Learn how to write an email to your university professor.

Reading text

Dear Professor Henley,

I am writing to inform you that, unfortunately, I am unable to continue to attend the Logic II course this semester. I would like to request permission to defer as I understand that this is only possible with your approval.

The issue is that I am currently doing an internship with ABC Ltd. It started in July and will continue until the end of the semester. The internship takes up 25 hours per week and I am concerned that it does not leave me with enough time to study. I have already asked if I can reduce my hours there, but this is not possible.

With your approval, I could take Logic II next semester instead. I realise that this would mean a heavier workload than usual next semester, but I assure you that I would be able to manage my time and keep up.

Thank you for considering my request and I would be happy to come in and discuss the matter further.


Sarah Price


  1. Use the person's job title if you don't know their name (e.g. Dear Admissions Tutor, Dear Marketing Manager).
  2. Start your email by clearly giving your reason for writing. Then you can explain the problem.
  3. People are busy, so make it short and clear. Just include the most important information.
  4. If you have a solution to the problem, suggest it and politely ask if it can be done. If you don't, politely request help.
  5. Finish by thanking the person for their help and offering to discuss the matter further if necessary.
  6. Regards, (also With regards, Best regards, or Kind regards,) is a more friendly-sounding sign-off than Yours sincerely, but it is still formal.



Language level

Upper intermediate: B2

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.