I have just completed a graduate degree and want to thank the members of my thesis committee for their support. I have just sent a thank you email to my supervisor and advisors but, I am not sure what I should write for the other members. My questions are as follows:

  • Are there any sample templates I can follow? Yes, I will customize for each person, but I find that if I have a good baseline my writing is improved.
  • What are good things that I should be thankful for? I feel that good thank you letters provide some specific examples on what people did to help you. However, the only thing these people did was examine me. Some did not provide a lot of comments. Being on a examination committee is more work for over worked professors, but I am having trouble coming up with good points.


  • All of the professors on the committee are from Canadian universities.
  • If you have any questions feel free to ask.
  • 2
    Must you thank them? Being on committees is just part of the job. If you have no previous relationship with the people who sat on the committee then don’t you think it will be obvious that your “thank you” letter will not be genuinely written and thereby not genuinely received? Particularly if you’re trying to find hollow points to be thankful for, it could be better to just not write anything at all and move forward. May 7, 2020 at 19:31
  • Furthermore, thanking anybody whose role was to examine you can be perceived as ethically dubious. (Are you thanking them because they softballed you?)
    – TimRias
    May 7, 2020 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


Instead of a letter, thank them in the 'Acknowledgements' section of your thesis

You can thank your supervisors for guiding you in the course of writing the thesis.

You can thank your examiners for giving helpful feedback that led to improvements in your work (you can do this even if the examiners are anonymous -- it is not unusual for published academic work to thank anonymous peer reviewers for helpful suggestions).

If a specific comment/lead/idea was particularly useful, you can mention it. If one or more supervisors or examiners helped you on the road to publication, mention it.

An example might read like this (feel free to adapt nomenclature to local context and customise with more detail):

I would like to thank my supervisors, Dr Josephine Bloggs and Dr A.N. Other, both of the Department of Futile Studies, for their support and guidance over several years. I am particularly grateful for their detailed advice and encouragement on how to adapt Chapter 4 of this thesis for publication in The Journal of the Royal Society for the Furtherance of Futile Studies. I would like to thank my examiners, Prof. Isaac Newton and Prof. Immanuel Kant for engaging with my thesis diligently and enthusiastically, providing valuable suggestions: in particular, they helped me clarify my theory on 'The Noumenality of Lincolnshire apples during the plague'. Finally, I would like to thank the lay convenor for my thesis committee, Mr Charles Dickens, senior secretary of the Department of Circumlocution, for his exemplary efficiency in conducting the examination of the thesis.

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