A Comprehensive Guide on All but Dissertation ABD Status to PhD

Dissertation ABD Status to PhD

Earning a PhD degree is a great achievement in itself, and it consists of two main phases: coursework and dissertation. Most of the doctoral students find this dissertation to be the hardest part which led them to the term ABD, standing for “All but Dissertation.” A candidate who has accomplished all the coursework tasks but has not finished the last dissertation work gets an All but Dissertation ABD status. 

We see the majority of students quit their doctoral degrees due to the hardest part of the dissertation. On average, only 1% of the world’s university people aged 25-64 have a PhD. Even in the UK, just 2% of the population holds a doctorate. This makes a PhD quite rare, mainly because transitioning from ABD (All but Dissertation) to PhD is very challenging.

To ease your dissertation burden, we have designed a comprehensive guide for converting your All but Dissertation ABD status to PhD. We will share student’s challenges and some effective strategies for its solution. In addition, we also advise students to get PhD dissertation help online from professional writers to streamline this difficult task and ensure their success.

Before going into detail, let’s explore what ABD is.

What Does All but Dissertation ABD Status Mean?

Many of you may not heard this term before and might be confused thinking if it is a degree or not. For clarification, ABD is the term used for students in a PhD program who have fulfilled all the essential requirements except for the dissertation. This All but Dissertation ABD status indicates that the applicant is well on their way to receiving their PhD, which is a noteworthy accomplishment.

We are all aware of the difficulties of the dissertation, which is finally the last part of this hardworking journey to get a degree. Although you have come to this stage after going through huge coursework, passing exams and proving your capabilities, there is still much more to do. A dissertation is a demanding task due to original research, creating your own methodology and evaluating the findings in your field.

Challenges of the ABD Stage

On one side, where it’s very exciting to reach the middle of a doctorate and get the All but Dissertation ABD status, there is also a dissertation obstacle. No doubt, having an ABD is a very uncertain time where you have to face many challenges, including these:

Topic Selection

First of all, the major challenge that students face is the selection of the right study topic. You should select a narrow but clear topic on which you can start your research and write a complete dissertation. For this, you should also talk to your advisors about the issue and get their opinions. 

Time Management

The dissertation is an independent study task that takes a lot of time. Students with All but Dissertation ABD status often get more relaxed, thinking that they have a lot of time to start their work. As a result, they start working on the dissertation later and then face issues in completing it on time.


Since the dissertation process requires you to work alone on your project often makes you feel lonely during the tough times. Before even getting this All but Dissertation ABD status, all the students used to work collectively on their coursework. However, the dissertation work requires the utmost attention of the student only on research and writing resulting in this isolation.

Dissertation Committee Structure

The committee you choose for your dissertation is a crucial stage. Disagreements or poor communication with committee members, however, can lead to stress during the ABD stage.

Finance and Stress

Dissertations can be costly, particularly if you need to travel or buy specialist equipment for your research. Stress-related to money can be a big problem during ABD.

Balancing Work, Life, and Dissertation

It’s not an easy task to balance your dissertation with personal commitments and jobs. During the All but Dissertation ADB stage, you don’t even get time for yourself. In these circumstances, it becomes difficult to maintain a balance between your work, study and life.

Top 7 Strategies for a Smooth Transition from All but Dissertation ABD Status to PhD

Many people get stuck at the ABD (All but Dissertation) phase and don’t finish their degree, despite completing a significant amount of coursework. This can leave them with nothing to show for their hard work in the end creating trouble to get a degree.

If you leave a program with this All but Dissertation (ABD) status, you will just waste your time and money while increasing stress. Eight months after leaving school, loan payments start. These payments can feel even more burdensome if you don’t earn your degree.

Here are some tips to help you push through the ABD phase and complete your degree on time:

1. Know What to Expect

During your coursework, the program was structured with clear courses and grades. The dissertation phase is less straightforward and complex at the same time. Read all the guidelines your school provides and familiarise yourself with any available templates. 

These dissertation examples can guide you on what sections are needed for each chapter, saving you time and releasing you from the All but Dissertation ABD status. Furthermore, you should learn how long it takes for your committee to review your work and plan accordingly.

2. Setting Clear Goals and Deadlines

We all know that a dissertation is the hardest part of getting a PhD, so you should plan properly to meet the deadlines. To complete this crucial task, you should make a timetable and set your goals clearly. Only creating a schedule is not enough, you have to strictly act upon your created schedule. 

For example, you should understand the time requirements of each chapter and stage of the dissertation and plan everything accordingly. This will help you to get out of the All but Dissertation ABD status and stay on your course side by side.

3. Create Your Support Team

Before going into dissertation work, you have to select a committee first. The aim of your dissertation committee is to provide instant support to students related to their work. This assistance starts from the research phase and continues to the dissertation defence. They not only help you to make your dissertation excellent but also provide insightful criticism where it is needed. Without this support team, you cannot move forward from the All but Dissertation ABD status.

