Why Should I Get to Know a Faculty Member?

Stanford has amazing faculty who draw students from all over the world. You cannot make the most of Stanford without connecting with faculty. Outside of class, faculty can guide you in shaping your interests and offer a broader perspective on Stanford and on your education. If you are interested in research, your first goal is to identify the faculty on this campus who are working on topics that intrigue you.

Getting to know faculty

Visit Office Hours

How do you get to know a faculty member? Faculty have office hours--by definition, office hours are a time that faculty set aside for students. As you will hear when you arrive, go to office hours. In addition, your Academic Advising Director will host a Faculty Night when you can invite a professor to join you in the dining hall for dinner. Seize this opportunity to begin a conversation.

Don’t Be Shy

Faculty want to get to know students. Just as you are excited to be at a university with some of the best faculty in the world, the faculty are excited to be working with some of the best students in the world.


During your first two years, take advantage of the Introductory Seminars. You’ll see faculty share the excitement that motivates their scholarship in these small classes.

Faculty Nights

Invite your professors to join you for dinner in your residence. In frosh dorms, “Faculty Nights” are organized by residential staff and your Academic Advising Director. Take the opportunity to ask professors whose teaching you admire to talk over dinner with your friends about what inspires them and how they chose their particular paths.

Discuss Their Field

Don’t hesitate to contact the professor of a course in which you’re interested to get more explicit information about it. Professors always enjoy discussing their fields of interest, especially with intellectually curious students.

Keep in Mind...

Tip: As you get to know your instructors at Stanford, keep in mind one fundamental piece of etiquette. In email or in person, address a faculty member as Professor and use appropriate tone and language, until you are invited to do otherwise.