I was recently awarded my master's degree. This was a very difficult process since my master's thesis advisor completely abandoned me halfway through. She literally did not answer my e-mails . No -one in my institute was specialized in the branch I wanted to write thesis so , I wrote to a professor of another institute in my country and she agreed . I visited her institute for 7 days in January , 2020 and she gave me a research paper to study . After completely understanding the paper in mid February , when I emailed her on how I should proceed she didn't replied . I e-mailed her 4-5 times in February-March and got no reply.I ended up finishing the work on my own and the committee approved my thesis without her involvement.( but didn't evaluated thesis of any student due to pendamic( thesis were not even asked for submission, the evaluation was done on the basis of presentation done in mid february) More details in my previous post.

My concern is that no one has reviewed my thesis. One other professor gave very generic comments (grammar) and simply said I wrote a nice thesis. I want to apply to PhD positions in Europe, so I think my thesis should be carefully reviewed by an expert before I apply.

Question: How can I get my (former) advisor to review my thesis? . Should I write in email that a this was not expected as she had said yes to me and even I visited her institute and I was left for thesis without any advisor?

Or there should not be any complaints in e-mail and I should just request her ?

Do writing these things and expressing my displeasure will further diminish chances of her replying to my e-mail . But certainly due to her I went through very much anxiety and had to spend a lot more of time on project by myself ( and whose output is till not known although I tried to give my best ). I am sure she was not suffering through covid-19 and I saw her name as one of the speakers at various seminars taking place in my country amid pandemic( at different points of time).

She didn't replied. It is a weird thing how professors wield such great power in Academia that students can't do anything.

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    Will she know that your thesis has been passed? If so, then it may be a waste of time as it holds no benefit for her.
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 13, 2020 at 6:03
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    What subject? I think for a PhD interview in Europe it is much more likely people will want to talk with you about your thesis than to read it.
    – user151413
    Sep 13, 2020 at 9:49
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    @user151413 It's Pure Mathematics ( Number Theory).
    – user135061
    Sep 13, 2020 at 11:42
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    @TheoreticalMinimum There are a lot of times when I think of doing so as it's very much carelessness on her part and due to it i suffered a lot academically and mentally and that too without any reason . But , I live in a third world country where favoratism and corruption is rampant . There would not be hardly anyone who would support me when I would complain about her as she is at an institute higher in hieraarcy ( althogh not much higher)so I am focussing on studying for my Phd entrances as legal and administrative system in my country is in terrible shape and against the victim !!
    – user135061
    Sep 15, 2020 at 17:14
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    @user795826 This is what I thought. I'm sorry you had to go through this. I wish you luck with your future studies.
    – user117200
    Sep 15, 2020 at 18:33

3 Answers 3


This is a peculiar situation. Your supervisor did not honor your agreement, but at this point she has nothing to gain from continuing to be involved with your thesis, and being angry about that isn't going to help you in any way. Realistically, do not expect any more input from her, and move on.

Getting someone else to look at your thesis could be useful, but keep in mind that you are asking someone to put in a couple days of work for nothing in return. Try to find someone who could be at least slightly interested in this, and see what you can do to minimize the effort for them. Maybe approach a lecturer whose class you took during your degree, or enroll in a new course if you think that you have burned bridges in that university? Search around if there is some other researcher, even elsewhere in the world, who has published on a similar topic -- in particular, someone early in their career might be more excited to help.

Even then, clean up the writing as much as you can by yourself, maybe send them just the key proofs, and ask targeted questions -- in other words, approach this always keeping in mind that you are asking for a favor -- and you are more likely to get a reply.


I e-mailed her 4-5 times in February-March and got no reply.

If she did not reply to your e-mails or otherwise advise you when she was technically your advisor, why would she reply to them now that you have graduated? I think she has effectively ended your relationship. I do not know whether she had good reason for this or if she is just lazy, but either way, I think you should pursue other paths forward.

Or there should not be any complaints in e-mail...?

If you are asking someone for a favor, you should not complain about them or chastise them, regardless of how legitimate your complaints may be.

She literally did not answer my e-mails...one other professor gave very generic comments (grammar)

I too am very concerned about your grammar and writing skills. For example, your use of the spacebar does not seem to follow any particular logic. In the case of your question above, I tried to help you clarify, but your subsequent changes made everything confusing again!

I don't mention this just out of pedantry; rather, I think there is an important point here. Consider: I initially really wanted to help, but due to these communication challenges, I'm now sort of burnt out and I think I personally would probably avoid responding to new posts from your account. You should consider the possibility that your advisor's silence has a similar explanation.

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    I know that i make this mistake of putting a space before full stop at the end of the sentence but I can't imagine that any advisor would not reply to my email just for this reason. Also ," tried to help you clarify, but your subsequent changes made everything confusing again!" your edit was missing some crucial points which I must include in the question .
    – user135061
    Sep 15, 2020 at 5:52
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    @user795826 I couldn't really understand your post. Minor mistakes aren't the issue, I struggled to read your writing. Perhaps writing skills are an area you could focus on.
    – user2768
    Sep 15, 2020 at 6:21
  • Yes, this is exactly the point. I don't see any important information in your subsequent edits -- so, either it's not important, or its so unclear that I didn't understand it properly. Either way, this could be a serious issue when corresponding with less-patient people via email. Good luck!
    – cag51
    Sep 15, 2020 at 13:27
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    Not replying to emails after having agreed to supervise a student is cowardice, if one does not want to supervise a student anymore one should inform the student and take official action. Mar 8, 2022 at 9:17
  • Oh, I agree. But this question asked about how the student should respond; the advisor's response is not something the student has control over.
    – cag51
    Mar 8, 2022 at 14:34

I think you should ask the university administration to reimburse your fees, you paid for Masters but did not get supervision, if you provide the unanswered emails as evidence this should go a long way.

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    Do you have some basis for believing this will work? I am no expert in such things, but I'm fairly confident that OP's odds of getting a reimbursement are zero.
    – cag51
    Mar 8, 2022 at 14:36
  • Yes I know of cases, of course there needs to be strong evidence of not having received supervision, which clearly seems to be the case here. Moreover, said staff member will probably think twice in future before abandoning a student without even having the courtesy to say so. For broader discussion see e.g. theguardian.com/money/2010/dec/18/… Mar 9, 2022 at 9:59
  • see here for the UK body which helps students with this: oiahe.org.uk, and for a very similar case e.g. oiahe.org.uk/resources-and-publications/case-summaries/… Mar 9, 2022 at 10:07
  • @HerculePoirot Mate, your Idea is very plausible to me and I want to make sure that no student is harmed like that ? Can you tell how should I proceed to take action against such a shameless prof? I even posted a question here:academia.stackexchange.com/questions/184545/…
    – user135061
    May 24, 2022 at 8:48
  • For UK: officeforstudents.org.uk/for-students/ofs-and-students/… I assume other countries/universities will have similar things. I would always first try and resolve internally if possible, failing that try this route. Good luck. May 24, 2022 at 10:46

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