A PhD student has been working with Prof A. However, after a year, the student decided that he doesn't like the field and wants to change his advisor to Prof B, who works in the same department with Prof A.

Would there be any potential adverse effects on relationships if the student changes PhD advisor from Prof A to Prof B within same department, especially when the student has strong previous connections with Prof B?

Can Prof A advise Prof B not to take the student in such a case? Has anybody experienced cases like these and what the results were?

Assume Prof A is tenured and Prof B is not .and Prof A was against co advising from beginning.


2 Answers 2


It depends on the personalities of the professors involved and in how the student handles the switch. If they really are working in two distinct fields, and if that is the real motivation of the student for switching, most likely there will be no issue.


It really depends on the reason between the switch.

  1. Changing fields: If changing fields in the only reason for the switch, then there would be no particular adverse effect to this problem.
  2. Discomfort with old supervisor: This would be a different story, if the professors A and B of the department is close enough, then you might see a direct influence of opinions. It should be up to you to figure these out when making the switch. This post should help you in this case: How to find a new PhD advisor if relationship with current advisor is not working out?

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