Check out office hours
The syllabus usually notes your professor’s office hours. While he or she may be in their office at other times, it is best to visit during office hours. At other times, professors may be preparing for class, grading papers or other assignments, engaging in their own research, or handling administrative matters. If you feel intimidated going to visit your professor, the first time you visit their office, you might consider going with someone else from your class. Some topics you might cover include: asking about class content, homework, and assignments; finding out more about topics discussed in class; getting recommendations for additional readings; and discussing your grade on a particular assignment. If you are interested, ask your professor about his or her research interests. Professors spend a lot of their time working on research they may or may not present in the classroom but that they are very passionate about.
Remember that your professor has a life
outside of the classroom
Remember how surprised you were in elementary school when, and if, you ever saw your teacher at the grocery store or other non-school settings? Here are some questions you might consider asking your professor in addition to their research interests during a get-to-know you meeting:
Where are you from?
Where did you go to school?
Did you go to the _____ game this weekend?
How did you become interested in __________ topic?
What led you to become a professor?
I’m interested in __________. Do you have any suggestions about how I can learn
more about the topic?