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Help! Advisor is moving!

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I've heard this is not all that uncommon but I would never expect that it would happen to me! My advisor recently told me that this will be his last year at my institution as he has accepted a position at another place. He outlined several options for me:


1) Stay at my current school and he will help me find a new advisor

2) Move with my advisor to the new school

3) Transfer to another school; he said he'll write me a stellar rec letter


Some background info: I'm currently a 2nd yr. engineering student in the PhD program who have yet to take the quals (scheduled to take it in the Spring). My advisor is overseeing my MS thesis which I will receive along the way to the PhD this year. I'm not that far along in my program yet as you can see.


My program is ranked in the top 5 in my field and the school is very well-known (i.e., name-brand school). The school my advisor is going to is ranked in the top 10 in my field and somewhat well-known. For my specific research interest, there are no one else in my department that works in that area. However, there are a few people in a different department so if I choose to stay at my current school I will most likely finish the MS and transfer department for the PhD or pick a different research focus.


Of course, if move to the new school I will continue to work with my advisor. My advisor is known in my area of research and is probably one of the best advisor a student can have (one of the condition he made before taking the job is for them to give me full support). I do not know anything about the department at the new school except that there are 1-2 people working on the same topic.


I'm leaning on the third option. The school I would want to transfer to is another name-brand place that is top 5 in my field. The department has a very well-known person in my research area who happens to collaborate a lot with my current advisor. The main factor I would want to transfer, however, is that I'll be much closer to my significant other and friends. If I choose this option I will have to go through the admission process all over again. While my advisor has close contacts with the person I would like to work under, it does not mean guaranteed acceptance.


Have anyone experience advisor moving? Would love to hear some advice about my dilemma.

Edited by WorriedTurtle
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  • 4 weeks later...

Without trying to suggest that this is the right choice - you said your advisor negotiated full-funding for you at the new institution.  What happens to your funding if you don't go?  Do your research as the commenter above suggested, but also consider that you don't have to worry so much about funding if you go with your advisor.  Were I in your circumstance, money could be the deal maker/breaker.


Edit: I should add that I might look at it differently if you were further along in your program.  I'm in my first semester and on TA money.  So for me, funding would be everything until I can get on a fellowship or grant.

Edited by sansao
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