7 Tips for Building a Strong Relationship with Your Professors

7 Tips for Building a Strong Relationship with Your Professors

It’s no secret that when you have strong relationships with your professors, the course can be become simpler, and even school itself may become more simple.

When you have a strong relationship with your professor’s, come end of the semester, if your grades are on the border between one letter grade and another, it’s much more likely they’ll round-up the grade if the professor knows you, has a relationship with you, and of course, knows that you tried.

Also, when you have a strong relationship with your professors, when it comes time for a recommendation, whether a letter of recommendation for law school from an undergrad professor when you apply to law school, or a letter of recommendation from a law school professor for your career post graduation, you should not only get one, but a well thought out letter of recommendation.

Today, we’ll cover 7 simple tips for building a strong relationship with your professors.

7 Tips for Building a Strong Relationship with Your Professors


1. Come to Class


Believe it or not, professors are people too, with, you know, those things called “feelings”. When you constantly show up late to class or not at all, they may take offense. Even if they don’t, they will take it as a sign you’re not interested. Neither of these are a great way to build a strong relationship.

Come to class on time, (meaning be there a few minutes early) and be in class. It’s a simple way to begin building a strong relationship with your professor and takes very little effort on your part, aside from punctuality.

2. Introduce Yourself


Introduce yourself to your professor after the first class. You won’t be the only student doing this, so don’t feel you must have the worlds greatest introduction. A simple introduction with your name and how your excited about the course will do.

If there aren’t too many other students, you can ask if they have any research projects or special activities they offer throughout the semester. You have the full semester to continue to build the relationship, so don’t feel you have to put all the cards on the table here.


3. Participate


Professors love when students participate in class. This can include either asking questions or adding insights through statements. You don’t have to be the teacher’s pet or dominate every class discussion, but do your best to at least make 1 or 2 comments, and even participate in a discussion most classes.

The more you participate, the more your professor will remember you.


4. Demonstrate Your Paying Attention


This plays off the last tip but goes a little more in-depth. Aside from just making a comment, do your best to tie the material together, such as connecting a lesson from the last course to what is being taught today.

Students rarely do this. It will be greatly appreciated and your professor will remember you as a student who pays attention, a great way to build a strong relationship with your professor.




5. Speak with Your Professor Outside of Class


There’s no better way to build a strong relationship with your professor than to speak outside of class, and we’re not just talking about visiting office hours for help. (Of course, that does help too).

Visit your professor to continue discussing the material in class. Even if it’s only for a few minutes or so, between participating in class and speaking after class, your professor will take note.

A few good ideas are to ask your professors thoughts on a book or news article related to what you are learning in class. Make sure you have a few ideas of your own too, as this is meant to be a conversation, not an interview.


6. Learn About Your Professor


Find out if your professor is working on anything outside of class. Aside from the fact they may be in need of volunteers, it also allows you to develop a relationship beyond the typical classroom material.


7. Focus on Building a Relationship with Your Professor


While most professors know you’re not looking to necessarily hang out and grab a beer after class, don’t come off as a suck up or like you’re trying to get something from them.

Like any other relationship, be natural and casual. Be genuinely interested in your professors and a building a relationship and not just focused on getting a good letter of recommendation or an opportunity to boost your grades come the end of the semester.

Remember, most professors are very interesting and knowledgeable people, and have gateways, resources, and connection that can lead to much greater things. Don’t just focus on what you can gain, remember to give back as well (such as through participating in class, being genuinely interested, etc.)



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