I am about to finish my masters degree, and I want to apply for a PhD in the near future. I know that when contacting a potential advisor, they will ask you to send your CV and your previous research. The issue is that, according to my current advisor, my masters thesis will have no issues on being approved and my grades are good. Due to the pandemic, though, I was not able to be in the country my university is located in; communication and feedback with my advisor was very complicated. In my opinion, my thesis could be improved in some ways, but now I am lacking the time to do so.

My question is: When a potential advisor asks me for my masters thesis or my previous research, it is compulsory to send the document I submitted for graduation? Can I send an updated version of it (I know I will be able to improve it, because I will work on it at my job)? Is this wrong?

  • 1
    Always send the best version. We know that a thesis may not be 'perfect', especially if there is a time constraint. If you have an improved version, I would want to see that. May 7, 2021 at 4:37

2 Answers 2


There are no strict rules about this, so you should do what is in your own best interest: send them the best version you have available.

However, you should consider that your potential PhD supervisor may talk to your the supervisor of your master's thesis. It is possible they will discuss the thesis, and it could cause lots of confusion if they unknowingly are talking about different versions. Therefore I would recommend to let your prospective PhD supervisor know that you have sent them a version you updated after your graduation.


I think you could send either version, correctly labelled. But you can also indicate that the other version is available "on request".

For example, if you send the official version, say that you have updated the work since and can make the newer work available if requested. This makes it clear and also indicates that you haven't been inactive in the interim.

The opposite is also possible, sending the latest (as suggested by Louic), but saying that the original will be sent on request.

But, I wouldn't send both at once.

  • and what if he/she asks me for the repository link? should I send the link and also the latest version specifying that this is my last version so please consider this more? thanks for your response
    – JPgiq
    May 7, 2021 at 22:27
  • @JPgiq You are overthinking this. Your best option is to send the latest version. If they ask about the older version (highly unlikely), send them the older version as requested. I do not understand why you see a problem here.
    – Louic
    May 8, 2021 at 19:35

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