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I am currently a graduate student and it's my first semester. My advisor is not assigned yet and it must be done soon. There is a prof. that I would like to work with on analytic number theory, however, he says that he is so busy and already have 3 students. So, he does not accepting me with a thesis program but instead, he says that he can only accept me if I choose not to write a thesis. If I decide to work with him, I will be alone on my research. I really want to make a research on analytic number theory and do not want to make a research on something different like probability or numerical analysis even if they are also a good research option.

In conclusion, should I accept him and try to write a thesis alone or look for a different advisor on a different area? Also, is it important to have a masters degree with thesis to apply for a phD program? Thank you for your valuable suggestions.

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    If I decide to work with him, I will be alone on my research. If that's the case what's the point of even working with him? And more importantly, how can you even learn analytic number theory (which he is good at) without working with him? That to me sounds like a perfect set up for those "I spent 10 years in this degree and still can't graduate" disasters. – Penguin_Knight Jan 18 '17 at 0:08
  • @Penguin_Knight, I am accepted for masters degree with thesis program at one of the top national universities in my country and this is just my first semester. If that was my third or fourth semester which is the end of the programm then you may be right. However, I disagree with your answer, unfortunately. My problem is exactly like above. – Ninja Jan 18 '17 at 9:27
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Should I accept him and try to write a thesis alone or look for a different adviser on a different area?

This is up to you. You are pursuing a graduate degree and you have to take charge of your educational path. You have to weigh both options. A) Writing a thesis alone with no supervision and potentially having to struggle, B) Working under a different adviser who will supervise you, but it may be a boring/uninteresting topic.

Is it important to have a masters degree with thesis to apply for a PhD program?

This is dependent on the program. Some programs are more research heavy than others. I would scope out your future plans and tentatively look at what PhD programs you would like to apply for and see what their requirements are. I do believe that it is impossible to do "too much" work when applying for a PhD program, so a thesis may be in your favor.

  • First of all, thank you four your extensive answer. I looked up for some PhD programs but it is not mention that whether they want a masters degree with a thesis program or not. I think that this is because people start their PhD program after they graduate as a BSc. In my country, you usually apply for a masters program for 2 years, then, you apply for a PhD program for 4 years. In that case, can I assume that they do not care whether I graduated from a program with thesis or without thesis? – Ninja Jan 18 '17 at 9:30

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