• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Students

Ph.D. students?

Hi ladies,

I have a quick question for any of you pursuing a PhD and engaged or married during grad school.  I am in a field where publication are everything, and life will become rather messy if I start publishing under my maiden name and then change names.  Also, my BF alluded to legal issues with the title of "Doctor" being attached to one name, and it being a huge pain and a long process to change that if you get married after the fact.  Does anyone have first hand experience with this?  It could potentially really influence when we decide to get married...

Re: Ph.D. students?

  • I have a general sense that changing your name does not create substantial legal issues when it comes to the doctor title, but I have heard from many people that the publication thing can get messy.  That said, I have a professional graduate degree but not a PhD, so I may not know everything.  (And, upon consideration, I knew almost no female professors in either college or law school who took their husband's name upon marriage, so maybe there is something big and problematic out there that I'm not aware of.)  My one thought was to consider asking your female professors, especially if you know any who changed their names.  They're probably better placed than anyone to tell you.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_students_phd-students-1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:684Discussion:d60d14c9-0a32-476a-8e53-e8c14162833cPost:f64b61a5-3366-4f87-8ee9-23ca1e56a1cc">Re: Ph.D. students?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have a general sense that changing your name does not create substantial legal issues when it comes to the doctor title, but I have heard from many people that the publication thing can get messy.  That said, I have a professional graduate degree but not a PhD, so I may not know everything.  (And, upon consideration, I knew almost no female professors in either college or law school who took their husband's name upon marriage, so maybe there is something big and problematic out there that I'm not aware of.)  My one thought was to consider asking your female professors, especially if you know any who changed their names.  They're probably better placed than anyone to tell you.
    Posted by calliopeia2013[/QUOTE]

    <div>Good advice!  I actually only know one female professor who has published and changed her name.  I was less worried about that part (they usually just say denote on your CV that names published before such-and-such you published under name xyz), and more about if there are legal issues surrounding transferring the titlte to a new name.  It's weird though, everyone seems to have this vague impression that it's messy, but everywhere I've looked online no one actually talks about where that impression comes from!</div><div>
    </div><div>Guess it's time to email my old prof...</div>
  • I'm a Ph.D. student getting married this month and haven't published yet, so luckily I didn't have to worry about this when I decided to change my name. However, I know that this is an issue when it comes to your academic/professional reputation, when getting a job, etc. In fact, FI and I have been told that if we apply for jobs at the same school with the same name - he's in my dept - that will scream "MARRIED" and affect hiring decisions since they know we will want to live together...  I can't think of a single professor I've had who has gotten married since their first publication and still decided to change her name, but I know it happens occasionally, and I have known several women to change their names before their first publicaions. I'm sure what field you're in makes at least some difference, so I would suggest talking to your thesis advisor, a woman in your department, and/or your grad chair/coordinator to see what their thoughts are.

    Hope that helps a bit! Good luck.
  • PrincessJasPrincessJas member
    100 Comments First Anniversary
    edited September 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_students_phd-students-1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:684Discussion:d60d14c9-0a32-476a-8e53-e8c14162833cPost:d5f266f2-65d5-45bc-9fb0-8730c349d392">Re: Ph.D. students?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm a Ph.D. student getting married this month and haven't published yet, so luckily I didn't have to worry about this when I decided to change my name. However, I know that this is an issue when it comes to your academic/professional reputation, when getting a job, etc<strong>. In fact, FI and I have been told that if we apply for jobs at the same school with the same name - he's in my dept - that will scream "MARRIED" and affect hiring decisions since they know we will want to live together... </strong> I can't think of a single professor I've had who has gotten married since their first publication and still decided to change her name, but I know it happens occasionally, and I have known several women to change their names before their first publicaions. I'm sure what field you're in makes at least some difference, so I would suggest talking to your thesis advisor, a woman in your department, and/or your grad chair/coordinator to see what their thoughts are. Hope that helps a bit! Good luck.
    Posted by Apollo11235[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I can actually speak to this from the hiring side of the table.  I was on a search and hire committee that had a husband and a wife apply for the same associate proffesorship.  It's a surprisngly common scenario called a "two body problem".  At the point they both apply, they do so knowing that there is a good chance only one will be brought in to interview, so the committee generally won't worry about offending one or the other and will choose the candidate they feel is a better fit.  We ended up bringing in the husband for an interview and decided he was our top pick.  The committee then spoke with, I believe, the Dean's office about acquring additional funding for the wife, and bringing her in as an assistant professor and research staff.  It worked out great for everyone involved!

    </div>
  • I am also a PhD student and know many married female professors.  Several have taken their husband's name and just list their maiden name on their CV.  Others keep their own name for the sake of publication.

