Carol Steffes

Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Despite all of your efforts to impress a professor - showing up to class early, meeting all assignment deadlines, attending his or her office hours - somehow, your relationship soured. Maybe it was a slip-up on your end, or a disagreement between you both regarding one of your grades. Perhaps you are simply not sure why your professor appears to have an unenthusiastic vibe toward you. Regardless, if you and your professor are not exactly on good terms, what can you do?

From assigning on better grades to providing you with letters of recommendation for graduate school, job, or internship applications, professors with whom you are on good terms with can help you succeed in many ways. Relationships with professors can go bad for a variety of reasons, but the good news is that you can almost always repair them.

Follow these three steps in the event that you need to salvage a poor relationship with a professor:

Send them an email
If you believe your relationship with a professor is in need of mending, the first step is to send them an email airing your concerns. If you know that you are at fault (i.e. maybe you said something offensive in class), apologize to your professor for your actions and express your desire to fix things between the two of you.

Sometimes - especially if it is a small matter that is straining your relationship - things can be smoothed over via email. However, if things have not been resolved, you should ask your professor when he or she would be available to meet with you in person. Only so much can be said by email - in-person conversations carry sincerity better.


Meet in person
Maintain and strengthen good relations