A great professor can inspire a student, create a comfortable learning environment, and generally bring a course to life.
RateMyProfessors.com released its annual list of Top University Professors today, charting the best teachers in higher education based on student reviews.
These 25 professors were noted for accessibility, clarity, and ability to cultivate a discussion, among many other traits. They come from a variety of subjects and from schools all over the country. Many students noted that these professors made them thrive in and love a subject they previous struggled with.
Students ranked Indian River State College mathematics professor Pat Fitzsimmons the top professor in the country this year. As one student writes, “Great professor. Very clear, very helpful, very understanding and patience. She is simply a JOY! I am very thankful to be one of her students.”
Education, University of Houston - Clear Lake
'ONE of the BEST teachers at UHCL. She is an amazing professor who helps your and teaches you so many things that you will use in the future. She makes class fun and interesting.'
'Dr. Mackey is an awesome professor! She is very enthusiastic, and teaches very useful and relevant strategies. There are lots of hands on activities in class, and a few easy projects that are done outside of class. Take this teacher!! She is amazing!'
English, Florida State College at Jacksonville
'She is my favourite professor. She goes well beyond what she needs to so she can help her students. If you want to get a good foundation for writing I would take her class. She will work with you, just make sure to ask for help and go to her office if need be.'
'Prof. Francis will do EVERYTHING in her power to help you pass and succeed in the future. She also uses technology and humour to help liven up the class and keep it fun. Wish more professors were like her. TAKE HER!!'
Education, Ball State University
'Dr. Stroud is an amazing professor. He truly cares for his students and their success in the field of education. He is very helpful and will do what he can to accommodate students needs.'
'BEST TEACHER YOU WILL FIND AT BALL STATE!!! He has such a passion for teaching and it definitely rubs off on all of his students. I literally got excited to go to his class. Nicest and most understanding guy you will have as a teacher.'
Chemistry, University of Hartford
'Excellent teacher! Makes things super easy to understand. Works hard to ensure everyone is on the same page, is very organised, consistent. Work is on the challenging side but with a teacher this thorough, it's not so bad at all.'
'Dr. Pence is by far the most amazing professor I have ever had in any course I have ever taken. The material is difficult but she makes it seem so much easier and teaches the class everything you need to know to do well. You don't really need the textbook because her lectures are so good and she teaches the material in the clearest way possible.'
Languages, Indiana University Northwest
'Truly one of the best professors I've ever had. Tons of passion in his teachings and genuine interest in his students. I have a lot of respect for him and his work. Highly recommended.'
'Great professor. One of the only ones at IUN who will totally work with you to make sure you learn and do well. If anything, he works TOO hard to help people (including the slackers who really do not deserve any help). He loves his job and it shows. If you come to class and try a little, you will do well. I highly recommend Dr. Scooter.'
Nursing, Long Island University
'She is amazing. She will literally sing to you if that means you will understand the material. You need to work hard and learn a lot of drugs but she is there the whole time giving you helpful hints on how to remember what each drug class does. Never met a professor who cared as much as she does. I'm in the 4th level, and no one compares to her.'
'No words can describe how amazing this professor is! There's no way you would walk out of this class without learning something. She should be teaching every nursing course! Work hard ... pharmacology is not easy! (good luck!)'
Computer Science, University of Pittsburgh
'Honestly the most helpful and invested instructor I've had at Pitt. He was successfully able to convey his vast understanding of basic computer programs and functions while being mindful of the students college workload. Awesome instructor.'
'One of the best professors at Pitt! So understanding that college students have a lot of things to do. Due dates were always flexible. He genuinely cares about his students and even thought attendance was mandatory I didn't mind because I wanted to come to class.'
Education, Bowling Green State University
'Barb was great! She was definitely one of my favourite professors I have ever had. She made class fun and used everyday examples for each theory so that you could understand the theories more easily.'
'She is a wonderful teacher. The class was very interesting. She actually helps you learn the material instead of just throwing information at you. I loved the class so much!'
Communication, San Francisco State University
'I was not excited about this class originally because I hate public speaking, but John Ryan is so great it actually became my favourite class this semester. He makes lectures really interesting/funny, and he makes you feel really comfortable giving your speeches.'
'Best teacher at SFSU, helped me make the decision in changing my major and therefor my life, so motivational and enthusiastic! Every student needs to take his class, it will get you through the semester. I actually enjoyed showing up for a three hour night class!'
Health Science, Westchester University of Pennsylvania
'Brenner is my adviser and is without a doubt the best teacher I have ever had, he is a true role model and one of the coolest people I know. I wish he could teach all of my classes and life would be good. He is hysterical and loves what he teaches. Take any class you can possibly take with him. You will not regret it!'
'He is AWESOME!!! Funny, entertaining, helpful, and did i mention funny?! He is so nice as well. Take him and you will get an A. Unannounced quizzes tho, but be there and you will get 100%. they are only 5 questions and the final is 10. Take him. you def won't regret it!!'
Music, Bringham Young University
'Sister Hall is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. She knows everything there is to know about music and even more about how to live a good life. I love her class and you know that she loves you.'
