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How to email a professor with 22 different examples

Learn how to email your professor (and what to avoid doing) and check out 22 sample emails to help you get started.

Blog writer

Lawrie Jones

Writer

Blog writer

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Table of contents

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Every student will need to send an email to a professor at some point, whether you're asking for an extension, explaining an absence, or a little extra help. But how do you write an email to a professor? We can show you how to email professors politely and positively.

In this guide on how to email a professor, we break down the steps to writing better messages. You'll learn the structure of a good email to a professor (and what to avoid). We finish by providing 22 sample emails to a professor.

How to send an email to a professor

So, how do you write an email to a professor? Professors are professional people who will be used to traditional email etiquette. That's not to say that you can't introduce some individuality into your emails; it's just important to show respect. 

You'll understand your relationship better than we do. You can be a little less formal if you feel it's appropriate.

Following the correct email etiquette is essential – and easy. In this article we break it down into steps to illustrate what we mean. We've also written about proper email etiquette on our blog before:

It's also important to keep emails short and to the point. Professors receive hundreds of messages daily and don't have time to delve too deeply to get the information they need. Say who you are, what you want, and why you're messaging upfront.

Should I send an email to a professor?

Classes can be busy, and a professor's time can be limited, so email is an ideal way to communicate with your Professor. Emails enable you to go into detail, create lists and spend time crafting a complex message.  

If your question or comment is urgent or sensitive, consider whether it's better to book a meeting or pull them aside for a chat. 

Only you can decide whether to email a professor.

How long should I wait for a reply?

Professors are people with busy lives and professional responsibilities, so you may need to wait for a reply. But how long should you wait for a response from your Professor?

There are no hard and fast rules on how long to wait for a reply, but the general rule is to give it two or three days before sending a follow-up. You can learn more in our guide on how to write a follow-up email.

Email format for messaging a professor

The email format for a professor should be familiar to anyone who understands the basics of messaging. Here's how it works:

• Subject line

• Greeting

• Body copy

• Sign-off

• Signature

If you're unfamiliar with how to write a formal email, check out Flowrite blogs that delve deeper into what makes a great subject line, how to greet someone, appropriate sign-offs, and striking the right tone of voice. 

Subject line for an email to professor

Your subject line should spell out exactly what your message is about. Why? Because professors get hundreds of emails daily, they'll need a reason to open and respond to yours. 

We've provided some examples below.

How to greet a professor in an email

Professors should always be addressed using their titles. You can open an email in a few ways, such as:

• Dear Professor 

• Hi Professor

Avoid casual openings, such as "hey" or "how are you doing?". Instead, always uses your Professor's title to show respect, even if you start an email with "Hi" or "Hello."

How to address professor in email

We've covered the importance of using a professor's title in an email, but there's more to it. When discussing how to address a professor in an email, we're talking about the tone of voice – and getting that right can be tricky.

You'll want to be personal, but being too familiar can cause problems. We've written before about how to hit the right tone, so start there. Our examples below show how we've put this into practice.

How to start an email to a professor

An excellent way to start your email is by stating who you are and explaining what your message is about. As we've established, professors receive hundreds of messages every day, so they'll skim-read your message. Unless you're clear with what you want, you could find it binned.

You can see 22 examples of how to address your emails and get to the point as soon as possible.

How to sign off an email to professor

There are several ways you can end an email you a professor. Traditionally, you'd use "your sincerely," but today, you can be a little less formal. Some safe email endings to a professor include:

• Kind regards

• Thanks

• Yours sincerely

Email to professor examples

So, we've explained the basics of emailing your Professor; now it's time to put it into practice with samples. Here are 22 email to professor examples that should cover any scenario. So, whether you're asking for advice, access to a class, or a little extra support, we've got a template for you. 

22 sample emails to a professor

Here are 22 examples of how to email your Professor. These should cover a whole range of situations that you could find yourself in. As with all our templates, use them as inspiration, and be sure to adapt them to your specific situation. 

Ready to get writing to your Professor? Then let's begin.

1/ How to write an excuse email to professor example

Dear Professor (name),

My name is (your name), and I'm in your (insert details) class. First, I would like to apologize personally and explain why I have been unable to (insert what you need an excuse for).

II would like to reassure you that this won't happen again.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

2/ How to email professor for extension example

Dear Professor (name),

I'm in your class (insert details) and would like to request an extension for my current assignment. I'm struggling to complete the assignment in time because (insert reasons).

I would like to reassure you that if you grant me this extension, I will ensure I deliver the assignment for this date.

Please feel free to contact me, and I look forward to receiving your reply.

Many thanks,

(Your name)

3/ How to email professor asking for extra credit example

Dear Professor (name),

I'm really enjoying the class (insert details). I wanted to know whether there were opportunities for me to earn extra credit this year?

I'm highly committed and want to achieve as much as I can. So please let me know if there are any extra credit opportunities and how I can access them.

I'm excited about your reply.

Thanks,

(Your name)

4/ How to email a professor about failing a class example

Dear Professor (name),

I'm currently failing your class (class name) and wanted to speak with you about what I can do to put things right.

Could you spare some time to sit down with me and discuss my current progress and provide some feedback on areas I can improve? I would welcome your expert guidance in helping me to get back on track.

If you are willing and able to help me, please email me back with a suitable date and time for us to meet.

