PhD Subfield Switch

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  • Thread starter quark001
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  • #1
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Last December I applied for physics PhD positions in the US. In my personal statements, I mentioned my research interests as well as specific faculty I'd like to work with. What happens if I receive an offer of admission from a school but decide that I'd prefer to do research in a different subfield of physics, under the supervision of a different person?

More context: I originally wanted to work in theoretical particle physics (experimental as a second choice), but my current MSc research is in gravity and cosmology (theoretical). I'm enjoying it so much that I'd like to switch. How acceptable would this be?
 

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  • #2
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Presumably the offer of admission comes from the school, although the particular faculty member may have helped you along in the expectation that you would work with him.

Is there an offer of financial support involved? If so, is that from the school, or is it from/through the particular faculty member you specified?

These are things to think about.
 
  • #3
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Presumably the offer of admission comes from the school, although the particular faculty member may have helped you along in the expectation that you would work with him.

Is there an offer of financial support involved? If so, is that from the school, or is it from/through the particular faculty member you specified?

These are things to think about.

Thanks for the thoughts. Yes, there is a financial support offer, and it's from the school, not the faculty member.
 
  • #4
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Did you receive an e-mail/call/other contact from the faculty you proposed to work with? If not, I'd say you should definitely feel free to switch.
 
  • #5
Vanadium 50
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Don't worry about it. This happens all the time.
 

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