If, as a college student, you get a very good professor in a particular subject, the odds that you’ll take or keep that subject as a major go up. If, on the other hand, you get a very bad professor in a particular subject, the odds that you’ll take or keep that major go down.
The above might seem like common sense. However, new research suggests that the extent to which professors influence their students’ academic decisions might be greater than was previously thought.
According to findings presented at this year’s meeting of the American Sociological Association, students’ experiences with a professor in a particular field can influence their choice of major even more strongly than concerns about their future earning power or the availability of jobs in a particular field. Additionally, experiences with a professor can influence students’ perceptions of distinct-but-related fields (e.g., a math professor can influence a student’s view of engineering majors). Click here to read more on Inside Higher Ed.
At which colleges do students have the most favorable experiences with their professors? Check out The Princeton Review’s “Professors Get High Marks” ranking list, available online and in our Best 378 Colleges guidebook.