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Two advisors?


paulab
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Hi everyone, hope you are doing well!

I am starting to consider applying to phd programs and need help for choosing a supervisor. For reference my area of research is modern and contemporary Latin American art. I was looking at one program in particular that has two professors in the Latin American field but neither really specify on modern and contemporary art (one studies colonial, the other architecture), yet I believe they could work as potential advisors for me for their experience and methodology. Is it normal to have 2 advisors? How should I go about bringing it up when/if I contact them? My thought process at the moment is that since my research doesn't exactly align with either maybe getting both of their perspectives could be more fruitful? Should I just contact one of them and hope they accept me even if their research doesn't align closely to mine? Maybe I can mention both professors in my SOP? 

Any help will be really appreciated!! 

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Yes, it's acceptable and quite common to have more than one adviser. You should always aim to enter a program with more than one person you could see yourself working with. Your research questions and approaches should and will evolve. Beyond topical interests and overlap with potential advisers, an equally important consideration is their respective methodologies. You may find this at both a departmental and individual/adviser level within a program.

Your research doesn't need to align exactly with theirs. In fact, it probably shouldn't, in my opinion. You're likely to benefit more from an adviser and program that offer you holistic support with regard to your topic, ie different time periods, mediums etc. As I mentioned above, your line of research will naturally evolve during your time in graduate school and by working with advisers whose work isn't exactly aligned with your own, you're exposing yourself to relevant information and exploring new topics you may be interested in.

Definitely mention more than one POI in your SOP. If a POI were to leave, have a very distant sabbatical, or your area of research changes slightly, it's important to indicate synergy with other faculty. 

Have a look at Princeton too; Irene Small is doing interesting work in Contemporary Latin Am. and there are several other faculty within the program who could you could (potentially) work with.

 

 

Edited by nel09
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2 hours ago, nel09 said:

Yes, it's acceptable and quite common to have more than one adviser. You should always aim to enter a program with more than one person you could see yourself working with. Your research questions and approaches should and will evolve. Beyond topical interests and overlap with potential advisers, an equally important consideration is their respective methodologies. You may find this at both a departmental and individual/adviser level within a program.

Your research doesn't need to align exactly with theirs. In fact, it probably shouldn't, in my opinion. You're likely to benefit more from an adviser and program that offer you holistic support with regard to your topic, ie different time periods, mediums etc. As I mentioned above, your line of research will naturally evolve during your time in graduate school and by working with advisers whose work isn't exactly aligned with your own, you're exposing yourself to relevant information and exploring new topics you may be interested in.

Definitely mention more than one POI in your SOP. If a POI were to leave, have a very distant sabbatical, or your area of research changes slightly, it's important to indicate synergy with other faculty. 

Have a look at Princeton too; Irene Small is doing interesting work in Contemporary Latin Am. and there are several other faculty within the program who could you could (potentially) work with.

 

 

Thank you!!

That was what I was thinking but I was unsure if it was common practice and how to go about it.

And also thank you for the suggestion on Princeton, it was definitely on my list as well 

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You should also look at Rutgers. Tatiana Flores is a stellar scholar and recent hires have really bolstered the program. (Nicole Fleetwood, amber Wiley.) There is also a very good Latin American/Latino studieS program there as well. 

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