Switching advisors in a department

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bahar.physics
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:38 pm

Switching advisors in a department

Postby bahar.physics » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:39 pm

Hello everyone

I have admitted to a university in the US. I have contacted a professor (theoretical CMP) and he has told me that he has some topics for me to work on. After being admitted, a newly hired professor contacted me to introduce himself and his work is experimental CMP. Well, I dont have any experience in working in theoretical or experimental CMP, so I am not really sure what to do! both of whom are knowledgeable, but the experimental advisor is cooler!
I do not know if I have admitted because of the recommendation of the first advisor (theorist). Is it possible for a student to do some researches under supervision of two advisors and then pick up one?
Is it Ok for me as a TA to change my mind and turn to experimental while the theorist advisor recommended me for this position?

Thank you!

TakeruK
Posts: 934
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Switching advisors in a department

Postby TakeruK » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:26 pm

You should check the department guidelines/rules on when students pick their thesis advisor. At most schools in the US, this doesn't happen until a little while into the program. At some places, you are even encouraged to work with multiple professors at first and pick one later. If you can't find a clear answer, definitely talk to the prof in charge of grad students in this department to get clarity on the advisor picking process. Do this before agreeing to work on any projects.

What do you mean by the last part ("Is it Ok for me as a TA to change my mind and turn to experimental while the theorist advisor recommended me for this position?"). Are you saying that the theoretical CMP professor in this department recommended you for admission? If so, then you should check whether your admission offer is dependent on you working for this professor. Some schools do admit students directly to a professor. However, many US schools do not do this so even if one of the profs was interested in you initially and made a recommendation for you to be admitted, if there is another prof that is interested in working with you and you're interested in them, then that should be okay. Again, check with the prof in charge of grad students on whether you are restricted to certain profs as advisors.

On the other hand, if by "theorist advisor", you mean an undergraduate advisor who wrote a letter of recommendation for your application, then this doesn't matter at all. Once you start the grad program, everything from your application is basically ignored and you are starting fresh. It doesn't matter what you said you wanted to study / work on in your SOP, all it matters is what happens from here on. So, if your interests change after starting your program, feel free to make changes to your plan as long as they are within the program's rules/policies. You're not obligated to do anything you said in your SOP.

bahar.physics
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:38 pm

Re: Switching advisors in a department

Postby bahar.physics » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:13 pm

TakeruK wrote:You should check the department guidelines/rules on when students pick their thesis advisor. At most schools in the US, this doesn't happen until a little while into the program. At some places, you are even encouraged to work with multiple professors at first and pick one later. If you can't find a clear answer, definitely talk to the prof in charge of grad students in this department to get clarity on the advisor picking process. Do this before agreeing to work on any projects.

What do you mean by the last part ("Is it Ok for me as a TA to change my mind and turn to experimental while the theorist advisor recommended me for this position?"). Are you saying that the theoretical CMP professor in this department recommended you for admission? If so, then you should check whether your admission offer is dependent on you working for this professor. Some schools do admit students directly to a professor. However, many US schools do not do this so even if one of the profs was interested in you initially and made a recommendation for you to be admitted, if there is another prof that is interested in working with you and you're interested in them, then that should be okay. Again, check with the prof in charge of grad students on whether you are restricted to certain profs as advisors.

On the other hand, if by "theorist advisor", you mean an undergraduate advisor who wrote a letter of recommendation for your application, then this doesn't matter at all. Once you start the grad program, everything from your application is basically ignored and you are starting fresh. It doesn't matter what you said you wanted to study / work on in your SOP, all it matters is what happens from here on. So, if your interests change after starting your program, feel free to make changes to your plan as long as they are within the program's rules/policies. You're not obligated to do anything you said in your SOP.


Hi my friend

wow, thank you so much, your response is comprehensive and thorough. So, I should first contact to check whether my admission is contingent on the theorist advisor or not. Also I have heard from this advisor's current student that he won't choose anyone before qualifying exam. I think it could be self-explanatory that I have some time to make up mu mind and be ready to chose one! yes?

TakeruK
Posts: 934
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Switching advisors in a department

Postby TakeruK » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:28 am

bahar.physics wrote:Hi my friend

wow, thank you so much, your response is comprehensive and thorough. So, I should first contact to check whether my admission is contingent on the theorist advisor or not. Also I have heard from this advisor's current student that he won't choose anyone before qualifying exam. I think it could be self-explanatory that I have some time to make up mu mind and be ready to chose one! yes?


That does sound like it, but would be a good idea to double check how the thesis advisor and student is matched up in that department.




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