How to Evaluate a Professor

campus explorer directory All information about campus, colleges, mayors, universities and US education and formation

  How to Evaluate a Professor

Rating professors is all the rage these days. But what should you really look for when you pick a professor

By Ashley Henshaw


How to Evaluate a Professor
Photo: Thinkstock

Rating professors is a favorite pastime for many post-finals college students. It’s gotten increasingly big thanks to the Internet, fueled by websites such as, where a student from practically any college can post a review about any professor.

Beyond the coolness factor and the temptation to get revenge on a teacher for a bad grade, rating professors can be a useful way to help choose classes and make sure your college experience is a good one. A great professor can make an average class exciting and a good class life-changing.

Do Your Own Professor Evaluations

What makes a good college professor? It’s going to be different for everyone, but ask yourself a few basic questions when researching teachers and classes. You may have to do a little extra work, but if you can save yourself from a bad teacher, it’s completely worth it.

One of the most important things you can ask is, “Is this teacher good at lecturing?” Lectures make up the majority of the classes for most majors, and lecturing is a skill independent of being smart or knowledgeable. There are many brilliant professors who mumble with their backs to the class.

Beyond that, are they teaching the subjects they love? Sometimes professors are forced to teach classes they aren’t interested in. I don’t mean that you’re going to be stuck with an English professor teaching calculus, but a linguistics professor might teach literature or a mathematics professor teach statistics.

You can often read in a course catalog or faculty directory where a professor’s specialties or areas of interest lie. If you’re being really diligent, you might want to do a little Web research to see if a professor has any published material (whether a full-length book or an article) on a given subject. If a prof has spent time writing a book on a subject, chances are she’s pretty passionate about that topic.

You might want to stay away from such courses. The professors might be excellent, but they just can’t re-create the spark and excitement of teaching something they love. Keep this in mind when rating professors.

Other Thoughts for Professor Evaluation

Are they accessible? Do they have office hours? Do they respond to emails, and do they make their contact information readily available? A good professor is there for his students. Remember that they can’t be available all the time, but a good professor will have well-defined, clearly available office hours for students.

Another great way to get evaluations of professors is to ask other students. Remember that you have a whole alumni network and student body with knowledge of professors. Make sure to ask around if you are really interested in finding great professors.

Remember to be a part of helping teachers improve. Course evaluations and professor evaluations are given out at the end of the course. Professors read them. This is a perfect chance to rate a professor and help him improve his teaching ability.

People Who Read This Article Also Read:

College Reading Strategies: Read, Analyze, Remember

College Majors with Papers, College Majors with Tests

What is a Freshman Seminar?

The College Dean’s List

Prestigious College Scholarships: The Fulbright, Truman, Marshall, and Rhodes Scholarships

Taking Notes in College

College Language Requirements

College Tutoring

El rusco, un arbusto de flores pequeñas

See All College Classes and Academics Articles

Quick Search: Find the College that's Right for You!


Area of Study

- Select One - Agriculture and Natural Resources Arts & Humanities Business Communication & Media Cosmetology & Beauty Culinary Arts & Food Service Education Engineering Family and Consumer Science Professions Fitness, Recreation and Leisure Studies Funeral and Mortuary Services Health & Medical Services High School/Secondary Diploma Programs Interdisciplinary Studies Legal Professions Library Professions Life Science Life Skills Training Mathematics and Statistics Medical Residency Programs Military Science Natural Sciences Security and Protective Service Careers Skilled Trades Social Sciences Social Work Technician Careers Technology Transportation Careers Undecided Unknown Veterinary Medicine

Concentration (optional)

- Select One-


School Name

Search Advertisement]]>

Visit Our Student Center

How to Evaluate a Professor

Get on track!

Visit our Student Center How to Evaluate a Professor

And find out everything you need to know about planning for college.

Advertisement]]> How to Evaluate a ProfessorPrevious: Getting Into College Classes Next: Plagiarism and Intellectual PropertyHow to Evaluate a Professor


Original content at
All rights are reserved for the original content (link in the upper line) author's
Acording with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), Pub. L. 105-304 If you believe that your copyrighted work is being infringed, notify our team at the email

Top 20