How To Email Professor To Get Into A Full Class

You know the professor’s class is full but you want to try your chances. Maybe they can make room for you in the class. You need to contact the professor via email but you’re not sure how to structure the email to hopefully increase the possibility of a positive response.

We’ve got you covered. This article will provide templates you can easily modify for the purpose as well as certain things to keep in mind when contacting professors.

Tips For Emailing Professors

Before we look at some sample emails, please keep these things in mind when you’re emailing your professor or any other professor.

Use Proper Title

Always use the professor’s official title in your email. If they’re officially considered professors, use that title. On the other hand, you should use Dr. if they haven’t yet acquired the title of professor.

If you aren’t sure what their official titles may be, we’ll provide some tips later in the article on how to find out their official email addresses. Their official titles will be available wherever you find their emails.

Dear Professor {{Last name}}
Dear Dr. {{Last name}}

Use School Email

Most tertiary institutions provide their students with school email addresses to use in their communications. This also applies to faculty as well.

Communication between students and professors should always pass through these email addresses. Additionally, these emails are whitelisted which ensures that your email will reach the professor’s inbox.

Using your personal email is considered unprofessional and your email may end up blocked by spam filters and in your spam folder.

Professors have personal lives and do not expect to receive emails from students through their private email accounts. Some professors would simply ignore such emails from students.

Formal Tone

The professor isn’t one of your peers so avoid using emojis and other slang when corresponding with them. These are considered informal and could lead to the professor ignoring your email.

Keep in mind that professors expect students at the tertiary level of education to know this. You should also understand that these emails are moderated by the school and any signs of over-friendliness between a faculty member and a student could set off alarms.

Correct Grammar

No one enjoys reading horrible grammar. Professors expect students at the tertiary level of education to have good writing skills.

This is especially true when it comes to writing short messages like emails. That said, everyone makes writing mistakes especially when the information is lengthy.

But you can reduce these mistakes by using tools Grammarly which can help identify any errors in your writing.

Keep in mind that these tools aren’t perfect, so it’s advisable to read through them yourself or ask a third party to go through before you send the email.

Be Polite

Avoid making demands as that will lead to a negative response. Don’t presume that you’ll be receiving any special accommodations.

Keep in mind the professor is in a position of authority. Even if you dislike the professor, you should refrain from any negativity in your email.

After all, being polite doesn’t cost anything, especially when rudeness could lead to consequences.

Identify Yourself

The professor may not remember every one of their students. Don’t take it personal. Professors may teach multiple classes and may not be able to remember every student.

You don’t want to give them additional work to do by not identifying yourself. No professor wants to spend the next 30 minutes looking through their student list to identify who you may be.

Either identify yourself in the introduction of the email or include it in the email signature. You can also do both to make things easier.

Clear And Brief

This isn’t the time to show the professor how verbose you may be. You may have the time to do that but that doesn’t mean the professor has the time to read through it all. Avoid writing long emails to the professor if you want them to read through it all.

Professors receive multiple emails from students, other staff members, publications, and more. Don’t make things difficult for them by writing lengthy emails. Shorten the email as much as possible while also maintaining a polite tone.

Explain Your Situation

If you need them to do something for you, ensure that you specify this in the email. You don’t want them to spend the next 30 minutes thinking about all the other ways to help you when you’ve already got something in mind.

That would just be wasting their time. Additionally, any back-and-forth emails may end up making them lose interest. So, if you have an idea of what you need from them, politely explain it in the email. And try not to sound entitled in any way.

If the class is a requirement for something else, ensure that it’s well-explained in your email in a few sentences.

In case you’ve already discussed what you need with the professor, you can simply remind them of the discussion in a few words.

Don’t Forget Attachment

Don’t forget to attach any necessary documents if necessary. Confirm this before you send the email. Can’t remember the number of times I’ve sent an email simply to receive a response that I neglected to attach the necessary documents.

The professor may simply ignore the email if you don’t include any necessary attachments. The results could be detrimental, in the case of time-sensitive documents.

So, it’s advisable to always double-check to ensure that the email has successfully been attached before pressing the send button.

