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06/07/2016

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Justin Caouette

Here here.

Anon

This isn't exactly on topic, but: how much of the dissertation should one have completed before going on the job market? Thanks in advance!

Anon UK Grad

Someone once told me, about when I was at your stage JG, that you'll be shocked how much of the final dissertation you write in the last eight months or so. Turned out to be true in my case.

2 cents

If you are from a top 15 Leiter school, it is fine to go out on the market with an incomplete dissertation (if the faculty support you). As you move down the list, you had better have more of it done. In the bottom 1/2 of the Leiter list you should have all (or 90 %) of it done. If you are not on the Leiter list, do not go on the market until you have defended.

Derek Bowman

Anon,

I don't think things are as rosy as 2 cents suggests even at the top 15. But the most plausible - and actionable - advice I've consistently heard is that you need enough of your dissertation done so that your advisors can write credibly and specifically about when you will finish. Nobody can afford to have a search fail because the candidate they hired can't finish their PhD in time, so your letter writers must be in the position to eliminating all reasonable (and most unreasonable) doubt.

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