I just finished a five years bachelor study from university A, and started a Master+PhD in university B.

Given that I took several master courses during the bachelor, I would only need to take one course more and write a thesis (which I can do based on the one I wrote for the bachelor) to obtain a master from university A. Moreover, despite the fact of being separated physically, they offered me the opportunity to finish the master while doing the PhD in university B.

I think it is a good idea to do this given that I already have much of the work done, and it would enhance my knowledge. My question is,

Should I let university B know about this?

When I talk about letting the university know, I mean my advisor. I think I could do it without letting him know because it would be like one of my "free time activities" (and the research is independent between the universities, it's not like I'm using some knowledge from university B to obtain a degree from university A), but given that it is a research-like activity, I think it is a good idea to let him know. However, I'm not sure how he could take it.

What would you do in this situation?

Thanks in advance!

  • So you are working on a PhD without having a master? Didn't know that is even possible...
    – Dirk
    May 9, 2017 at 9:15
  • @Bemte It is common in the U.S. to have an integrated Master+PhD programme, so all you need to start is a bachelor's degree.
    – mhwombat
    May 9, 2017 at 9:18
  • Unless you really want to do sth underhanded, rest assured, your prof will like it, especially if it leads to a paper that mentions the new affiliation of author D., with acknowledgments to his current funding.
    – Karl
    May 9, 2017 at 11:11
  • @Bemte Indeed, Bachelor + Master takes roughly 5 years in many universities in Europe, so having a 5 years master is usually valid to begin with a PhD (as mhwombat mentions, this is in parallel with a master)
    – Daniel
    May 9, 2017 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


Your advisor is there to advise you on your research, but also on more general issues involving finding your place in academia. Getting a masters degree (or not) is relevant in that context. Keeping that a secret would hinder her or his ability to advise you. That is unoptimal for you, but it also hinders your advisor to do her or his job, which (s)he may resent.

  • 1
    Or to put it another way: It sounds fishy, trying to make a secret out of it.
    – Karl
    May 9, 2017 at 10:57
  • Maarten, thanks for your reply. You're right, I should be confident with him and let him know other academic aspects, like this one. I will discuss this with him, it's very likely he will find it positive. Thanks again!
    – Daniel
    May 9, 2017 at 16:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .