I am in the process of notifying my PhD dissertation committee (already formed)on the proposal exam. I would like to send an email to all of them and now I am confused as to how to address them. Should I address them as committee members or Professors ABC, PQR, XYZ or Sirs, etc. What would be the best option to address them:

  1. Dear Committee members
  2. Dear Committee
  3. Dear Professors ABC, PQR, XYZ
  4. Respected Sirs
  5. Sirs
  6. Dear All
  • 1
    3 certainly seems safe. 4 would be really weird in my culture, but I don't know anything about yours. Aug 19, 2015 at 6:34
  • 1
    1 looks fine to me, though I'd capitalise Members too. Aug 19, 2015 at 7:26
  • All of them are acceptable (but 4 and 5 should only be used when your committee consists of males only) Aug 19, 2015 at 9:40
  • @DannyRuijters That's not so clear. If you are writing an English official/business letter to a group of people or institution, you generally use "Dear Sirs". Anyways, the truth is, it doesn't really matter, these people receive way too many letters to care much about how you call them. At least in math/CS.
    – yo'
    Aug 20, 2015 at 6:06

2 Answers 2


At my place, they are called SRC (Student Research Committee) members, so that makes the acronym more usable. I always started my emails by writing:

Respected SRC members,

The SRC members part additionally makes the context clear (in addition to the subject of the mail). I prefer Respected to Dear, and while that may (or may not) be culture specific, it never hurts to shower respects on these people, unless of course, they explicitly ask you not to do that.

Additionally, I deliberately avoided Professors. Even though these committee members could generically be addressed as professors, one of my SRC members was technically still not a Professor, but an Associate Professor. While the distinction might be a bit over-strict in this context, I preferred being technically correct too. (That might be a nerdy, personal choice.)

Hope that helps :)

  • So in that case I could use Respected Committee members, right?
    – nxkryptor
    Aug 19, 2015 at 7:18
  • @nxkryptor - That's my suggestion, but as Nate pointed out in his comment, using Respected might be awkward in some cultures, though it is fine in mine. Of course, you are the best person to make the final call.
    – 299792458
    Aug 19, 2015 at 7:35

Good morning,


Good afternoon,

are good choices for formal group email messages.

  • 1
    This is not "group email messages", this is a about student addressing his examinators, mostly couple ranks higher in academia, in a very official way.
    – yo'
    Aug 20, 2015 at 6:03

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