I'm finishing my undergraduate degree this year, and I'm deciding which PhD program to attend: School A, or School B. I do have other offers, but these two stand out to me. My background and current interests are in topic X.
- School A has exactly one professor working on X, but my would-be initial advisor works on topic Y. I don't oppose doing research in Y, but my background and current research interest really is X. This initial advisor is recruiting me very aggressively, so it'll really hurt turning him down.
- School B has 2-3 professors working on X, but I can't see myself working with anyone here whose research is not in X, which would be bad if I lose interest in X someday. If the would-be initial advisor at School A weren't recruiting me so aggressively, I'd choose School B.
All of the aforementioned professors are quite productive, though the students at School A are slightly more productive than those at School B. If it matters at all, I prefer the location of School A slghtly.
tl;dr: School A is aggressively recruiting me and may be the better place overall, but for my current research interests, School B is the place to be.