How to Change Dissertation Advisor After Starting Dissertation

Do you know when it is the time to change dissertation advisor? Maybe it is the time when he has changed your dissertation topic for the sixth time, or maybe it is your fault for not being able to submit your dissertation. Whatever the case is, one thing is for sure. A dissertation advisor selected once cannot be changed at once.

You can easily change the advisor in two cases. The first way is if your advisor has left the university and the second way is if he has died. To change dissertation advisor except for these two conditions, you have to come up with a strong reason. However, still, there are many ways you can change your advisor.

Those ways are the epicentre of today’s article. Hence, let’s get started with today’s article by describing the reasons for changing the advisor.

What are the top reasons for changing the advisor?

Students can change their research advisors at any time during their degrees. However, to do this, they have to have a strong reason. Some top reasons for changing the advisor are as follows:

  • The research interests of the students have solidified. After their solidification, he comes to know that the chosen advisor does not have the required expertise.
  • The students think that the chosen advisor does not provide them with proper guidance or fails to fulfil their advising needs.
  • The students realise that there is a strong mismatch between them and their advisors. This mismatch is creating problems in research.

So, these are some of the reasons based on which students can easily change their dissertation supervisors. Although there could be many other reasons, like personal, they do not come into account when asking for a change of advisor.

How to change dissertation advisor?

Dissertation Advisor
Dissertation Advisor

From the discussion above, the top reasons for changing a dissertation advisor are pretty clear. The only vague thing left now is to discuss how to change dissertation advisor. Here, in this section, I will discuss all the recommendations you can use to change your advisor smoothly. Please note that this guide is based on the recommendations made by the expert dissertation researchers of a best dissertation writing service. Hence, a brief description of the major strategies is as follows:

1. Have someone in mind

The first recommendation is to have someone in mind before changing your supervisor. Do not disclose your decision until you have someone in your mind who is ready to support you. Visit the labs of other professors, have an academic chat with them, and explore their research interests.

By doing so, you will get to know them better. Anyways, knowing the new advisor is not important at this stage. The least you should do is to have someone in your mind.

2. Seek advice from other researchers

Seeking advice from the fellow advisors of your advisor is another recommendation you can consider. Put your needs and your current advisor’s requirements in front of them and ask them whether you should go for the change or not.

The fellow researchers, after carefully analysing your case, will suggest you something. If they suggest you change, then change your advisor quickly. It is very beneficial when you are at the edge of completing your degree. It is because if you do not take advice and change your dissertation advisor on your own, your future can be at risk due to the powers of your current advisor.

3. Figure out what you want

Most students are not clear about their academic goals at the time of graduation. They do not know what they want to do in the future. At one time, they like one thing and like the other thing the second time.

Due to this mental confusion, they do not know what to do. They also do not know whether they want to change their dissertation supervisor or not. If this is the case with you, do not prolong it anymore.

Figure out what you want and make a decision accordingly. Hence, you must know about your needs first and then change the advisor as per your needs.

4.  Keep your decision to yourself

Do not announce your decision to leave the dissertation supervisor over the rooftops. You must keep it to yourself. It is necessary because if you announce it publicly, you may get yourself into a heated argument with your current advisor.

It is totally not a good thing for your smooth transition because the advisor can create many difficulties. Therefore, the best recommendation is to keep the news to yourself. Do not boast around the corners. Make the switch quietly and let your supervisor at the end.

5.  Approach at least three to four faculty members

You have made up your mind to change dissertation advisor. No worries. However, the main recommendation is that do not to go for one advisor. Talk to at least three to four faculty members to be your supervisor.

It is because there is a possibility that one faculty member can ditch you at the last moment due to a request from your current advisor. Of the four advisors, one would definitely pick you up. Hence, have three to four people in mind and talk to them about your situation. Select the one that you like the most.

6. Fill out the form correctly

Different universities around the world have different rules and regulations when it comes to changing dissertation advisors. Most universities require the submission of an Advisor Change Form.

Therefore, you must fill out this form detailing why you want to change your advisor. It must also have the names of the next professors you want to be considered as your next advisors.


Changing a dissertation advisor is not a simple task. There is always a procedural barrier that you have to go through. Hence, make sure you work out the recommendations mentioned above to make your transition easy.

Otherwise, the current advisor can make your transition difficult using his powers. Hence, have 3 to 4 advisors in mind before making the decision to change dissertation advisor.

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