Self-Help Materials: Student-Professor Relationship

Developing a positive relationship with your professors is always a good idea. It will assist you in your learning process and provide you benefits both inside and outside of the classroom. Developing a positive relationship with your professor takes time and effort. Here are a few basic tips:


  1. Attend class regularly and be on time. If you must be absent, contact your professor and describe your situation. Ask what material will be discussed so that you can be prepared for the next class session.
  2. Participate in class discussions. Relate current issues to course content.
  3. Ask questions and be prepared for class.
  4. Avoid disruptions and negative attention such as talking with other students, receiving phone calls, eating and drinking during class, leaving early, sleeping in class, not reading the syllabus, or making excuses.
  5. Turn in assignments and exams on time.
  6. Sit toward the front and center of the classroom. Sit up straight and obtain direct eye contact with the professor. Make sure your professor knows your name.
  7. Address your professor's title and pronounce their name correctly.
  8. Be open-minded and respect the opinions of the professor and other students.
  9. SCHEDULE A MEETING with your professor. Regular meetings with your professor has many BENEFITS:

a. Shows your interest and enthusiasm in the course.

b. Get advice on how to improve on future assignments and exams.

c. Get access to valuable contacts in the industry you hope to get in touch with about internships or jobs.

d. Get resource/reference letters for internships, jobs, or for continuing your education.

e. Get assistance in determining your major or career goals.


BE PREPARED to meet with your professors. Ask for a specific appointment during his/her office hours. Don't be late! Avoid meeting your professor right after class. It is hard to get good one-on-one time and the professor may not be able to concentrate on the conversation. Be organized. Have the materials you wish to discuss during the meeting such as internship information, text, or class notes.