52 Questions to Ask a Professor

Going to college is a big change. You discover new ideas, meet new friends, and for many students live on their own for the first time. It can be difficult to keep up with everything, but one of the most important things you can do is build a good relationship with your professors.

Your professors are there to help you learn, and they can be a great help both inside and outside of the classroom. But it can be difficult to know what to say when you first meet them. To help you get started in a conversation, we’ve put together a list of questions you can ask your professor.

52 Questions you can ask a professor:

  1. What made you choose this particular topic to lecture on?
  2. Do you have any interesting stories or anecdotes about the topic?
  3. What do you think is the most important thing we should take away from this lecture?
  4. How does this topic relate to current events?
  5. Do you have any recommendations for further reading on this topic?
  6. What do you think are the most common misconceptions about this topic?
  7. Can you think of any examples that illustrate this concept?
  8. Can you think of any counterarguments to this way of thinking?
  9. What would you say is the most controversial aspect of this topic?
  10. What are some of the ethical implications of this topic?
  11. How has your thinking on this topic evolved over time?
  12. Do you know of any studies or research projects currently being conducted on this topic?
  13. What do you think the future holds for this topic?
  14. Is there anything about this topic that we haven’t covered in class but that you find interesting?
  15. Do you have any advice for students who want to pursue this topic further?
  16. What are your research interests?
  17. What kind of teaching experience do you have?
  18. What courses am I likely to take if I enroll in this program?
  19. How much contact time will I have with professors? (i.e., office hours, class time, etc.)
  20. What kind of career opportunities will this degree make available to me?
  21. Can you tell me a bit about the student body in this program?
  22. Do you have any tips on how to succeed in university?
  23. How much reading/homework can I expect for each course?
  24. What kind of format will classes take? (i.e., lecture, seminar, etc.)
  25. Am I required to take any particular courses in order to graduate from this program?
  26. When are exams typically held?
  27. May I see a copy of the syllabus for one of your courses?
  28. Do you offer any field placements or internships as part of this program?
  29. Will I have opportunities to study abroad as part of this degree?
  30. Can you tell me a bit about your research supervising experience?
  31. What inspired you to become a professor?
  32. What are some of your favorite things about teaching?
  33. What is your teaching style? ( lecture-based, discussion-based, etc)
  34. What do you think is the most important thing students should get from your class?
  35. What kind of assignments can we expect? (papers, exams, presentations, etc)
  36. How often will we have tests/quizzes?
  37. Do you offer extra credit? If so, how do we earn it?
  38. When and how will grades be posted? ( online, in class, office hours)
  39. Can I contact you outside of office hours if I need help? ( email, text)
  40. What is your policy on absences? (attendance policy)
  41. Do you have any advice on studying for exams?
  42. Any advice on writing papers?
  43. What do you expect students to know coming into this class?
  44. What are the prerequisites for this class?
  45. How much weight will exams have?
  46. What’s the grading policy for this class?
  47. How can I best prepare for tests/quizzes?
  48. When and how will feedback be given on assignments?
  49. Can you recommend any resources (books, websites, etc.) that would be helpful for this class?
  50. What are some common pitfalls students fall into in this class?
  51. How passionate are you about this subject?
  52. What did you like/dislike about this subject when you were in college?

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are called professors?

A professor is a teacher at a college or university. They usually have a doctorate in their field of study.

Is a professor the same as a Ph.D.?

A professor is someone who has been given a Ph.D. They are often educators at a university level, but that’s not always the case. A doctorate is a research degree that shows that the person has completed a comprehensive program of study in their chosen field.

Can you be a professor without Ph.D.?

It’s entirely possible to become a professor without a doctorate, although in many cases it may be more difficult. There are a number of professors who have risen to prominence without having earned a doctorate, and there are a number of ways to become a professor without that degree.

At some colleges, you can teach without a doctorate if you’ve extensive experience in the field or if you’ve earned an advanced degree from another institution. Teaching at the college level is also possible with only a master’s degree.


Asking your professor questions will help you get more out of class and build a good relationship with your professors. Next time you’re in class, try asking one or more of these questions and watch your experience change!

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