How do you select your Professors?

Students Pre-Nursing


Besides picking a professor based on what classes are OPEN and what fits your schedule, what criteria do you use when selecting a professor?

I'm having a tough time selecting a professor for one of my science pre-reqs in an upcoming semester.

Professor # 1 - Has a handful of reviews online that all say he's good, but really tough. Tends to curve at end. Has high average GPA (in the 3 range). Great website with lots of resources for class including schedule, all class notes, and relevant web links. Has been teaching same class for years.

Professor # 2 - Only been teaching class a few semesters. Only 2 online reviews, both favorable but vague. Lower average GPA (in the mid 2 range) but only based on 1 class. No material online that gives any hints as to structure of class or grading policies. On the plus side, I would definitely know a few people who are taking this professor in a different section.

So who would you choose - the tough but seasoned prof with lots of resources OR the newer prof who I would have familiar study mates but would go in blind as to what his teaching style or class structure is like?



129 Posts

I'd definitely take professor #1. He or she is a known quantity, is clearly well organized, seems to be able to inspire students to learn, and is producing a relatively high average GPA. In my experience, a tough instructor is OK if they are fair and well organized. In fact, some of my best college experiences have been with professors who had a reputation for toughness.

Of course, your mileage may vary...


44 Posts

When taking intro to psych, I had the choice to take it with the older teach or the new teach. I went with the older one. In this case it was the best way to go. You can talk with previous students for pointers, you know going in what to expect. The new teach was not great. She had 4 research papers for her class (on the quarter system to boot) the older was only 1 paper. For a core class, I went the 1 paper route. :)

Specializes in ICU.

I would without a doubt take professor #1. Good ratings, organized, provides material to study from. Being a difficult professor isn't a bad thing, imo. They often prepare you so well that the following science courses that build on the current seems much easier because you have a good foundation to work on. For me, I prefer the instructor who challenges the class, but also is willing to provide you with the information you need to know to succeed (relevent homework assignments, lecture notes, study guides, ect.)


251 Posts

I agree with everyone else. I personally would go with #1. It sounds like he/she is very organized and has everything you might need easily accessible which will be EXTREMELY helpful. I would hate to go in "blind" with another professor.


704 Posts

Can you even give one reason why professor #2 sounds better? Because I can't...I just CANNOT understand why people are scared of tough professors.

I personally believe that instructors should give hard(er) tests. What is the point of an education if it isn't challenging you to learn more? And last time I checked the fail/drop out rate for nursing school seems to be around 50%. So what's the point of sailing through pre-reqs only to fail out of nursing school because you really didn't have the strong foundational knowledge required to carry you through the hardest part?


112 Posts

LOL!!!!! I'm like the FBI before I register for classes. First I ask my advisor and see what she knows and heard ( very important, advisors see the drop rate), then I ask other classmates. If ALL else fails I will go to that department and "Interview" for the best candidate. I ask all types of questions, like, how do teach the class? Do you make up your own tests, or do you use the dept. tests? How long have you been teaching? Then I tell them my goals and apprehensions abou the class and see what they say. Being concerned about a class and talking to the instructor BEFOREHAND goes a long way. They see that your concerned and that you have goals and believe it or not THEY WILL HELP YOU. I have been saved SO many times by my FBI investigating. I was frightened by algabra, stats, chem, path,pharm. But I successfully completed them because of supportive instructors that care about students success, not to say they made it easy but with a good instructor it about give and take. One instructor told me, "If you show up to every class and do the work, you will not fail." You get back what you put in, sometimes it's not even the instructor, it's the negitive, i;m going to fail attitude you have going. Good luck!!!!

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