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My suggestion is that you talk about all of the reasons you are moving to the other university, as opposed to leaving the current one. These reasons could be to do with relationships (e.g., family) or future opportunities (e.g., a postdoc) or being paid whilst you are currently unpaid. If you have to give a reason why you are leaving your current position, ...


53

Mathematics Let me specify that by transferring, I mean moving to another university in the middle of a graduate program. Switching universities between undergrad and grad or between a master's degree and a Ph.D. is very different. Basically, those are the only mainstream opportunities to move, and anything else will require an exception. Transferring is ...


44

The other school is hiring your adviser because they think they'll be a good researcher and faculty member. This means that at some level they trust your adviser's judgement. It's not impossible, but it'd be highly unlikely that they would refuse to admit you against your adviser's request. The more likely situation, if they're concerned about your ability, ...


40

Many, many students who are at lower-ranked universities aspire to be at higher-ranked places instead. (In fact, what is more surprising to me is that not all such students feel this way.) The hard truth is that top-ranked universities by definition are very selective of their applicants, and in your case the "main round" of the selection process has ...


39

will this be enough to get into a highly ranked PhD program? No. You might well be able to get into a highly ranked PhD program, and have your bad undergraduate grades overlooked. But this is difficult; many more try to do this than succeed. Perfect grades in grad school are common and will not make a strong impression on graduate admissions committees. ...


36

Go with him. Seriously heed this: Go with him Reasoning: You seem to want to go. The adviser wants you to come with. Gird you loins and make it happen. Put in the work. No, it is not normally automatic* that a university will admit existing graduate students but it is probable that your professor can pull strings to help you get on board. (*for the ...


35

I would contact the students directly for answers before contacting the supervisors. This way, you can get some feedback and further information before deciding if you want to contact the supervisors. However, I would in any case not take a student from the lab of an acquaintance without the "blessing" of the acquaintance. Otherwise you risk setting up an ...


34

You should not take the term "transferring credits" so literally -- nothing is taken away from the (at that time) previous university. Instead, you are convincing the new university that you already obtained some parts of the education they are offering (so that it would be a waste of your and their time to do that again), and have the credits to prove it. ...


33

Computer Science Yes, PhD students transfer for many reasons besides moving advisors. Sometimes the reasons are purely professional; for instance, I've seen several students successfully transfer because they discovered a passion for a subfield that didn't match the interests/experience of the local faculty. Sometimes they're more personal things like ...


33

I know it sounds not very ethical, but I said nothing to my supervisor until I'm officially accepted by the new university. That is almost certainly the best move. Don't say anything to anyone until you've officially been accepted by the other university. Keep working as normal until your acceptance letter comes. Once you've been accepted to the 2nd ...


21

Yes! In fact, it would be inappropriate not to ask at least one professor at your current university for a reference letter, as direct evidence of your success.


21

In addition to being denied admission or dismissed from the university, as noted in Bob Brown's answer, lying on an application can be grounds for revoking a degree after it was awarded. You may also be required to pay back any scholarships that were awarded to you under false pretenses. For example, here's the policy of University of Arkansas at Little ...


16

One issue that occasionally comes up at US universities is that in order to transfer credits, the previous university has to send an official transcript to the new one. Many universities require that before they will send the transcript, you have to have paid all tuition and fees you owe them (or have financed them with a student loan). So if you are behind ...


15

Not all cases are equivalent. Unfortunately, switching PhD programs is something that is not often done. This is such an exceptional case, that I think it's one of the few instances in which a purely positive letter from a supervisor is not called for. The basic issue here is that the people reviewing your application need to understand why you left the ...


15

The other answers give the most 'sensible' choice, but being nice and making false excuses for your departure is not the only option. Consider politely but firmly telling the supervisor your genuine reasons for leaving. There is a risk of backlash (although your supervisor is retiring soon and you are leaving the department) but the upside is the self-...


14

Unfortunately, it's probably not feasible to start over elsewhere in the near future. You can certainly try applying, and it might work out, especially if you have a really compelling explanation. However, I think the chances are slim. The basic question is how much progress towards a thesis you have made during your six years in grad school. If you're ...


14

Field: Mathematics. Transferring is possible although you might have to 'start over' at your new university. For example, perhaps you have completed the first year sequence of courses in University A and passed some prelims before transferring to University B. At University B you might either be required to go through their first year sequence, or take (and ...


13

Computer Science It's not uncommon for a student to transfer, usually earlier in the program. The reasons can be as you mentioned, and often there are non-academic reasons as well. You do have to apply again from scratch, although its possible that admissions committees will look more generously on the application. You might be able to apply out of cycle ...


12

There's no simple answer here. Contrary to "The Fire Guy," when I moved, all of my students stayed at their old institution—primarily for financial and personal reasons. However, I received approval from the department at my old university to continue advising the students who remained. The big question that you haven't addressed is what you'd have left to ...


11

I answered a similar question here: No, you absolutely must not hide it. The application will request your complete educational history, with official grades and records from each institution. At the end, you will be asked to sign a statement that everything is true and complete. Submitting an application that is false or has significant omissions is ...


11

To get a feel for this situation from the student's point of view, I suggest reading questions such as Changing PhD programs: should I submit a recommendation letter from my old advisor if it's not purely positive?, Incompatibility with the PhD advisor, Switch PhD program: how to contact possible PhD advisors when already enrolled in PhD program?, and many ...


11

I'll add some points from a German perspective and the perspective of someone who defended her thesis in another university than where most of the research was actually done. I suspect that a large part of the conflict about the supervision may be due to OP and professor working with quite different concepts of PhD thesis work which may be arising from a ...


10

You might find your attitude holds you back. Universities are much like any large organization, and not like movies such as A Beautiful Mind or Good Will Hunting, initially you are little more than a name on a list. If you want to be noticed and get involved with exciting research, you have to put in the time doing the tasks the professors have set you; if ...


10

In the United States, and probably elsewhere, a student who lies on an application for admission can be denied admission or dismissed from the university, even after acceptance and starting classes or other work.


10

I planning to drop out of a PhD program after one semester and apply to another top university for a PhD program. Not all universities allow applicants from current Ph.D students. Although not 'illegal' it is looked down upon based on the requirements that I've seen thus far in my applications. Also try to finish the year at the very least. Perhaps your ...


10

Well, are they offering you something tangible? Pay etc? Different or more extensive equipment.. Or do you have external reasons : family, partner (spouse, other...) It could be simpler to stick to something like that... Students have moved before and will again. You MUST do what is best for you and Soon.


10

If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. Do not lie to another school, just tell them the truth, without the words "sham" and "bait-and-switch" etc. Tell them you attended for one month and withdrew, and can prove that, but there is now a dispute over tuition, which you thought was waived. They want you to pay 20K, which you are contesting, so they ...


9

If your adviser is supportive enough to agree to fly out just to meet you - that's extraordinary -, I would steer any future decision through them, and not only to make sure that future fly-outs are to places they can, and want to reasonably visit. A professor taking you in, say, in Canada needs to be aware that your candidacy is essentially token. The ...


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