I come up with the following three options to say thank you, but am not satisfied with any of them.

Option 1:

I would like to thank the members of my PhD committee, Prof. A, Prof. B, Prof. C, Prof. D and Dr. E for...

Remark: Repetition of "Prof."

Option 2:

I would like to thank the members of my PhD committee, Professors A, B, C, D and Dr. E for...

Remark: Inconsistency between titles: "Professor" (non abbreviated) vs "Dr." (abbreviated).

Option 3:

I would like to thank the members of my PhD committee, Professors A, B, C, D and Doctor E for...

Remark: "Doctor E" seems unusual to me, as "Dr. E" is somebody who holds a PhD and not a medical doctor.

Does anybody have better suggestions?

  • First, there is nothing ungrammatical about any of the versions. Second, doctor does not need to refer to somebody with a medical degree—academics with doctorates are called doctors. This can be clarified to avoid confusion (even though the word is the same), but in the context of academia, there will be no confusion—except perhaps in reverse, where you would say medical doctor E. Jan 12, 2019 at 17:09
  • @JasonBassford Thanks for your comment. I would go for Option 3 then (in view of the remarks for the first two).
    – f10w
    Jan 12, 2019 at 17:12

2 Answers 2


As others have said, how you state these things is not set in stone.

The Guide to Grammar and Writing offers the following:

Titles before names: Mrs., Mr., Ms., Prof., Dr., Gen., Rep., Sen., St. (for Saint) Notice that Miss is not an abbreviation, so we don't put a period after it. Ms. is not an abbreviation, either, but we do use a period after it — probably to keep it consistent with Mr. and Mrs. The plural of Mr. is Messrs. (We invited Messrs. Carter, Lincoln, and Ford.) The plural of Dr. is Drs. (We consulted Drs. Carter, Lincoln, and Ford.) The plural of Mrs. is Mmes or Mmes. (with or without the period).

If it is consistency you seek, then you can use the abbreviation Prof. This readily lends itself to a plural of Profs.


Whether you need to mention their titles is subject to changing fashion both over time and in different countries.

In my current (UK) university I observe that these days titles are rarely used outside extremely formal situations, so that, in the acknowledgements section of a thesis or book, thanks would be given to Bill A, Jane B, Fred C and so forth, irrespective of whether they were doctors, professors, vice-chancellors, presidents etc.

But when I was an undergraduate, Dr A would address Professor B to her face using the title, and would certainly expect the relevant title to be used in a formal document.

And whatever the fashion, if what you write is going to be read by any of those you wish to name, then it would be tactful to use whatever version of their title they like. I know of one distinguished academic in Cambridge who insisted on being referred to as "Professor the Right Honourable Lord A", and of another who would be horrified to be described any more grandly than 'Max P'

  • Thanks for the helpful comment. Upvoted! (In any case I prefer to keep the titles though, especially for professors.)
    – f10w
    Jan 13, 2019 at 19:16

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