Edit: To clarify, I plan on studying bioinformatics no matter where I decide to get my PhD. I only mean I have a special interest in bioinformatics relevant to infectious disease and immunology, however I still find general human genomics interesting. I am a MS student at UCSC in Bioinformatics. It is an algorithm heavy program, which I enjoy. I plan on applying to PhD programs next year, and will apply to the one at UCSC, as well as some other schools. I like this school, however I have a particular passion for infectious and emerging disease, and not many professor here study that. I was wondering if I should just transfer to the PhD program now, which is pretty common. It would save me time and money that would go toward my MS, and I've already spoken with some professors who would be open to working with me. I would also not have to TA anymore. Is it worth it to finish my MS so I can apply to other schools, or should I just make the program switch and save myself the stress of applying again? Will it be more competitive to find professors who want to work with me at other schools? Does what I study for my PhD actually matter or are the skills I develop more important for getting jobs.