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Are College Students Allowed to Date Professors?

Are College Students Allowed to Date Professors?

Starting college at 18 is usually the best option, because of the momentum. These years should apparently be ‘the best ones of your life’. It’s a time when you’re looking for partners to start some kind of relationship. But what if you decide to date your college professor? Is dating a college professor forbidden even though you are an adult? Let’s find out what laws and experiences say.

Is it Allowed to Date your college Professor? If you date one of your college professors and if it is discovered, they would almost certainly get fired. As for dating students who are no longer in your class (and are not likely to be in your class again), then there are cases where you can, but you have to check is that allowed.

From the professor’s point of view: Let’s take an example that you are 100% honest and fair and the relationship does not impede your duties as an professor and sometimes that is hard to guarantee, it could leave other people wondering whether your student deserved the grade that they received and here is the problem which is difficult to prove. So, even if both of you are incredibly mature and are able to mitigate the troubles of a serious power imbalance, the relationship will still be problematic from an academic standpoint where the college professor could be fired. Universities have policies against that types and situations. Professors can also sometimes date graduate students. And if you are interested Can You Date Your High School Teacher After Graduation, you can find out HERE.

What If It Doesn’t Work Out?

This can be a very unpleasant because dating a professor can have long-term consequences. If you find yourself in situation when you break up, you may still have to see each other regularly around campus or, worse, in class. There is also a situation where the student could potentially damage or compromise the professor’s reputation as well if he or she shares details of the relationship and this can affect his career. The most important thing before entering such relationship is to consider the potential risks and rules of a relationship and that you will behave professionally if you break up. If you do not do it before you engage in something the costs could be devastating. This is one of the reasons that is quite sensitive and why many professors do not want to engage with their students. Because after that, it’s hard for you to be able to return at the start.

How to ask your Professor on a Date?

I would like to mention that dating your own professor is never ok. Don’t even think about asking your professor until you’re at least no longer in a situation where she/he would have any direct influence on your grades, etc. But if you decide on it, this is how you will do it: Try to go to class regularly because your professor will probably notice when you are missing. Try to sit up front. Reason for this is that he make sure to knows who you are. One of the things is to dress nicely for class. You will definitely get the attention and impress your professor by looking professional.

 If you see your professor around campus, and he is alone go ahead and say hello. First thing you should know before asking him out is to make sure to know that he would be open to some kind of relationship, which includes checking his relationship status. We have already mentioned that most colleges have policies against professors dating students, and they are strictest when it comes to students they are actually teaching. It’s best for both of you to wait until the semester is over, while the safest way is to wait until you have graduated. In this way, both of you are assured and you know that you will ever have a class together in the future. Also remember that if you want a relationship with him, you will probably need to be direct about it, and ask him/her in a spontaneous way. 

How to Know if Your Professor is Attracted to You

If your professor try to flirt with you, it will most often be during the class. You can’t always know and recognise that, but the best ways to tell if he or she has the hots for you are next. He uses every opportunity to call you in front of the board and try to establish communication with you. During class, he often turns attention and has eye contact with you. He will not warn you, even if you talk to a colleague. Sometimes he is interest for your private life and things that have nothing to do with the lessons on the class. You constantly miss deadlines, and your excuses are pretty lame, but your professor does not mind that.  One of the indicators is also when he uses the opportunity to touch you whenever it arrives. He is trying to correct you, and every time you make a mistake, he tries to establish light contact with hands. Also your grades are higher than you expect them to be.

The Official Rules of the University

As for student- professor dating when the faculty member does not hold authority over the student’s career – say the following: when the student and the prof are in separate departments our Handbook doesn’t forbid that. It doesn’t encourage it, either.

Definitions for purposes of this policy includes:
1) “Employees” are all faculty and staff of the university.
2) “Staff” are all full- and part-time employees of the university not included in the definition of faculty.
3) “Students” are all full or part-time students of the university
4) A “consensual relationship” is any dating, romantic, or sexual relationship.

“It should be understood by all members of the campus community that consensual relationships that occur in the context of educational or employment supervision and evaluation are generally deemed unwise because they present serious ethical concerns. Even in instances in which the employee, especially a faculty member, has no direct professional responsibility for a student, the employee should be sensitive to the perceptions of other students that a student who has a consensual relationship with a faculty member may receive preferential treatment from the faculty member or the faculty member’s colleagues. The faculty member may face serious conflicts of interest and should be careful to distance himself/herself from any decisions that reward or penalize the student involved.”

Can You Date Your College Professor After Graduation

It’s known that in many countries, it is illegal for a teacher to date with a student, no matter their age. But what after graduation, when it becomes legally? Such relationships can survive, but the biggest factor is how much the age difference is between professor and the ex student. I don’t think that any state can prevent such a relationship immediately after your graduation and adulthood. When you look, this is not really a ‘legal’ question. It’s an issue where the professor needs to assess how the presentation of him dating a former student could create some administrative concerns. We have already established that it’s perfectly legal, but there is also a possibility that when certain administrators catch wind of the relationship, they may want to take a much closer look at his teaching record with an eye toward severe scrutiny, which can be very stressful for a longer period of time.


It is best to wait after you graduate and no longer have any contact with that professor. If you really care about him/her and you want something serious, and not just a passing adventure, my advice is to wait and finish the college. It takes some time to get to know each other before you go into something serious and that time will help you. There is no statistics on how many professors succeed in maintaining a relationship with their former students, but it is certainly not high. Watch the gap in years, because sometimes they know to be crucial factor.

Related topic:
Can You Date Your High School Teacher After Graduation?

Learn More

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