Do you know anyone who has failed a dissertation defense?

I’m just trying to calculate my statistical chances here.  Since my defense is in 5 MORE DAYS!!!!!!!! From what I’ve read it seems like a full-out fail is pretty rare.  There’s pass, pass with minor revisions, pass with rewriting.  And, I feel very, very confident that I’m not going to fail …

But, you know how it is when you get that what if in the back of your mind … “What if I fail? …  I need to make sure there’s a bridge close by to jump off of … or at least, I should have a plane ticket on standby so I can fly away to a cold, dark corner of Canada (because isn’t Canada the lamest place on earth – else why would Scott Bailey live there) and never show my face in public again and die cold, alone and miserable ….”

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7 Replies to “Do you know anyone who has failed a dissertation defense?”

  1. A professor once told me he only knew one person who ever failed their defense, and it was a serious blunder on the school’s part. Apparently they intentionally chose for the external examiner the one person in the whole of the UK LEAST likely agree with the thesis, and (surprise, surprise) he was not willing to pass it.


    1. Yeah. My supervisor said he’s only had two students who thought might not pass, one because the quality of the work and one who just froze up during the defense. But, both of them passed. And, he didn’t seem to class me with them.

    1. It’s on Biblical Hebrew vocabulary learning. So, it was an interdisciplinary focus on research on Biblical Hebrew and Applied Linguistics.

      I’ve always been the same way, Craig, even though I’ve consistently done well enough in school my entire life. Of course, writing a dissertation has helped me dispense with a little of my perfectionism. The mantra that my peers chanted to me over and again was – “the best dissertation is a done dissertation.”

  2. Well, if you fail, Jim West will welcome you with open arms. He hates lawn mowing. lol. Seriously, good luck and you will do fine. Remember, to dish it back out and stand your ground. Good bless.

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