Subject Lines for Emails to Professors: Advice and 15+ Examples

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The subject line can be the most important part of an email, but it can seem tricky to know what to put in your subject line for an email to a professor. How much should you share? What is the most important part to include?

Luckily, it is not difficult to be ready to write subject lines confidently in a matter of seconds.

Learn what to put in the subject line of an email to your professor, and see 18 email subject line examples.

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What to put in the subject line of an email to a professor

Students should put the name of the course they are in, their name, and keywords about the topic of their email in the subject line of an email to a professor. The subject line should be concise and make it clear what the email is about so that the professor will open the email.

The point of the subject line for an email to an instructor is to encourage your professor to open and read the email. Having a subject line also helps to keep the email out of spam.

Tips for writing a great subject line include:

  • Keep it as concise as possible.
  • State what the email is about, and be specific.
  • Give them a reason to open it.
  • Include identifying information, such as the course and your name.
  • If it is time sensitive, tell them when they need to open it. If urgent, write “Urgent” or “Important” or otherwise indicate the time-sensitive nature.
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Email subject line examples for professors

Let’s look at 18 different examples of subject lines for emails to professors.

1. Asking for advice

When asking for advice on your career path or classes, list what you are asking for advice on.


  • Looking for advice on ______
  • Request class advice for _____ major
  • Asking for career advice for _____ field

Also, include who you are in the subject or at the start of the email (they need to know why they should spend their time giving you advice).

2. Disability accommodations

There are several times when you may need to email your professor about disability accommodations.

Explaining accommodations

If you have disability accommodations that you need to use throughout the semester (or may need to use), you should introduce yourself and explain your accommodations at the start of the semester.

Example subject lines:

  • Introduction and Disability Accommodations
  • Introduction and Disability Accommodations for COM 304

If you don’t include your name or the course name/number in the subject line, then include them at the beginning of the email.

Learn more about How to Email Professors About Disability AccommodationsOpens in a new tab..

Asking about receiving accommodations

When you are asking about receiving accommodations, include your name, course name/number, and the nature of the accommodations.


  • Grace Newman COM 333 extended test time
  • Need to use flexible assignment deadline
  • Experiencing flair up and need to use accommodations

3. Extension

When asking for an extension, you need to be clear and direct.

The subject line could be Request for an extension on (assignment name) such as Request for an extension on Literature Review for COM 444

This may be a time when you need to indicate the urgent time frame. Example: Extension request for assignment due tomorrow

4. Follow-up email

When sending a follow-up email, say what you are following up on from the class discussion, previous email, or meeting.


  • Following up on ______
  • Follow-up— name and topic
  • Follow-up on class discussion (class name/number)
  • Follow-up on _____ meeting

5. Asking about your grade

If you are asking about your grade, make that clear in the subject line and include your course name/number.

Grade inquiry subject line examples:

  • Course name inquiring about my grade
  • Course name—advice on improving my grade
  • Name—question about my grade (course name)
  • Inquiry about my grade on the group project (course name)

6. Introduction email

A subject line for introducing yourself should state you are introducing yourself and who you are.

Example of a subject line for an introduction email to a professor: Introduction from Grace Newman in your COM 304 class

7. Meeting request outside of office hours

When requesting a meeting, first check for office hours—if you can meet during them, the main topic of your email should be office hours (an example is below).

Appointment with professor email subject examples:

  • Meeting request- cause for meeting
  • Course name/number: Can we schedule a meeting
  • Meeting request about course material

8. Missing class

If you need to email your professor about missing class, keep it short and to the point. The subject line for an absence email should make it clear that you are missing class and when.

Email subject for missing class examples:

  • DateClass name-Class Absence
  • Class absence— date, class name
  • Missed class (class and date)
  • Out sick from class name on date
  • Family emergency—have to miss ____ class on ___

9. Office hours

When asking about office hours, make that clear:


  • Inquiry about available office hours
  • Question about office hours for COM 555
  • Course name/number: would like to attend office hours

10. Email to an old professor

The subject line for an email to an old professor should make it clear that you are a former student (this is especially important if you are no longer using your school email address). You can include your name and what class you took.


  • Thanks from a former student
  • Former student reconnecting
  • Update from name (former student from class name)
  • Seeking advice: Name, former student

11. Asking a question

When asking a question about the syllabus or assignment instruction, clarify what you have a question about in the subject line.


  • Question about ______
  • COM 453: Question about group project
  • COM 444—Question on argumentative essay

12. Asking for a reference

If you are asking a professor to be a reference, put that in the subject line and who you are.

Reference request subject line examples:

  • Looking for a reference (name course name)
  • Course name—potential reference
  • Name: Reference request

13. Research opportunities

Examples of subject lines about research opportunities:

  • Inquiry about research opportunities
  • Interest in ____ research position
  • Following up on research paper
  • Question about research availability

14. Emailing a resume

The subject line when emailing a resume should include your name, the job position you are interested in, and that your resume is included.

Example: Resume for Article Reviewer—Grace Newman

Find out more about how to email your resumeOpens in a new tab..

15. Email that you are sick

If you are emailing a professor that you are sick, include that and why they need to know (are you missing class, requesting accommodations, or asking for an extension). The request should be the primary focus of the subject line (look at the examples for missing class, accommodations, and extensions).

Subject line for a sick email to a professor example: Illness notification—name, course, date

16. Submitting an assignment

First off, do not submit an assignment over email unless you are specifically told to do so.

If you must, an email subject for submitting an assignment should include the name of the assignment being submitted and your name. If it is late, you could also start with an apology.


  • Course name assignment name submission
  • Apology for late submission assignment name

17. Thank you email to professor

Make the subject line for a thank you email to a professor be thank you and what you are thanking them for—Thank you for ______

Bonus: Internship email subject line

While not usually to a professor, the subject of an email for an internship should state the position you are interested in.


  • Interested in______
  • Applying for ______
  • Question about ______ internship
  • ____ referred me for ____ position

Now that you know how to make subject lines for emails to professors, learn more about what to include in the body of your email and email best practices from How to Email Your Professor (With Sample Emails)Opens in a new tab..

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