Many thanks,

(Your name)

5/ How to send a follow-up email to a professor

Dear Professor (name),

I recently emailed you to request (add information).

I'm just following up to see whether you received this email. If so, can you please let me know when I can expect a reply?

Many thanks,

(Your name)

6/ How to write a formal email to a professor example

Dear Professor (name),

My name is (name), and I'm currently studying in your class (insert class name).

I would like to ask you a question that I would welcome your feedback on. (Insert question)

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to this email. Your considered feedback and insight are welcomed.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

7/ How to email a professor about getting into their class example

Dear Professor (name),

I'm currently studying at (college) and am interested in joining your class. I'm fascinated by the subject, and I've heard great things from previous students.

Can you tell me how I register for your class and if there is anything I can do to increase my chances of getting in or prepared beforehand?

I look forward to hearing from you.

(Your name)

8/ How to email a professor about a grade example

Hi Professor (name),

I recently received a grade for my (paper/assignment/exam), and I would like to understand why it was so low?

I know you're busy, but I would welcome any information and guidance you could provide me. I believe this will help me to improve in the future.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

9/ How to introduce yourself in an email to a professor example

Dear (name),

I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is (name), and I am studying at (insert details).

I am due to start your class (insert details) in (insert details). I'm excited to begin and would welcome any advice or recommended reading you suggest I do beforehand.

Thanks in advance,

(Your name)

10/ How to ask Professor to accept late assignment email example

Dear Professor (name),

I would like to apologize for my late assignment. Unfortunately, I could not complete this on time because (insert details).

I've attached the assignment with this email, and I was hoping, in consideration of the circumstances, that you would accept it.

Do let me know if this is possible, and once again, I apologize for being late with my work. This won't happen again.

Kindest regards,

(Your name)

11/ How to email a professor for a letter of recommendation example

Dear Professor (name),

I have enjoyed your class, and I am now planning my future academic career. I am emailing to request a letter of recommendation for me at (insert details).

During my time studying with you, you have helped me develop academically and personally, and I hope you have seen this progress. A recommendation from you would help immeasurably in my future career.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

12/ How to email professor about missing class example

Hi Professor (name),

I want to apologize for missing your class (insert details) and assure you that this won't happen again.

I understand how serious it is to miss classes and would like to explain briefly why I have not been able to attend. (Insert details).

Please be assured that I will ensure that I don't miss future classes.

Thank you and apologies again,

(Your name)

13/ How to write a polite email to a professor example

Dear Professor (name),

I'm contacting you to ask for some additional information on your recent lecture. Please could you share with me any other resources to help me understand the subject in greater detail?

I would welcome any support you could offer.

With kindest regards,

(Your name)

14/ How to write a professional email to a professor example

Dear Professor (name),

I am due to attend your class (insert details) in (insert date). I would like to request a reading list before the class so I can prepare appropriately. Please provide details of any books I should read or publications I should download?

I'm excited to join your class this fall and can't wait to start.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

15/ How to write a proper email to a professor example

Dear Professor (name),

My name is (insert name), and I'm contacting you to request some guidance on my recent assignment. I'm currently struggling with (insert details).

Any information or guidance you can provide would help me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

(Your name)

16/ How to ask a question to a professor email example

Hello Professor (name),

During your recent lecture (insert details), you spoke in detail about (insert details). I want to ask you a question: (Insert question).

I appreciate that you will receive several similar requests daily, but I would welcome your expert insight and support to help me learn more.

Please message me back when you can.

Many thanks,

(Your name)

17/ How to write a reminder email to professor example

Hi Professor (name),

I recently messaged you about (insert details). So I'm emailing you to remind you that I'll need a reply before (insert date).

I understand you are very busy, but I would appreciate a reply when you have time.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

18/ How to reply back to a professor's email example

Hi Professor (name),

Thanks for your recent email. In answer to your message (insert details).

If you would like any further information from me, or you would like to carry in a conversation, please let me know. It would be great to hear from you!

Kind regards,

(Your name)

19/ How to email a professor about research example

Hi Professor (name),

I'm contacting you to ask about a recent research proposal. As you may be aware, I have developed a particular interest in the topic and have developed the attached research proposal.

I would like to ask for your help/insight/feedback (insert details).

I would welcome your expert insight into my proposal and welcome your considered feedback.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

20/ How to schedule an appointment with a professor email example

Hello Professor (name),

I'm (name), and I'm currently studying in your class (insert details). I would like to request a meeting with you to discuss (insert details).

I understand you are very busy. I can be flexible, so please let me know some dates and times that work for you.

I look forward to meeting with you soon.

Thanks,

(Your name)

21/ How to email professor about being sick example

Dear Professor (name),

I would like to explain why I've not been able to attend your class (insert details) recently. I've recently suffered from (Insert details).

I'm feeling better now and will attend the next class. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to catch up.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

22/ How to write a thank you email to a professor example

Dear Professor (name),

I have really enjoyed your class (insert details) and would like to thank you for everything.

You've helped me to learn a great deal and develop a lasting passion for the subject. I would like to stay in touch, so please feel free to message me.

Thanks again, and good luck for the future.

(Your name)

Closing words

It can be nerve-wracking writing to a professor, but it doesn't need to be. We hope that breaking down how to email a professor into steps and providing a massive number of samples will help. It's essential to understand the principles of crafting professional emails, such as an email to a professor – now it's time to put it into practice. 

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