All but dissertation
"All but dissertation" (ABD) is a mostly unofficial term identifying a stage in the process of obtaining a research doctorate in the United States and Canada. In typical usage of the term, the ABD student has completed only the required preparatory coursework, and passed any required preliminary and comprehensive examinations, but has not completed the research requirements, typically including the writing and defense of a dissertation.
It has been described as a "state of permanent, epic procrastination, often lasting years", and the "uncompleted dissertation hangs over the candidate like a black cloud".
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