Supervisor just wonot let me Graduate


Hi All,
I just needed some help or suggestion from you guys. I have been working on my PhD since 2016. I submitted my thesis two years ago and still have not graduated. The supervisor has read it, okayed it but just wonot submit the final report to faculty so that they can give me a defense presentation date (i am a student in germany and the procedure is like that). I think i have done my fair share for getting the degree. (17 IF publication, 13 as first author and more than 150 citations). I just donot know what to do. Confronted him multiple time, will say i will do it but nothing..Really need some suggestion as i am stuck and cannot go back to my home country without my a degree.

Avatar for rewt

Is there anyone in your department who you can talk to like another lecturer or the dean? They might be able to give you advice on how to use the university system to force a submission. Otherwise you could talk with your students union about your rights and possibly file a complaint against him. As 13 first name publications is a significant contribution of knowledge that most definitely is good enough to submit.


I can feel your pain, I hope that things take good turn for you.
What is reason of delay? Are you still part of some critical research work? Usually supervisors don't let go their bright researcher so easily, they love to keep them hostage.
You have to be diplomatic but assertive , visit him as many times you can, don't shy away. Openly inquire the reason of delay, and explain your situation and your progress too. Be diplomatic...
As @rewt said look out for some help and analyse your options Secretly. But be very careful FIRST try to fix things directly with supervisor.


Frankly, it sounds like there is something missing from your story. It would be incredible for a supervisor to delay graduation by two years for no stated reason. That being said, I received my PhD from a German university, and what I remember about the process at the end was the long and complicated bureaucratic process involved (this is Germany, after all). This process had to be triggered and run by the student and involved writing letters and filling out forms for various parts of the university administration. Some aspects of this bureaucratic process also had to be performed a while (6 months or more) before the thesis defense could even be scheduled. Also, none of my advisors actually knew what this (ever-changing and University-specific) process actually required. Rather, I had ask to PhD colleagues for advice and talk to various administrative assistants to piece together the information required. All that my supervisors did was to later tell the dean at what dates they would be available for my defense - but this was after I had taken care of all the bureaucratic prerequisites. Maybe you could ask somebody who recently graduated what the exact process was?