If a person has completed their course work but has not submitted their dissertation or capstone project. what can you call them if they are teaching a class or course at an academic institution?

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    Depends on the institution. – Bryan Krause Jul 23 '19 at 17:36
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    Depends on the country too. – cag51 Jul 23 '19 at 17:38

In the US, a Master's Degree does not grant a title. So, their title would be the same as if they had completed their degree. This would probably be Ms. Smith or Mr. Smith. Some institutions might have other titles. For example, a military academy would use ranks (e.g., Captain or Major Smith).

Also, the title of the person would vary by institution. My guess is the most common title would be Instructor.

Based upon a comment by cag51, the title of Professor would also not be appropriate unless the instructor held a position with that title, which is unlikely.

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    +1. I would add that undergraduates in the US typically refer to their instructors as "professor." This is not technically correct unless the instructor holds an appointment as a professor (which is unlikely if they are still working on a master's), but it's a benign mistake this is unlikely to offend anyone. – cag51 Jul 23 '19 at 17:40
  • @cag51 Thanks for the comment. I've included it in my answer. – Richard Erickson Jul 23 '19 at 18:22
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    I think you've misinterpreted cag51's comment. "Professor" is an entirely appropriate greeting (for example, "Hi Professor Jones!" in the hallway, or "Dear Prof. Jones" to start an email) for anyone teaching a college-level class in the US, regardless of whether that's (part of) their official job title, or what degrees (if any) they've earned. – JeffE Jul 24 '19 at 0:18
  • @JeffE I would not address a graduate teaching assistant as a Professor even if they were the official (and solo) instructor of record for a course. However, as a default title in US academic situations, one cannot go wrong with Professor Smith. – Richard Erickson Jul 24 '19 at 15:29
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    "tile" in the last paragraph should be "title". – sgf Jul 27 '19 at 19:36

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