I got a MS degree in Statistics in University A, then I got admitted in the Statistic PhD program in University B. However, I couldn't finish my PhD study, and I have to transfer to the MS program so that I can apply for OPT. Now I have two MS degrees in Statistics in both A and B, how can I list them on CV? And actually A is better than B... Should I write ABD on B? Thanks.

  • 3
    What's the problem with listing both MS degrees? – Shake Baby Mar 26 '17 at 3:40
  • 1
    CV's aren't universal. If you're applying to a lot of places, create a master CV that has everything, then whenever you apply, branch off a copy and whittle it down to the relevant information. Also, what're you making this CV to apply to? – Nat Mar 26 '17 at 3:54
  • @ShakeBaby I think the OP's problem is both MS are in Statistics. It doesn't look too good.That's why the OP asks "Should I write ABD on B?". – scaaahu Mar 26 '17 at 5:31
  • Well, if you have two MS in Statistics, I see no point in listing something else. – Shake Baby Mar 26 '17 at 6:59
  • @ShakeBaby I think it's not good to list two same degrees? The second one doesn't make sense actually? – Will N. Walker Mar 26 '17 at 13:28

If there is any difference whatsoever in what you were working on during the two programs, I would do something like this depending on the job you are applying to and how the focus of you program matches with the job:

  • Master of Science in Probabilistic Models (discontinued PhD in Statistics), University of Second-place, 2017
  • Master of Science in Randomized Algorithms (Statistics), University of First-place, 2013

In short, you want to put honest information that doesn't making it look like you are hiding something or leave unexplained gaps, but at the same time you want to put things in the most positive light and prevent people from assuming something negative. If you just put two "MS in Statistics", one line after the other, that will indeed make most interviewers likely think, "huh, what's this about?" I fully expect they will ask about why you are leaving the PhD program and/or why you have two masters in a closely related field, so just have a good explanation for this that fits the job, or answer it proactively in a cover letter.

You could also list one as just a generic MS in Statistics and be more specific on the other one, etc - so long as you provide accurate information, you are free to add more specific and useful information.

This also serves the purpose of making it clear that you didn't learn exactly the same thing in both degree programs. Employers care about the skills you've developed and how you can use your knowledge to benefit them, so make that easier on them (they are rarely ever going to spend half an hour trying to decipher academic transcripts to see what courses you took).

  • Why emphasize that you left a PhD program? There are many reasons for doing so, but this leaves the worst impression - that you failed to complete it. – Buffy Jun 12 '20 at 11:14

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