I was working on topic 1 which wasn't the most interesting topic, but my prof was great. Then prof 2 suggested that I work with him on topic 2 on the condition that I stop topic 1 as he wants full dedication. I didn't wanna disappoint and ruin my reln with prof 1 and leave my old project incompleete, so I told him that my project will have the old and new topic but I'd be finishing the old part soon to work with prof 2. He heard it and is probably angry, and won't respond to my emails.

How do I deal with this?

  • 2
    Perhaps you could discuss the situation each of the professors, directly and honestly, as if they were actually human beings. – JeffE Dec 12 '17 at 15:10

I don't think you screwed up, at least from what you said I can't see anything you did wrong. Wanting to first finish your current project before starting the next one, and not leaving your current professor in the lurch, is a honorable impulse.

Just because the second professor is not answering emails does not necessarily mean he is angry - is he busy? at a conference? talking to another student to check if they might be able to start earlier before coming back to you? there are many possibilities. So you should first wait a little and then check what his actual response is - maybe if you run across him in a hallway or something.

If, in fact, he is indeed angry and now giving you the cold shoulder because you wouldn't drop everything at a moment's notice for him, then you have actually dodged a bullet. Do not work with someone who behaves like this.


I've seen this happen a lot at my dept and many students don't realize how close-knit faculty members are. If you mean you were trying to switch advisors and dropping a project for another one, you have almost no credibility at this point. It's important to finish what you start with someone, before moving on. You don't give details about whether you are an undergrad ms PhD so I'm not sure people can help you much more.

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