How to Address a Letter to a Doctor of Education

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Whether you work in the world of academia or are doing business with someone who holds a doctorate in education, you want to use the person's correct title in any correspondence.

What Is a Doctor of Education?

A Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) is a doctoral degree focused on education. People who obtain this degree already have a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. They often also hold a teaching license and may have been an educator for several years before seeking their doctoral degree.

A doctoral degree in education requires years of study and research along with a dissertation on a topic related to educational practices. Educators who seek a Doctor of Education degree may specialize in particular areas of study while seeking their degrees. These areas include adult education, leadership, special education and early childhood education.

Where Does a Doctor of Education Work?

You will find Doctors of Education in various industries. They are often found in higher education settings where they serve as deans, vice presidents, chief academic officers, admissions officers, registrars and professors. They may also be administrators or principals in elementary, middle and high schools.

Outside of education, an individual with a Doctor of Education degree may work in the non profit or health care sectors. They are also instructional coordinators in corporate and government settings.

Before you address a letter, verify that the person you are corresponding with does, in fact, hold a doctoral degree in education.

Addressing a Letter to a Doctor of Education

How you address a letter to a Doctor of Education depends on your relationship with the person. If you are corresponding via email or written correspondence for the first time, you should use the formal “Dr.” For example, “Dear Dr. James Jones.”

After you have established a relationship, the person may request the title of “Dr.” be dropped. In that case, you can address the letter using the person’s first and last name. You may also to asked to address correspondence with their degree following the name ("James Jones, Ed.D."), in which case, follow the person's preference.

Addressing an Envelope to a Doctor of Education

Address an envelope to a Doctor of Education to "Dr. James Jones." If the doctor is married, etiquette expert Emily Post advises "Dr. and Mrs. James Jones.” However, if the wife uses her maiden name, the address should be "Dr. James Jones and Ms. Jane Smith." The same rule applies if they are a couple but not married.

If the wife holds the Doctor of Education, Emily Post advises an envelope be addressed “Dr. Jane and Mr. James Jones.” The wife’s name precedes the husband’s because her professional title of doctor is higher than his social title.

If both husband and wife are Doctors of Education, the address can be “The Drs. Jones” or “Drs. Jane and James Jones.” Here, the order of the names doesn’t matter.

Place the name and title on one line if you can. If you are addressing two people, the same rule applies – try to fit both names on one line. If you can't fit both names on one line, use one line for each name. In a two-line address, do not use "and" in the address.

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About the Author

Leslie Bloom has worked in upper-level management positions in both publishing and the mental health field. In addition to years of business and management experience, she has more than 20 years of experience writing for a variety of online and print publications, including Metro Magazine. She holds degrees in both journalism and law.