Post-nominal letters
Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles or designatory letters, are letters placed after the name of a person to indicate that the individual holds a position, educational degree, accreditation, office, or honour. An individual may use several different sets of post-nominal letters. The order in which these are listed after a name is based on the order of precedence and category of the order. Post-nominal letters are one of the main types of name suffix
Suffix (name)
A name suffix, in the Western English-language naming tradition, follows a person's full name and provides additional information about the person. Post-nominal letters indicate that the individual holds a position, educational degree, accreditation, office, or honor.- Academic :Academic suffixes...


Examples of post-nominal letters:
  • A Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
    Order of the British Empire
    The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

     is authorised to use the post-nominal KBE.
  • A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects
    American Institute of Architects
    The American Institute of Architects is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AIA offers education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession and improve its public image...

     is authorised to used the post-nominal FAIA
    Fellow of the American Institute of Architects is a postnomial, designating an individual who has been named a fellow of the American Institute of Architects...

  • An elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
    Royal Society of Edinburgh
    The Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotland's national academy of science and letters. It is a registered charity, operating on a wholly independent and non-party-political basis and providing public benefit throughout Scotland...

     is authorised to use the post-nominal FRSE.
  • A Doctor of Philosophy
    Doctor of Philosophy
    Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

     is authorised to use the post-nominal PhD (or, in some cases, DPhil).
  • A Franciscan
    Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

     friar (the Order of Friars Minor) uses the post-nominal OFM and a Jesuit (Society of Jesus
    Society of Jesus
    The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

    ) uses SJ.
  • A professional municipal manager or administrator who has been designated as a "Credentialed Manager" by the International City/County Management Association
    International City/County Management Association
    ICMA is an association representing professionals in local government management. It is based in Washington, D.C., USA....

     is authorised to use the post-nominal ICMA-CM.
  • A Member of the British Association of Social Workers uses the post-nominal MBASW.
  • Graduates from university can add post-nominal letters, usually in parentheses, after those indicating their degree to show which university granted the degree. For example, a graduate of the Open University
    Open University
    The Open University is a distance learning and research university founded by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom...

     can use (Open), Queen's University
    Queen's University
    Queen's University, , is a public research university located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Founded on 16 October 1841, the university pre-dates the founding of Canada by 26 years. Queen's holds more more than of land throughout Ontario as well as Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England...

    (SQ), Durham University
    Durham University
    The University of Durham, commonly known as Durham University, is a university in Durham, England. It was founded by Act of Parliament in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837...

     (Dunelm), University of London
    University of London
    -20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...

     (Lond), University of Cambridge
    University of Cambridge
    The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

     (Cantab), and University of Oxford
    University of Oxford
    The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

     (Oxon). For example, John Smith BA (Cantab) or Peter Pan BSc (Open).


The order in which post-nominal letters are listed after a person's name is dictated by standard practice which may vary by region. In the UK, the Ministry of Justice recommends the following ordering:
  1. Bt/Bart
    A baronet or the rare female equivalent, a baronetess , is the holder of a hereditary baronetcy awarded by the British Crown...

     or Esq.
    Esquire is a term of West European origin . Depending on the country, the term has different meanings...

  2. Decorations and honours (in descending order of precedence)
  3. Appointments (for example, QC for Queen's Counsel
    Queen's Counsel
    Queen's Counsel , known as King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law...

    , MP for member of parliament
    Member of Parliament
    A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

  4. University degrees
  5. Religious orders (for example, SSF) and medical qualifications
  6. Fellowship or membership of learned societies, academies or professional institutions (for example, RA
    Royal Academy
    The Royal Academy of Arts is an art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly, London. The Royal Academy of Arts has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and...

    , FRCP
    Royal College of Physicians
    The Royal College of Physicians of London was founded in 1518 as the College of Physicians by royal charter of King Henry VIII in 1518 - the first medical institution in England to receive a royal charter...

  7. Membership of the Armed Forces

According to the University of Oxford, university degrees should be listed in ascending order: bachelor's degrees first, followed by master's degrees, then doctorates. Higher awards supersede lower-ranking degrees from the same faculty (for example, John Smith, MA rather than John Smith, BA MA) However, when the awarding institutions are listed and the degrees are from different universities, lower degrees may be included, e.g. John Smith, BA (Wales), MA (Lond); but Jane Doe, MA (Virginia) rather than Jane Doe, BA (Virginia) MA (Virginia).

See also

  • List of post-nominal letters
  • Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom
  • Pre-nominal letters
    Pre-nominal letters
    Pre-nominal letters are a title which is placed before the name of a person as distinct from a post-nominal title which is placed after the name. Examples of pre-nominal titles, for instance professional titles include: Doctor, Captain, Eur Ing , Ir and Professor; whilst other common social titles...

  • Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council
  • Roman Catholic religious order
    Roman Catholic religious order
    Catholic religious orders are, historically, a category of Catholic religious institutes.Subcategories are canons regular ; monastics ; mendicants Catholic religious orders are, historically, a category of Catholic religious institutes.Subcategories are canons regular (canons and canonesses regular...

External links

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