Get Answers: Thesis/Dissertation
Hello, I'm a doctoral student in a bit of an unusual situation and I'm feeling that there may be too many obstacles in the way of finishing my degree. I'm hoping I might be able to get some feedback, a reality check, from others who are in or who have gone through doctoral programs, perhaps facing some similar obstacles.
Specific details: The situation is this: my advisor passed away unexpectedly last spring. He was the only faculty member at my school knowledgeable in my area of interest. He was also the only faculty member to have advised doctoral dissertations in my program, and the only faculty member who has taught some of my remaining required courses (I have four courses to take before I am eligible for comps). The solution proposed by the school is that I bring in an expert in my field from another institution to work with me on the dissertation. Because my official advisor must be someone from my school this means that I am asking someone to act as de facto advisor without being recognized as such. For this privilege said expert will receive a modest honorarium. I have contacted someone, and he has tentatively agreed to help. From his responses, however, I get the impression that he either does not fully understand what I am asking of him, or he understands all too well and is trying to let me know that, while he is willing to help, he is not interested in doing the heavy lifting. I am questioning how feasible it really is for me to continue with this degree at this institution. The coursework can be sorted out, either by making substitutions in the requirements or by finding suitable courses at neighboring institutions. But is it worth figuring out the courses if it's possible that I will have to choose a topic and write a dissertation with very little guidance? I will mention that my late advisor was known for being very meticulous in his guidance, and that is one of the reasons I wanted to work with him. I will also mention that I don't have support in the form of a peer group at my school. I am the only - and last - graduate student in my program (the program is being discontinued). I appreciate any comments anyone might have. I do understand that everyone is different, and that what might seem like an insurmountable obstacle to me might be viewed as an interesting challenge by someone else. Even so, I would like to know if anyone has had to deal with any of the same issues and how they felt about their decision to finish, withdraw, or start over at another school. Thanks.
- asked by FirstAuthor
- posted on Jul 25, 2012 7:16:20 PM PST
- answered by: ProfSusan - History
- posted: Jul 26, 2012 10:25:24 AM PST
- answered by: FirstAuthor
- posted: Jul 28, 2012 8:57:41 AM PST