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Last Wednesday, I first contacted one potential advisor (PA) with a well-thought out email and my CV. He contacted me a day later and was very interested in me. I sent him my transcript and we had a phone conversation over the weekend. He seems very interested and we are currently talking about projects, how to apply for grants, etc.

Before he emailed me back, last Thursday, I emailed another potential advisor, expressing interest. She just replied back and is interested in me. She requested my transcript and offered to talk over the phone.

To be honest, I did not expect any PA to reply back to me, let alone two. I have heard that most of the time, PAs don’t even reply to these kinds of emails. I’ve contacted six PAs: Three got back to me and said they are not expecting graduate students in the next year, and two of them got back to me expressing interest.

So, should I still meet with the second PA? I hate the awkward situation of saying, “oh nevermind” to one of them, especially if I like the second PA better since I have already been talking so much about research to the first PA.

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    I think that everyone contacts multiple potential advisors before starting any project. You might want to be honest, if you are worried, and tell them, when you meet or talk to them, about the ongoing conversation with the other potential advisor. And, once you decide for one of the projects, contact the other advisor (over the phone if this is how you've talked until the) and tell them that you won't be working with them. – Anna SdTC Dec 4 '17 at 22:17
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    @AnnaSdTC I humbly suggest you convert this comment of yours into an answer. – S. Tarık Çetin Dec 5 '17 at 13:03
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Mostly everyone contacts multiple potential advisors before starting any project (or multiple schools/departments when exploring program options, such as PhDs), and advisors/departments are fully aware of it. You want to be honest, if you are worried, and tell them, when you meet or talk to them, about the ongoing conversation with the other potential advisor. Assure them that you are interested in what they are offering to you, but you want to make sure that, whatever you work on and whoever you work with, it will be a good fit. And, once you decide for one of the projects, contact this advisor to confirm it, and the other advisor (over the phone if this is how you've talked until then, not email) and tell them that you finally decided to work on the other project because it was closer to your interests or any other reason. Don't have anyone on the hook, be clear to everyone as soon as you make a decision so they can take another student.

Overall, be polite and honest, and they will be fine with it.

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