Here is the deal: I got accepted into a PhD program, fully funded, stipend, and tuition waived. The PhD would be in an area outside my expertise, but I am ok with this because the area is interesting and something I want to study. As I am communicating with my advisor I am getting potential red flags (maybe they aren't red flags) and it is raising some concerns about pursing my PhD at this university. They are: 1) The university has no classes directly related to my field of study. In order to take relevant course work I would have to take classes across the mathematics, physics, mechanical, and electrical/computer science department. I don't have a problem doing this, but I am worried that these classes will require preparation that I simply did not have during my undergraduate studies. 2) This professor is the only professor in the department with experience in this one particular area. That is to say, he is the only professor with controls experience in the department. 3) I cant find any information on this professor on the web. Yes, he has publications and earned his PhD about a decade ago, but I cannot find any information regarding classes he has taught or student reviews. 4) The advisor said I would learn more from his papers than any of the classes at the university. I am fine with this in principle - I taught myself a lot of fluid mechanics by reading papers. The difference was that I had a strong foundation in the topic. I am worried that I am going to be thrown into something I know nothing about and wont have time to prepare for as Ill be stuck taking classes that aren't relevant to my field of work or worse, stuck playing catch up because I lack the foundational material. 5) The area where the school was located sucks. The weather sucks, the city sucks. I love where I live now, I really don't want to move. I know this might sound like I am whining, but I am not looking forward to moving away from the beach to live in Dumpville, New England. This is not that big of a deal though, but it is something that Id rather not deal with. 6) I have a general sense of hesitation and doubt looming over me. I worked my whole life, brought myself up from big setbacks and crappy circumstances in my life to get to point where I can earn my doctorate and become a professor. I am now at that point, and I find myself questioning the path. I find myself asking "Am I climbing up the wrong latter?" The problem is that I cant see myself not doing an intellectually challenging career. My career thus far (naval architecture/aerospace engineering), while it has had its bright spots, I find is not challenging enough. I also believe deep down that I need to do something "important" with my life, how nebulous that term may sound. Essentially, I am not OK with having a 9 to 5 just to make money - purpose, utility, "a legacy" are important to me. I always wanted to be a professor, but seeing how the academic climate has become hostile ("publish or perish", "slave grad student",etc) I question whether or not I am fool for going this route. 7) I am finding that since I have entered my mid 20s my priorities are changing. I still love science, but I care more about doing something useful to people. I care more about saving money and living an enjoyable life. I am more concerned now with finding a long term relationship than when I was in my early 20s. Im finding that, while I was extremely passionate about science when I was 22, that there is more to life than science and it doesn't run the world like policy/politics or money. 8) Maybe I am just afraid and this is all BS. I don't know. I feel very torn. Any older people here to help? I don't have anyone to talk too about these issues that might understand. EDIT: I should note that I left a PhD program when I was 22 for funding reasons as well as a similar looming sense of doubt. I have thought about my departure everyday since the day I left.