Sample Email Policies

Students can have unrealistic expectations about how quickly you will respond to email and the types of issues that you can deal with effectively over email. It can be helpful to set a time within which they should expect a response. Some faculty are happy to respond immediately. Others request 24 to 48 hours. Others say that they will only respond during business hours (9 to 5).

You may also want to explain that you intend to communicate changes in class through email so that students know to pay attention to emails from you.

In addition, some faculty set boundaries about what they will respond to over email. For example, some will not respond to questions that could be answered by looking at the syllabus. Others use online course management systems (like Canvas and Piazza) for Frequently Asked Questions and tell students to start there before sending questions.

Sample Language

  • I will respond to email within 48 hours of receiving it. Please check the syllabus or assignment sheets before you send your question as I will not respond to requests for information contained in the course handouts.
  • You may expect me to respond to emails between 9 and 5 Monday through Friday. I am happy to use email to respond to fairly simple queries but will not discuss paper topics or grades over email. Please see me in office hours or make an appointment for these more involved discussions. When you email, please be specific about the subject of the email.
  • From time to time, I will need to make announcements about the course outside of class time. I will keep such emails to a minimum but ask that you please check your email at least once every two days and be sure to read any emails from me.