Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2nd Year Students Are Hard to Move

Suppose that you are a graduate student and your adviser tells you, "Guess what! We are moving the lab to more awesome university. Let's go!" What do you do? The possibilities may be broken up by how far along you are within the graduate program.

1st year student. Either you (1) find a new adviser at the old U. or (2) you transfer to the new U.

2nd year student.
You may still switch advisers at the old U. You could transfer to the new U and obtain a PhD from the new U. However, there is a slim possibility you could move to new U. but get PhD from old U.

3rd year student.
Switching advisers at the old U seems difficult now because you are so entrenched in your thesis work. By now, you've passed your candidacy exam/prospectus, so your options are more open. You could transfer to the new U and obtain a PhD from the new U. Now, there is a stronger possibility you could move to new U. but get PhD from old U, if that's what you wanted.

4th year student. You're likely stay in the same research group, but you may be able to finish all your research at old U. and obtain a PhD from old U., while being advised from afar. Or you could move to the new U. and finish up there, obtaining a PhD from either old or new U.

5+ year student. It is likely that you would stay behind at old U. since you don't have much time left and a move would just set you back. The likelihood of transferring to new U. is low because you may not have enough credits "in-state" from new U. In all likelihood, PhD will come from old U.

I've got a 2nd year and 1st year student. The 1st year decided to switch groups, and we are amicably parting. My 2nd year student is trying the most difficult route. He wants to get the PhD from old U, but work at new U. Because he isn't far along, there all these issues with funding, candidacy exam, health insurance, tuition. UGGGGH. Next post will cover that. Just transfer to new U. already!


Anonymous said...

That's very kind of you, I'm sure your student really appreciates your efforts. When my adviser moved to a less respected school he forced all but the 5+ year students to transfer schools and get their degrees from new school.

Genomic Repairman said...

Why is everyone so sold on the uni's name. If the new uni has a better reputation for the discipline, go there. Not only that you are more so judged on your work and what lab you came out of. I'm glad for you that everything else besides the 2nd year grad student situation is working out smoothly.

Anonymous said...

Probably too late, but can't you just tell 2nd year student that the choices are (1) stay at old new U, find new research group/advisor or (A) move to new U, transfer to new U?

Janice said...

My former advisor moved the whole lab including two second-years. They both transferred to Snooty U. One of them had to re-do quals even. But whatever.

Unbalanced Reaction said...

Yeah, you are waaaay nice.

TRANSFER already!!

Hope said...

Being a grad student whose (tenured) advisor decided to move after my first year, I guess I have a somewhat different perspective. Why shouldn’t the 2nd-year student do what’s most convenient for him/her? You are doing what’s best for you, and s/he has a right to do the same. If you can accommodate them, do it; if you can’t, then tell them already. This person took a chance on a new, untenured prof. Are they not worth some extra administrative work on your part?

@Genomic Repairman: The reputation of your lab/advisor trumps reputation of the school only if you are staying in the field. If 2nd-year student is not planning on doing this, then getting a degree from Snootier U. is the right move.

Anonymous said...

Just tell the student good bye. It's not worth it. Seriously. Obviously the wrong things are important to him.