1) How do I write an e-mail to a professor? Consider an e-mail to a faculty member or to a staff member in a campus office as a piece of business correspondence; it’s not a text message to your friends.  Just a you address your professors by their title in class (“Professor” and his/her last name, e.g. Professor Shah” or “Dr.”  particularly in the sciences), your email should begin with an appropriate address:  “Dear Prof. Rodriguez . . .”  It should be written in complete sentences in clear, error-free prose without abbreviations.  It should end with an appropriate closing “Thank You!”  “Sincerely”  “All the best” etc. – whatever you are comfortable with.

2)  If I need to talk to my professor, what do I do?  All professors should have open office hours. If you would like to make an appointment outside of regular hours, you can e-mail the professor (see above) or talk with her/him before or after class and request an appointment

3)  What are legitimate reasons to miss class?  The in-class experience is central to the learning experience at Drew.  Thus, it is important for a student to remember that excused and unexcused absences both equally impact the learning experience; therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to limit his/her absences.  In addition, lateness will be subject to the same consequences as absences.  Most professors expect that you will attend all classes unless you are ill or have a family emergency.  Some professors allow a set number of absences before your grade is lowered or before you fail.  Be sure to read the syllabus carefully to see what the course policy is.  According to faculty regulations, you may miss a class:

  • for a serious illness or family emergency
  • for the observance of a religious holiday;
  • in order to play in a varsity athletics contest (not for practices; twice a semester only);
  • in order to participate in a field trip scheduled for another class with advance notice;

If you are seriously ill or have a family emergency, you should contact the Office of Academic Services (x3290).  As appropriate, you may be asked to complete an absence verification form (link), so that the office can send notifications to your professors.  These notifications do not excuse you from class; they simply inform the professor that your reason for absence has been documented.  It is up to the professor to decide how your absence will affect your grade in the course.  For any other instances listed above, you should notify the professor well in advance of the date and discuss with her/him how you will make up any missed work or assignments.  If you simply don’t feel well enough to go to class, e-mail the professor right away to explain and make sure you know what you have missed and what you need to do to make it up.  Do not schedule regular appointments with health services or with an outside doctor or with another professor during class.  Those are not legitimate reasons to miss class.

4)  May I leave the classroom during class?  Most professors find it disruptive to have students walking in and out of class frequently while the class is in progress.  Use the restroom or make the phone call before you go into class.  If you must leave the room during class, you do not need to ask permission to leave but do so quietly and come back quickly.  If you have a learning issue that means you need to get up intermittently or leave class briefly to get refocused, this accommodation should be documented in a letter from the Office of Accessibility Resources.

5)  How will my professors and advisers communicate with me?  Most professors will send you or your class a Drew email if there is something you need to know.  They will frequently send details about class assignments or requirements.  They will expect that you regularly check your Drew email and that you will reply to direct questions within a reasonable amount of time.  Many announcements and opportunities will be sent to your Drew email, you will miss out on them if you fail to read your Drew email.