dcsimg
You are here:

How to Get an Extension from a Professor

Every college student is familiar with the feeling of panic that occurs when you're an hour away from a paper deadline a few hundred (or thousand) words from the end of your paper.

If you'd asked for an extension, you wouldn't be this stressed out, but an hour ahead of time is much too late to ask, and a half-finished paper is likely to get you a failing grade. So to keep this from happening, follow these guidelines to ask a professor for an extension.

When to Ask for an Extension: Circumstances

There are a variety of reasons why you may not be able to make a class deadline, and you should always explain yours to your professor. While professors may be sympathetic to last-minute emergencies, they also understand that students are juggling a lot. If you know three weeks before a paper is due that you have two other papers due that week, approach your professor to explain the circumstances and offer a plan that allows you to do your best on each paper.

If you are seeking a last-minute extension, try to get documented proof such as a doctor's note or one from your boss. Unfortunately, if you can't make the deadline because you procrastinated or partied, you probably won't get an extension. If you are in college, you are an adult, and professors expect you to behave as such.

When to Ask for an Extension: Timing

Except in the case of extreme emergencies, extensions should be requested at minimum one class period or two days before the due date. Most papers due dates are in the syllabus, letting you know well ahead of time when you should start working. If you stay current with your homework, you should know at least one class period ahead of time whether you will or will not be able to complete a paper or project. Once you've secured your extension, take the initiative to create a new due date, which should not be more than one week after the original one. This tells the professor that you are responsible and planning to get it done.

The Place to Ask a Professor for an Extension

Depending on your professor's preferred form of communication and the structure of the class, extension requests should be submitted in person or through e-mail. If the emergency that's keeping you from writing the paper is also keeping you out of class, e-mail is fine, provided that yours is well-written, carefully edited, and explains the situation thoroughly. If you really want to demonstrate responsibility and maturity to your professor, schedule an office appointment to explain the situation in person.

Two Reminders About College Paper Extensions

First, don't be afraid to ask your professor for an extension. Most professors understand that sometimes, circumstances are beyond your control and emergencies arise. Second, don't take it personally if you don't get your extension. Many professors simply do not grant extensions. They may deny your request, but you shouldn't be docked points just for asking.

It may be intimidating to consider trying to get an extension from a professor, but remember that your professors want you to succeed just as much as you do. Just make sure that you plan ahead, show maturity and respect, and maybe start working a little earlier next time.

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • Full Sail University - Online

    Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.

    Programs

    • Cloud Technologies Bachelors - Online
    • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
    • Entertainment Business, Master of Science (Online)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Full Sail University - Online Request Info »
  • Capella University

    An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.

    Programs

    • DHS - Advanced Program Evaluation & Data Analytics
    • MS - Addiction Studies
    • MS - School Counseling (CACREP-accredited)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Capella University Request Info »
  • Salem University Online

    Advance your career with a quality education from Salem University Online.

    Programs

    • BA Criminal Justice - Homeland Security
    • BSBA - Management
    • M. Ed. Instructional Technology
    • More...
    Location:
    Salem: , Salem WV 26426
    Salem University Online Request Info »
  • California Intercontinental University

    Advance your career with an online degree from California InterContinental University.

    Programs

    • Bachelor of Engineering Information Technology Emphasis in and Systems Security (BEITNSS)
    • Bachelor of Engineering Information Technology in Project Management (BEITPM)
    • Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management and Leadership (MBAHCML)
    • More...
    Location:
    Irvine: 17310 Red Hill Avenue, Suite 200, Irvine CA 92614
    California Intercontinental University Request Info »
  • Georgetown University

    About Georgetown University
    Georgetown University is a private, not-for-profit, accredited university located in Washington, DC. Founded in 1789 by John Carroll, Georgetown is America's oldest Catholic and Jesuit University. Today, Georgetown is a major international research university. It has nine schools, an affiliated hospital and many highly-ranked graduate programs.Georgetown University Online

    Programs

    • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
    • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
    • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Georgetown University Request Info »
  • California University of Pennsylvania

    Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

    Programs

    • Legal Studies - Homeland Security (Master of Science) - Online
    • Wellness Coaching (Master of Science) - Online
    • Dual Concentration: Performance Enhancement, Wellness Coaching (Master of Science) - Online
    • More...
    Location:
    California: 250 University Ave,, California PA 15419
    California University of Pennsylvania Request Info »
  • Northcentral University

    • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.

    Programs

    • International Business - D.B.A.
    • Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
    • MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
    • More...
    Location:
    San Diego: 2488 Historic Decatur Rd., San Diego CA 92106
    Northcentral University Request Info »
  • Argosy University, Online Programs

    Welcome to Argosy University

    Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

    Programs

    • Business Administration (BS)
    • Curriculum and Instruction (EdD)
    • Liberal Arts (BA)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Argosy University, Online Programs Request Info »
  • Tulane University

    There is no more exciting time to be part of the renowned Tulane School of Social Work or of the intriguing city of New Orleans than at this moment. 

    Programs

    • Masters in Information Technology Management
    • Masters in Social Work

    Location: Online

    Tulane University Request Info »
  • George Mason University

    Located in Fairfax, Virginia, George Mason University is the largest public research university in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    Programs

    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Master of Business Administration: Business Analytics Specialization
    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • More...

    Location: Online

    George Mason  University Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.