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
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 17:56
  • 2
    @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
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 19:51
  • @The Doctor I think you are right. I was not remembering the correct order.
    – drsnark
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 21:54
  • 1
    What is the updated CV for?
    – StrongBad
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 1:15

2 Answers 2


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 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.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .