Formal Academic Email Sample: How to Write a Professional Email in a University Setting

Are you struggling with writing a formal academic email? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many students and professionals alike find it challenging to get the tone, format, and wording just right when crafting emails in academic settings. However, sending an effective formal academic email is essential to communicate clearly and professionally, whether you’re reaching out to a professor, colleague, or potential employer. In this article, we’ll provide you with some formal academic email samples that you can use as a starting point and edit as needed to suit your specific situation and audience. By following these examples, you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to communicate with confidence in any academic setting. So, let’s dive in and explore these valuable resources together!

The Best Structure for Formal Academic Emails: A Tim Ferriss Style Guide

As an academic, sending formal emails is a crucial part of communicating with colleagues and potential collaborators. However, crafting an effective and professional email can be a challenge, especially when trying to balance formality with brevity and clarity.

In this article, we’ll share a tried and tested structure for writing formal academic emails that are both concise and effective. Drawing inspiration from the writing style of productivity guru Tim Ferriss, we’ll explore the key components of a successful academic email, including subject lines, introductions, body text, and closing remarks.

Subject Line

Writing a clear and compelling subject line is essential for ensuring that your email gets noticed and opened. To make your subject line stand out, try to keep it short and informative, while also conveying a sense of urgency or relevance. For example: “Invitation to speaker series on sustainability: RSVP by Friday.”


In your introduction, be sure to greet your recipient by name and include a brief opening sentence that establishes your purpose for writing. For example: “Dear Professor Smith, I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to inquire about the possibility of collaborating on a research project related to sustainability.”

Body Text

The body text of your email should provide more detail about your request or proposal, while still remaining concise and to the point. To achieve this, try to break up your text into short paragraphs, and use bullet points or numbered lists to highlight key information. Additionally, make sure to keep your tone professional and avoid using overly complex language or jargon.

Closing Remarks

Finally, in your closing remarks, you should summarize your main points and include a clear call to action, such as requesting a response or scheduling a meeting. Additionally, be sure to thank the recipient for their time and consideration, and sign off with a formal closing (e.g. “Sincerely” or “Best regards”) followed by your name and contact information.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your formal academic emails are clear, concise, and effective at achieving your objectives. Whether you’re sending a request for collaboration, responding to an invitation, or simply seeking advice or feedback, these tips can help you stand out as a professional and effective communicator in academia.

Formal Academic Email Samples

Recommendation for Undergraduate Internship Program

Dear Professor Johnson,

I am thrilled to recommend John Doe for the undergraduate internship program at your esteemed organization. John is a dedicated student with excellent communication skills and a passion for problem-solving. I had the pleasure of overseeing his progress and development as a part of the Industrial Engineering program at XYZ University.

Throughout his academic journey, John demonstrated the utmost commitment to learning and paying attention to details. He excels in both theoretical and practical applications of industrial engineering concepts and shows exceptional teamwork skills. He is also quick at grasping new concepts and strives for excellent quality work. His excellent leadership and mentoring skills have also been highly appreciated among his peers and academic staff alike. I am confident that John’s skills and attitude make him an excellent candidate for your undergraduate internship program at ABC Inc.

I highly recommend John Doe for the undergraduate internship program. Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information.


Dr. Jane Smith

Scholarship Recommendation

Dear Committee Members,

As an academic member of the Mechanical Engineering Department at XYZ University, I am honored to recommend Anna Smith for the ABC Scholarship program. Anna is an exceptionally bright and hardworking student with a passion for engineering. She has maintained an impressive academic record with a GPA of 3.9/4.0.

In my courses, Anna demonstrated an exceptional ability to learn and apply technical concepts in real-world scenarios. She has an excellent command of engineering software and is well-versed in the latest trends and technologies in the field. She was also an active member of the university’s robotics club where she showcased her excellent teamwork, leadership skills, and dedication to the club’s success.

I believe that Anna has the potential to become a valuable asset to your program and create meaningful value with her engineering knowledge and skills. I wholeheartedly recommend Anna Smith for the ABC Scholarship program and look forward to seeing her success in the future.


Dr. Henry Lee

Research Collaboration Request

Dear Professor Lee,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to express an interest in collaborating with you in the field of Climate Change research. As an assistant professor in Environmental Science at ABC University, I have been following your work on carbon footprint analysis and mitigation strategies. I believe that your research aligns well with mine on the impact of changes in land use on greenhouse gas emissions.

I would love the opportunity to discuss this collaboration further with you and explore ways we can work together to create meaningful and actionable results. We could work on joint grant proposals and publish manuscripts together. I look forward to hearing from you and working with your esteemed team.

Thank you for considering my request.


Dr. Anna Kim

Conference Speaker Invitation

Dear Professor Smith,

I am writing to extend an invitation to you to speak at the International Conference on Innovation and Technology (ICIT) organized by our research institute. We are impressed by your contributions to the field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and we believe that your insights would be an invaluable addition to our conference.

The theme of our conference is “Bridging the gap between innovation and technology,” and we believe your work on the applications of AI and ML aligns well with the theme. We would be honored if you could present your research on “The role of AI in predicting consumer behavior.”

The conference will be held from November 20 to November 22, 2021, in Vancouver, Canada. We hope you could join us and share your knowledge with our conference participants.

