Academic Resignation Letter

Are you considering resigning from your academic position? Whether you have found a new opportunity, are pursuing a different career path, or simply need a break, it’s essential to handle your resignation professionally. One crucial step in this process is to write an academic resignation letter. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with all the necessary information on how to craft an effective letter, along with real-life samples. From what to include and what to avoid, to formatting tips and examples, we’ve got you covered.

Resigning from an academic position may seem challenging, but with the right guidance, you can navigate this process smoothly. A well-crafted resignation letter not only maintains professionalism but also ensures a positive relationship with your colleagues and superiors even after your departure. So let’s dive in and learn how to write an academic resignation letter that reflects your appreciation for your academic experience while leaving on a positive note.

What To Include in an Academic Resignation Letter

When writing an academic resignation letter, it’s crucial to include essential information to make the process simpler and more transparent for all parties involved. Here are the key elements you should include:

  1. Heading and Address: Begin the letter with your contact information (name, address, phone number, and email) followed by the date and the recipient’s contact information (name, title, institution, and address).
  2. Salutation: Start the letter with a formal salutation, such as “Dear Dr. [Last Name]” or “Dear Professor [Last Name]”.
  3. Statement of Resignation: Clearly state your intention to resign from your academic position. Be concise yet explicit about your decision.
  4. Effective Date: Specify the date when your resignation will take effect. This may vary depending on your notice period or any specific contractual obligations.
  5. Appreciation and Gratitude: Express your gratitude for the opportunities and experiences you have had during your time at the institution. Acknowledge the support and mentorship you have received.
  6. Transition Plan: Offer assistance in the transition period by outlining your willingness to help with the handover process. This could involve training your replacement or sharing important documents.
  7. Contact Information: Provide your contact information for any future correspondence or reference requests. Include your personal email and phone number.
  8. Closing: End the letter with a formal closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards”, followed by your full name and signature.

What Not to Include in Your Academic Resignation Letter

While it’s important to include certain information in your academic resignation letter, there are also elements you should avoid including. Here are some things to steer clear of:

  1. Negative Remarks: refrain from making negative statements about the institution, your colleagues, or the academic environment. Maintain a positive and professional tone throughout.
  2. Detailed Reasons for Resignation: While you may have valid reasons for resigning, it’s not necessary to provide a detailed explanation in your resignation letter. Keep your reasons concise and professional.
  3. Personal Grievances: A resignation letter is not the appropriate place to address any personal grievances or conflicts you may have had during your time at the institution.
  4. Emotional Language: Avoid using emotional or overly personal language in your letter. Maintain a formal and professional tone.
  5. Unprofessional Content: Stay away from including any unprofessional content or anecdotes that could tarnish your reputation or future opportunities.

How To Format an Academic Resignation Letter

Formatting your academic resignation letter is just as important as the content you include. Ensure that your letter has a clean and professional appearance by following these formatting tips:

  1. Font and Size: Use a professional font such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman, and maintain a font size of 11 or 12 points throughout the letter.
  2. Margins: Set one-inch margins on all sides of the letter to provide adequate white space and improve readability.
  3. Alignment: Align your letter to the left, and insert a blank line between each paragraph for clarity.
  4. Length: Keep your letter concise and to the point, ideally fitting on one page. Avoid lengthy explanations or unnecessary details.
  5. Proofreading: Before sending your letter, carefully proofread it to eliminate any spelling or grammatical errors. Consider using online tools or asking a colleague to review it.

Remember that a well-formatted resignation letter not only reflects your professionalism but also makes it easier for the recipient to read and understand your intentions clearly.

Academic Resignation Letter Samples

Here are two sample resignation letters―one for printing and one for emailing―to help guide you in creating your own personalized letter:

Academic Resignation Letter

Printed Resignation Letter Sample

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, ZIP Code]
[Email Address]
[Phone Number]

[Recipient’s Name]
[Recipient’s Title]
[Institution/Organization Name]
[City, State, ZIP Code]

Dear Dr. [Last Name],

I am writing to formally resign from my position as [Your Position] at [Institution/Organization Name]. My last day of employment will be [Effective Date], following the completion of the required notice period as specified in my employment contract.

I would like to express my deep appreciation for the opportunities and experiences I have had during my tenure at [Institution/Organization Name]. The support and mentorship I received from my colleagues and superiors have been invaluable, and I leave with gratitude.

I am committed to ensuring a smooth transition and will assist in any way possible during this period. Please let me know how I can help with the training of my replacement or transferring any responsibilities.

