Relationships with professors are valuable.
In addition to lectures and exams, professors can be important resources. Getting to know your professors can lead to mentorship, letters of recommendation, research opportunities, and possibly career connections.
To compare college campus options, preview potential professors to help with your college choice.
8 tips to preview professors:
- From the university website, find the academic department and locate the list of various professors for your major.
- If you can determine which professors teach which courses, narrow down which professors to preview based on required major coursework.
- Find the professor’s academic webpage, blog or website. Locate course webpages and if possible, a course guide called a syllabus.
- Review work done by the professor such as research, current / previous work experience, published articles and books.
- Know a current or recent alum? Ask for student feedback about professors. What is the professor is known for? Teaching style?
- Near by the campus? Try to sit in a class for a first-hand impression.
- See if professors are involved in any student activities outside of the classroom. This adds to professor accessibility.
- Look for academic events such as lecture series that professors are involved in or host.
- Scan professor “rating” websites. Search for ratings at your college choices, but be wise in reading the reviews. Consider these tips:
- Remember ratings are opinions – be aware of extreme responses or bias
- Do not base your preview on one review, read many reviews.
- If possible, consider the academic perspective of the reviewer – a student who took a class as part of a major vs. a student who took the class as an elective will have different perspectives.