I am a 2nd year PhD student and I have passed all prelims. However, I am facing a problem: I may not be able to get an adviser.
There were several potential advisers I was trying to approach. One of them suddenly left, others are either "do not know anything about my topic", "too busy to take a student", or simply ignored me at all (It seems that they were always not in their offices, and they simply ignored my emails.) And now I have trying my last shot on one of the faculties, but it seems that (s)he is not willing to take me and (s)he claimed that (s)he may not be a good adviser.
I talked with my friends and we got possible solutions. However, I am not sure if they are good or possible. So I would like to get some advice here:
(1) Switch field:
(I tried approaching all faculties with similar interest.) The problem is I know nothing about their fields and I didn't take any basic courses related to these fields. So the two problems are: (a) I know nothing, is it too late to start over now? (b) To be honest I am not interested in these fields. However if I stay here I think I need to switch my field probably. Is it really a good idea because I may need to face something I don't like for 3 to 4 years.
(2) Staying in my school and try to get an adviser elsewhere:
Is it hard to do so given that I am not a brilliant student? Since they do not have the burden to take a student from somewhere else. If I approach them, how should I explain my situation? Since there are some faculties working on my field.
(3) Transfer to another school:
If I am going to apply another school, how will they think of me? Will they think I have no adviser because I am dumb? Or will they think I may end up without an adviser again?
Also, in general, do I have to restart everything again? (Including the prelims.) I know that some schools will force their student taking the prelim courses irrespective to their background, in this case, I think I will waste time on the same material.
[Added] And one more problem for (3) is I doubt I can get 3 reference letters again...[/Added]
Finally, is it good idea to reapply those school who accepted me before?
Do you have another possible solution? And how do you think about these solutions? And if it is field dependent, do you mind indicating which field you are talking about?
Sorry about my poor language and thanks a lot.