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All but dissertation (ABD) is a mostly unofficial term identifying a stage in the process of obtaining a research doctorate in the United States and Canada. At this stage, the student has completed the preparatory coursework, qualifying examinations, comprehensive examinations, and may have defended his or her dissertation proposal. To complete the degree, the student must carry out the proposed research and write the dissertation that defines a PhD or equivalent research doctorate. ABD attrition is estimated as high as 50%. Schools have suggested that faculty and administration are to blame.
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