In my role as a dissertation coach (I also coach faculty) I hear some amazing stories about how graduate students are treated. Granted, I only hear one side of the story, but in most of the stories the advisors have no excuse. For example, the advisor of one student went to Europe for a semester and did not return emails or phone calls from his student for over a month. Did these people ever write a dissertation? Were they mistreated and now want to get revenge? I just don't understand this.
I thought I knew what the definition of ABD was. It was exactly the same as defined here in Carnegie Mellon's University Doctoral Candidate Policies for All But Dissertation (ABD) : After the completion of all formal degree requirements other than the completion of and approval of the doctoral dissertation and the public final examination, doctoral candidates shall be regarded as All But Dissertation(ABD). I have, though, occasionally run into the term ABD being used as a somewhat disparaging designation for one who fulfills the formal degree requirements of the Ph.D. but never finishes the dissertation, and then quits the program. Most recently, I saw it in What They Didn' t Teach You in Graduate School: 199 Helpful Hints for Success in Your Academic Career , by Paul Gray and David E. Drew. Number 9 of their helpful hints is one that I strongly agree with: "Remember that a Ph.D. is primarily an indication of survivorship." They go on to say, "You stuck w