Talking to Your College Professors: Improve Lines of Communication


“Talking regularly to my professor has been a lifesaver.” – former NFL player discussing keys to success during his return to school

Communication is Key

Just recently, we provided some tips on preparing for finals during the busy holiday season. One of best ways to prepare for finals is to visit your professors communicate and ask questions as your prepare for your exams.

Professors are Accessible

College professors post their office hours, phone numbers, and e-mails on their syllabi for a reason; they want students to communicate with them about class lectures, assignments, and grades. Talking to your college professors might be intimidating but it’s an essential piece to your college success. The article “How to Talk to a Professor Explained by a College Professor,” discussed the importance of having good communication with your professors and provides great tips explained by a professor. Below are some points to consider that will help you when it comes to communicating with your professors:

  1. Don’t be afraid – As noted in the above-mentioned article, college professors are humans just like you. Let go of any anxiety you have in talking to your professor by remembering that they are people too.
  2. You’re not inconveniencing them: Professors get paid to hold office hours to help students and many use that time to respond to student e-mails.  If their office hours conflict with your schedule ask them for an appointment.
  3. E-mail them- Some professors explicitly state in their syllabus they are happy to answer questions via e-mail. This method of communication is also the best way for students in online programs. Just make sure you are using email etiquette when reaching out to them.
  4. Be prepared – Whether you meet with professors in office hours, e-mail them, or call them make sure you have a purpose for your communication. If you have questions regarding class material write down specific questions to ask them. If you have questions pertaining your grade, make sure you have read their grading policy on their syllabus when asking questions regarding your grade.

Added Benefits

Talking to your professor is beneficial in several ways. Professors teach many students and don’t always have the time to get to know students in class. By communicating with them in office hours or via e-mail they can get to know you a little better. Your professors are also the best tutors, if you are struggling in class they help you with strategies on how to learn the material.   Keep in mind that regular communication with your college professors can be a key to your success in the classroom.