Little is known about the process of doctoral student attrition. Relying on theories of socialization and integration, this paper examines the cases of three students who left their doctoral programs. Their experiences show that academic integration pla ys a greater role in attrition than social integration. Furthermore, the academic integration process can be ruptured, particularly when a student-advisor relationship ends. The paper also questions the idea that degree completion equals success and tha t attrition equals failure.