Etiquette Daily

What’s Up Doc?: Addressing a Ph.D.

October 5, 2018 0 Comments

Q: My son-in-law will soon receive a Ph.D.  What’s the correct way to address him when I send him a letter or card?  What about when I write to both him and my daughter?  And do I introduce him as “…my son-in-law, Dr. John Smith”?

A: A doctorate degree is usually used professionally (either as John Smith, Ph.D., or Dr. John Smith) but often not socially, so ask your son-in-law what he prefers.  When in doubt, it’s never wrong to acknowledge the degree.  If you wish to do so, address your son-in-law as “Dr. John Smith.”  When addressing both him and your daughter, write “Dr. and Mrs. John Smith.”  You may introduce him as “Dr. John Smith.”