Using "PhD Candidate"

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Boethius, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Boethius

    Boethius Member

    Hi everyone! Hope all is well. Is it appropriate to use "PhD Candidate" if enrolled in a PhD by dissertation only program? I'm presenting at an academic conference next month and I want to know if this was ok to do. Thank you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2014
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    If I remember correctly, it has been stated on this board that Candidate status is appropriate once your formal research proposal has been accepted. Perhaps other members have a different memory or opinion.
  3. jumbodog

    jumbodog New Member

    Short answer, yes. Long answer: Why do you feel the need to? If your presentation has been accepted by the academic conference your credentials are not in question. Most people will simply say, "Boethis, XX University, X Department".
  4. Helpful2013

    Helpful2013 Active Member

    Boethius, where are you at in your program? Candidate as opposed to student implies that something has been accomplished. Most UK universities I am aware of consider it very bad form to refer to yourself as a candidate in a thesis-only doctoral program until after you have passed your first-year review (where, as Kizmet points out, your proposal is formally accepted). There's likely no formal penalty for it, but it would be worth checking with your university's program handbook or your supervisor first.
  5. Helpful2013

    Helpful2013 Active Member

    Generally true, but there is one major academic association in the US which likes to put students in their place at the annual conference by printing nametags like so:

    Helpful 2013
    University of DegreeInfo

    This obnoxiousness is presumably there to make sure that nobody wastes time talking to people who don't count.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2014
  6. Boethius

    Boethius Member

    My school is in Barcelona, Spain. I just finished the MA coursework and will submit an application for the PhD program with a proposal. The application is due in July 2014 and the selection committee decides my admission to the program in September 2014.

    In the interim, I have to write an MA thesis and present it in front of a panel in Barcelona, February 2015. My thesis will be anywhere from 60 -70 pages and will eventually be part of my doctoral dissertation should I get accepted. I'm actually presenting my thesis at the conference later this month.

    The timing is a little nutty but I thought I should ask about the "PhD Candidate" status. I'll follow up with my supervisor. Thank you.
  7. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I might be wrong but different schools have different rules. I think at NCU it was as soon as the IRB was approved (could be wrong).

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Ph.D Student, once you are accepted into the dissertation phase, you'are Ph.D Candidate.
  9. fiza200

    fiza200 New Member

    It is good and I am too using it.
  10. suelaine

    suelaine Member

    NCU actually made it easy for us because they sent us a nice letter letting us know when we reached "candidate" status. This school was not known for sending much of anything by mail, so it was a nice surprise.
  11. Boethius

    Boethius Member

    Thank you for sharing. I know for a fact that if I'm accepted to the PhD program, I will be a doctorando, meaning "one who is working on his doctoral thesis."

    I don't think there is an equivalent of PhD student or candidate. In Spain, all coursework for the PhD is done at the Master's level, and the Master's has to be a specific "Research Master's " that leads to a particular PhD. I already had two traditional US Master's degrees when I enrolled and they still required that I take four of their courses - which was fine with me. So I'll get a third Master's but that's not what I signed up for.

    So, if I'm writing my doctoral thesis and not taking any course work, am I a student or candidate? It seems I would be a candidate.

    But you are all correct. I'll check with my Supervisor and the University's rules.
  12. dirkcraen

    dirkcraen New Member

    What will you be using this title for? How formal a setting are we talking about? It is true that some institutions even forbid their students to mention them until they have acquired the degree in question..
  13. Boethius

    Boethius Member

    I'm actually teaching my subject matter now in a traditional class setting and soon via distance. I will be attending conferences to get to know people in my field. I am presenting a paper at a conference later this month. I really don't need this designation because I'm already part of an institution in my field with heavy hitter PhDs who are well published.

    I was thinking it was for people outside of my field? Maybe also indicate it on a calling card and, or, website? In modern day, philosophy has many sub disciplines and traditions. It's really for those scholars not in my own "tradition."
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2014
  14. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Coursework has nothing to do with it. If your dissertation topic has been approved, you are a candidate. It it hasn't been approved yet, you are a student. Either way, few people really care about the distinction.

    However, doctorando sounds way cooler.
  15. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    PhD Candidate

    Decades ago, the University of Washington formally granted Ph.C. status. Maybe they still do. The reasoning then was interesting. If you didn't earn a master's en route, you were still just a bachelor's degree holder which limited your ability to find teaching jobs during your dissertation phase. The Ph.C. was intended to be a sort of "graduate degree substitute".

    The State of New York seems to think that a student who would be a Ph.C. should receive instead an M.Phil., a genuine master's degree at the post-M.A. level.

    I don't think the idea caught on. Most of the few American schools that offer the M.Phil. seem to treat it as a consolation prize for ABDs. Maybe the consensus is right. I don't know what you could do with an M.Phil. that you can't do with just an M.A.
  16. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Nobody uses academic titles when presenting at a Conference. You are just John Smith, Degree Info University. Nobody would know if you are a PhD candidate, PhD, etc unless someone asks.
  17. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Are you sure? I have seen people use their degrees along with names on Linkedin
    - John Smith, MS
    - John McCoy, MBA
    - John O'Connor, MPS
    - John O'Kelly, JD
    and etc..
  18. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I have presented at various conferences, most itineraries look like the one below

    Enterprise Systems

    It would be kind of silly to flash a PhD in a conference where 90% of people have one. The OP would look silly with a PhD Cand. that shows that is trying to impress someone. Most students presenting are PhD Cand so it is not going to impress anyone.
  19. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Lawyers rarely use "J.D." for the same reason. A few do and they look silly.
  20. Boethius

    Boethius Member

    Understood and thank you.

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