About the Program

The U.S. Professors of the Year program salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country—those who excel in teaching and positively influence the lives and careers of students. Sponsored by CASE and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, it is the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring.

All undergraduate teachers in the United States, of any academic rank at any type of undergraduate institution, are eligible for the award. Entries are judged by top U.S. educators and other active participants in education.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education launched the awards program in 1981. That same year, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching began hosting the final round of judging, and in 1982, became the primary sponsor.

Benefits to Your Institution

In recognizing faculty members who display superb teaching skills, the U.S. Professors of the Year program gives institutions more than just bragging rights. The awards focus attention on excellence in undergraduate teaching and provide models to which others can aspire. They also strengthen community interest in your school and build public support for your academic programs.

Sought out by media, Congress, professional groups

Winners teach in all types of undergraduate settings nationwide, private and public, from two-year and four-year colleges to universities. They are highlighted in the media and sought after as presenters. Some testify before Congress. Others are guests on talk shows and speakers at business, civic and professional events where they frequently advocate for undergraduate education. Prominent national publications cover the celebrations in Washington. Local print and broadcast outlets and campus and alumni periodicals shine the spotlight on both winners and their institutions.

With each success story, people learn more about the fields the winners teach and also what makes a good undergraduate teacher. After all, it is through the art of teaching, the force of their knowledge, and the passion of their convictions that teachers can inspire students to reach beyond the ordinary.

Excellent Rewards for National, State Winners

Each national winner receives:

  • $5,000 contributed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
  • An all-expense paid trip (airfare, meals, and two nights' hotel accommodations) for the winner, one guest and a current or former student to Washington, D.C., for the November awards celebration
  • An invitation to speak at the November awards luncheon and recognition at an evening congressional reception (members of Congress from each winner's state are invited to attend the reception)
  • National, regional and local media coverage
  • An elegantly framed certificate of recognition
  • An opportunity to participate in activities that highlight the importance of teaching throughout the year; these activities could include media interviews, speaking engagements, teaching forums and other events coordinated through each winner's institution

Each state-level winner receives:

  • Complimentary attendance for two at the November awards luncheon and congressional reception
  • Personalized award certificate
  • Media recognition
  • Acknowledgement at the awards luncheon
  • Posting on the U.S. Professors of the Year website

See the 2015 Call for Entries brochure.


Nominations for the 2015 Professors of the Year are now closed.


View highlights from the 2013 awards luncheon

Video Gallery

View 2014 photo gallery

Purchase 2014 photos

Program Sponsors