Reasons Why People Fail to Complete a Master’s Degree


Thursday, December 16, 2021

In order to earn a master's degree, students must put in a lot of effort and hard work. However, sometimes, hard work is not enough. Let's see why some students don't complete their master's degree.



Earning a master's degree is a challenging process. These are postgraduate courses of study that focus on specialized training and taking students' knowledge and skills to a higher level than bachelor's degrees, which is why they require a more intense level of effort.

As it is so challenging, there are some students that fail to complete their master's degree. Let's dig deeper into those reasons so that you can anticipate them and make sure you don't go down that road when pursuing yours.

4 main reasons why people fail to complete their master’s degree


1. Not being independent enough

Graduate work is independent in nature. Earning a master’s degree will involve massive blocks of work that students must plan for themselves. Graduate students work closely with professors that are there to coach and advise, but the students will be largely responsible for figuring out their own schedules and goals.

Contrary to undergraduate programs, professors are unlikely to plan “check-ins” or “first draft reviews” for their master’s degree students.

2. Falling behind on coursework

Procrastinating is never the way to go in any higher education degree. However, it is commonly known for bachelor’s degree students to put off their coursework once in a while and still be able to meet deadlines. While this may be true for some at the undergraduate level, we can’t say the same for master’s degree students.

Students will find that the constant, high volume of reading, writing, and research means that falling behind is not an option. From day one, graduate students need to think about time management.

3. Interrupted by unplanned life events

Let’s face it—graduate school does not happen in a vacuum. Real life is a factor that we cannot ignore. The truth is that, sometimes, major life events cause school to take a backburner.

Any number of challenging life events can come up at any point in time. When it happens, students usually end up feeling quite trapped between two high-demand worlds.

For that reason, it is highly advisable to choose a program with flexible scheduling options. Graduate students can then manage their coursework and challenging life events by taking anywhere from six to twelve weeks off and picking right back up where they left off. Or, they can reduce their load to one class for 6 weeks or 12 weeks.

4. Struggling to write

The writing style at the graduate level is different. If you’re unable to articulate your research or unique point of view or argument, it is difficult for your professor to see how well you are achieving in your classwork. Graduate students will, no doubt, need to adjust their writing style to graduate-level work. 

These are some of the main reasons why people fail to complete their master’s degrees. It is normal to struggle with any one of these four challenges. However, it is not impossible to overcome them. Now that you are aware of these challenges, you can make sure that you succeed in your graduate studies and are able to earn your master’s degree.

Click here to take a look through our website and find the perfect master’s degree program for you!

If you need more information, please feel free to fill out the form on our website and one of our advisors will contact you as soon as possible to answer any questions you may have.




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