This fall, I will be a 2nd year PhD student in Microbiology. My ultimate goal is not to work in academia, but industry or government. After being a year in the program, I started to realize a masters degree may be more aligned with my future career goals. I find I like clear cut goals for my laboratory work, and very applied research. However, I would still like to keep the option of a PhD available. I have now found out, that I may need to move to a new program. My fiancee is a 4th year medical student who has matched into a residency across the country. While I never thought I would leave a program for a person, I can't imagine spending 4+ years long distance. Would leaving with a master's degree from my current program burn bridges with professors? Is it even feasible to start over at a new program? I have not yet advanced to candidacy. Would it be wise to wait until after? Any advice would be wonderful.
professors are people and understand that life happens. I do not think I would enjoy working with a colleague who would have a vendetta against a student for wanting to leave the program in order to move with their soon-to-be spouse. Be open with your supervisor and ask for their advise.
Also, if you want to go into industry/government, do not underestimate the importance of a phd. The ability to apply for grants or oversee a lab is valuable.