Thank you for your understanding, and I look forward to maintaining a positive relationship with [Institution/Organization Name] in the future.

[Your Full Name]
[Your Signature]

Email Resignation Letter Example

Subject: Resignation – [Your Name]

Dear Dr. [Last Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign from my position as [Your Position] at [Institution/Organization Name], effective [Effective Date].

I want to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunities I have had during my time at [Institution/Organization Name]. The support of my colleagues and the valuable experiences I gained have greatly contributed to my professional growth.

I am more than willing to assist in the transition process by providing guidance to my successor or preparing any necessary handover documents. Please let me know how I can be of assistance during this time.

Thank you for your understanding and support. I am excited about the next chapter of my career and anticipate maintaining a positive relationship with [Institution/Organization Name] in the future.

Best regards,

[Your Full Name]
[Your Contact Number]
[Your Personal Email]

Key Takeaways

Writing an academic resignation letter requires a professional and thoughtful approach. Keep these key takeaways in mind when crafting your letter:

  1. Include essential information such as your contact details, the recipient’s information, the effective date of resignation, and your expression of gratitude.
  2. Avoid negative or emotional language, personal grievances, or unprofessional content.
  3. Format your letter professionally by using an appropriate font and size, maintaining proper margins, and proofreading for errors.
  4. Adapt the provided resignation letter samples for printing or emailing to suit your specific situation.
  5. Approach the resignation process with a positive mindset and focus on maintaining good relationships with your colleagues and employer.

With these guidelines and real-life samples in hand, you can confidently write an academic resignation letter that reflects your professionalism and gratitude.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is it necessary to provide a reason for resigning in an academic resignation letter?

While it is not necessary to provide an extensive explanation, a concise mention of your reason for resigning can help clarify your decision. However, keep it professional and avoid unnecessary details.

2. How much notice should I give when resigning from my academic position?

The notice period will vary depending on your institution’s policies or employment contract. Typically, a notice of at least two to four weeks is considered standard, but it’s best to consult your contract or human resources department for specific guidelines.

3. Should I include a handwritten signature in the email resignation letter?

In an email resignation letter, it’s not necessary to include a handwritten signature. Instead, you can use a digital signature or type your full name at the end of the email.

4. Can I rescind my resignation at a later date?

While it depends on your institution’s policies and the circumstances surrounding your resignation, it is generally possible to rescind a resignation if both parties agree and the situation permits. However, it’s best to consult with your supervisor or human resources department for guidance.

5. What should I do if my resignation letter is not acknowledged or if there’s no response from the institution?

If you do not receive a response to your resignation letter within a reasonable timeframe, it is advisable to follow up with your supervisor or the appropriate department to ensure that your resignation has been received and acknowledged.

6. Should I mention the specific reasons for my resignation in the academic resignation letter?

It is not necessary to go into great detail about the reasons for your resignation in the letter. Keep it concise and professional, focusing on expressing gratitude and maintaining a positive tone.

7. Can I use a template for my academic resignation letter?

While templates can serve as a helpful starting point, it is important to personalize your resignation letter to reflect your specific situation and experiences. Avoid using generic templates verbatim and tailor the letter to your circumstances.

8. Should I discuss my future plans or new job in the resignation letter?

In most cases, it is best to avoid extensively discussing your future plans or new job in your resignation letter. The focus should be on expressing your gratitude and providing a smooth transition for your departure.

9. How should I handle the conversation with my supervisor or employer about resigning?

Before submitting your resignation letter, it is advisable to have a conversation with your supervisor or employer to inform them verbally about your decision. This discussion should be professional, respectful, and allow for any necessary clarifications or questions.

10. Can I request a reference or recommendation letter in the academic resignation letter?

While it is not traditionally a space for requesting a reference or recommendation letter, you can express your appreciation for the opportunity to continue the professional relationship and mention your interest in obtaining a reference letter in the future. However, it is more appropriate to make a formal request separately, after your resignation has been acknowledged.


Writing an academic resignation letter may seem challenging, but it is an important step in leaving your position on a positive note. By including the necessary information, avoiding negativity, and maintaining a professional tone, you can create a well-crafted letter that reflects your appreciation for your academic experience. Use the provided samples and formatting tips to ensure your resignation letter is informative, respectful, and helps maintain positive relationships within your academic community.

Published by Sarah Samson

Sarah Samson is a professional career advisor and resume expert. She specializes in helping recent college graduates and mid-career professionals improve their resumes and format them for the modern job market. In addition, she has also been a contributor to several online publications.

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