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Adviser Retiring

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So, I am a month into my first year of graduate school in psychology. And my adviser has just announced that they are retiring in a year. I have met with some program directors for advice on what to do, and revised my class/research plan so that I will be defending my MA thesis next fall semester, before I am left adviser-less. I have more higher-ups to talk to in regards to what this means for me on paper, but so far it seems that I have a few options for what to do:

1. Try to transfer now to another university

2. Try to transfer once I complete my MA

3. Try to continue on here without an adviser after my MA and complete my PhD on my own.

4. Quit and enter the job market after my MA


There isn't really anybody else in my department who does the research I do, though there are others in the concentration but I'm not sure yet if they'd be able to take me on. 

Additionally, I thought I'd have the duration of the program to figure out my career goals. I am interested in research, but also interested in education/activism. But now, I actually need to make more of a decision about this because it'll affect what I choose to do. Sorry about vagueness, I didn't wanna make this post highly specific cause it's been an emotional few days, and yeah.....anybody further along who might be able to give advice?

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If it were me, I would go with option (2) in the sense of finishing the MA at the current institution, assuming that your advisor will still support you through it. At that point, I would leave and either get a job, or apply for a PhD at another institution. Doing that should allow you to have a stronger profile applying to a PhD, with the support of your current institution, as opposed to if you dropped out and reapplied this year, though in your case it also shouldn't be terribly hard to explain why you're switching. But I do think this would save you a year that I don't see why you'd want to spend starting over at this point. If you do leave academia, this MA should be good enough, and if you go into another PhD program, you'll be in a strong position to do so, although depending on your field and target programs, you may end up having to repeat some coursework (which I personally don't see as a huge minus, but some people do, so there you have it.) 

I would also take this as a learning experience and look for a place with *at least* two, preferably three, potential advisors. People retire, move institutions, get sick, etc. more frequently than you might think, and you really don't want your entire future to be in the hands of just one person. Any future program you consider should really have more breadth and more ability to support you. 

In any event, I don't think that continuing without any support makes sense, so (3) is out; I think (1) wastes a year right now, where as later that time could be put to better use; and (4) is a little premature, since it doesn't sound like you can make that decision now. That leaves (2) as the winner. 

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