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How to List PhD ABD on Resume

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Ph.D. ABD is a term for Ph.D. students who have done everything, but their dissertation uses. They use this term especially when they need to apply for a job and update their education history and qualifications. People usually wonder, “Should I put my Ph.D. on a resume if I’m ABD?” to add value to their resume.

Some employers like to know that their applicants and potential employees are knowledge-seeking individuals. I think the inclusion of this status in your resume achieved this aim.

However, there are many things that could be improved about the use of this term, such as if it should be used at all, when, and how appropriate it is. One may also wonder what All But Dissertation Resume means, but we will find out in subsequent sections.

This article will address these situations. It will address how to list ABD on resumes if students can put their Ph.D. ABD on their resume clearly defines who qualifies to be classified as a Ph.D. ABD student. Let’s get started.

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What Does ABD Mean?

ABD stands for All but Dissertation. ABD resume is a thing. This is a term people use when they need to indicate that they have finished their Ph.D. Coursework but still need to do their dissertation. A person who has an ABD status is an individual who has completed all the required classwork and any other comprehensive mandatory examinations.

Although this term has no academic standing, it is used when informing others of the stage you are in your program — the Ph.D. ABD status is not a degree that can be obtained. It simply means you have gone halfway in fulfilling all the requirements of your Ph.D. program.

For there to be a degree, you must fulfill all the requirements mandated by the institution you are studying at. ABD can also be said to be a ‘degree in view.’ One must complete three steps before they refer to their Ph.D. status as ABD.

Should I Put PhD ABD on my Resume?

Students who are in the process of getting their Ph.D. but still need to complete or start their dissertation may list PhD ABD on resume. They can record it because it adds professional value to the student and lets people know they are working towards a goal. It is an outstanding achievement, and it would be best to let a prospective employer know you are on a journey to obtain your Ph.D. Your Ph.D. ABD should be listed on your resume.

However, if you do not intend to complete or fulfill the requirements of the Ph.D. program, you should not list Ph.D. ABD on your resume. This is deceptive and misleading to the readers of the resume. But the years of school leading to that point can be listed on the resume. This listing would still impress your employer. You don’t need to provide misleading information that may be perceived as deceptive, especially when you have no intentions of completing your Ph.D. program.

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If you are in this position where you think you should include Ph.D., ABD on your resume, you have to think long and hard about whether you would continue the program. If yes, you can consist of this status on your resume. If not, do not include it.

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today” – Malcolm X.

How to List All but Dissertations (ABD) on a Resume

A student must understand the intricacies of listing an ABD on their degree, as it is a pending degree that has yet to be obtained. Please make sure to check your graduation status before checking that your institution’s credits and degree requirements are in your anticipated graduation date. This helps the student understand the requirements needed to complete the program and determine whether they will add ABD to their resume. This would help you greatly in listing your Ph.D. ABD on your resume.

On your resume, you can list your pending degree under the education section after the name of your institution. List your Ph.D. ABD status after your college has been listed. You may also write ‘pending’ if the graduation is near. Write this alongside your commencement date. But if the graduation is later, you can write ‘expected’ with the anticipated commencement date. Place a comma after the name of your institution and before any degree-related information.

For instance, Oxford University, Medicine, Pending, December 2021. This format is if the graduation date is near.

For instance, Oxford University, Medicine, Expected, August 2022. This format is if the graduation date is far away.

A popular question is: should I put a GPA on my resume? Read more on our blog.

When Should You List It?

You should list your Ph.D. ABD status if you intend to complete your program. Many students do not get to finish their Ph.D. degrees, but people who fit in this category have completed their coursework. You should only list the status of the pending degree on your resume if this is a program you intend to finish. The student must be sure of their ability to complete the program.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin.

When You Should Not Add It

You should not add your Ph.D. ABD status on your resume if you do not intend to finish the program. Some students have stopped their Ph.D. halfway because of lack of funds, external obligations they cannot fulfill, bad situations, and the realization that they do not need or want a Ph.D. degree, to mention a few. To avoid being perceived as deceptive, please make sure you finish the program. By the way, remember to add page numbers to your resume.


How to List Unfinished Ph.D. Degrees on Resume?

It would be best if you listed your ABD status the same way your Ph.D. degree would be listed. Although some phrases may be written in full form, others should be abbreviated. The ‘ABD’ must not be written in full. It should be shortened because the full term is too lengthy and wordy. The abbreviated form will match the abbreviated form of the Ph.D. This emphasizes the need for consistency.

Should I Put my Ph.D. on a Resume if I am ABD?

No, you should not put a Ph.D. on your resume if you are ABD. This is deceptive and a lie. You cannot assume a degree that you have not completed. An applicant must always list the true status of their education qualifications. List your complete most recent educational experience.

If you have not completed your Ph.D. degree, you should list your Masters’ degree instead. This gives your employer an insight into your education level so far.

How Do You Know If You Are ABD?

You have to be sure that you are ABD before you list it on your resume. If you are ABD, you must have completed these requirements:

  • You must have finished all the courses required for your Ph.D. program.
  • You must have passed the necessary and required examinations for your Ph.D. program
  • You must have defended your dissertation proposal. This ensures that your topic has been approved for completion.

If you have fulfilled these requirements, you can refer to your status as ABD. The only thing left for you to do, in this instance, is to conduct your research and write the dissertation. This is what is referred to as (ABD) All But Dissertation on a resume. You cannot include ABD in your resume if you have not fulfilled the highlighted requirements above.

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The Ph.D. ABD status has caused Ph.D. students looking to apply for jobs to be skeptical. Having a good insight into your goals and plans is usually helpful. The status can be included if the student is sure they will complete the program. If not, it is best not to include it.

Featured Photo by Green Chameleon


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