How do you list Ph.D. title if you're just starting?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Roscoe, Nov 29, 2002.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    IMO, Tom is correct regarding the research doctorate, although I haven't heard anyone suggest that the RD could be earned by just writing a dissertation. Whether one gains further knowledge via additional coursework or guided research--it must be gained.

    Neither model is a joke, neither is 100% without challenges, neither guarantees the best of all academic worlds. Both have benefits and both offer substantive academic experiences. They are what they are--two routes to a common objective.
  2. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    I dunno. Having had one doctoral program blow up in my face, I would be very reserved in stating for public consumption that I was a Ph.D. candidate somewhere. It might be more prudent to state that one is a graduate student at such and such a university, or working toward one's doctorate (no institution specified). The embarrassment potential might be less with such phrasing, should something go wrong.

    It always bugged me when I saw Lutheran seminarians (not yet ordained) wandering around in clerical collars. This seemed to me to be a kind of proleptic false advertising, and I react the same way to advertising a degree not yet completed.

    The issue of timing for book publicity puts a different specific spin on this, however.

    None of this is to suggest that those who list degrees in progress on this site are "storying," but it would take small changes in typography--if somewhat larger changes in ethics (or ethnics???)--to turn simple notification of work-in-progress into an inappropriate advertising for a credential not yet achieved.
  3. levicoff

    levicoff Guest

    You've proven my point, Russell - people who talk out of their asses without having done their research will ultimately be an embarrassment to themselves.

    My 35 days of residency were certainly fun, but the "shorter" dissertation you imply was, in my case, 328 pages - shorter than some, longer than many. And my "few" courses were sixteen courses (not including the colloquium, seminars, etc.), documented to the hilt. (If you missed the days when my Program Summary was available on line, Russell, that's what hapens when you show up late for meetings. Sorry, campers, these days I make it available only to current Union learners who request it.)

    Nonetheless, Russell, I doubt that you really want to turn this into a pissing contest. After all, I have my regionally accredited Ph.D. in hand. I wouldn't care to speculate what you are stroking with your hand, but it's obviously something other than an RA Ph.D.

    So if you really want to play cocksmanship games, Russell, do load yourself with better ammunition. :D

    By the way, I'm with Tom Head on this issue. I do not support dissertation-only doctorates, but find that most legitimate foreign doctorates involve significant research. Moreover, the preparation that one goes through in undergraduate programs is far more comprehensive than what most students experience in the dumbed-down U.S.
  4. obecve

    obecve New Member

    It seems absurd to me to say that only the American way of doing things is accpetable. British Universities have legitimately offered research only Ph.D.'s for some time. They are real degrees from real universitites accepted by other real universities as the credential to teach. The method involves a working personal relationship with a chair who guides you through a research process. It typically takes 3-5 years, not unlike American schools. This is the same kind of bias that exists between Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs, even though many Ed.D. programs have the same research requirements and same quality of dissertation. It is ultimately up to the individual learner to determine what they need and what they are prepared to do. The ultimate product is how they represent themselves when they are done. It is also equally interesting when an individual has gone through one method he/she determines all other methods are somehow lesser methods!
  5. Bill Grover

    Bill Grover New Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2002
  6. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    I'm off this thread.
  7. Christopher Green

    Christopher Green New Member

    Still in the dark...

    After reading this thread, I'm still in the dark about one thing. I'd be thankful for any responses because I'm certainly not as experienced as, say, uncle janko who has tried a PhD "before."

    if we are studious enough about a doc. to get our research done on our own without the "spoonfeeding" of coursework (UK system), why does such an individual not deserve the title: "ABD"??? Does "ABD" always imply that one has, in fact, taken courses from the university where the Doc. is pursued?

    Isn't there a difference between a resume that lists an american school as "ABD," for example:

    PhD cand., Harvard U., ABD.

    and someone who lists a UK school:

    PhD cand., Univ. of Exeter, ABD.

    When I look at the first "ABD" the student is definitely at the end of the program. The second one has definitely had his/her topic recognized, but the dissertation is still "in the works" and may be for 3-4 more years! Why is it misleading if the school (the country!) probably determines the content of "ABD?"

    Or should we just say that "ABD" is a specifically AMERICAN abbreviation for an american degree, indicating that "the coursework is done." This would cause a problem because many positions are applied for based on one's "ABD" status. One may be near the end of one's PhD via the UK system, but have no corresponding "ABD" title to award oneself with to apply for jobs.

    Any replies are thankfully received.

    :D Chris:D
  8. Bill Grover

    Bill Grover New Member



    Hoti emou???
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    No need for games, Steve, and sorry I was late for the meeting. Having read NIFI in '92, and your posts for over five years now, I knew you would respond to my post. Too bad I couldn't have incorporated something about MIGS in the post as well. ;)
  10. Bill Grover

    Bill Grover New Member

    Re: Still in the dark...

