Professors often get several emails as well as other kinds of communications from their students. But, writing a professional email to one of your professors can be quite intimidating. Sometimes students wonder if making a mistake in the email could ultimately affect their course grade. Overall, most professors know you're still learning and that your email is an earnest attempt to communicate with them on a professional level. If you do your research and plan ahead, your email will come across in an appropriate and respected manner.
Consider the following tips to write a well-written, proper email to your professor:
Determine your professor's name and title by searching on the faculty page on the website of their department. In general, professors can have three different ranks, including Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor. Also, some professors may have another title, like 'Chair of the Mathematics Department'. Be sure to address their titles correctly or you could end up offending the particular professor that you're trying to communicate with.
Begin by Introducing Yourself
Begin by introducing yourself and stating the reason why you're writing the professor an email. Although you may be in the professor's class front and center, they still may not recall who you are offhand. Therefore, it's best to clearly identify yourself and point out which class of the professor's you're attending. Include pertinent details and keep the tone of the email respectful throughout. Ideally, the contents of the email should be brief and very clear.
Once you're done writing the primary details of your email be sure to thank the professor for taking the time to read it. Include your phone number just in case they want to contact you regarding the contents of the email. Finish the email by thanking them once more and typing your entire name.
Note: Never refer to a professor by Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Miss. This is highly unprofessional and will likely annoy most professors. Address them by 'Dr. or Professor' since it befits their expertise and advanced degree status.
Sample Email to a Professor
Subject: Accepting new graduate students
Dear Name of Professor,
I am a current student at [Name of University] with a major in biology. Next semester, I plan to go to graduate school in East Wilmington, with a focus on medicine. I recently had the opportunity to read your published article, 'The Role of Ionized Particles within the Brain'. I found the piece quite fascinating and it actually inspired me to perform more research in my field.
I am writing you to ask if you are accepting any new graduate students. If the answer is yes, I would love to talk with you more on the subject either by phone or email in order to perhaps schedule a time about my plans for graduate school. Your graduate school department appears to be the perfect fit for me due to its focus on biochemistry and biogenics. However, there are other areas I would like to discuss with you as well at your earliest convenience. I want to thank you in advance for your time.
I realize you're extremely busy, which is why I would truly appreciate even 15 minutes of your time to talk to me. Again, thank you very much.
Printed Name of Student
List of Attachments
By Andre Bradley