I am a graduate student enrolled in an MSc program. Recently, I was googling one of my peers and came across their LinkedIn. Let's call this person Bob. Bob is purporting on their LinkedIn page that they are a PhD candidate when I know that Bob is not in fact a PhD candidate but a first-year MSc student much like myself. I double-checked with the departmental webpage and Bob is listed as an MSc candidate. Am I under any obligation to report this to my department? I feel as if this falls under misrepresentation, but I'm not sure since Bob is not gaining an edge as far as I can tell by doing this.

Note: I wasn't too sure what to tag this as I am not too familiar with the tags on academia.SE. Please feel free to correct my use of tags. Thanks!

  • 2
    Can an MSc student be converted into a PhD student without completing their MSc? Perhaps that's the path Bob has taken. Or, maybe Bob was a PhD student, but was converted to an MSc student, and hasn't gotten around to updating their LinkedIn profile? Or ...
    – user2768
    Commented Sep 11, 2019 at 7:52
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    This is badly tagged. It has nothing to do with "cheating" as defined in the wiki. Perhaps it is off-topic and belongs on workplace instead.
    – Buffy
    Commented Sep 11, 2019 at 12:36
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    Raise the issue with Bob or ignore it. The university has no proper role here.
    – Buffy
    Commented Sep 11, 2019 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


If you are sure he is a master student, you could report him on LinkedIn and give him a chance of repenting and stop misrepresenting being a masters student.

Because, if you report it on LinkedIn (there is a anonymous form for it ,kind of hidden, in their help menu - you have to login but the person you report never knows it was you), after you contest their credential, LinkedIn will ask them for a proof (most of the times), if they don't provide proof they are allowed to just remove and forget the content (yes, they can get caught and go free), but if they do prove it they can keep the information.

Or else, you could email the ombudsman of the department or university and take more formal (and probably harsher) attitude, because it probably goes against the university code of conduct/ethics.

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