I'm currently in my first semester pursuing a PhD in Computer Science.

  • Since you are a PhD student, you should prioritize your research over classes. Why do you think you need to tell your advisor? Is his permission required? – Anonymous Physicist Oct 19 '19 at 7:09
  • His permission is not required, but he knows I'm in the course and has high expectations for me. @Anonymous Physicist – Bwoods Oct 19 '19 at 7:15
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    OP is pulling all-nighters at the start of the program already. Assuming this goes on cost of their total sleep time: This must stop; it's not viable, period. However, if it is just on cost of your general research time, it may be a good toolbox for their later research, so trading the course time with research time might be a consideration. So, ask yourself where the priority is for this phase. – Captain Emacs Oct 19 '19 at 11:49
  • @AnonymousPhysicist I disagree (in part) with this. Courses are meant to be a component of the degree, and the thesis and associated research is only completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree. It’s difficult to say from afar, but I find it refreshing to see that in this case it seems the OP has taken a course where there is substantial contents. – ZeroTheHero Oct 19 '19 at 15:04
  • @ZeroTheHero The relation between coursework and PhDs is country dependent. (But if a country pads out undergraduate degree courses with irrelevant Gen-Ed "electives" it's not surprising that students need to take more courses at graduate level...) – alephzero Oct 19 '19 at 15:47

Dear Supervisor,

I am taking the AI course. I need X hours/week to do well in this course. My other courses only take Y hours/week. I am considering dropping this elective course so that I can devote X more hours/week to my research. Do you think this is a good idea?

Thanks for your advice,


Note: Most likely your advisor will support you if you want to spend time on research. But they may know something you did not tell us on Stack Exchange. If your advisor says no, you can still tell them you have decided to drop the course.

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    -1 Don't ask an open question if you have already decided. If you ask the question, make sure you are ready to follow the advice. – Captain Emacs Oct 19 '19 at 11:48
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    This is the sort of issue that should be discussed in person, not by mail. Go visit them. Talk it out. – Buffy Oct 19 '19 at 15:03

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