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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Top 10 Grad school acronyms and jargons

If the online community has its own cute and cool lingo (btw, pm, lol), grad school also has its own equally interesting acronyms and jargons. Here are the top 10 on my list and their meanings.


This means “All But Dissertation”. This refers to a PhD student who has passed all his/her academic course requirements except dissertation. (Juan de la Cruz, PhD (ABD). Same with C.A.R. Below.

Academic master's degrees

This refers to the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.) degrees on specific disciplines. This is the prerequisite to the doctorate degrees.


A student who is currently working on his/her graduate degree. (Juanito de la Cruz, MBA Candidate)


Means “Complete Academic Requirements”. A grad student who has finished all the needed academic course requirement except the thesis or dissertation. (Juana de la Cruz, M.P.A. [CAR]). See Also A.B.D.


A term used for the “Comprehensive Exam”, an exam prepared by select professors in order to test your competencies as grad students given the coursework you have experienced. This could either be a written or oral exam or both.


This refers to an oral presentation to a panel of professors. In here you present a summary of your thesis or dissertation including your results, conclusions and recommendations. Questions are given by the panel regarding your study.


This is another name for thesis (See Below). However, dissertation is to a doctorate degree as thesis is to a master’s degree. (In the U.K. and Australia, these terms are interchanged)

Refresher Course

An academic course you have to enroll in after a long period of absence from grad school. It is meant to “refresh” your mindset on graduate school. This will also mean that “a lot of things have changed while your gone, so better catch up on it”.


This means doctor of philosophy. This is an advanced degree after a master’s degree. This requires long years of coursework and a dissertation.


In one sentence this refers to “a long research paper”. This is mostly required for a master’s and a must for a doctorate degree (dissertation). This is an academic masterpiece, your original and significant contribution to the knowledge in your discipline.

There may be other grad school acronyms and jargons you have in mind right now. Kindly add to this list by using the comment link below.

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