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A friend of mine who is doing a PhD has finished writing the first draft of her thesis. In her school, it's a common practice that a supervisor will read the first draft and then provide feedback and suggestions for improvement.

However, my friend's supervisor is too busy at the moment and explicitly says that he won't be able to read her thesis in a month or so. The supervisor suggests my friend to wait for him. But, since my friend already has a job offer and wants to submit the thesis as soon as possible, the supervisor allows her to submit it now without him reading it.

When my friend was writing her thesis, she sent some chapters to her supervisor. He read some but not all of them.

My question is whether a supervisor has a responsibility to read his/her student's thesis. Moreover, should my friend submit her thesis now even her supervisor hasn't read it yet.


  • My friend is doing her PhD in the UK, which means the supervisor is not in the examining committee.
  • My friend let her supervisor know about the job offer more than a month ago and they both agreed that the supervisor would try his best to find a time to review her thesis. However, it seems that the supervisor cannot find a time, so he lets her submit now if she wants.

1 Answer 1

This is just another example of some advisers bad habits. Yes, it is their responsibility to read the thesis. The supervisor is the chair of committee and receives job benefits from this thesis.

When I submitted my Masters thesis, I had two co-chairs. Unfortunately, none of them take the time to read my thesis. They said we know you have done a great job from your reports. In the defense session one of my committee members gave me a real hard time over a missing chapter of my thesis. Later I had to add that chapter. So I do not recommend sending the thesis while it is not read by the supervisor.