I have seen the work of previous and current students and I have done a lot more than them, and my dissertations is about 60% written already, however, my adviser seems to not be comfortable with the idea of me graduating in May (Is January now). I have asked him several times up front and he keeps evading the topic and goes around it and never confirms it. He is always on travel and is not even at my same institution anymore, so that makes things worse. I have a job lined up and he knows about it, but he seems to be holding me back. I have talked to fellow students and they feel he is being unfair to me. What should I do?

  • Does the adviser indicate you have enough research content? Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 23:54
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    Do you have a sense of why he is (or may be) holding you back? Is it that he wants to keep you around because of the work you're doing for him or that he feels that you are not ready to graduate / has higher ambitions for your thesis work? You would probably respond differently in the two situations. Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 0:58

2 Answers 2


Most departments have a faculty member who serves as the director of graduate studies. Talk to this person about the situation. He or she will have much more contextual information than any of us here, and it is this person's job to resolve such conflicts between students and advisors.


You need to check on deadlines for your university.

With a May graduation date, you may have to apply to graduate within the next few weeks, and your defense may have to occur a month or more before graduation. Your committee will have to read your dissertation, you'll have to revise it, and resubmit, etc.

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