Perfect Gifts for College Professor

Is it appropriate to get your favorite college professor a small gift to show your appreciation?

To college students seeking success in the job field and in academics, there are few people more important and influential than a professor. College professors teach their students and help them grow, giving them the gift of knowledge. Is it appropriate for a student to let their professors know how appreciative they feel by giving them a present?

Gift-giving has long been an awkward, slippery slope for well-intentioned people in professional settings. If you truly want to show an instructor how much you value their work, make sure you look at these dos and don’ts of gift selection:

Do consider giving the professor a gift card that can be used on or near campus.

A small gift card to the university bookstore or a gift certificate for a campus coffee shop is the perfect way to make a professor’s regular trip to a go-to location a bit brighter. Other good gift card options include cards to office supply stores or bookstores. Those locations have items that a professor can use in the classroom, and academics like themselves are sure to appreciate any gift that helps them grow as instructors.

Don’t give them any actual money as a gift.

Giving an instructor cash or a check as a gift can be viewed as both unprofessional and impersonal. It’s better to choose a gift card that shows your thoughtfulness. Besides, you already pay your professor with your tuition money. If you want to give them something above and beyond their salary, choose a more meaningful gift. If you very well know your college professor then you will not be overly hard to choose a gift that will show your appreciation for everything your professor did for you.

Do consider giving the professor food or drink.

Giving a professor their favorite snack or drink is a useful gift of the perfect size. Everyone loves a good snack, and we all know professors love their caffeinated beverages of choice. Seasonal treats like Christmas cookies and hot cocoa or personal favorites you know the professor is fond of are excellent gift choices.

Don’t give them homemade treats.

No matter how tasty your grandmother’s favorite recipe is, chances are that your professor won’t be eating those homemade brownies you brought. No matter your reliability, they may question if your cooking is sanitary and meets food safety standards. It’s always safer to choose a store-bought snack or drink item when gifting unless that person knows you personally.

Do write a thoughtful thank you note.

Professors love to know that what they do matters. A simple card with handwritten words of thanks and appreciation is sure to be treasured and valued by professors who work hard to influence young minds.

Make sure the note is handwritten and hand-delivered as well. Anyone can send a quick email of thanks, but a card that took time to write that comes delivered with a smile is sure to be remembered. Using good-quality stationery and pen instead of pencil adds a nice touch of class to the note, card, or letter.

Don’t write a lengthy, over-developed letter.

That being said, be careful not to go overboard on the thanking. Keep your thank-you notes concise and professional. Your professor is already busy reading dissertations and essays – they don’t want to read a 6-page analysis of your professional relationship, too.

The right time for giving gifts.

The time when you give a gift to your university professor is important the same as what gift you give. The best time to give a gift to a professor is at the end of the semester, after graduation, or as a gratitude for a letter of recommendation.

What is the most appropriate gift to give to your college professor?

Is it appropriate to give them a gift at all? Yes, of course, it is. Professors are people like everyone else, and they like to get interesting gifts that will show them their gratitude for their merits in the education and formation of young minds.

A lot of different factors are important when choosing the perfect gift for the best university professor. Instead of a single gift recommendation, check out this list of on-site Gift Light Bulbs with a lot of great and appropriate gifts for college professors.