OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Wednesday, March 26


QUESTION: Any tips as to how to make meaningful relationships with profs to increase the possibility of them giving you a reference for grad school? I'm in political science 2B and really need to communicate and build relationships with my prof but I don't know how. Help please, or referrals as to where to get help would by great!


  1. To be honest, it's easier to build relationships with profs during your upper years because your classes become smaller. But for now, here are a few tips to get the ball rolling:
    1. Go to class and actively participate if you get the chance to. No, this does not mean ask stupid, irrelevant questions 'cause ain't nobody got time fo dat. I mean, if the prof poses a question to the class, feel free to answer it. Or if you have a legit and relevant question, ask it.
    2. Go to office hours prepared with questions related to the course material. And if you have none, think of something. Seriously, not many (if any) students go to office hours until there's an assignment/exam. This is basically the easiest way for your prof to get to know you and vice versa.
    3. If you particularly enjoyed a certain prof, do try to take more classes with him/her. Do this combined with #1 & #2 and you're solid.
    4. If your program has an upper year thesis requirement, take it, as you'll likely be working 1-on-1 with a prof. This increases your chance at having a great reference.
    5. Already mentioned this, but try to enrol in courses with smaller classes.
    6. If your program has an undergrad society, join it. Or at the very least go to the events. Not only will you meet fellow peers, but members of these societies often plan events in conjunction with faculty.

    Hope this helps, OP. If it makes you feel any better, I didn't realize I wanted to go to grad school until the summer before my last year. Worked on #1 - #4 in the short time I had and ended up getting in. You'll be fine. Also, if you're a reasonably good student, it is possible to become a research assistant for a prof. Best of luck!

    1. ^ 1, you gave top-notch advice. :)

      In case anyone is reading this and wondering the same thing but in Science, I would add:

      7. Ask to RA in their lab.
      8. Ask to TA in their class.
      9. Do an honours' thesis or a funded research project with them (e.g., NSERC).

      In these situations, they generally ask for a copy of your transcript, so it helps if your marks are around 80% or above.

  2. Hey! I am in PoliSci too!
    Simply talk to the profs. I have found our profs are all extremely friendly and willing to discuss topics.
    1 is right about asking questions in class or visiting office hours. If you don't have course questions, you can always go talk to them about other courses they suggest you take. Most profs have courses at the upper levels that build off the 1/2 terms and would be happy to make suggestions.

  3. Do well in their third and fourth year courses.

  4. Best way is definitely to fuck him.

  5. Suck dick or pussy brah...srs. Being bi would help.