How To Write Email To Professor To Drop Class

For one reason or another, you need to drop a class you registered for. Maybe the class was already full but the professor made accommodations for you. But something has come up making it difficult for you to commit to the class.

How do you inform the professor about your intentions to drop their class? There may be instances where you can simply drop the class without informing the professor.

But what if you need to inform the professor? How do you go about it? How do you structure this email?

This article provides some templates to get you started. You simply need to modify them for the purpose. Additionally, we’ve also included some tips to help you whenever you need to send an email to a professor.

Sample Emails To Professor To Drop Class

Template 1: Requesting To Drop Class

Email Subject
Request To Drop {{Class title}} Class

Dear Professor {{Last name}},
I hope this email finds you well. I would like to bring to your attention that I will be dropping your class this semester. Please know that this decision has nothing to do with my impressions of the class as well as your instruction.
Unfortunately, I {{Reasons}}. As a result, I’m unable to fully commit to the class. To avoid wasting your time and any negative impact on my GPA, I believe it best to drop the class.
I appreciate all the time you invested in making sure I had a positive learning experience. I look forward to joining your future classes when I can fully commit to the class.
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section Number}}

Template 2: Requesting Permission To Drop Class

Email Subject 
Permission To Drop {{Class title}} Class

Dear Professor {{Last name}},
I hope this email finds you well. I would like to respectfully request your permission to drop your {{Class title}} class. On careful consideration of my academic goals, and consulting with {{Guidance counselor/Whomever you consulted with}}, I’ve come to the conclusion that this class isn’t the best fit for me.
I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned from this class and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you for your understanding and support and I hope to be able to take your classes in the future.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section Number}}

Template 3: Requesting To Drop Class

Email Subject 
Request To Drop {{Class title}} Class

Dear Professor {{Last name}},
I hope this email finds you well. I would like to request your permission to drop the {{Class title}} class. I’ve enjoyed the class so far but due to {{Reasons}}, it’s become difficult for me to keep up with coursework.
To avoid wasting your time and any negative impact on my GPA, I believe it best to drop the class. I appreciate all the time you invested in making sure I had a positive learning experience and I look forward to joining your future classes when I can fully commit to the class.
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section Number}}

Tips For Emailing Professors

Let’s look at a few things to keep in mind whenever you’re writing an email to your professor.

Use Proper Title

Always remember to use your professor’s official title in your communication. Identify what their official titles are, before you contact them.

If they’ve officially earned the title “professor”, you should try and use the appropriate title to address them. On the other, you should use “Dr” if they haven’t yet received the “professor” title.

If you aren’t sure what their official titles may be, you can check the course syllabus or the faculty pages of the school website.

Dear Professor {{Last name}}

Dear Dr. {{Last name}}

Use School Email

Every tertiary institution provides its faculty and students with official email addresses. If you don’t know the professor’s email address, we’ll show you how to find it later.

Keep in mind that your professor may not respond if you send them an email using your personal email or if you simply send it to their personal emails.

Using your school email also ensures that the professor will get the mail as your personal email may end up blocked by spam filters.

Some professors also try to ensure there’s a balance between their personal lives and work. Any work-related emails, especially from students, to their personal emails would simply be ignored.

So, if you want them to receive and read your email, you should make sure that you use your school email.

Formal Tone

When emailing your professor, it’s important to keep it professional. No matter how close you are to them, you should avoid using any kind of informal language.

Emojis and other slang that you typically use with friends should be avoided. The professor would merely become irritated.

They might simply interpret it as a sign of disrespect so you should refrain from any form of informal tone or language.

So, unless the professor specifically instructs you to use informal language, always use formal language in any official email discussion between yourself and the professor.

Additionally, any signs of overfriendliness between faculty and students could raise red flags as the school has access to moderate these emails.

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 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 read through them before you click “send”.

Be Polite

Professors are people like us all and have been in your shoes at some point in their academic journey. They’ve also had to interact with students with all sorts of concerns and issues.

They’re empathetic to your situation so long as you speak to them politely. So long as you speak to them politely, they’re likely to try their best to help you. On the other hand, they would simply ignore any student acting entitled.

Identify Yourself

The professors may not remember every one of their students. Don’t take it personal. Professors 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 them how verbose you may be. You may have the time to do that but that doesn’t mean they have the time to read through it all. Avoid writing long emails 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 there’s a reason why you need to drop their class, you can explain the situation to them. Additionally, you can also include any requests, if you need them to do something for you.

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.

They 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 deadline for dropping the class is over to act. Act early to avoid any issues as the professor may not be able to do anything about it.

If you know you won’t have the time to perform in the class, you better drop it before the deadline or it could affect your GPA

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 if you’re making a request.

Maybe the deadline is past but you believe they can do something about it for you. Know that the professor may have little control over at that stage.

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 Drop {{Class title}} Class

End Formally

Thank the professor for their time and consideration as you close the email. If you didn’t specify it 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.


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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