Leaving PhD program without burning bridges?
May 2, 2012 2:10 PM Subscribe
I am currently working on a Ph.D. but may have an opportunity to enter my field early. Is there a way I can drop out without burning bridges? When should I speak with my adviser about it?
posted by anonymous to Education (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm somewhere around 4 years into my Ph.D. I have completed my masters and I'm preparing for my prelim. I have no interest in staying in academia, and I don't think the Ph.D. will necessarily help me in my future career. In general I enjoy being a student and I like the program, so I was planning to finish up (~2 more years) because I am happy.
Recently, however, I was contacted out of the blue (by another student who dropped from my department) with an opportunity to leave early and enter my field of interest. I am scheduled to interview for this position in about 3 weeks. If I don't get the job, I would be content to stay and finish up my degree. If I do get the job, I am leaning (strongly) towards accepting it. The position is in a somewhat related field, with potential for (limited) interaction with people I work with now, and I am concerned about burning bridges.
I am not sure how or when to broach this subject with my academic adviser. My family/friends are divided on whether to bring it up a) as soon as possible, or b) only after (if) I am offered the job. Obviously I have to look out for what will make me happy even if that means closing doors behind me, but I would appreciate any advice about handling this situation gracefully. Thank you!