisor. I have to pay again for a whole new semester because of this.

Any advice what I should be doing at this moment?

  • 1
    Do I understand you correctly? First you gave your advisor only four weeks to proofread (one word) your thesis, and then you waited two weeks for an email response instead of talking to them face-to-face? I don't think it was just your advisor who was careless. – JeffE Jul 11 '13 at 21:26
  • Graduate from what sort of program... Undergrad? Masters? PhD? – posdef Jul 11 '13 at 21:39
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    @JeffE face2face ? He doesn't even come to lab/School. I haven't seen him since 5 months face-face. And proof read of final draft (not first). – vulkkan Jul 11 '13 at 21:43
  • @posdef : Masters – vulkkan Jul 11 '13 at 21:43
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    I haven't seen him since 5 months face-face.You need a new advisor! But it maybe it's too late for that. Do you have his home/mobile phone number? Do you know where he lives? You have every right to hunt him down and ask him to do his damn job. – JeffE Jul 11 '13 at 23:37
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If you don't have any problems with graduating next semester then just do that. It will give you more time to refine your submissions and to prep for the defense. A little annoying, granted, but it could be a blessing in disguise too.

As for working with your adviser, what's done is done. Perhaps they were delayed in their responses but you may have to accept some of the responsibility here as well, I think. It takes some time to make all of the arrangements for finalizing graduation. It's not like undergrad where they can just look at the transcript and say "120cu, good to go". Heck, just getting a defense scheduled can be a major undertaking. Especially if you're trying to squeeze in under the wire. Stack the university processing and thesis review times on top of that and you're really cutting it close.

I can certainly understand your frustration (my M.S. was delayed by a semester due to a similarly inane set of circumstances which led to all kinds of fun) but my suggestion to you and anyone in a similar situation is to take a deep breath, relax, and use the time that you have to prep as best you can.

Aside: This type of advice question is not a very good fit to the normal SO format. I wanted to provide a response since I suspect that many people have gotten into similar situations but have fair warning that it may get flagged.

  • Yes, two weeks is not enough, by far. – paul garrett Jul 11 '13 at 19:43
  • Ok. I understand now that 2 weeks is too short period of time. But I believed that proof read of final draft would take less time than the usual first and second drafts. But yeah , I decided to graduate next semester and in mean time may be refine my thesis and possibly try to submit a paper. – vulkkan Jul 11 '13 at 21:47
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    That's a very constructive way to look at it vulkkan. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. – grauwulf Jul 12 '13 at 0:42
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    @grauwulf : Thank you, I hope they don't talk down this post. I am pretty sure there are many people out there with the same problem as mine. Not all advisors ( irrespective of their reputation and skill ) are always proactive and kind enough to see through students problems. – vulkkan Jul 12 '13 at 0:49
  • I used to be able to do (detailed) proofreads of whole math-heavy theses in few days. I am afraid, I have now many more things to do which split up my time and require context switching, and my response time has thus gone up by an order of magnitude. Not by lack of will, but by sheer limitations of the universe's (and my brain's) capacity. Go soft on your advisor, it may not be his/her fault. :-) – Captain Emacs May 2 '16 at 0:10

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