Emailing a Professor: How to do it Well


Professors sometimes get emails from students who don't know the best practices for contacting them. You received this page because you sent a message with one or more of the following issues:

  1. It addressed the professor using something other than "Dr. [last name]" or "Prof. [last name]", and they prefer one or either of those
  2. It lacked complete sentences, or it was written in an informal tone
  3. It lacked the appropriate structure for an email in a professional setting

Read about how to address professors (or anyone at a university) and how to write emails to them in this section of this guide for interacting with faculty.

If it's your first time learning about these practices, there is no need to apologize to the professor. There's also no need to resend your email, as long as the professor understood it. Just follow these practices in the future.

For other faculty: I've intentionally written this page in general terms. If it's applicable to your interactions with students, you're welcome to use it when replying to student emails.