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possible to change advisor or to transfer to another area?


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I know each school has different ways of dealing this, but what are some of the general rules about transferring to a different area in the same field?

For example, I am in cognitive psychology, and I no longer feel interested in the research in cognitive, and I would like to find a new mentor in, lets say, social psychology.

How should I go about this?

what I mean is, I don't want to discuss this with my mentor yet, since I do not want to upset her before I know if i can transfer.

some advice please :)

edit: here are two specific questions.

1. should I plan on transferring beginning of the spring semester, or should I expect to transfer beginning of next fall?

2. I know some professors will be looking for new grad students, should I go talk to them first or are there others I should discuss with first?

Edited by David200000000000
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The answer to this really depends on your individual institution. You should check with your graduate program administrator or a trusted faculty member (e.g., professor responsible graduate studies in your department).

Another way of getting your feet wet in social psychology might be to find a faculty member whose interests overlap with yours and begin a second line of research with that person. That way you can see whether you are actually interested in this second area. If I were a faculty member I would be reluctant to take-on a graduate student unless I knew they actually liked my area, and weren't just motivated to get away from where they are currently.

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I know each school has different ways of dealing this, but what are some of the general rules about transferring to a different area in the same field?

For example, I am in cognitive psychology, and I no longer feel interested in the research in cognitive, and I would like to find a new mentor in, lets say, social psychology.

How should I go about this?

what I mean is, I don't want to discuss this with my mentor yet, since I do not want to upset her before I know if i can transfer.

some advice please :)

edit: here are two specific questions.

1. should I plan on transferring beginning of the spring semester, or should I expect to transfer beginning of next fall?

2. I know some professors will be looking for new grad students, should I go talk to them first or are there others I should discuss with first?

Are you considering transferring schools or just departments within the school? The latter is actually a lot easier, I think, as long as you can find a professor to take you on. I know a couple of people who started with me and then switched departments.

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