4. Stay Motivated

Writing a dissertation is such a time-consuming and hardworking task that it makes you feel demotivated. To keep the fire burning in yourself, you have to work on your brainstorming and get new useful ideas for work. You should also collaborate with other students and teachers to get their support. Even after completing a little task, celebrate your success to keep yourself motivated in the long run!

5. Using Campus Resources

Dissertation work demands a lot of money that a student can never afford with limited resources. That’s where the actual role of your college or university begins to provide funding to assist students. In addition, students also need campus resources for research, experimentation and writing. By using these resources for free, you can easily deal with various research problems while reducing your stress.

6. Making Self-Care a Priority

In every case, you should prioritise your health as nothing is more important than that. While working on your dissertation, you often neglect your health, which makes you suffer even more. If you get ill during this phase, a lot of time will be wasted. So, always make sure that you eat healthily, get adequate sleep, and exercise regularly to finish this All but Dissertation ABD status. For this purpose, you should take pauses during working hours to make yourself relaxed and stress-free.

7. Looking for Professional Assistance

Creating a network of support can reduce feelings of loneliness and offer accountability as well. You can get the support of professional PhD dissertation writers who work day and night to fulfil your needs and make your work completely flawless. You can also join a dissertation writing group so that you can get their assistance anytime, discuss your progress, and receive comments for improvements. In addition, meeting on a regular basis with your dissertation advisor or committee members can also help you in this voyage.

How to Explain Your ABD Status in an Academic or Professional Setting?

So, have you got an All but Dissertation ABD status and are now feeling tense about how to explain it to others? You can easily overcome this problem by just focusing on your goals and long-term objectives. Even if you get a chance to sit in a professional setting with experts, you should confidently answer their questions. 

The following is a few steps guide to help you go through this phase:

Select the Appropriate Time

You should wait for the right time to talk about your ABD status. You can start this thing between relevant conversations related to your work, research background or more.

Be Brief and Clear

You should speak in plain, direct terms. You can clearly say that you have almost finished all the coursework requirements for a PhD and are now looking forward towards a dissertation. Avoid using difficult and vague terms so that everyone gets your point clearly.

Standout Performances

Pay attention to the assignments, studies, and tests that you have successfully finished. Mention any papers you’ve written or speeches you’ve given at conferences that highlight your knowledge and commitment.

Give an Explanation of Your Reasoning

If appropriate, give a brief explanation of your dissertation’s unfinished state and clear your All but Dissertation ABD status. You can also discuss your academic interests, professional possibilities, or personal situations behind this status.

State Your Plans for the Future

Describe your professional aspirations and how your ABD status fits into them. Here, you should mention your plans for using your present skills or whether you intend to complete your dissertation.

Connect and Work Together

Make connections with academics and professionals who appreciate your skills by using your All but Dissertation ABD status. Seek for chances to work with others and advance your career.

Keep in mind that you have to overcome your All but Dissertation ABD status as soon as possible. It doesn’t mean you are facing a failure rather makes you more focused on the route of earning a PhD. By clearly outlining your ABD status, you will be on your way to creating a place for yourself in this industry. 

What Happens if Your Dissertation Is Not Accepted?

If your PhD dissertation is not accepted and gets rejected by the committee, don’t get disheartened, as it is not the end of the journey. You still have an opportunity to come back and resubmit a revised addition again. During this All but Dissertation ABD status, you just have to review the feedback, consult with your advisor, and revise your work thoroughly. 

In this way, you will get the chance to make the necessary changes and resubmit your dissertation for another evaluation. The committee will then review it again to see if the revisions meet their expectations.

How Does a Dissertation Get Approved?

After completing your dissertation writing, prepare yourself for the defence, where you have to present your work to the committee. They will review your work and ask some relevant questions to check your understanding of the topic. To get dissertation approval, it is crucial that your work is up to the standard and the committee members approve it after thorough evaluation and defence. 

Does a Dissertation Affect GPA?

Well, there are two opinions related to this statement. The University of the Potomac states that if you are doing your master’s thesis, it will directly impact your grades and GPA. However, for doctoral dissertations, East Tennessee State University states that dissertation work only gets grades that do not have any link with your GPA. Here, you will get grades of three types:

  • S for satisfactory completion
  • SP for satisfactory progress
  • U for unsatisfactory


No one can deny the fact that it is very crucial to complete a dissertation to become a doctorate. However, after completing the coursework and exams, the stage comes when students get All but Dissertation ABD status. It is the time when they have accomplished everything except the dissertation, so they are now planning to work on it. This transition from ABD to PhD is equal to climbing a hill that requires proper strategies to follow for a smooth process. 

Here, we have covered everything you need to know about this tough phase of ABD to save you time and ensure your continuous growth throughout this journey. To overcome the difficulties of this demanding phase, students also seek PhD dissertation writing services UK from field experts. With their immense support, you can easily move forward towards the completion of your dissertation and get a distinction as a result.

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