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Questions tagged [masters]

Queries related to a master's degree, sometimes referred to as a post-graduate degree.

114
votes
7answers
20k views

Advisor tries to reproduce my results to ensure my honesty. Is it the norm?

I am a M.Sc. student in Machine Learning, about to finish my thesis this month. My advisor wants me to meet him in person to reproduce my results under his control. It is obvious that the main reason ...
103
votes
13answers
18k views

Is it ethical for a professor to get masters students to work on open source modules related to the professor's profit-making company?

My professor of Computer Science has a company (both based in Germany) that promotes an open-source software. Of course the software is free and open-source, but his company generates profits through ...
92
votes
10answers
17k views

What can I do if my advisor wants me to keep working, even while I'm on medical leave for severe depression?

I'm a Master's student right now. Due to previous incidents (What can I do if a student in my lab threatens to tell lies about me, and my advisor doesn't want to fire her?), I'm clinically ...
85
votes
11answers
23k views

Where did I lose control of my studies?

I am a 5th MSc semester mathematics student at a local German university. Since fall, I have been working on my thesis, which is the only remaining task for finishing my studies. I had not had ...
72
votes
15answers
12k views

Should I learn to use LaTeX to write up a History Masters Thesis?

So I reviewed the "What are the advantages or disadvantages of using LaTeX for writing scientific publications?" question on this forum and am sitting on the fence at the moment whether or not to use ...
72
votes
7answers
10k views

Is uncredited use of grad students' unpublished research by professors accepted/common practice in academia?

I'm a master's student, and over the course of my studies I've conducted a few independent studies in which I investigate specific research questions that I formulate on my own. Those independent ...
64
votes
6answers
14k views

Should I explain that I cannot finish my current master due to religious discrimination when applying for another graduate program?

I am currently enrolled in a master’s program in the Middle East, which does not seem to be possible to finish / worth finishing for various reasons. The main problem is the lack of research ...
52
votes
5answers
11k views

Will flat earth society membership affect my graduate school application?

Just to be clear: no, I don't believe in the flat earth theory. However, a few years ago, I thought that the flat earth society forum is a good place to practice my debating skills and to have fun. ...
51
votes
4answers
10k views

What to do when you spend several months working on an idea that fails in a masters thesis?

How shall a masters student deal with the complete failure to meet the expected results when working on a master's thesis? For example, in the field of machine learning a masters student might spend ...
48
votes
14answers
12k views

Would adding paragraph about the motivation provided by someone who doubted me to my final year project acknowledgment be unprofessional?

In my final year project, and since it will be my last postgraduate year, I want to add a taste of truth in my Acknowledgment, where I think it's the personal part of the project, where you are ...
48
votes
10answers
15k views

Accused of cheating on masters final; afraid that appeal will bring retaliation (ruining PhD applications)

A friend of mine is finishing up a masters program and has applied to PhD programs around the nation last fall, as well as within the existing college. She had received several glowing letters of ...
44
votes
10answers
6k views

Having children while at graduate school

I am finishing my first year of Masters and have always thought of going for a PhD in North America. I and my girlfriend are going to have a baby which is totally unexpected. The due day will be ...
42
votes
6answers
9k views

Parents attending thesis defense?

My wife is defending her thesis soon, and in her department, defenses are open to the public. I will be there along with several of her friends/colleagues. Her mom also wants to come to the defense. ...
42
votes
7answers
9k views

Is beautifying a dissertation looked upon unfavourably by the examiners?

I'm writing an Msc dissertation on planning space projects and I would like to add interesting bits of information on the opening page of each chapter. Though the image and the accompanying ...
40
votes
7answers
6k views

How to deal with advisor who wants me to submit dissertation on time even though there's a major problem?

I'm on my last month before the deadline to hand in my dissertation. I found a severe problem with the work that renders it pretty much pointless and I pointed out to my advisor that I would need ...
37
votes
5answers
108k views

How to select a Master's thesis topic if your advisor won't suggest one?

