I have already submitted my Ph.D. thesis to my committee and plan to defend my thesis. I want to prepare an updated CV.

In my situation, what should I write in the CV:

Ph.D. candidate

or just


  • If I remember correctly, Ph.D. Candidate is used after passing the oral comprehensive exam and while waiting for the college or university to complete paperwork on finalizing your Ph.D. work. – drsnark May 30 '18 at 17:56
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    @drsnark I think that is not accurate. Ph.D. candidate is the status after concluding all course work (if there is any) and passing a qualification exam, where you deliver and defend your project of thesis. – The Doctor May 30 '18 at 19:51
  • @The Doctor I think you are right. I was not remembering the correct order. – drsnark May 30 '18 at 21:54
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    What is the updated CV for? – StrongBad May 31 '18 at 1:15

Typically, one writes Ph.D., 2018 (expected).

If you have a short description (e.g., bullet points) after this heading, you can also put the expected graduation/defense month or something to the effect of "thesis submitted 25 May 2018" in this area.


If you have not yet been awarded your PhD, do not put down that you have it.


If you haven't defended yet, I would list (expected).

If you have defended and committee passed and thesis turned in and ruler lady passed and all done, done but are just waiting for the 6 month wheels to churn and send you a sheepskin, I would keep it simple and just list the Ph.D. as done. If you stop using months on your CV and move to years, this helps you.

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