Seven UC Berkeley instructors selected as Princeton Review’s 300 “Best Professors”

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Seven UC Berkeley instructors are listed among the country’s 300 best professors in a book published Tuesday by the Princeton Review.

The list of professors — created by the Princeton Review staff through student surveys, ratings and input from administrators and the professors under consideration — profiles instructors from six different campus departments including mathematics, materials science and engineering, molecular and cell biology and history.

“We developed this project as a tribute to the extraordinary dedication of America’s undergraduate college professors and the vitally important role they play in our culture, and our democracy,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president of content development and publishing at Princeton Review in a statement. “One cannot page through this book without feeling tremendous respect for the powerful ways these teachers are enriching their students’ lives, their colleges, and ultimately our future as a society.”

All the professors from UC Berkeley on the list have a rating of at least 4.0 out a possible 5.0 on The list includes two professors from the campus department of mathematics, Denis Auroux and Zvezdelina Stankova, as well as some from other departments including lecturer P. Robert Beatty in molecular and cell biology, materials science and engineering Professor Ron Gronsky, international and area studies Associate Director and Senior Lecturer Alan Karras, chemistry lecturer Steven Pedersen and history lecturer David Wetzel.

While he was contacted by Princeton Review as a candidate for the list, Wetzel said he was surprised at having been selected.

“I try to teach without notes,” Wetzel said. “I’ve found that the more I teach passionately, the more enthusiasm I convey.”

Beatty, a lecturer of immunology, said while he is passionate about the subject matter, he tries to make his lectures relatable to students’ everyday lives.

“I make the lectures something you can relate to,” Beatty said. “Immunology relates to life every day; I always use splinters as an example for inflammation.”

Amruta Trivedi is the lead academics and administration reporter.

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  • Marie Sommer

    Not Alan Karras. He is the worst lecturer there is and removes critical remarks and critical evaluations. He is also way overpaid for a lecturer. He earns $140,000 and his fellow lecturers (mostly women) who are much better only earn $30,000 for the same or better work. KARRAS SUCKS.

  • Larson

    RateMyProfessor.hell, oh come on, there must be a better way to evaluate…

  • Wetzelian Hero

    I’m a graduating senior and I have to say that in my years here at Cal I have never enjoyed a class as much as Wetzel’s 162A. Even if you think you don’t like history, the sheer spectacle the man makes when he takes off his jacket and stands there with his white shirt and high wasted pants enacting the most dramatic moments of diplomatic history with an equally dramatic performance is enough to make anyone regret not being a history major. Congrats Wetzel.

  • Marcatmeowmeow


  • Fire_dunker

    Had Auroux and Pedersen- both amazing

  • Tristan Mosley

    Victoria Robinson always gets shafted!! shame!

  • guest

    ratemyprofessor is NOT an accurate way to measure the “best” professors, and therefore it should not have been used to calibrate these scores/rankings. I have had the most incredible and life-changing professors during my undergraduate career who also happened to receive terrible ratings on r.m.p. Not to say that these seven do not deserve their earned rankings (they were rated highly for a reason), I just wish the Princeton Review avoided using this arbitrary scale in creating the above-shown list. 

  • guest

    Pedersen is an amazing professor! He deserves such high recognition :)

  • Cdelacueva10

    GO Dr. Pedersen!!!

  • guest

    Yay Pedersen! 

  • Wetzelite

    Professor Wetzel finally getting the recognition he deserves!