I'm a first-year PhD student and I plan to leave my current program in order to transfer to another program next year. If possible I will also ask for a master's degree from the program. I am looking for advice on how to bring up the issue with the graduate director in a manner which doesn't "burn any bridges;" I do not want to leave the salty impression that I am deeply unhappy about their program. Maybe I'm just overthinking the issue.
The approach which I'm considering is to just be honest as possible:
- The program does not match my interests well because there is very little presence in my primary field of interest. I have searched thoroughly. I do not yet have an advisor.
- Some secondary factors are also marginally involved, for instance I have felt suffocated with the general location and climate, and moreover I would like to move closer to my family.
- I've gotten admission to a program which matches my interests and location preferences significantly better, and they will give me credit for the work I've done here.
However, I believe that the issue should be handled delicately and non-bluntly for the reason that my current program has given me quite a bit of flexibility and awards, I finished my exams, and I want them to give me a masters. I don't want to be rude or dismissive of these.
So what would be a good approach?