Would it ever occur, historically, that a PhD student could not obtain his degree from a university due to the high costs of publishing his thesis, such that he would have to publish it at another university and get his degree there instead?

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    Do any universities charge for the publication of the PhD thesis? – Tobias Kildetoft May 2 '14 at 18:31
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    @TobiasKildetoft: In some countries, the tradition is that you have several hundred copies of your thesis professionally printed and bound. (I think there have been some past questions on this.) That has a significant cost, which the university may or may not help defray. – Nate Eldredge May 2 '14 at 18:59
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    @TobiasKildetoft: Believe it or not, yes. See this answer. (Several of the commenters shared your incredulity.) I have experienced this indirectly; a Swedish friend gave me one of his hundreds of copies. I probably still have it here somewhere. – Nate Eldredge May 2 '14 at 19:04
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    @Tobias in my experience, no, US universities do not offer free printing of manuscripts for students. (Of course one can always print things from a computer, but I'm not talking about that.) Then again my experience does not extend to cases where any more than about 4 printed copies of a thesis are expected. – David Z May 2 '14 at 19:45
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    No, this would never happen because no respectable university would accept a student at the stage of being completed with their dissertation. I've never heard of this kind of printing but the only consequence I can imagine is the student not getting a degree at all (which is ludicrous), not that they get it from another university. – Thomas May 3 '14 at 16:15

Emphatically, I don't see how this could happen in any subject in the U.S., nor, to my knowledge, in Europe, though I understand that there, in some cases, the actual work can be viewed as somewhat disconnected from a university.

But the point is that, in most subjects in the U.S., for example, one is not required to "publish" one's thesis in any fashion that would incur great expense. A handful of required copies, often printed nearly-for-free, and everything else is optional. Not "page costs" to journals, for example.

Further, in the U.S., it would be essentially impossible to "change universities" for any reason whatsoever, without re-doing many required activities, time-in-residency, and such. So whatever other advantages, there'd be something like a two-year delay, tuition, other things.

I really think that the question's hypotheses are iffy, possibly due to a misunderstanding of how things work. Certainly in the U.S., most likely in Europe, and I'd be surprised to hear that the questions implicit assumptions made sense anywhere in the world (though I'd certainly be interested to hear about such a thing).


Not that I'm aware of.

Obtaining a PhD consists of more than publishing a thesis/dissertation. How exactly could you do your work at one institution, and then graduate from another by simply publishing at another university? – SoilSciGuy just now edit

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