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I am trying to make a decision between two philosophy PhD programs (sort of.. the lower ranked school has me at the top of the waitlist). As a little background, my interests are (and these are in no meaningful order because they're all so interesting to me): epistemology, mind, modern philosophy, language, aesthetics, philosophy of religion. The first program is a top-15 program according to Philosophical Gourmet and is extremely strong in analytic philosophy and the philosophy of mind, language, and aesthetics; yet they are truly very weak on modern philosophy, philosophy of religion, and epistemology. A big plus is that it's located in a metropolis (I'm a thoroughbred city-boy). The second is a top-25 program according to the Gourmet. It is very strong in modern philosophy, moderately strong in philosophy of religion, and, to a slightly lesser extent, moderately strong in mind, language, and epistemology. It's located in Notreallyurbanville, and there's not much to do there, despite a small-to-moderate college town. If they accept me eventually, I'll likely get more money than the first school would grant me (not really a chance of negotiating that either). But it wouldn't be that much more and it's not my biggest concern right now. I'm so excited to have gotten into a top-15 program and I'm tempted to just accept their offer. But I'm worried that I won't have the flexibility in the program in case my interests change, e.g. if I decide I want to study Kant or philosophy of religion primarily. Do you think if I decided to study something only one or two people in the department focused on that on the job market I would be seen as weaker than most of my colleagues who study within the school's main strengths (all else the same)? I find myself thinking the answer is yes. And I also find myself thinking I would be seen as weaker than somebody who studied the same things I did and came from a lower-ranked PhD program with more peeps who studied in the area of his dissertation. Since the lower-ranked school has more fit generally, if, e.g. I decided to study Kant or philosophy of religion, I would have more people with similar interests to choose from for my committee. Conversely, if I decided I wanted to study mind, it would still be fairly easy to do so (althought not as easy as in the first program). But then again, it's lower ranked, and in the middle of no where. Any advice? I'm freaking out.... existential crisis here