Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by edowave, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Recently I've started noticing a rise in "PhD(c)" popping up at the end of peoples names, usually on websites trying to sell you something.

    Unless you were looking for an academic or research position, you almost never saw this. Even then, it was rare. People outside academia (and many inside) have no idea there is a difference between a "PhD" and a "PhD(c)."

    Some of these 'candidates' will have the font size of the 'c' comically smaller than the other letters. A few even insist on being addressed as doctor.

    Is it just me, or does anyone find this misleading?
  2. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I think it is wrong and misleading. When I was applying for adjunct positions I would put "PhD (ABD) .....expected graduation date 2010" and be clear that I was not done.
  3. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Since many foreign doctorates are dissertation-only (Ph.D by research), could I not say that I am Ph.D(c)? :headbang:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2011
  4. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Examples from websites?
  5. major56

    major56 Active Member

    Here’s some …

    Myra Goldman, PhD(c), ARNP, FNP-BC — University of Louisville

    Dino Samartzis, PhD(C

    CV: Anita Dempsey MSN, APRN, BC, PhD (c)

    Diana Mason, PhD, C, FAAN, RN — Hunter College

    Simmons Success: Clare Safran-Norton, PT, PhD(c), MS, MS, OCS

    Mark Phillips PhD (C) - LinkedIn

    Alex Diaz, PhD(c), LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist, Tuckahoe, NY 10707 | Psychology Today's Therapy Directory

    Jennifer Merrilees, RN, PhD-C | Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)

    Per Wikipedia: "A PhD program candidate, or PhDc (sometimes called Candidate of Philosophy), is a postgraduate student at the doctoral level who has successfully satisfied the requirements for doctoral studies, except for the final thesis or dissertation. As such, a PhDc is sometimes called an "ABD" (All But Dissertation or All But Defended)." Doctor of Philosophy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - What is a PhDc
  6. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    This would be a good situation for the rarely-used C.Phil. credential.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    In the book Graduate Savvy by Jeff Green, PhD; he recommends put neither PhD (ABD) nor PhD(c). Anyway, this book is required for the first class at Capella University. Frankly, I think the book is useless because half of the book is talking what we discuss in this forum. And about 20% is talking about Capella University along. The book costs about $40.00; and it waste of money.
  8. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    I was told that I could not use anything (not even when I have successfully defended and told I have the ok by my committee) until I have the diploma in hand. Now, I do have PhD (Ongoing) and no one has said anything to me yet.
  9. distancedoc2007

    distancedoc2007 New Member

    I'm superstitious about this, and won't be listing anything until I am really sure I am done and approved. Why tempt fate? PS. Loved MC's comment about being ABD right from the first day of a dissertation-only doctorate! That thought had occurred to me also...
  10. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    It is legendary, and true, that more than a few people, on their business cards (mostly Asia and Africa) have stated, "University of London, B.A. (failed)." Same with doctorates. I was told (but could not quickly find examples) that the term "Ph.D.(f)" has been used. My brief search did find lots of comments on this matter, such as this from an Argentine scholar about his job application:

    "My opponent had failed to earn a doctorate, but had made the attempt in the right place. The failure at the University of Oxford had more merit to succeed at the University of Buenos Aires or La Plata. During a visit to India I was able to confirm the hypothesis that it is better to fail in the right place to succeed in inappropriate. There I met several people who left me their business cards in which, under the name, read, "Ph. D. (failed) Oxford" or "failed PhD" in Oxford. Presumably, this failure had opened many doors."
  11. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Remember, Wikipedia is just for fun and has not been systematically edited by subject matter experts...

    That said, since the public doesn't really understand what a Ph.D. is, it is hard to know whether a uniform or distinctive nomenclature for the Ph.D. Candidate is an issue worth worrying about:

    1) Assertion: "So and so is a Ph.D. Candidate!" Response: "Wow, what is that? That's not a medical doctor; is it?"
    2) Assertion: "So and so is a Ph.D.!" Response: "Wow, what is that? That's not a medical doctor; is it?"

    See, outside of higher education and journal articles nobody really cares or understands... :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2011
  12. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    If a person puts Ph.D on their CV and they are really a Ph.D(c) then that is misleading.

    If a person is a Ph.D(c) and they put that on their CV, that's truth.

    If people don't know the difference that's ignorance.

    Another thread successfully solved :)
  13. major56

    major56 Active Member


    As you’ve noted … it’s not necessarily a significant issue, unless one has completed the doctorial course requirements and is completing the dissertation. Nonetheless, per Acronym Finder: PhDc is an abbreviation for PhD program candidate. Correct or incorrect … some use PhD(c) /PhDc. However, is there really dissimilarity in using PhD (ABD) vs. PhD(c) or PhDc? I do appreciate the resume or CV disclosure used /suggested by Randell, e.g. “…expected graduation date…”
    PhDc - PhD program candidate
  14. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    My personal opinion is that the best way is to just state the designation without abbreviation: Ph.D. Candidate. Including the expected graduation date is probably not meaningful because it is not accurate.

    If the person wants to elaborate, then do so in parenthesis and then drop the completed dissertation on the interviewer's desk. For example, Ph.D. Candidate (Dissertation completed Fall 2010, but Committee Chairman refused to sign the dissertation or articulate his objections to the research.) Let the interviewer draw conclusions about what happened. It isn't necessary to state those facts verbatim.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2011
  15. GeeBee

    GeeBee Member

    A relative of mine has "BS Mathematics (candidate)" on her resume. She thinks it sounds better than "dropout."

    My own resume simply has, in the Education section: "Louisiana Tech University, 1976 - 1979." I'll be happy when I can add a degree.
  16. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    Is that accurate, though? I would think that if you withdraw from a school, you are no longer in candidacy.
  17. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    That's correct. You use "(cand.)" if and only if you're still pursuing the degree; you use "ABD" if you washed.
  18. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

  19. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Hard to say for sure, Ted, since neither are official designations...
  20. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I go back to my previous comment. Many foreign ("by research") doctorates don't require additional coursework. Maybe Ph.D (c (meaning "candidate," something I didn't even know, despite understanding that (c) meant pretty much the same as ABD)) won't really work. But, heck, since I am only a dissertation away from a Ph.D, why don't I just put on my resume that I am Ph.D (ABD)?

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