If a master's degree candidate needs to select a thesis topic, but their advisor is unwilling to offer suggestions on the matter, how should one go about selecting a thesis? How might one select an ...
35
votes
8answers
21k views

What makes a MSc in Computer Science difficult for someone who has no specific background but 10 years of experience as a programmer?

I enrolled at my current MSc in computer science program last year having never completed a single computer science course in college. I decided to apply because 10 years after college I had a fairly ...
34
votes
9answers
14k views

Purposeful fail - effect on Master's admission [closed]

I am intending to purposefully try to fail a course to stay an extra semester, so I can finalize some research projects which can't be finalized otherwise. My current GPA is 3.82. How badly would that ...
33
votes
9answers
11k views

What is a good etiquette to correct a person using wrong title for me?

I currently have a masters degree in an engineering field and I don't currently have any PhD degrees (I may study for a doctorate degree in future). It happens that when I go to conferences or ...
32
votes
9answers
10k views

Supervisor ignoring me

I have an issue with my Masters' dissertation. I was supposed to complete it for May, however when I submitted my proposal on February 24 but I had no reply about confirmation until I emailed my tutor ...
30
votes
3answers
32k views

How would one fail a master thesis defense?

So I have to defend my master thesis in computer science in two weeks. It's in Germany and the thesis is 30 credits. I'm wondering what could make someone fail his defense? In my thesis I mainly ...
28
votes
7answers
3k views

How common is it for women to drop out of graduate school because they have children?

I am a 29 year old female. I want to go back to school. I have been told that I have a very good chance at getting into a very good graduate computer science program (machine learning, AI, robotics, ...
28
votes
2answers
26k views

What are the main differences between undergraduate, master's, and doctoral theses?

When I did my undergraduate thesis, my adviser was expected big on students expecting them working really hard, so it ended up as a reduced master's thesis (most of the reviewers said that it was an ...
27
votes
7answers
13k views

Is an MS in computer science helpful in improving programming skills?

I attained my bachelors degree in computer engineering in January 2014. I was not a prolific programmer as an undergrad, instead focusing on my other coursework and in general completing my degree. ...
27
votes
6answers
6k views

Does doing a PhD in a small/simple university make sense after getting a Master's from a very prestigious school?

I got a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from a school which is among the top ranked of Europe. Nevertheless, this is a pure coincidence, I did it here because it was the closest to my home. ...
26
votes
4answers
4k views

Feeling pressured to publish thesis results by advisor I don't want to work with anymore

A couple of months ago I finished my masters in computer science. A few days a go the following happened. My main supervisor wrote an abstract of results from my thesis. He put me as the first author ...
26
votes
6answers
11k views

How does one go about doing a Ph.D. in Europe as an American?

I'm entering my senior year of college in the US and I'm starting to consider my options for graduate school next year. My field is kind of blurry, in that I have certain research areas that I'm ...
26
votes
7answers
4k views

Should I write my master's thesis in English, as a non-native speaker?

I'm currently enrolled in a Master's degree Program in Statistics in Italy. I just started working on my thesis and my advisor asked me if I wanted to write it in Italian or in English. Apparently, ...
25
votes
6answers
3k views

What are the pros and cons of being co-supervised?

Are there any advantages or disadvantages in having two supervisors instead of one? Why would a graduate student want to do this or avoid this? The context is in an MA where students usually have one ...
25
votes
2answers
7k views

Writing a letter of recommendation as a graduate student

I am a MA student who frequently works with undergraduates on projects. One student has asked me if I can write her a letter of recommendation for graduate school. Are there any risks to me submitting ...
24
votes
8answers
11k views

I screwed up the final. What should I do? [closed]

I'm a master electrical engineering student in a state university and I just took my very last final exam on Wednesday. I totally screwed up. I could not solve any of the problems (4 problems). It has ...
24
votes
7answers
145k views

Is it possible to obtain a Master's degree without Bachelor's degree?

I have worked as translator for more than seven years in the industry. I have a background in cuisine for more than ten years. Now I would like to add an graduate degree related to Tourism, Hotel and ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

What is expected in a masters thesis of a mathematics student?

