All but dissertation

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"All but dissertation" (ABD) is an 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 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.[1] A student attaining this level may be granted a Candidate of Philosophy degree at some institutions.

In the United States several universities including Columbia, Yale and George Washington may award a formal Masters of Philosphy or M.Phil for these achievements. There are other similar degrees such as doctoral candidate,[2] abbreviated PhD(c), PhD-c or PhDc in English speaking countries[2] and Dr. Cand. in German-speaking countries.[3]


  1. ^ Schuman, Rebecca (1 August 2014). "ABD Company". Slate. 
  2. ^ a b Amy Novotney, "The misuse of PhD(c): Why a designation used by some students is seen as unethical", Monitor on Psychology, September 2016, Vol. 47, No. 8, p. 36.
  3. ^ Thomas Söbbing, Warum scheitern Vertragsverhandlungen?, disserta Verlag, 2010, p. 1.