I know this question has been asked before but here is the Covid-19 Pandemic Edition:

I emailed my professor asking if they would consider writing me a LOR almost a month ago and haven't gotten a response. Normally after a week or two I'd sent a follow up email but email etiquette seems a little different right now due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I don't want to pester them or seem out of line but I would really like a response and am not sure what to do. I'm not sure if I should ask again because this professor is not planning on teaching next semester and I would imagine is busy working on other summer projects. And, like most of us right now, is probably trying to deal with the many uncertainties brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. I did very well in the class but the last month of the semester was very disrupted due to coronavirus and all classes had to be made entirely virtual, so I'm not so sure that I'd stand out as a well-performing or memorable student as much as one would under normal circumstances, but I'm not sure who else to ask at this point. I need the LOR in the fall so the deadline is still several of months away. Should I wait another week or two and see if I get a response? Should I send a follow up email now or just assume that no reply means no?

3 Answers 3


Send a follow up email reiterating your request and the deadline. It's likely the professor has just lost your email in their inbox. It happens, pandemic or not.


There doesn't seem to be a rush and people may be especially busy with end of term. You can afford to wait a bit unless this is the most important letter and you need a commitment. In your follow up, say when the deadline is and ask if they would like a reminder as it approaches. If you haven't already done so, ask if they would like a CV. If there is an easy place for them to see a photo of you it might also jog their memory.

People are busy with both end of term and in prep for coming terms that may also be still disrupted by CV-19.


Send another email reminding politely the professor.

The pandemic has probably no effect here. On the contrary, academics have mostly more time on their hands now.

The professor either forgot, or didn't care to answer, and if you remind them they will answer, or is trying to decline without saying anything (low probability). Hence, sending a reminder is your best move.

  • 2
    I'm not sure about your second paragraph. My own experience is being busier than I would normally have been at this time of year.
    – J W
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 5:23
  • Fine, of course everyone has different experience. I have much more time on my hands, and a lot of work is being completed on my side because of this extra time (e.g., no travel).
    – Dilworth
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 13:58

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