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Interviewed by multiple professors at the same school


adelashk

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Hello all,

I am in a confusing situation. A month ago, I was interviewed by professor A and we got along really well. Later, I receive an email from Professor B from the same school asking me if I had a preference and if I was interested in his research. I mentioned I am open to exploring all fields. Then, I receive an email from Professor A saying he recommended my acceptance. Now, my preference is professor's A research. However I also received an email from a 3rd professor C. What to do in this situation? Is it unethical to still interview with Prof B and C? Is it rude to decline the interviews? All I want is an acceptance from the school, with the preference to work under prof A, then B, then C.

Thanks

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That is weird. Are they all in the department? Do you know if it's the atmosphere of the school to separate students by their adviser, or if it's a more collaborative environment? At my MA program you could barely tell who was "whose", but a neighboring program practically branded students by which professor brought them in. That might be a question better asked of the DGS. I'd have to imagine it's a good sign, anyway; most of us are lucky to have one person hoping for our acceptance.

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Are students expected to only work with one professor throughout their tenure at the school? In many places students work with more than one professor. In addition, it's always a good idea to have more than one person who could be a potential advisor at a given school. For one, you never know how your relationship with professor A will develop, and in addition you'll eventually have to form a dissertation committee which preferably contains people who are experts in your field or surrounding fields.

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I spoke to multiple professors at all the schools I applied to. It was expected that you would, and some profs would even recommend their colleagues to me. I tried to be as honest as possible about what schools I was applying to and who I had spoken to. The only time it was a little awkward was when I was receiving offers from multiple profs and had to choose one and explain to the others why I wasn't accepting their offer. One of the profs (also the dean) then e-mailed my current supervisor to congratulate him, and he had no idea I had spoken to this particular prof (I hadn't sought her out, she had asked to interview me at an interview weekend).

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Again, are you expected to only work with one professor or will you work with others beside your advisor? I don't see the need for this secrecy about your field and the answer to this very general question. Going off of what you wrote - it's safe to assume that professor B knows (or is likely to guess) that professor A has seen your application, even if B doesn't know A has contacted you. Say so if you're asked, but don't volunteer that information if it makes you feel uneasy. I always talked to several professors at each school I interviewed with and they all knew that I talked to their colleagues, but it sounds like your field may be different.

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I'd interview with all of them and just be honest about my preferences.

It's possible that they all want to work with you, but only prof A has funding. Circumstances change, though, so it never hurts to talk to as many potential PIs as possible. You might also decide to switch later, and it'd be valuable to already have additional contacts within your department.

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