So I'm sending emails to professors right now (during summer break) to get letters. However, some just didn't reply at all, some replied to my previous saying "I don't know if my major is related to your field but you are welcome to ask me other questions" (Is this a no?)

So, what should I do next? Should I wait for them to reply to me? Should I resend? Should I draft another email?

  • 4
    Hi, and welcome to Academia.SE! I think your question may already be answered in: What does it mean if a professor does not answer your email in time?
    – jakebeal
    Aug 12, 2015 at 15:07
  • Hi @jakebeal, thank you so much for the comment! I wasn't sure if it is the same since I was writing to ask for recommendation letters (a favor) rather than some academic questions...but thanks for the link anyway!
    – Anna
    Aug 13, 2015 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


Do not send too many emails-- this will undoubtedly annoy a professor who is possibly on vacation somewhere when they return to see 10+ emails from the same undergraduate(?).

As to your second point, that is absolutely a no. Why are you even asking professors with whom you are not close enough that they do not even think that your major is related?

I feel like you may have more major problems, but I would not send more than a couple of emails at this time. If anything, the fall semester will begin soon and you can approach any professors in person to ask for a letter.

  • Hi, thanks for the answer. The thing is that I've moved to another state after graduation (gap year). And I'm a math major asking a math professor for mathematical finance grad school reference. The major is also called financial engineering, which was what I used in the email. So I was wondering if there were some real confusions, or it was just the professor's polite way of saying no? Anyway, I think you are right and I'll wait a couple more days.
    – Anna
    Aug 13, 2015 at 15:26
  • Ah. It is hard to say in that case. Obviously, it is too late now but I would've asked the professor before the gap year rather than after. Depending on whether you know him from class or more closely (research, etc.) then I would try to clarify just to make sure that he wasn't mistaken. However, if he cannot really remember you that well then I doubt that such a reference letter would be too useful anyways. Best of luck!
    – EL_BR_CV
    Aug 13, 2015 at 15:29
  • Thanks for the timely help. I'll try to clarify in my next email in a few days.
    – Anna
    Aug 13, 2015 at 15:36

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