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Thesis Committee Issue!!!

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Bioboy, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. Bioboy

    Bioboy 2+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    1st year PhD student here. Decided to apply to med schools this summer and attend following my Masters (after passing the qualifying exam). Concerned about the thesis committee. I still have to assemble one, but do I tell them ahead of time that they will only meet once for my qualifying exam and never again since I will not stay in my program, or do I tell them after the exam when I officially end my enrollment?
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  3. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    At least here at UC Davis, you don't have an official thesis committee until passing your QE. Might be different in engineering or something since they take a written exam and an oral exam, but I think for the most part, you don't put a real thesis committee together until you adv. to candidacy.
  4. PseudomonasPAO1

    PseudomonasPAO1 New Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 14, 2006
    Miami, FL
    Definitely tell potential committee members you are switching to the MS program (don't need to tell them about med school). It's just polite, and you don't want to tick off potential sources for LORs.
  5. Haemulon

    Haemulon Slippery When Wet Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 1, 2006
    On SDN
    Yeh, don't burn any bridges here. Think long term strategy when interacting with your committee. They can be your best friend or your worst enemy, and you never really know how things will play out until your inthe thick of it. As a rule, the closer you get to graduation, the more adversarial the relationships get. So make sure that you have at least one strong ally and supporter among them that knows your full story and is willing to support you. The others can be on a need to know basis.
  6. braintrust

    braintrust Banned Banned

    May 17, 2007

    we have the same thing here at the university of hawaii. I'll take the qualifying exam in december and if I don't pass I have to wait until may 2008 and won't be able to form my committee until after I pass. This may end up becoming an issue for me if I'm accepted for 2008 and don't pass the QE in December
  7. 146233

    146233 Phthirius pubis

    Apr 12, 2007
    Some schools require that those enrolled in advanced degree programs either complete their degree prior to matriculation or obtain a letter from their department chair prior to application.
  8. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    Exactly. OP, you'd be better off to formally switch into the MS program before you apply, or you could get a lot of hassle from the med schools about needing to complete your PhD before matriculation. Even if the med school takes you as a grad school dropout, it's best to avoid the conundrum of having to ask some not-so-happy grad school faculty to write your LORs for med school.
  9. ut2010

    ut2010 Medical Student 2+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2007
    I have a Ph.D. and have agreed with the advice given here. First, be upfront with any faculty responsible for directing you. Secondly, officially register in the master's program and complete it before applying to medical school.

    In my school, people who could not or did not want to get a doctorate after finishing the qualifying exam would be offered a terminal master's degree. But I think it would be better to formally apply to a M.S. degree in your case.

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