How to Email a Professor About Not Attending Class in 5 Steps

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Writing an email is not a big deal, right? But writing to your professor is not the same as to your friend. It’s important to notify your professor you are going to miss the class for two reasons. First of all, because of the etiquette. Secondly, to let your teacher know that you will catch up the information you missed while you were absent. Below, you’ll find some useful tips on how to email a professor about not attending class. Don’t hesitate to check them out!

1 – Follow the Rules

Make sure you follow professor’s guidelines on emailing procedures which are usually listed in the syllabus. Personal preferences or contact/address rules should be followed as closely as possible in order to communicate with proper respect. We have a complete guide on how to write an email to your professor properly. Check it out.

Check your professor’s email address in the syllabus or on the website of your institution. If you can’t find contact information anywhere, ask a friend to pass along a written note from you.

2 – Plan Beforehand

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If it’s possible, contact your professor a few days before you are going to miss a class or as soon as you know you won’t come. If you missed a class due to the unexpected circumstances, write about the cause of it and apologize. You don’t need to write 10 sentences about you being depressed and sorry for skipping a class but it’s always best to show that you appreciate their work, time and effort.

3 – Use Clear and Concise Language

Be polite and keep your email laconic. Include only important and necessary information, there is no need to write long and detailed texts. Professors usually receive hundreds of emails so don’t make them waste their time looking for an actual purpose of the message through your long text.

Read your email one more time before sending and make sure your text is grammatically correct. And if you’re not sure about your grammar, you can get help from professional writers.

4 – Make Up an Excuse

Finding a reasonable excuse is paramount. Don’t fall into details and let your professor know you don’t want to fall behind the rest of your class. If the date of your absence is a due date for an assignment, let your professor know you will provide it before or after the due date. You can also attach your assignment to the email.

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If you need to make up an excuse, use some common reasons:

  • sickness
  • vehicle breaking down
  • family emergency
  • doctor’s appointment.

The simpler your excuse is, the better. However, some unhackneyed excuses can also work. You should keep in mind that your professor may request a proof. Especially if it’s the date of your final, or if you are absent several days in a row If you can provide a proof, mention this in your email.

5 – Starting Your Email

Fill the subject line of your email with:

  1. your class and section number information;
  2. words like “absence,” “class attendance” or “missed class.”


Start your email by addressing your professor formally. Use their last name and salutation Dear…or simply the academic title and last name.

For example, “Dear Professor Green,” “Dear Dr. Green.”

Don’t use phrases like “Hey, Mr. Green.”


Inform your professor that you won’t be in class and explain the reason in one or two sentences.
Let your professor know you will turn your assignments in or attach them to the email.

Ask if you can meet your professor to receive the assignments or material you miss.

Thank your professor for his time and attention.

For example, “I’m sorry in advance…” or “I apologize for not making into a class…” if you are writing after the day of absence.

Complimentary Close

End your email with words “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” add your full name, your class and section number information one more time.

Sample email to your professor about not attending class:

Remember, that well-constructed and grammatically correct emails always make a good impression of you and show how much effort you put in to be respectful of your professor’s time.

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