I am a first year PhD student in Mathematics at a US university but I cannot adopt myself to the environment of my current program. I feel this program is not right for me. Unfortunately, I have to stay in this university for at least one more year because the deadlines of application for most of the universities I want to apply to are already over.

Is it possible to quit the program after one year if I have good standing and possibly ask for a recommendation from the professor whom I have classes with?

  • You want to be discussing this with your faculty advisor. Assuming you have one and have a good relationship with them. You may get some useful advice. Maybe your current situation is not hopeless. Or maybe you do need to make large changes. But your prof will have knowledge that you don't. Especially on how not to burn bridges behind you.
    – Dan
    Commented Jan 16, 2022 at 22:56

1 Answer 1


You are not required to stay at your university until you get a position in another PhD program. You can get a job instead. At the moment, they are plentiful.

Yes, you can ask for recommendations.

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