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To ‘(c)’ or not to ‘(c)’? Each time I see a “(c)” behind someone’s initials, I pause and sigh. My advice: You shouldn’t do it, and this is why.
What’s the big deal?
What is a (c), you ask? It is a symbol used by individuals who have earned, through coursework, status as doctoral candidates. These students are approved to work on their final projects in their course study. Each degree seems to have a point at which someone becomes a candidate, such as PhD (c), DNP (c), MBA (c), and even BSN (c), among others.
What is the problem with this? First, it is not a degree, credential or formal status that any university or college confers. Second, being a candidate can, for some, be forever. These unfortunate forever candidates are also known in the PhD world as ABD’s or “all but dissertation.” Unfortunately, about 50% of doctoral students leave school without finishing! These individuals could call themselves PhD (c)’s forever.