In Spanish (at least in my country) exists a difference between these words:

Egresado and Titulado.

"Titulado" means someone who has an academic degree while "Egresado" is used to refer to a person who passed all his degree's subjects but didn't do his thesis or did not defend it. So, with this, we know he studied all his degree but doesn't have his certificate.

Is there a word for this in English?

1 Answer 1


I think not, because of differences in how the university systems work.

In the British system you don't "graduate" until after you have completed all exams, thesis, and vivas. And when you graduate you earn the right to use the title.

A student who has completed their course and is about to take an exam could be called a "candidate". It would be rare for a person to take a course, and not then take the assessment at the end of the course. Candidates are people who are intending to immediately do the assessment.

The main reason someone might complete the course, but not sit the assessment is that they don't think that they would pass. You might call such a person a "drop-out" but that is quite negative in tone.

Thesis defence in the form of a viva is rare for degrees below the level of Doctorate. Bachelor and Master degrees are assessed by examinations and essays/thesis.

  • 1
    In the US, a PhD-student is called a PhD-candidate once they've completed all of the requirements for their PhD except for their dissertation/defense. Once they successfully defend, they enter a weird period where they're not technically a PhD-holder until graduation, but they're generally informally accepted as such.
    – Nat
    Dec 12, 2021 at 16:21
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    In US academic circles, people who complete their PhD coursework but not their thesis are frequently referred to as "ABD" - all but dissertation. This is generally not applied to active students; it describes someone who is no longer pursuing their degree. It is usually not meant as a pejorative.
    – Llaves
    Dec 12, 2021 at 18:04
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    Llaves - why did you not make this an answer? I think it is the right answer and shouldn't just be a comment. Dec 12, 2021 at 20:26

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