Sample Email To Professor After Long Time

It can be beneficial to stay in touch with a former professor you had a close relationship with because professors are often very connected.

Additionally, it makes asking for a reference letter easier as they can write personalized references that could increase the chances of landing that job or contract.

So, if for some reason, you’d like to reach out to your former professor, maybe to update them on your current condition or just to check on them, let’s look at how to email them.

Tips For Writing To Professors

It’s acceptable to be less formal when speaking to a former professor with whom you had a close relationship, but it’s still best to avoid using slang and other forms of casual language.

After all, professors still expect the same level of respect from their formal students irrespective of their station.

So, keep these tips in mind when emailing a former professor.

Use Proper Title

Even if you were on a first-name basis with the professor, you should address them officially when writing an email. Identify their official titles to address them appropriately.

Use professor, only when they’re professors. Avoid using the title professor to address them if they aren’t yet professors. Academicians go through a lot of work to earn their titles. These titles mean a lot to them and failure to appreciate their stations can lead to a negative response.

If they weren’t yet professors when you knew them, you should find out whether they’re professors now. This presents an opportunity for you to congratulate them as well.

So, always use Professor or Dr. appropriately when emailing your instructor.
Dear Professor {{Last name}}
Dear Dr. {{Last name}}

Use School Email

Most tertiary institutions provide their students with official emails they can use to communicate. The same applies to professors in these institutions.

Students who want to reach out to their professors should endeavor to email them using their school-issued email addresses.

This enables the school to keep track of any communication between professors and students. Additionally, these emails are easily available in the event of an issue or investigation.

This also applies to former students looking to contact their former professors. However, former students can use the professor’s unofficial email addresses.

Formal Tone

While they may be your former professor, you should use a formal tone when communicating with them officially.

Avoid using emojis and other slang that you’d use in communication with your peers. They might not recall you well and might find that tone of informality offensive.

Correct Grammar

The last thing anyone expects is a graduate with poor grammar. Any grammatical error in your email to the professor would make the message difficult to read.

Keep in mind that professors receive numerous emails from students, faculty, and more daily. Poor grammar in an email would only irritate the professor as it shows that you neglected to proofread your email for errors.

So, it’s advisable to always go over your email to identify any errors in your grammar. Tools like Grammarly are readily available to help identify errors in your writing. Keep in mind that these tools aren’t perfect. So manually proofreading your email can further enhance your message.

Be Polite

Keep the tone of your email polite. Like everyone else, professors don’t like to read rude messages. A rude message could disrupt the professor’s good day and lead to no response.

If you want the professor to read through your email and possibly respond, ensure that your tone is polite.

Identify Yourself

It doesn’t matter how close you were to the professor, it’s advisable to identify yourself. Don’t give them additional work to do. No professor wants to spend the next 30 minutes trying to remember who you were.

They deal with multiple students yearly and may not easily remember you. This shouldn’t be considered offensive but merely a side effect of the job.

Additionally, not everyone has a good memory with faces especially when it’s been a while.

Clear And Brief

Professors receive multiple emails from students, other professors, and various academic and non-academic sources daily. With their busy schedules, they may not have the time to read longer emails.

So, it’s advisable to keep your email short by only including relevant information. Longer emails may end up getting skipped by busy professors.

Ensure that the purpose of your email is clear using as few sentences as possible while also maintaining a polite tone.

Clear Subject Line

The subject line should spell out exactly what your message is about. Never send an email without a subject line as it’s highly likely the professor would skip it or possibly consider it junk.

Professors receive numerous emails from various sources, including students, daily. They’re very likely to ignore an email without a proper subject line.

Thanks from a former student
Hello from a former student
Thanks from a former student {{Class and Year}}

End Formally

At this point, you can thank them for taking the time to read the email all the way through and then sign off.
Thank you
{{Your full name}}

How To Find Your Professor’s Email

If you’re not sure how to find your former professor’s email address, you can try the approaches below.

School Website

If the school has a website, it’ll include a page about its faculty. You’ll find your professor’s details including email their official email address on this page.

Some professors also have personal websites where their official and sometimes private contact details are publicly available. Former students can contact them via their private email addresses.

Course Syllabus

If you still have a copy of the professor’s course syllabus, you would be able to find their contact information on them.

Contact School

Send the school an email or simply make a phone call if you need a professor’s official email address. Inform them you’re a former student and they would provide you with the professor’s email, forward your call to the professor’s office, or direct you on how to easily find the professor’s contact details.

Other Students

If you still can’t find your former professor’s email address, then it’s time to ask friends in your alumni groups. In the age of social media, it’s easy to keep in touch after school.

Alumni groups are a great way to keep in touch with peers from school. Simply ask for the professor’s email and you’ll find a few people forwarding the professor’s email.

Sample Email To Professor After Long Time

Template 1: Email From Former Student To Thank Professor

Email Subject
Thanks from a former student ({{Class, Section, Year}})
Dear Professor {{Last name}}I hope you are doing well. My name is {{Full name}}, a former student in {{Class and Year}}.
This email is to say thank you for your guidance which has been essential in shaping the course of my career.
Your lessons/advice on/about {{Something influential they Taught You}} have helped me {{How Their lessons Helped You}}.
I am grateful to have had a professor like you and hope you keep making an impact on students like myself.
{{Your full name}}

Template 2: Thank You Email From Former Student To Professor

Email Subject
Thanks from a former student ({{Class, Section, Year}})
Dear Professor {{Last name}}I hope you had a great start to the new year and had a refreshing spring break.
My name is {{Full name}}, a former student in {{Class and Year}}.
I don’t know if you remember me but I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for your contribution to my life and career. The lessons I learned from your classes have been essential in my career progression.
Today, as I reflect on the road that led to my dreams turning into reality, I’m reminded of your influence in shaping the course of my career. Your lessons have made me a much better {{Profession}} and a success story in my industry.
There is nothing I can do to repay you adequately for your contribution to my life. I promise to always cherish your lessons, and I hope that one day I can inspire others the way you did for me.
Thanks very much
{{Your full name}}

Template 3: Hello From A Former Student To Professor

Email Subject
Hello from a former student ({{Class, Section, Year}})
Dear Professor {{Last name}}I hope you had a great start to the new year and had a refreshing spring break. My name is {{Full name}}, a former student in {{Class and Year}}.
I'm writing to you to catch up and update you on my time here at {{School/Workplace/Country}}. It’s been exactly {{1 year or other}} since I got/was accepted/appointed into/as their {{Course title/Job role}}, which wouldn’t have been possible without your help.
I am grateful for your lessons and encouragement and will continue to cherish them even as I progress in my {{academics/career}}.
Thank you and hope to hear from you
{{Your full name}}

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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