0

Currently, I am a Master's student, and I sent an email to a professor from another department in my university. The email was about a topic which could simply be answered as yes or no. But, I have not received an answer from the Professor yet, and since I use official university email account, I have no doubt that it was not classified as spam.

It will be nearly a week, what should I do next ? Should I go directly and talk with the Professor, assuming that he did not notice my email ? Even if I was not able to arrange an appointment with him via email, should I directly knock his door, will this be considered rude ? I don't think it should be difficult to say a simple no as an answer.

  • 1
    Did you send a reminder? If not, why not? E-mails get forgotten about all the time. – xLeitix Jan 22 '15 at 16:36
  • 1
    @xLeitix: Sending an email reminder is certainly good too. If you're not on the same campus, then obviously that would be the way to go. But I think the implicit message of "If you don't respond within a week, I'll show up physically" is a fair one and a good precedent for future dealings with someone. – Pete L. Clark Jan 22 '15 at 16:40
  • Find out when he has office hours, and visit him during that time. This is the time professors set aside to answer questions from any student. – afaust Jan 22 '15 at 16:46
  • @afaust: Often office hours are office hours for a particular course. If a graduate student comes by when the office is full of undergraduates, that's probably an especially bad time. However, it's a good time to make a recon mission one way or the other, and coming just as the office hours end is a good way to be sure the office is occupied. – Pete L. Clark Jan 22 '15 at 16:50
  • I can tell you professors get a LOT of e-mail. He may have just missed it. Send a friendly reminder, as mentioned above. – Dave Kanter Jan 22 '15 at 18:01
5

Should I go directly and talk with the Professor, assuming that he did not notice my email?

Yes. Well, whether you believe that he read your email or not is not really the point: you didn't get an answer. You are entitled to one (not necessarily a great or helpful one, but at least an answer in the formal sense).

Even if I was not able to arrange an appointment with him via email, should I directly knock his door[?]

Yes, exactly.

[W]ill this be considered rude?

Students are allowed to visit faculty in their offices, even without an appointment. Again, what happens when they do this is not guaranteed: maybe you will only get a minute of the professor's time. (Maybe he won't be there...) But you can show up. As to whether the professor will consider it rude: not in a way that he is entitled to complain about, no. Professors are real people, and real people usually want to talk to certain real people more than others, and when a person you don't want to talk to, or don't want to talk to now or today nevertheless appears, are you thrilled about it? But none of this really matters: if you don't get a response, you keep trying. That's life.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.