  11. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    I'm not sure how things are done at Union/Sarasota, but my NSU experience is instructrive. A number of the courses sounded like masters level, but weren't. In marketing, for example, the prof taught well about the MBA level. He assumed we knew the basic terminology and theories of marketing. Instead, he spend much of his time on a meta analysis of marketing theories and advanced readings.

    Not all of my NSU classes were as good as my marekting class - but many were. When it comes to business there are just five major areas of study - whether you are studying at the undergraduate, masters of doctoral level. Nonetheless coursework can genuinely vary between these levels.

    Regards - Andy

  12. Bill Grover

    Bill Grover New Member

  13. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    I should add that:

    (a) Steve is right on about the dissertation thing--I've seen Harvard dissertations that run to 1100+ pages, and saw one dissertation from Flinders that ran to about 80. Although Aussie dissertation word count requirements tend to be much higher than those in the U.S., there's plenty of wiggle room and it often depends on the topic. (I wouldn't fault Russell for this, though--I was saying "Aussie dissertations are longer" for years because I honestly thought they always were. Comparative higher education is a tricky thing.)

    (b) I sounded a little harsh in my criticism of U.S. doctoral coursework, for which I ought to apologize. Less of a radical viewpoint issue than it was an I-was-up-until-6:30am-working-on-a-book issue. I did try to revise the post to tone down my...well..tone, but my ten minutes were up.

    (c) I like Union, and my attitude towards it is that it basically is in many respects a U.S. research doctorate--very empowering, creativity-oriented, etc. etc. etc. I wouldn't rule out doing a #2 Ph.D. from there in a decade or two, since the doctoral emphasis possibilities are almost endless. (Ph.D. in humor, maybe? Or nonverbal communication? Or meditation, for that matter? The possibilities are endless.)

    (d) Those of you who weren't around to see Steve's online goodies missed a real treat. Not only some fascinating annotated transcripts, but a narrative CV that was actually entertaining to read. I've tried many times to emulate the general approach he used, with no real success (probably because my interests are too broad at the moment to make a good story).

  14. Christopher Green

    Christopher Green New Member


    I'm sorry that my statement sounded sarcastic, Bill and Unk J. I wasn't being sarcastic AT ALL. I just meant to say that I REALLY don't know enough about these PhD's to really say what an "ABD" on a resume is worth.

    My impression was that Unk. J. had some good things to say about moderation on a resume and I didn't want to sound young and arrogant by saying that putting "ABD" on is "okay."

  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Theologians generally have far more coursework and background than most other academics (at least in terms of coursework prep). A theologian going from B.A. - MDiv (90 credit hours) - M.Th (36??) - ThD (60?). Compare that with a PhD who was a B.A. - M.A. (as little as 36 hrs) - and a PhD at (60 hrs). These days you can go from a 36 hour M.A. to a 40 credit hour PhD at Touro U. Someone like Russell Morris' prep for doctoral work includes a total of 90 graduate hours of theological courses including ancient languages. Then he goes on to a DMin. Likely, the graduate level work he put into his program was more difficult than many DL PhD programs.

    Both the British and American system have aspects to commend themselves and we could debate it for 500 posts and still not come up with a decisive answer.

    Steve (your Piled Higher and Deeperness) would you relax. You jump on statments spewing hyperbole and say things like 'that's a joke'...'I consider that program or degree a joke' and throw in a few sex obsessed phrases (you must be lonely). When someone points out possible deficiencies in your own program you turn it up another childish notch. Relax pal, you are not inadequate!!! I have a great deal of respect for your contribution to DL as do many others. I am occasionally pleased to see you share that knowledge without trying to belittle someone or be tacky. That happened recently and you gave a very good answer to someone where you shared your knowledge. I am amused with your posts that some folks were actually offended by theological discussions.

    **Some Masters degrees have increased in length over time. Eg. Some counselors who graduate a while back have only 36 credit hours Masters degrees where the standard is now 48 credit hours and some are 60 credit hours.

  16. Bill Grover

    Bill Grover New Member

    Re: NOT AT ALL


    Thanks Chris,
  17. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

    Roscoe MA???

    Although my son has taken to titling himself Dr. Ruhl PhD(Harvard 2016).
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Re: How do you list Ph.D. title if you're just starting?

    Cute Dennis :D

  19. Bill Grover

    Bill Grover New Member


    After I finished my first class at TTS of Indiana the school sent me a nice diploma looking thing which announced me as a "PhD candidate." Such a tastily baited hook keeps many a hungry bullhead on the trotline.
  20. tenbsmith

    tenbsmith New Member

    Roscoe: I would leave all mention of pursuing your degree out of the 'about author' sectoin. I see no real advantage, it adds very little. On the disadvantage side, if you should decide to go to another school or not complete the degree for any reason it could be embarrassing. I know you're proud, but be patient and wait for the time when you can simply say 'PhD.'

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