What is the level of work expected in the masters thesis of a student of maths? I know some people's works are worthy of publications while some involve only studying some topic in detail from a book ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

Too burnt out to continue MSc

I finally realized that there is a term for the situation I am in,"burned out". What can I do to recover from a short term burnout? I am at the the last four months of my MSc program and I haven't ...
21
votes
7answers
2k views

Are master's degrees in the US mostly meant to prepare you for a Ph.D?

I am a Canadian undergraduate student intending to get a master's degree, but not intending to get a Ph.D. A Canadian graduate student told me that master's degree in the US are really only designed ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

How to deal with advisor not allocating time to me?

One of my advisor's students asked me how frequently I have meetings with him. And since at that time we had very few meetings I replied: "We have a very few meetings and the advisor does not ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

Answering “Why do you want to become a research mathematician?”-type questions in a statement of purpose

How should one address the classic "Why do you want to become a research mathematician?"-type question that is normally asked in the statement of purpose when applying to Masters (and also) programs? ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

How might changing topic affect a career in academia?

I am curious whether it is common working on different subjects in an area throughout an academic career. I think life is long enough to work on different and interesting subjects, but how common is ...
20
votes
7answers
5k views

How to improve the language of my master thesis by myself?

I have written my thesis on my own (with my limited English skills) and I gave it to my supervisor to check it. He said the work is fine but the writing is a bit bad and I need to proofread it by ...
20
votes
5answers
21k views

How many hours a day on Mathematics as a successful student?

My motivation to ask this question actually comes from here, receiving negative reactions for 12 hours a day or even 7 hours spending time on Mathematics. A person usually spends 4.5 years to ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Is preparing for a lawsuit a valid reason to defer an exam? [closed]

An employer owes me wages and I have not been able to get them to comply without escalating matters. As a result, I have been preparing to take them to court, but I have an exam for my masters that I ...
20
votes
4answers
7k views

Are you allowed to copy text from your Master's thesis into your PhD thesis?

I wrote a Master's thesis a couple of years ago (which is available to view from my University's online service; so it's out there) and am now doing a PhD. Some passages from my Master's thesis is ...
20
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the minimum contribution expected from an M.Sc. thesis?

I am writing a thesis for my M.Sc. dissertation, and I am struggling to identify how big the contribution of my paper has to be. I've heard professors in our campus saying "you don't have to save the ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it ok for an applied mathematician to research a topic that she has personal experience with?

Would this idea be too sensitive / too much information / generally a bad idea? For example, I have a friend who is doing her computational biology PhD at a strong U.S. program, and her main research ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

How to frame early university troubles related to mental illness when applying for masters program after more recent successes at university?

Years ago I had a really rough few years of college, inability to focus, tons of stress, manic episodes etc. Instead of going into the drama of it all, the bottom line here is that during those years ...
19
votes
6answers
6k views

Dullness vs. going overboard: Should I be calling people 'enfants terribles' in an academic paper?

I'm just about to finish my master's in law with only my dissertation left to handle. I'm being extremely cautious with the language that I'm using when writing as I've previously been told that my ...
19
votes
3answers
5k views

Is it possible to support oneself as a lifelong graduate student?

I don't care much for being rich. I don't mind a modest life if I can just do research in the field I love. Thus I am curious to know if it is possible to make a living just by studying. (Suppose I ...
19
votes
3answers
60k views

Can you teach at a community college with a master's degree?

I'm interested in teaching a class at the community college level. I'm not interested in it as a career, but rather because I like teaching people about computer science. How likely is it that I ...
19
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it bad to apply to one PhD program with the intent of leaving for another (more prestigious) one?

I'm in my senior year of undergrad. I messed up a little bit academically this semester - not seriously, but enough to be confident I wouldn't get into a top 20 math PhD program. So I wanted to work ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

Does your supervisor have to be able to understand your thesis?

I am currently writing my master thesis in mathematics and for those who are more familiar with the subject, I am more into analysis whereas my supervisor is more into computational sciences. My ...