    There is also a third scenario which I plan to do, mainly because I willl be graduating soon with several publications but also because my FI name is super common, so if you search publications with his last name you come up with thousands whereas my name produces search results of about 20.  You can keep your maiden name at work (sort of like how an author has a pen name), but legally you can change your name to your husband's name.  So if your name is Smith and your husband's Johnson you would be Dr. Smith at work and Mrs. Johnson at home.  The women I know who operate this way say that it makes things a lot easier when raising kids to have the same last name as your husband. 

    Best of luck with school and your marriage!!
  • I recently received my PhD and changed my name just before I graduated.  I have two publications under my maiden name.  Changing my name didn't really affect anything for me.  I just put both names on my CV and I have a job.

    I think changing or not changing your name is a personal choice.  You should do what you want, not what you're "supposed" to do.  If you change your name, people will figure it out.

  • I am a Ph.D student as well but a while off from my dissertation and subsequent publishing. My FI is pushing for me to change my name, which I dont have an issue with at all. My advisor just added her married name at the end and made her maiden name her middle. No hyphen. So now if you search for her publications still come up with her maiden name only and both the maiden new last combo. Smile
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_students_phd-students-1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:684Discussion:d60d14c9-0a32-476a-8e53-e8c14162833cPost:5240e874-f724-4341-b0de-838b51ebb61c">Re: Ph.D. students?</a>:
    [QUOTE]You can keep your maiden name at work (sort of like how an author has a pen name), but legally you can change your name to your husband's name.  So if your name is Smith and your husband's Johnson you would be Dr. Smith at work and Mrs. Johnson at home.
    Posted by amyjbear[/QUOTE]

    <div>This is what I plan to do when I start publishing stuff. I'm still just working on my master's.</div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_students_phd-students-1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:684Discussion:d60d14c9-0a32-476a-8e53-e8c14162833cPost:5240e874-f724-4341-b0de-838b51ebb61c">Re: Ph.D. students?</a>:
    [QUOTE]You can keep your maiden name at work (sort of like how an author has a pen name), but legally you can change your name to your husband's name.
    Posted by amyjbear[/QUOTE]

    This is sort of what I'm doing. I have four publications in my maiden name. I am submitting my thesis in December and will be all finished early in the new year. I am getting married in April. I will legally change my name to my husband's, but will use both names professionally and to publish under. I don't think that's too uncommon, at least in some fields.

    So, my old publications are by FirstName MaidenName (obviously) and new publications will be by FirstName MaidenName MarriedName, to be alphabetized by MaidenName. If that makes sense!
  • Oh, and I also wanted to add that, while I'm changing my name and using a new name for publications, my degree will still (and always) be in my maiden name. I don't know if in some places you can change the name on the degree after it's awarded, but in England you cannot. So officially I will always be Dr MaidenName, though I doubt anyone will have a problem if I ever end up having Dr MaidenName MarriedName on my office door down the road.
  • I'm under a simliar predicament--I'm considering a PhD (as in, I'm not doing it yet but will definitely start it within the next few years), and I'm getting married this summer. I want to use my maiden name for publication since imy fiancé's last name is hugely more common than mine and I want to keep my last name in my academic career. However, at home, I have no problem taking his last name. Will I be able to publish under Dr. FirstName MaidenName rather than Dr. Firstname MaidenName MarriedName if I take his name when we get married?
  • I popped in to see what the board was like. I got married as a 4th year PhD student (then divorced and am now getting married many years later).  People in my program did get married and change their name after publishing (and before getting their degree) and it was fine. I LOVE my name and had already published so my first husband (and my current fiance) both wanted to take my name. Since I'm the only academic that worked great. I got to keep my name with my publication record, and he and I still have the same name. It's not what everyone wants, but worth considering.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_students_phd-students-1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:684Discussion:d60d14c9-0a32-476a-8e53-e8c14162833cPost:55ae55f2-e93c-400a-910d-22359c6dfc71">Re: Ph.D. students?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm under a simliar predicament--I'm considering a PhD (as in, I'm not doing it yet but will definitely start it within the next few years), and I'm getting married this summer. I want to use my maiden name for publication since imy fiancé's last name is hugely more common than mine and I want to keep my last name in my academic career. However, at home, I have no problem taking his last name. <strong>Will I be able to publish under Dr. FirstName MaidenName rather than Dr. Firstname MaidenName MarriedName if I take his name when we get married?</strong>
    Posted by Smoolittle13[/QUOTE]

    Yes. There's really no reason why you shouldn't be able to. If you legally change your name so that you only have your H's last name, think of your maiden name as a sort of pen name.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards