I did a search but didn't see a thread related to this query, so here goes (and forgive me if this is an utterly idiotic question). I'm in a Physics Masters program (first semester) and before recently I didn't have a concrete idea of the research I wanted to pursue. After months of investigating, I'm really interested in Quantum Information (specifically related to Quantum Computing), but I don't think any of the groups at my school are directly related to my interests. I'll have a talk with my graduate adviser Monday, but I'm wondering if you guys have had any experience in a situation like this. Do grad schools allow students to actively and somewhat independently pursue research in areas that might not be directly related to research being done there, or am I in a situation where I need to just join a group that's still somewhat interesting to me and worry about QIP at another university if I go for my PhD? Or can the answer be somewhere in the middle, where I'll be allowed to find a way to apply QIP to the research that's already being done?