How to Cold Email a Professor: Tips for Writing a Professional Email

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By Jerome Clatworthy

Understanding Cold Emailing

Cold emailing is the process of sending an email to someone you have no prior relationship with. In the context of academia, cold emailing is often used to reach out to professors for research opportunities, questions about course material, or to schedule office hours.

When cold emailing a professor, it is important to remember that you are reaching out to a professional. You should always be respectful and keep your email concise and to the point. Follow these strategies to make sure your cold email is an effective way to communicate with a professor:

  • Research the professor you are reaching out to. Look up their research interests, publications, and any other information that can help you tailor your email to their specific interests.

  • Use a professional email address. Avoid using a personal email address that may be unprofessional or inappropriate.

  • Address the professor with the appropriate title and their last name. For example, “Dear Professor Smith.””

  • Introduce yourself briefly. In just a sentence or two