Urgent! Please help me with the tricky situation

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planetme
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:46 am

Urgent! Please help me with the tricky situation

Postby planetme » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:55 pm

Hi GRE PHYSICIST!
I am struggling to decide which Physics PhD program to attend before April 15th. Currently I am getting stuck in a tricky situation, I'd greatly appreciate for anyone who offers me advice! :P :P

I am accepted into two physics PhD programs. One is very good with strong research (highly prestigious university with strong reputation in physics), the other one also has strong research but seems to be weaker than the 1st program I mentioned (smaller department, less research topics and connections). BUT I was only accepted into the 1st program because a professor whom I contacted previously were willing to let me join his lab. His research aligns pretty well with my current research, HOWEVER I don't actually feel passionate about my current research field and I'm now seriously considering to switch to other physics research field. I've also talked with a few PhD students that were working with him and they didn't seem to quite enjoy their research there...However, I feel switching advisor is really unethical since it was him that decided to let the program accept me (I mean this sincerely, the process was a bit complicated but that's basically what happened). And this PhD program has very limited rotation for students. Typically student starts serious research with an advisor during the spring semester of first year, so if I join this program I guess I would basically be working in a research field that I am not passionate about.

For the 2nd program, since I didn't contact any professor there previously I might have more freedom to choose advisors. Student there have at least 1.5 years to choose research topic and advisors. I also found a few excellent professors whose research I feel very interesting, and a few PhD students I've talked with all seem to enjoy their life at the school. (Bonus point: this school is located in the downtown of a big metropolis and doesn't require a car to get around! Big bonus for international students like me!)

So my question is: should I join a very strong program with very limited freedom to choose research topics and advisors, or join a weaker program with more freedom to choose research topics and advisors?

Thank you so much guys! I'd welcome any advices no matter what. Even if you cannot answer the question, your advice and experience still offer me lots of insights! Thanks! :D :D

TakeruK
Posts: 935
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Urgent! Please help me with the tricky situation

Postby TakeruK » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:39 pm

Only you can decide what is the best choice for you.

However, no matter what happened in this admission process, it is NOT your responsibility/problem that this professor chose to let you join his lab and chose to do whatever he did to help you get admitted. That was his choice.

So, please don't consider any obligation or responsibility to the professor at the 1st school when you make your choice. make the best choice for yourself.

planetme
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:46 am

Re: Urgent! Please help me with the tricky situation

Postby planetme » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:11 pm

TakeruK wrote:Only you can decide what is the best choice for you.

However, no matter what happened in this admission process, it is NOT your responsibility/problem that this professor chose to let you join his lab and chose to do whatever he did to help you get admitted. That was his choice.

So, please don't consider any obligation or responsibility to the professor at the 1st school when you make your choice. make the best choice for yourself.


Thank you so much! I've already made my choice (after much interrogating the enrolled graduate students and recruiter in each institute LOL) and turned down my offers at the other accepted schools (hoping it might save somebody at the last minute!). Very excited to start Physics PhD :mrgreen:

TakeruK
Posts: 935
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Urgent! Please help me with the tricky situation

Postby TakeruK » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:58 pm

planetme wrote:Thank you so much! I've already made my choice (after much interrogating the enrolled graduate students and recruiter in each institute LOL) and turned down my offers at the other accepted schools (hoping it might save somebody at the last minute!). Very excited to start Physics PhD :mrgreen:


Have fun! :) Happy for you!

Jonathanzz
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:41 am

Re: Urgent! Please help me with the tricky situation

Postby Jonathanzz » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:42 am

I think that this question is very good.




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