'Next to my mother, Sister Hall is my favourite woman on the planet. She truly loves her students and is loved in return. She is extremely helpful and provides many opportunities for students to grow and learn. She is THE BEST.'
English, University of North Georgia
'Professor Dodson is amazing! I hate writing and was dreading this class but she made it fun and interesting. She made me feel at ease and helps step by step. Take her class! Awesome person, awesome professor.'
'Not just the best teacher I have ever had, she is a teacher that will changed the way you look at writing. I failed this class before and I was dreading it. She made it a pleasure and walks you through step by step on how to write a paper. She is funny, keeps it real, says her beliefs without pushing it on you, and we watched two movies. TAKE HER!'
Mathematics, University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
'Dr.West is the BEST professor I probably will ever have! If you have the option to take any of his classes, do it! He will help you until you fully understand and teaches in a way that makes it easy to understand. No need to buy the textbook because his teaching simplifies everything it says. GREAT PROFESSOR!'
'Excellent instructor, very laid back, very prepared to help students any way he can. Great sense of humour, very smart man with the skills to pass on that knowledge.'
Management, George Mason University
'One of the only professors in college for which I enjoyed coming to class for 3 hours. He made a 3 hour class enjoyable and intriguing while learning the material along the way. The professor and the class helped me decide my major and I cannot wait to take him again down the road in Sports Management. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!'
'Awesome teacher. Research Methods is a hard class but he does a good job explaining the material. If you follow the template and example he gives you then you will get a great grade and learn a lot. I highly recommend taking this professor.'
Criminal Justice, University of Alabama
'Literally the best and most interesting professor I've had since attending UA. Unlike other instructors he seems like he actually wants his students to receive good grades and he's always available to help out when needed.'
'Mr. Klutz is very nice and helpful. He was always willing to assist with future career plans and is a very helpful advisor. He was a great mentor and teacher in college.'
Sociology, Loyola University Chicago
'One of my favourite professors at Loyola. He teaches you exactly what you need to know for the test. There are weekly pop quizzes, so do the readings, but the stuff we read is really interesting. He is hilarious, understands college kids, genuinely cares about his students, and wants to prepare you for the real world. Amazing teacher! TAKE TAKE TAKE'
'Everitt is hands down the BEST professor I have had at Loyola. Hes hilarious, entertaining, brilliant, and super approachable. He takes a great interest in all of his students which is very impressive. He should be a part time comedian.'
Spanish, College of Charleston
'Such a nice teacher. Had my whole class to her house to study for the exam and she cooked us dinner. The nicest woman, I was so sad when the class was over. It's not an incredibly easy class but she does such a clear job of explaining everything. She won't let you fall behind.'
'Best professor in department and at CofC. Very helpful and enthusiastic. Tests aren't too difficult and she makes everything crystal clear. I was so scared about Spanish, but she makes it so much fun! Take her!!!!'
Music, University of California San Diego
'Gospel Choir is the perfect way to de-stress from the day and have fun singing. Ken is an amazing professor who encourages his students to train hard and take good physical care of themselves. The class requires complete attention since the material is 100% oral and audio. It's a great class with a large attendance. One of my favourite at UCSD!'
'There is no bad word to say about Ken. I went really intimidated by the fact that I can't sing, but then you realise everybody else can't sing either and we're in there for the same reason - to get rid of the fine arts req. He manages to get 300+ people to sing BEAUTIFULLY. It is so much fun in his class. How could I not recommend it? 20 thumbs up.'
Art, Georgia Gwinnett College
'Before the class, I was never a fan of art and took this class as part of requirements. Dr. Cook is extremely passionate about what he does and you can tell by the way he talks. His tests come straight from the study guides. Definitely a class worth taking.'
'His drawing class was great. I was the worst artist in his class, but yet he always graded me well since he know I was trying my best. I would take him again for sure.'
Classics, Grinnell College
'Not only is Prof. Cummins incredibly intelligent and articulate, she is also wholeheartedly dedicated the success of her students. She has the utmost respect for her students and is a wonderful personal and academic mentor. She's not afraid to make the class laugh, either, so her lectures are entertaining while still being very intense.'
'If you came to college wanting to be challenged, inspired, and educated in the truest sense of the word, this is your woman. She will make you work harder than you ever have in your life, and you will love every second of it. The single best professor I've ever had.'
Speech, Florida State College at Jacksonville
'Professor Kupyer is a great instructor. He encourages class participation and his teaching techniques keep you engaged and focused. You will learn a great deal in this class and actually be able to apply what you've learned to the real world.'
'Prof. Kuyper is an amazing teacher who comes alive during class. Very informative while being interactive and interesting. He's very concerned about your success and believes that anybody can become a competent speaker. Definitely a MUST TAKE Professor!'
Mathematics, Indian River State College
'Professor Fitzsimmons was great! She was always clear on what she expected from her students and when assignments were due. She went above and beyond to keep her students informed of things such as upcoming study workshops and even job fairs. She really cares about the success of her students!'
'Great professor. Very clear, very helpful, very understanding and patience. She is simply a JOY! I am very thankful to be one of her students. I have always hated Maths and done poorly, but her teaching style makes it understandable and even fun! She is a believer in classroom participation, which is great because it keeps everyone INVOLVED.'
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.