Ph.D. A.B.D. : What the heck?

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ANON2:
I recently came across these letters following someone's name and I'm wondering what it means -- does it mean what I'd guess it means (all but dissertation) and if so, why on earth would anyone use those letters in a professional context? Is this common???

Zarkov:

yes, it means all but dissertation, and its use as a title after one's name is considered cheeky.

trabb:
see http://chronicle.com/jobs/forums/read.php?f=15&i=7533&t=7533 for discussion of Zarkov's point:)

[%sig%]

ANON2:
Sorry if I sound dense here, but does this mean that he was actually awarded a degree of sorts without his doing a dissertation or does it mean that he has no degree at all -- or would he have been awarded a masters? I understand that the person wants me to know that he's done more than his master's degree but he hasn't been a student for a very long time. It seems to me that since a dissertation is required for a PhD, then being ABD is not a degree state. (Or perhaps it is in some places?)

Dansuri:
"It seems to me that since a dissertation is required for a PhD, then being ABD is not a degree state. (Or perhaps it is in some places?)"

At some institutions it is a formal degree state, at others it is not official, but it's still used only for truly ABD students (that is, have finished all requirements of the PhD, except for that pesky dissertation). However, it's still just a description of where the person is at in the process of earning the PhD, not something that should go on a business card or name badge.  Tacky.

But what are anyone's thoughts on how a person who has true ABD status (and is moving allowing with the D part) should designate this on the vita? "Ph.D candidate, ABD" ?

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