I think I have seen it spelled both ways.

Is one spelling more common or formal than the other ? (e.g. in the U.S.)


According to the New Oxford American Dictionary (that I have by default on my Mac :)):

The spellings adviser and advisor are both correct. Adviser is more common, but advisor is also widely used, especially in North America. Adviser may be seen as less formal, while advisor often suggests an official position.

Since it's an official position, I'd rather go for Ph.D. advisor

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    Which is interesting considering this sight throws up the red flag for advisor. – Flotsam May 20 '14 at 14:16

I grew up learning the spelling as "advisor," which goes along with "supervisor." I've never seen "superviser," either, and "adviser" just looks strange to me.

This may actually be a field-dependent issue: in academia, I've always seen "advisor" as the preferred spelling (and a number of schools agree with that assessment). However, outside of academic contexts, "adviser" seems to be preferred, both in the UK and the US, as shown here.

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In my high school, my teacher said it is British English Vs American English.

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  • It's not. Maybe British English only uses "advisor," but Americans use both variants. – aeismail Apr 30 '12 at 5:40
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  • And as a counterargument: The Grammarist gives examples of UK papers preferring "adviser." – aeismail May 1 '12 at 8:45
  • I think you typed your first comment wrong, it should be "Maybe British English only uses 'advisEr' ". And this will end our discussion because I dont care if people call it Financial Advisor or Adviser in America, both are acceptable for me. – user1247142 May 1 '12 at 14:54
  • I think the posts above suggest that "advisor" is more common in the US. But it doesn't sound like it matters very much. – Benjamin Mako Hill Feb 10 '13 at 6:35

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