Why leaving graduate programs early should not be considered failing: Opinion

In an article for University Affairs, Araby Smyth (Mount Allison University) profiles three former doctoral students who chose to leave university before completing their graduate degree. The students mentioned facing several difficulties during their doctoral programs, including struggling to comprehend the “hidden curriculum” (the assumed knowledge of how to navigate higher education), a lack of intellectual community, and insufficient funding. Since leaving their doctoral programs, each student has found a successful career outside of academia. The author concludes that leaving graduate programs “should not be considered a personal failure, but more of a strategy towards meeting the demands of life and reaching other career goals.”

University Affairs