How to send Cold Email to a Supervisor at any University and get their Attention

If you’ve been cold emailing your favorite professors but not receiving a response or attention after each mail, the reason is because there are a few things you may have been doing wrong while drafting your emails.

At some point, you may just have been sending your emails to a wrong person or probably didn’t send out to the right professor. Today on this article you’re going to learn how to send cold email to professors at any University and receive their attention as soon as possible.

Why is this post important?

It is important because a response from a supervisor helps graduate students receive proper directives, instructions on how to go about their scholarship applications, available grants for research as well as expedite some admission processes.

So if you fall in this category or you’ve been trying to email a certain professor, this is a post for you and it’s best you pay more than usual attention!

Steps to Cold email a supervisor and Receive their Attention

In this section, we’ll be looking at some of the important steps that’ll help you reach the right professor, you’ll also learn how to write simple emails that hits directly.

1. The Research About your supervisor

It is important to know a little about the professor you’re about sending this email to, Know a little about his interests, his research and publications. Sometimes, knowing the current research interests of this professor might just be the reason why he or she is going to give the attention you seek.

For instance, as a Post graduate student seeking for an MSc program, if your first degree is in Civil Engineering and you’re interested in reaching out to a Professor in Civil Engineering, the first step is finding the University Post graduate programs page using google as you’ll find below

Accessing the various post graduate programs at Oregon state University via google search

Now that this page is opened, you click on the first link on the list Graduate Programs (Majors, Minors, and Certificates)

From this link, you’re directed to the post graduates program page and since you’re interested in communicating with a professor in Civil Engineering Department, you keep scrolling till you reach the College of Engineering section of the post graduates programs page (see below) and click on Civil Engineering (Ph.D., MEng, M.S., minor)

University of oregon post graduate programs page
College of Engineering, Oregon state University

Having clicked on that, you’re going to be directed to the Department page of the university website and from here…

Click on Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.) as highlighted and shown on the screen below


Now you’re ushered into the Civil Engineering department section of the Oregon state University website and this is where the magic begins!

Look towards the upper right side of the web page, you’ll find Faculties, People, Tools & Services, Units…

Click on People

As soon as you click on the people tab, you’ll be taken to another web page having a list of all Professors in the Civil Engineering department and from here, pick your target professor from the list…

If you did pick Scott Ashford like i did from the list, you should be on his profile page right now. From the professors University Profile page, you should be able to get their office number, their email address, University office address,,,

We’re cold emailing, so you’re solely interested in his or Her email address!

This is what my screen looks like for the professor that i am interested in contacting

Since you have gotten the email address of the professor you’re interested in cold emailing, our next step is to write your email.

2. Compose your Email

Before composing your email, remember Supervisors are busy people who has their personal life, business and family life to attend to, so make sure your email is to the point. Get right to the heart of what you’re hoping to achieve, and avoid using too much jargon or technical language.

see the Sample email below

cold email sample for supervisor

3. Proofreading Your Letter

A recent research found that more than 32% of students seeking Post graduate opportunities fail to proofread the content of their letters before sending to their desired supervisors. This has led to their emails not giving the best impression about them. this means it is very important to proofread carefully before sending that email, make sure to proofread your email carefully for any typos or grammatical errors. A well-written email will make a good first impression on the supervisor.

4. Follow up On your Professor.

If you don’t hear back from the supervisor within a week or two, send them a polite follow-up email. Thank them for their time and consideration, and reiterate your interest in working with them.

Conclusion: How to cold email a supervisor and receive their attention

It is really very easy to write a supervisor and receive a response if you know exactly how to go about it from find the supervisors correct email to drafting a simple, yet captivating email. All you have to do is get used to the guide on this page, ensure your friends also find it useful too!

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