I cannot get any help from my supervisor if I want to write a new thesis. Not only that, I didn't have anyone in my lab. Therefore it's obvious that I don't have any people who can help me here. I'm trying to write it again by myself.

Is it that impossible? If that is the case, what can I do for it? Or should I just give it up?


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    You could write a thesis, but what would you do with it? You've already quit your major, i.e. there's no one to grade your thesis.
    – Allure
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 5:23
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    Why would you want to complete a course without getting the degree? And why did you not want to follow your advisor's directions about writing it and intentionally let it pass? I am a bit confused to why you didn't want the degree earlier but now want it.
    – Cloud Chem
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 6:06
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    I don't understand what "graduating without a degree" means. Isn't that just a nicer way to say "drop out"? So do you want to go back and graduate? What's holding you back? Is it because you don't want to work with your supervisor and can't find a new one? Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 10:14
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    @Emma who grades your thesis after you submit it? Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 12:14
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    @Emma if your supervisor takes part in the grading, you should take his/her comments into account. Writing the thesis without his/her help can only worsen your grade, but not improve it. It's poised to create problems for you, you'll just be able to ignore them for a while. Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 7:13

2 Answers 2


A degree is awarded by a university. So you can't get a degree while completely ignoring the university. The problem for us is that the exact rules differ substantially between countries and universities within countries. So we cannot give you any concrete advice.

However, there are typically student advisors at a university whose job is to help you. These are typically people who help students with all the formalities, help with study specific choices, help students who want to go a semester abroad, for bigger problems help the student find the appropriate person in the university, etc. So that would be the first step for you to take. Find that student advisor, and talk to her or him. (S)he will probably tell you that you need to enroll again, and the steps you need to take to find a thesis advisor and write the thesis.

You seem to have had a bad experience at that university, so maybe you want to consider another university. Again talk to the student advisor at that new university and see if they can recognize (some of) the courses you finished from your original university.

  • @Emma You seem unhappy about that answer, but I don't understand why. The steps you need to take seem clear to me: The university of your choice (new or original) has a website, which links to the website of the relevant department, which will contain a link to the student advisor. This will contain contact information, you make an appointment, and after that appointment you know what you need to do. Is there anything more you need? Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 13:56
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    I don't see how that would be awkward. See this from the point of the advisor: Advising a Master students is only a small and fairly inconsequential (for me) part of my job. So that is not something I (the advisor) would loose a lot of sleep over. Also, advising a Master student is work, most of the time enjoyable work, but work none the less. If you were my Master student, and decided to go somewhere else, then that would mean less work for me. I would want to make sure that move was not caused by a misunderstanding, but otherwise it would not bother me in the least. Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 9:02
  • I think you are overthinking this. A master's thesis is a big deal for you, but not for your advisor or your supervisor. Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 10:21

It is not clear whether your main concern is employability or thinking well of yourself.

Unless you are seeking employment as an academic pure mathematician, you need not worry about not completing your research degree.

I used to employ hundreds of highly intelligent staff in a professional organisation. Some had PhDs, some had never tried, some had tried and found they did not want to continue with academic research. I myself thought better of pursuing pure maths research and pursued a professional career instead.

As an employer, I took very little interest in such matters. What I wanted was highly motivated and highly intelligent people who enjoyed the work I wanted done and who could bring creativity and imagination to it.

When you apply for jobs, you will undoubtedly be asked why you did not finish your research degree, but the mere fact that you did not is not negative. What would be negative would be feeble reasons for stopping.

  • I wouldn't go so far. There're lots of employers (or HR executives) who screen by checking if the applicant has the degree they listed as a requirement.
    – Allure
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 22:44
  • @Allure So much the worse for them: they are missing talent. Would you want to work for such people? I was not thinking of the cases where such and such a degree is a requirement. As the holder of two degrees in pure mathematics, I can think of very few jobs for which such a degree would ever be, literally, a requirement.
    – JeremyC
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 22:58
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    Maybe they are missing talent, but they're still the employer - unless one is in a job-seeker's market, they're the ones holding the cards. I can agree that the actual degree isn't really that important in day-to-day work, but if it's a critical screened-for item, one would be foolhardy not to get it if one already satisfies most of the requirements.
    – Allure
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 23:47

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