Theses distilled to one (snarky) sentence


We can’t honestly determine that anyone in any of the civilizations we’ve studied actually lived the way we have previously, or will in the future have, speculated on, and our personal and cultural biases as anthropologists paint every facet of our imaginative interpretations of very mundane evidence.

Social Science - University of Texas


Defending your thesis at Hipster U would be interesting to watch.


The future states that there is no time other than the collapsation of that sensation of the mirror of the memories in which we are living.

The Wattage of Reggie, University of Ted


My professor told me to make this really complicated molecule from a plant that might treat cancer using her favorite “elegant” synthesis reaction, which turned out to take three years of trying, was really messy, low yield and doesn’t treat cancer anyway, but I got crystals to get an X-ray structure, so there’s that.


Because apparently an MFA is not a terminal degree.

Union Institute, '88


I was told I had an 80% chance of getting a job within a year of graduation from this technical school, but compared to similar programs, it seems unlikely.

–Network and Desktop Support, ITT-Tech


Honestly, that’s what my final paper boils down to.

Pretty sure these are senior undergraduates and not PhD candidates.


Projects that the other person did not want to finish, so my professor assigned them to me.

– physics (a completely useless degree)

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I’m sure it’s not completely useless. If you can manage to get a physics degree you should be able to work in mathematics (applied as compsci or programming type things if your focus was in theoretical physics) or engineering (materials science, chemistry, or systems engineering type things if your focus was on experimental physics)

Physics is valuable intrinsically. A deep knowledge of how the world works is my own definition of the ultimate power. And while currently physics can’t offer this, it’s the pursuit of this power in the service of humanity that I’m totally behind.


“Here’s a completed circuit design for the microprogrammable multiprocessor system that’s been used as a pedagogical platform for the past several years – and oh yeah, I fixed the logic bug in the bus controller that the professor missed.”

Just a bit of afterthought snark.


I have been applying to jobs for a year now. Employers are interested in the research that a person has already done and not the fact that the person has a “PhD in Physics”. Unfortunately, my research professor is the only person doing this particular type of experiment and what I did does not really lend itself to other research.

People rock at memorizing insecure passwords, but we already knew that.

– Psychology and Computer Science, Carleton University.


After fighting snakes, do I really have to reduce my thesis to snark?

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It turns out there really aren’t any accurate off-road predictors of on-road driving ability for cognitively impaired older adults; you just have to take them on an on-road driving assessment (and anyone that tells you otherwise is planning to sell you an expensive off-road assessment system).

PhD Psychology, University of Canterbury.


Did you learn to code somewhere along the way?

There’s line in Educating Rita where the eponymous Rita presents the complete first draft of her thesis to Dr. Frank Bryant as (something along the lines of): “If Ibsen were alive today, he’d be doing radio plays.”

Shooting people makes them unhappy.

–International Security, Tufts


That’s a meme so well-known that it even shows up in . If you really can’t sell yourself as knowledgeable in some field(s) of physics/engineering regardless of your thesis topic, you missed the point somewhere along the line.