Wait Patiently

Avoid bombarding them with reminders or you can get blocked. If it has been more than 24 hours since they responded, you can send them a reminder.

Remember that some professors might not check their work emails on weekends and holidays. You must therefore be patient.

If you haven’t heard from them in a while, you can also go to their office. If you are going to send them reminders, you should be careful how frequently you do so.

Act Early

Don’t wait till the classes begin to ask to get into their class. Reach out to them as soon as possible to increase the chances of a positive response.

If you reach out to them too late, they may not have the time to do anything about it. Additionally, you’ll only be giving them more obvious excuses to deny your request.

Prepare For Negative Response

Don’t expect to receive a positive response simply because you ask nicely. The professor may not be able to do anything about your situation or they may have their reasons for refusing.

Other students may have contacted the professor in similar situations. And the school may have a cap on the number of students in the class.

Clear Subject Line

Don’t forget to include a subject in your email if you want a response. Professors receive loads of emails daily and subject lines help them identify urgent emails so they can quickly respond.

It makes it easy for them to understand the content of your email without spending too much time reading the full body of your email, which saves them a lot of time.

Request To Enroll In {{Course Title}}

End Formally

Thank them for their time and consideration as you close the email. If you didn’t specify them in the email’s introduction, provide your full name, class, and section information.

Thank you
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section}}

How To Find Your Professor’s Email

So how do you find the professor’s email address if this is the first time, you’re reaching out to them?

School Website

Check your faculty page on the school website. These pages usually include information about professors including their official contact information.

Course Overview (LMS)

If your school uses some form of learning management system (LMS) you can check the course overview page for the professor’s assigned course.

You’ll find the professor’s official contact details on the course overview pages.

Course Syllabus

You can also check out the professor’s syllabus for their contact information. You’ll usually find the professor’s contact information as well as their attendance policies on the course syllabus.

Other Students

You’re most likely not the only student who had to email the professor at some point. So, you can ask your classmates for the professor’s email.

Even if none of them has it, you can be sure that someone will provide some advice on where they may have seen it along the line.

Sample Emails To Professor To Get Into A Full Class

Template 1: Asking To Override The Student Cap For Class

Email Subject
Request To Enroll In {{Class title}}

Dear Professor {{Last name}},
I hope this email finds you well. My name is {{Your name}}, and I am deeply interested in taking your {{Class title}} class next semester. I was disappointed to discover the course is already full.
Would you be willing to consider overriding the student cap, or at least consider me for a higher spot on the waitlist? If not, I will be sure to register very early next term.
Thanks for your time and consideration.
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section Number}}

Template 2: Asking To Override The Student Cap

Email Subject 
Request To Register For {{Class title}}

Dear Professor {{Last name}},
I hope this email finds you well. My name is {{Your name}} and I would like to express my interest in being considered for a spot in your {{Class title}} class for the {{Semester}}.
I have an interest in {{Interest}} and your {{Class title}} course is a requirement. I would like to complete it as soon as possible and would appreciate your consideration.
I understand if you cannot allow me to do so without putting too much pressure on yourself, breaking school rules, or being unjust to other students, but I sincerely hope you will consider me if a spot becomes available.
Thanks very much for your consideration.
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section Number}}

Template 3: Requesting To Be Added To Waitlist

Email Subject 
Request To Be Added To {{Course title}} Waitlist

Dear Professor {{Last name}},
I hope this email finds you well. My name is {{Your name}} and I am writing to express my interest in your {{Class title}} class for the {{Semester}}. I was disappointed to discover that the class is already full. However, I would like to be added to the waitlist.
I have a strong background in {{Topic}} and I believe your class would help me better improve my understanding. I have also been consistently maintaining a {{GPA}} GPA and believe I would make a great addition to the class.
Can you please let me know if there’s any additional information that’s required to support my request?
Thank you for your consideration.
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section Number}}

Hi there and welcome to UnitWriter. My name's Chris, an expert in crafting effective email templates for all occasions. I created this blog to share my knowledge, by offering tips and templates to help get you started on your emails. Hope it's been helpful

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