5 Ways to Build Relationships with Faculty

Even if graduate school is not in your plans, it’s important to create great relationships with your professors. Get to know a faculty member well and they can help answer questions on course material, advise you on opportunities to apply what you study in a job or profession, and — when the time comes — write you a recommendation for a new opportunity.

Here are five tips for relationship building — courtesy of the Undergraduate Dean’s office:

  1. Go to office hours when you don’t need to.
    Show them your level of interest in what you are studying.
  2. Give notice that you’ll be missing class in advance.
    If you are going to be out of town or have the flu, let your professor know that you’ll be missing class ahead of time. In some cases, you may be able to get notes from others.
  3. Ask about a final grade.
    Not sure why or how you ended up with the course grade you did on a transcript. Contact your faculty and ask to have a face-to-face conversation. If you did better than expected, find out what you did well. If your grade was lower than expected, it’s okay to ask why — just be careful not to play defense. Understand what happened.
  4. Pick up your final exam
    Aren’t you curious about how you did?
  5. Send a note to the professor thanking them.
    Whether you enjoyed a class, discovered a new discipline you never thought of before, changed your idea on what to major in or simply looked forward to your class everyday, say so. Who doesn’t love genuine positive feedback?Follow two or more of these steps and you’ll be well on your way to building strong relationships with your faculty!


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