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Desired Advisor Going on Sabattical for the First Semester


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Hello!

So I've been chatting with the same professor for about a year now, and really want to work with her as my advisor. She even emailed me just the other day to say that she had an exciting research project that she would like my help with. However, she's going on sabbatical for the upcoming semester. Is it okay just to take classes the first semester and maybe do some volunteering while I wait for her to get back? We could still probably communicate through email, but I've never done grad school before so I just wanted some advice.

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In my field, this is totally fine. Most people have their advisor away at some point in their degree and being away early is better than being away the semester you want to defend, for example. Also, in my field, the first semester is not very research productive, so you can do a lot of background reading and/or take an extra class while your advisor is away. But perhaps different fields operate differently!

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I'd say the first semester is the best time to have your advisor gone, if she is going to be gone for any one semester of your studies. You could talk to her ahead of time about a plan for that semester but in general the first semester is an adjustment period and you concentrate more on classes, so I don't think your progress needs to suffer at all from her being gone. You'll probably do some reading for courses and write some papers, and by the time you have any beginnings of an idea of what you want to study more, she'll already be back.

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hey.. I am just wondering about THE adviser thing as I am moving to US from other country and I got few offers for PhD, yet to send my acceptance. Do temporary advisers, for first year of course study, are allotted before arrival or few days after all formalities are done at the University in person.  Actually I want to talk to my adviser before the arrival so that I become familiar with him/ her.

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Hermitstock, the way this is done really varies from one program to the next. The best thing to do is check the Graduate Handbook for the specific departments you're interested in.

 

ChelceCarter, it's really not a big deal if your advisor is on sabbatical your first semester, especially for a PhD program where you'll have a couple of years of coursework before you really dig into your research. It will give you a chance to begin building relationships with other faculty who will potentially be on your dissertation committee, as well as do some independent exploration into whichever topics interest you. I didn't do any research at all the first semester of my PhD program and it was totally fine.

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My advisor is going on sabattical next semester (the beginning of my second year in the program.) Right now I am still working on my coursework so it really isn't that big of a deal. I plan on meeting with her sometime this semester and asking who I should meet with in her absence if I have any research/coursework questions. Perhaps do the same thing?

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