Thank you for considering our invitation.


Dr. David Lee

Request for Letter of Recommendation

Dear Professor Kim,

I am applying for a Ph.D. program at ABC University in Economics, and I am writing to request a letter of recommendation from you. I took your courses on Micro and Macroeconomics during my undergraduate studies and was impressed by your exceptional teaching skills, your passion for the subject matter, and the rigorous coursework.

I believe that your recommendation would hold immense weight in my application, and I would, therefore, be honored if you could write a strong letter of recommendation on my behalf. I have attached my academic transcripts, resume, and personal statement for your reference.

Thank you for your consideration.


John Doe

Job Application Follow-up

Dear Hiring Manager,

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to inquire about the status of my job application for the position of Marketing Manager at your organization. I submitted my application on June 1, 2021, and I understand that you might be going through a rigorous selection process.

I wanted to follow-up on my application and reaffirm my interest in the position. I believe that my qualifications, skills, and experience align well with the requirements of the role, and I would be happy to discuss this further with you.

Thank you for your time and for considering my application.


Jane Smith

Academic Query

Dear Professor Johnson,

I hope this email finds you well. I am reaching out to you with a question regarding the syllabus of your course on Behavioral Psychology. I am interested in taking this course, but I wanted to know if there will be any changes in the course structure or topics covered due to the pandemic situation.

I appreciate the flexibility and creativity demonstrated by our academic staff during these trying times and wanted to ensure that I would receive a comprehensive academic experience in the course despite the limitations posed by the pandemic. I would appreciate any updates or information you could provide regarding the course.

Thank you for your response and for your dedication to our academic success.


John Doe

Tips for Writing a Formal Academic Email

When writing a formal academic email, there are several things to keep in mind in order to ensure that the email is professional, clear, and effective. Below are some tips to help you write a successful academic email:

  • Use a clear subject line: Your subject line should clearly and succinctly convey the topic of your email. This will help the recipient understand the purpose of the email and prioritize it appropriately.
  • Greet the recipient: Start your email with a formal greeting, such as “Dear Professor Smith” or “Dear Admissions Committee”. This sets the tone for the email and shows respect for the recipient.
  • Use a professional tone: Avoid using slang or overly casual language in your email. Instead, use a professional tone and formal language to convey your message.
  • Be concise: Keep your email brief and to the point. Avoid rambling or including irrelevant information. This will help ensure that your message is clear and easy to understand.
  • Use proper grammar and spelling: Take the time to proofread your email for grammar and spelling errors. These mistakes can make your email appear unprofessional and may detract from the effectiveness of your message.
  • Include relevant information: Make sure to include all relevant information in your email, such as the reason for your email, any deadlines or important dates, and any attachments or links that may be necessary.
  • End with a polite closing: Sincerely or Kind regards followed by your name, title, and contact information is a commonly used closing that is appropriate for formal academic emails.

Overall, a formal academic email should be clear, concise, and professional. By following these tips, you can ensure that your email effectively communicates your message and reflects positively on you and your academic institution.

Formal Academic Email Sample

What should I include in the subject line of a formal academic email?

In the subject line of a formal academic email, include specific and concise information about the purpose of the email. Examples include “Meeting Request for ENG101 Group Project,” or “Inquiry about Graduate Program Applications.”

Is there a specific tone that I should use when writing a formal academic email?

Yes, a formal academic email should be written in a professional and respectful tone. Avoid using casual language, slang, or emoticons. Use complete sentences and proper grammar.

Should I address the recipient by their first name or last name?

When writing a formal academic email, it is best to address the recipient using their title and last name, such as Professor Smith or Dr. Johnson. If you are unsure about their academic title, use “Dear” followed by their last name.

How do I properly use email etiquette in a formal academic email?

Proper email etiquette in a formal academic email includes greeting the recipient, introducing yourself if necessary, clearly stating the purpose of the email, asking clear and concise questions, and providing a closing and signature.

Is it appropriate to use abbreviations in a formal academic email?

No, it is best to avoid using abbreviations in a formal academic email. Spell out all words to ensure clear communication and to maintain a professional tone.

Should I include attachments in a formal academic email?

Only include attachments in a formal academic email if they are requested or necessary to further explain the purpose of the email. Be sure to label all attachments clearly and succinctly.

Is it necessary to follow up after sending a formal academic email?

It is appropriate to follow up if you do not receive a response after a reasonable amount of time has passed or if the email was time-sensitive. Send a polite and respectful follow-up email to inquire about the status or to remind the recipient of the initial email.

What is the appropriate length for a formal academic email?

A formal academic email should be concise and to the point. Keep the email length to a maximum of two or three paragraphs to ensure the recipient can quickly and easily understand the purpose of the email.

How do I end a formal academic email?

A formal academic email should end with a polite and professional closing, such as “Thank you” or “Kind regards.” Be sure to sign the email with your name and any relevant contact information.

Hope You Found This Sample Email Useful!

Now that you have a better idea of what a formal academic email should look like, you can confidently write your own. Keep in mind that different schools and professors may have their own specific guidelines. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification if you’re unsure about anything. Thanks for reading! Come visit again later for more helpful tips. In the meantime, happy emailing!