Universities with the Least Accessible Professors


In college lecture halls, lessons move quickly and usually impersonally. Every student knows who their professor is, but in most cases professors will only know a handful of their students’ names.

Some schools are better than others of course. It’s easy to imagine that at a small liberal arts school, a philosophy professor with 10 students will know every one of them and will frequently instruct and entertain them during office hours. Meanwhile, at a public research institution with lecture halls that seat 500, the vast majority of students may pass in and out of a classroom without their teacher ever making eye-contact. These students will do their assignments, receive their grades, and probably never ask for a rec letter.

Every year the Princeton Review ranks the top 20 schools with the least accessible professors. The results are based on students’ answers to the survey question “How accessible are your instructors outside the classroom?”

As might seem predictable, of the 45 schools that have made the list in the past six years, 34 are public universities.

Some of this, of course, can be explained simply in class size.  The rest may be due to the natures of the institutions – professors at public universities may prioritize their research, while research may be a secondary concern to professors at small liberal arts schools, allowing them more time for their students.

Here are the schools with the Least Accessible Professors:

The ‘Least Accessible Professors’ Rankings From 2015 to 2010


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2015 Rank & School2015 Rank2014 Rank2013 Rank2012 Rank2011 Rank2010 Rank
 McGill University 1 3 1 11 14 20
 United States Merchant Marine Academy 2 2 2 1 7 11
 New Jersey Institute of Technology 3 1 3 2 8 12
 Howard University 4 6 13 9 6 8
 Hampton University 5 4 14 NR NR NR
 University of Hawaii – Manoa 6 7 NR NR NR NR
 Portland State University 7 8 16 NR NR NR
 Trinity College Dublin 8 5 NR NR NR NR
 St. John’s University (NY) 9 12 9 5 NR NR
 University of California – Los Angeles 10 13 15 NR 16 NR
 University of California – San Diego 11 14 NR NR NR NR
 State University of New York – Stony Brook University 12 19 20 16 9 NR
 University of Massachusetts – Amherst 13 NR NR NR 12 13
 University of California – Berkeley 14 15 NR NR NR NR
 Manhattanville College 15 NR NR NR NR NR
 Stevens Institute of Technology 16 11 8 10 15 6
 Marywood University 17 16 NR NR NR NR
 City University of New York – Queens College 18 NR NR NR NR NR
 Drexel University 19 9 NR NR 13 15
 University of Minnesota – Twin Cities 20 17 NR NR NR NR
 City University of New York – Baruch College NR 10 NR NR NR NR
 California State University – Stanislaus NR 18 NR NR NR NR
 University of Kentucky NR 20 4 18 3 7
 Georgia Institute of Technology NR NR 5 3 4 2
 University of Maine NR NR 6 15 NR NR
 University of South Florida NR NR 7 17 NR NR
 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick NR NR 10 7 2 4
 Temple University NR NR 11 12 NR NR
 Sonoma State University NR NR 12 8 18 NR
 University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign NR NR 17 NR NR NR
 Illinois Institute of Technology NR NR 18 6 10 1
 Michigan State University NR NR 19 NR NR NR
 University of Toronto NR NR NR 4 1 3
 The University of North Carolina at Greensboro NR NR NR 13 NR NR
 Case Western Reserve University NR NR NR 14 NR NR
 The University of South Dakota NR NR NR 19 NR NR
 Tuskegee University NR NR NR 20 5 5
 Spelman College NR NR NR NR 11 17
 Auburn University NR NR NR NR 17 9
 University of North Dakota NR NR NR NR 19 NR
 University of Georgia NR NR NR NR 20 10
 University of Rhode Island NR NR NR NR NR 14
 State University of New York at Albany NR NR NR NR NR 16
 University of California – Riverside NR NR NR NR NR 18
 University of Arizona NR NR NR NR NR 19

Source: The Princeton Review