I finished my master thesis 6 years ago, since then I gained a lot of experience on my field and also in academia. I can say that in that time I was a "child" , very inexperienced. I think that also my advisor did not help a lot, and I tried to do a lot of things by my own, without someone to really review my things. Despite that, I still received a good mention by the master committee on final results.

Some days ago, I just decided to read part of master thesis, and I just realized a big nightmare coming. I identified a lot of typos, some references errors, and some improvements that I should do, but I did not. The worst thing is that I wrote a paper to a conference with my master thesis results (and some errors are there). The conference is not a high impact conference, but still the paper has my name and is available for everyone...

As I am finishing my PhD studies for now, I am concerning a lot that situation. My dream and goal is to pursue a Professor career. So, my questions are: What are (or could be) the consequences of a master thesis and paper with errors (some minor and some major) in academia? Revoke degree after years by errors in master is possible ( I am concerning a lot this situation that I thought on it)? How can I minimize it (I thought that I can put a fixed version of my thesis and paper in the future, for instance on my personal website)? How those errors can impact me in a Professor recruitment process?

Sorry for the long text, I am blaming myself all the time, and really afraid about the possibilities since I know that Academia career is really competitive.

1 Answer 1


Relax. Nobody is going to take away your degree for some honest mistakes in your masters thesis.

The errors you describe are not even that serious

I identified a lot of typos, some references errors, and some improvements that I should do, but I did not.

as it sounds like they don't even invalidate the main results of your thesis. But even if you found a major error that completely invalidated your thesis results, if it was a genuine mistake and not the result of misconduct, you would not have to worry about losing your degree.

You can minimize the impact of the errors by putting an updated, corrected version on your website (and marking it as such). Not because otherwise there would be serious consequences, just to correct the record.

The best way to minimize the impact of your early work (thesis and paper) is to make sure that your most recent work is high quality, so that it is obvious that the mistakes in your early work are due to inexperience and don't reflect the work you produce now.

  • 50
    To add to that, if you can't look back and find things you can improve on later in your career, I'd wonder what you've learned since then.
    – Jim B
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 0:45
  • 15
    +1 A wise man once told me, as time goes on, your thesis should become one of your worst creations. Keeping the grammar, syntax, spelling, and incomplete references aside, your rhetoric, logic, style of writing, and presentation should become better with time. Furthermore, there is no harm in the science (or whatever your thesis was) being considered wrong or outdated as new things are learned. Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 7:46
  • 21
    Another wise man told me no one will ever read your thesis. He said it about my doctoral thesis but this is even more so true for your master's thesis, especially if you are getting a doctorate. I guarantee you errors like this in your master's thesis have have absolutely no impact on your future prospects assuming that you are continously learning and getting better. People care about your published papers, your advisor, your references, your school, etc. Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 7:52
  • 3
    @FixedPoint one more person read OP's thesis than read mine.
    – emory
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 21:33
  • 1
    I don't think though that one should publish their master thesis on their web page.
    – Alexey B.
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 15:06

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