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What Happens After You Defend Your Dissertation?

For many students, defending their dissertation is one of the most important milestones of their academic journey. However, what happens after this event can be equally important for their future academic or professional life.

In this guide, we will look at the different aspects of post-dissertation defense life and explore the options and challenges that come with this stage.

The Dissertation Defense: A Quick Review

The dissertation defense is the culmination of years of research and academic effort. This event is an opportunity for doctoral students to present the results of their research to a panel of experts and peers.

During defense, students are expected to defend their work, address any questions, and demonstrate their proficiency in the field. The defense panel can also ask additional questions and request revisions.

Post-Defense Choices and Results

There are several possible outcomes for students after their dissertation defense. These are:

  • Pass: Congratulations, you have successfully completed your doctorate degree!
  • Conditional Pass: You need to make specific revisions to your dissertation to meet the committee’s standards.
  • Revise and Resubmit: This is similar to the conditional pass, but the revisions required are more extensive. You will have to submit a revised version of your dissertation for further review.
  • Fail: It is not the end of the road for you. You may have the option to make some changes and resubmit your work to the defense committee.
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The Process of Revisions

Revisions can be a long and arduous process. These are the steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Receive feedback from the committee
  2. Make changes as required
  3. Revise the entire dissertation
  4. Submit revised dissertation to the committee for review
  5. Await final approval from the committee

The revisions process is a way to ensure that your dissertation meets the high standards of academia. It can be time-consuming but is necessary for the final product.

Next Steps After Defense

After the defense, the options are:

  • Submit the final version of the approved dissertation to the graduate school
  • Wait for graduation
  • Celebrate!

Tips For Preparing For Defense and Post-Defense Life

  • Prepare thoroughly and practice well for your defense presentation
  • Take care of yourself and your mental health during and after the process
  • Look for opportunities and plan accordingly, regardless of the outcome

Life After Defense: The Post-Defense Syndrome

The post-defense period can be a complex emotional experience. It is common to feel a range of emotions such as relief, joy, sadness, or anxiety.

It is essential to have a support system during this time. You can seek support from friends, family, or mentors, and also look into additional resources provided by your institution’s student services.

Key Takeaways

  • The dissertation defense is the final stage of your doctoral degree.
  • You can pass, get a conditional pass, revise and resubmit, or fail the defense.
  • The revisions process is a way to ensure your dissertation meets academic standards.
  • After defense, you submit the final dissertation and await graduation.
  • Prepare well for defense, take care of yourself, and plan for the future.
  • The post-defense period can be emotional and needs support.
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Useful FAQs

Can I change anything in my dissertation after the defense?

If the committee requests revisions or changes, you can modify your dissertation accordingly.

What happens if I fail my defense?

You can resubmit your work to the defense committee after making changes as recommended.

How can I deal with the post-defense syndrome?

Take care of yourself, seek support from a support system, and focus on your next steps.

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