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Talking with Professors

Professors/faculty advisors in academic departments are the true experts on the majors. No one knows the academic disciplines and major requirements better. Part of your major exploration process must include talking with these amazing people. Here are some practical tips on how to speak with them.


1. Identify between one and five majors of interest.
Not sure how best to identify majors? Check out our online tutorial, Choosing a Major.

2. Do a little background research, and create a list of questions or discussion items for your meeting with the professor/advisor. Read the requirements and course descriptions in the online Hunter Catalog.
Jot down any questions you have about the requirements, how many more classes you need to complete the major, etc.
Other good questions to ask the faculty member include:

  • "I'm considering this as a major. Can you tell me what about this discipline inspired you?"
  • "The _____ major really interests me, but I am concerned about being employable after I graduate. Do you know what some of your recent graduates have gone on to do?" Or . . . "What fields does this major prepare me for?
    (Career Development Services can also help with this kind of question.)

3. Contact the department and set up a meeting.
You can find departmental websites and contact information here.

A few tips about meeting with professors:

  • It is important to know and use faculty names, with their titles (e.g. "professor" or "doctor.")
  • They want to help you, but it is appropriate that they will expect you to do some prep work, as described above.
  • Take opportunities to demonstrate that you are interested in their subject area, such as being prepared for class, actively participating in class, and completing assignments on time.
  • Work on their timetable. Professors have many commitments, so be sure to use office hours or schedule appointments rather than just dropping by.


Talking with Advisors in Advising Services

You can also contact the professional advisors in The Office of Advising Services for general questions or to weigh pros and cons about majors. A little preparation on your part will make your conversations with an advisor much more productive.

  • Try to research some of the basics about the issue you want to discuss.
  • For academic requirements and GER, check the Catalog and DIG.
  • Write down a list of your questions and bring them with you.
  • If you are debating between various majors, you might create a list of pros and cons for each one.
  • Allow yourself enough time to take action on the advice you receive. Make an appointment well in advance of your deadlines by calling 212.772.4882. Or check the Advisor Availability schedule for drop-in hours.

Although doing such prep work will make a meeting more productive, don't ever hesitate to contact Advising Services to discuss your experience at Hunter, including any questions or difficulties you are having.


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