113

Some people think it's ok to call yourself PhD ABD when in the Canadian or US system, you pass the qualifying exams and coursework, but haven't yet, or fail to ever, deliver the thesis. But simply do not call yourself PhD ABD. It's not attractive to advertise failure. You're either a PhD candidate, or you're a PhD, or there's nothing to say on the subject ...


28

Address them the same way you would address any other person without a doctorate: "Mr. Smith" or "Ms. Jones," or if you are on friendly terms, by their first name. If they have successfully defended their dissertation but not actually received the degree, this is a bit of a gray area (see When can you call yourself doctor?) but I think "Dr. Brown" is ...


25

The fundamental misconception is that there can be "someone who did all the work but did not finish their thesis". The thesis is the focus of a Ph.D. program, while coursework and other requirements are nothing but preparation for the thesis and are of negligible importance in comparison. Postdoctoral positions are meant to give people a chance to deepen ...


22

Ok, so here are some things that worked for me. Attempting to strongly connect what you are doing to avoiding negative outcomes and achieving positive outcomes. Here are some examples. If you have ever experienced unemployment (and the resultant sense of worthlessness) then make sure that you make the connection between not finishing the PhD and being ...


18

Peter Slattery already answers the immediate question of how to motivate yourself. I'd just like to add one more thought about why finishing up your degree is worth it. If you look around you and start asking how many people in their 40s or 50s are still doing the work their college degree qualified them for, you'll realize that the fraction is not actually ...


18

"ABD" is just silly, IMO, and I'd avoid using it like the plague. To me, it carries nothing but negative connotation. First, defending a dissertation is too big to be an "all but". It's the culmination of a serious academic experience. I've seen plenty of students get to that point only to have the degree disappear. Next, the dissertation and the ...


18

I experienced a bit of what you're describing near the end of my PhD. I got a lot of good advice from colleagues that had completed their doctorates. Here's how I dealt with it. Remember that it's your PhD, and you are (mostly) in charge. At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what's really required for a PhD. (If not, skim more dissertations ...


12

tl;dr: it depends We had two students who were AWOL for many years while ABD and tried to submit: The first student had delayed writing for a decade or so due to family commitments but kept in regular touch with faculty, refreshed the theory and data of the dissertation, reconstituted a committee, submitted the dissertation, and graduated. The second ...


12

ABD isn't usually thought of as a final status. Most people don't leave their university ABD. Most people spend a couple of years in the program, having passed quals, taken all the classes, and proposed a topic working on their dissertations. At this point, they are colloquially considered "All But Dissertation" because that describes what they've done so ...


10

While regulations may differ from place to place, I find it highly unsurprising that a book chapter would not "count" for a paper-based dissertation. The reason is that book chapters are typically peer reviewed lightly, if at all. As such, if your dissertation requirement is effectively "N peer-reviewed papers," then this book chapter is highly unlikely to ...


10

At many schools there's an official step of "advancing to candidacy" or something similar which is the last official hurdle before the dissertation. Although ABD is an informal term, I would expect somone who described themself as ABD to have passed that step.


9

Yep, can't do that. Either you do or you don't have the "Dr." and if you're ABD, you don't.


9

Absolutely not. Unless you have a diploma, you do not have a PhD! There are certain rules you have to follow to get a PhD, including a dissertation and a defense. The fact that you feel slighted by the university does not mean that you can re-define what rules apply for you.


8

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I had to change my Ph.D. advisor (and I'm very glad I did), but it was in the early phase of my dissertation process. I'm quite surprised by your "discovery" about a potential of your advisor not caring about your career. Firstly, it is unlikely (why would she "tolerate" you for 5+ years then?). Secondly, if your ...


8

Misrepresenting the hired work as your own would be inappropriate, but the following strike me as safe conditions for academic subcontracting: Have your advisor's consent (thanks mdiener) Find a suitable programmer and get them to understand the algorithm Verify and document that the program operates correctly Disclose everything in both thesis and defense


7

The most promising strategy is to work with at least one committee member other than your advisor. The first choice may be the one that is a potential advisor, but you really need someone who is both approachable and good at academic politics. Anyone like that is going to be very busy, and you need most of the meeting to be about them advising you and ...


7

ABD is not an actual title but rather just a little construction people use to describe a state that many graduate students find themselves in. I think that you can honestly call yourself ABD if you have completed all of the requirements of your PhD with the exception of an approved dissertation and/or dissertation defense. Here is a very incomplete lists ...


7

Such a person is entitled to be recognized as a "PhD Candidate", which would follow the name and probably mention the department or emphasis ("PhD Candidate in Electrical Engineering" in my case). This might be used in a signature block or a biographical sketch. There is no special honorific to use antecedent to the name, as Nate has already told you.


7

What you need is a realistic option. According to what you write, your advisor may leave soon and your advisor doesn't want to work with you on a different topic. Consider those as given. You aren't going to "wear the advisor down" or impose your own will on the advisor. That seldom happens and even more seldom successfully. If your advisor is satisfied ...


6

Simple answer: you can't be a post-doc until you're a doc. If you want your Ph.D., what you should probably instead be looking do to is to change advisors, within your institution if possible. I know a number of people who have done that, sometimes rather late in the thesis process. You'll likely need to change your research and take more years to ...


6

First of all, writing a PhD dissertation in 2 months is one hell of a task. You should probably talk to your supervisor about more time. I believe it is not uncommon, as Thomas stated in the comments, that people assemble a PhD disseration from the publications they had during their time. Many people work of different topics at the same time, but usually ...


5

As the other answers say, the definitive source has to be your university, but... I can imagine that a book chapter may not count towards the number of papers, because book chapters do not necessarily include original research, but may just be a review of existing literature. In other words, you might write a review paper that makes a perfect book chapter, ...


5

Before I post my comment I strongly caution one to review the institutional policy regarding this topic. In some program and student code of conduct policies credentialing and use of titles prior to the awarding of the full degree is grounds for dismissal from the program. Having been ABD for longer than I should have been I can tell you it is not something ...


5

One of my colleagues went through a similar problem when he was in graduate school: his primary advisor kept moving the goalposts on him as he was trying to finish all his papers and graduate. There are no easy solutions here. The best thing I would do is use the fact that you have all of this work done waiting and ready to go out. It sounds like you ...


5

I interned at a university press, and it was common to go through conference programs and identify interesting topics/papers written by PhD candidates/early-career scholars. It sounds like it's a little early in the process for you, but it is definitely worth taking the meeting.


5

In the humanities this happens all the time especially if you have a well known supervisor or are at a good program. While top presses try and entice senior academics to write a book for them, they want first crack at the book that comes out of a humanities thesis. They know you are motivated to write the dissertation whereas a tenure professor is likely ...


4

If I saw this, I would read it as someone that had passed a PhD in a subject of ABD then after I found out; discount them for any jobs for misleading me. “PhD candidate with publications” or “Withdraw from PhD but published” would be more meaningful.


4

Such rules differ from university to university and department to department. So you need to ask the persons responsible for determining whether or not you fulfilled the requirements.


4

I don't see an issue with hiring someone or getting a peer to contribute to the software as long as they are acknowledged accordingly and included in any future publications on it. Research is often team effort. However, your concern seems to be saving time during the final stages of your thesis. Sorry but I don't think the process of recruiting someone ...


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