Step 1: Formatting
Use a professional email address: Ideally, you should use an email address, which contains your full name. If you are a student of faculty 5, please always use your student email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) to contact a person or institution of the University of Stuttgart for reasons of data protection.
Address your e-mail to only one (!) contact person.
- Dos: Take your time and research who you should write to for which request. We compiled an overview of important contact persons at Faculty 5 and the University of Stuttgart for you.
- Don'ts: Sending your email to multiple people – this creates extra work within an institution and you unintentionally leave a negative impression.
Stick to a professional, uniform appearance.
- Dos: Choose a conservative font style such as Times New Roman or Arial and black or blue as font colors.
- Don’ts: Do not just copy and paste text passages into your email without adjusting the font style and color.
Use a short, informative subject line.
- Dos: Shortly summarize your request using specific keywords, e.g. “Question regarding admission requirements M.Sc. Computer Science”.
- Don’ts: Do not use subject lines like “Question on important matter”, “Query” or “Application” – they are too vague.
Step 2: Content and style
Start your email with a proper salutation: Always open an email with a proper salutation (Dear Sir or Madam / Dear Ms. … / Dear Mr. …) and address your recipient – if known – with their names and academic titles (Dr., Prof. etc.).
- Dos: Enter the first name in a search engine, if you are not sure whether your recipient is male or female.
- Don’ts: Neither use an informal greeting such as "Hi" or "Hello" nor address someone with her/his first name if you are not well acquainted with her/him.
Shortly introduce yourself in the first paragraph and sum up your inquiry in one or two sentences, e.g.: "I am [first and last name], a student of the master’s program Electrical Engineering (EENG), and I would like to write my master’s thesis on the topic […] at your institute."
Maintain a concise style and get to the point.
- Dos: Always be specific – e.g. explain, what you are interested in specifically or want to know and why ("I would like to study at the University of Stuttgart because …")
- Don’ts: Avoid empty phrases (in German: "Floskeln"), like "I would like to study at your reputable university", and do not use slang.
End your email with a proper closing.
- Dos: Good formulations are: "Kind regards", "Yours sincerely" etc.
- Don'ts: Do not urge your addressees to respond e.g. "as soons as possible" or "promptly" at the end of your emails. They usually receive a lot of emails every day, which are costumarily answered chronologically.
Step 3: Example
|Subject line: Question regarding language requirements M.Sc. Computational Linguistics|
Dear Ms. Doe,
my name is [first and last name] and I would like to apply for the master's program Computational Linguistics. I have a question concerning the language requirements of this study program.
On the website of M.Sc. Computational Linguistics it says that for example an IELTS Band 7 or TOEFL iBT score 95 is required. Will the IELTS indicator be accepeted as well? Furthermore, I would like to know if a German language proficiency will be needed as I could not find any information on this.
Thank you in advance.
[First and last name]