I have recently successfully completed my PhD Viva (oral exam) at a UK university. This means that my PhD project is formally over and I have a formal promise from the university that I will be awarded a PhD, under the condition that I submit a corrected version of my thesis, adding those corrections requested by the examiners, in due time.

How should I list this state in applications eg. for postdoc positions? Given how different university procedures are in different countries and faculties, will it be acceptable to state “viva passed with corrections” for applications elsewhere in Europe, or are there better and clearer ways to phrase this?

  • 1
    Do you need more than a week - 15 days to actually implement the changes? It should not take longer.
    – Alexandros
    Dec 17, 2015 at 16:12
  • Likely not, if it was not Christmas coming up. My formal deadline for submitting the corrected version is in 6 months.
    – Anaphory
    Dec 17, 2015 at 16:25
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    You could say something to the effect of "expected graduation date" with the formal (end of term/year) future date of award and put the date of successful defense/viva. So, obviously adjusting to the the layout you use in your CV... "PhD Magic Hogwarts University (expected award date: 7 May 2016). Dissertation: "Fancy spells and fancy language" (vita passed 15 Nov 2015). Dec 17, 2015 at 16:42
  • 3
    @guifa Can you please turn your comment into an answer so that I can vote for it?
    – jakebeal
    Jun 11, 2016 at 20:51

4 Answers 4


I don't know if there's an "accepted form", but when I was in this situation I simply noted in brackets "Viva passed, graduation expected $date".


I was advised by my supervisor that on completion of the viva, I would be informed immediately (orally) of the outcome, and from that point I would 'officially' hold the PhD qualification.

The corrections/amendments and the committee/Senate meetings are effectively rubber stamps, providing you actually submit the corrected version.

And so in your position I would state that I have achieved my PhD on the date of the viva within my CV.

  • Welcome to Stackexchange! The "when can I use "Dr"" question is an interesting one, that I think we've discussed here before, but it doesn't answer the question asked here. This is not about the title, but about how the PhD is described on somebody's CV.
    – Flyto
    Jan 24, 2019 at 14:22
  • @Flyto - I agree, and I will edit my response above accordingly - what I meant to say was I would assert that I have achieved my PhD on the date of the viva within my CV, since the oral promise from the examining panel constitutes exactly that.
    – dcsql
    Jan 24, 2019 at 14:27
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    Hmm, fair enough. I disagree, because some people get that far but then never complete their corrections.
    – Flyto
    Jan 24, 2019 at 14:38
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    Downvoted. Until you submit your thesis, you have not “acheived” a PhD. You get the PhD only when all requirements have been satisfied. The viva is just one step.
    – JeffE
    Jan 25, 2019 at 4:44

The way you describe your status in your CV should probably depend on where you are sending it. If you're applying to a UK institution, you can explicitly say that you "passed the viva with minor corrections"; for a European institution or a private company you'd say something more vague like "defended the thesis".

Now, depending on where you're applying, they may or may not be able to hire you before you make the corrections and get your official award. UK universities will normally hire postdocs that are still waiting for their award, but will pay them a smaller salary. In France, on the contrary, you normally need to be awarded your PhD before you can sign a contract (but thankfully, you don't need to wait for the award ceremony). Private companies, obviously, can do whatever they want, but I don't see a reason for not hiring someone who has defended and does not have much else to do.

For the overseas students, there's also the question of correctly switching from the student visa to a work visa, but I don't have up do date knowledge on that.


I would do it after you have defended the thesis and have submitted final paper document (approved). I don't think you need to wait until month on the diploma. For example my school gave the the formal degree semiannually but obviously people finished all during the year. That really was just a diploma getting mailed to me. Ideally you really should have the thesis turned in as well.

I am a little leery of asserting you are :done" if there are still corrections being done. Even worse if corrections have to be reviewed by someone other than you, but even if you are the only arbiter, I don't see how you are "done" if you did not actually complete the work. Usually this stuff is pretty simple so I would just jam the document through. If it's not simple and takes much time than that's another argument you're really not done.

Of course you can still apply for jobs even if final paper thesis not turned in, but I would use some parentheticals to explain. Wouldn't just assert done.

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