Best Gift Ideas For College Professors 2020: Gifts That Say "Thank You"

30 Gift Ideas For College Professors That Will Get You An A+ In Gift-Giving

December 3, 2020 Updated March 24, 2021

Best Gift Ideas For Professors

If you’re searching for the best gift ideas for college professors, we’ve got you covered. Educators always deserve to be celebrated, but this year especially. Professors and teachers are juggling heavy workloads, dealing with remote learning, and putting in overtime to make sure their students receive higher education. It’s time to honor the professors in our lives with a thoughtful gift, because well, they really deserve it.

But what do you buy for a college professor? They probably have plenty of ballpoint pens or paperweights that students have given them over the years. So skip that idea. Literary-themed gifts or more “teacher-themed” presents can be really thoughtful, but some of the best gifts for professors don’t have anything at all to do with their work. Because, like all of us, they need an escape.

We spoke to Terri Whitney, Professor of English at North Shore Community College, and she said some of her favorite presents have been self-care gifts. “Gifts that I wouldn’t think to buy for myself, like a lavender pillow spray, have been some of my favorite,” she explained.

Whether you’re buying a present for your professor or a family member or friend who is a professor, we’ve got something for them on our list. Below, our best gift ideas for professors that will bump your grade from an A to an A+ in the gift-giving department.

Gifts For College Professors

Read The Syllabus Mug

You can’t go wrong with a coffee mug for an overworked educator who runs on caffeine. This one’s especially perfect because every professor has said this countless times in their career: “Read the syllabus!” It’s all in the syllabus. Even better, this mug will serve as a reminder when it makes casual appearances in the virtual classroom.

$19.95 AT AMAZON

Blissy Dream Set, King Size

College professors work way past office hours, staying up late grading papers, and so they deserve their beauty rest. Give them this ultimate “Dream Set” from Blissy that includes a silk pillowcase, a silk sleep mask, and silk hair ties.

$139.95 AT BLISSY

See’s Candies Christmas Delivery Gift Pack

Educators are selfless, devoting their life’s work to teaching others. So give them a big, indulgent box of chocolates that they don’t have to share with anyone else. These goodies include an assortment of truffles plus a bag of peppermints to get them into the holiday spirit, even during finals week.


Composition Notebook Tote Bag

Out of Print is a great brand if you’re buying for an English professor, because all of their products are literary-themed. Teachers can always use an extra tote bag, and this composition notebook one is perfect for your favorite lit prof.

$20.00 AT AMAZON

L’ange Le Duo 360 Airflow Styler

Professors may not be going into campus, but they still have countless Zoom calls. Since we can’t get to the salon as often these days, give them a self-care gift in the form of a luxury hair tool, like this “Le Duo 360 Airflow Styler” from L’ange. Hurry though, because these babies sell out like hot cakes!


Jane Austen Lip Balm

Give this peppermint Jane Austen lip balm to your English professor who’s favorite book is Pride and Prejudice. The minty flavor doesn’t just taste good, it’ll help combat #maskmouth. Never has soothing chapped lips been so refined (and fun).


Beam Dream Powder, 30 Serving Bag

Since some of the best gifts for college professors involve self-care, consider something that’ll help them unwind after a long day. Tea is the obvious choice, but go for something more original and give your prof this luxury chocolate CBD “Dream Powder.” It’s a healthy version of hot chocolate that helps your mind and body relax and prepare for sleep. Wrap this up with the “Read the syllabus” mug, above, for a truly memorable present.


Grammar Police Pencils

You can’t have a list of gift ideas for college professors that doesn’t include a set of cheeky writing utensils. Give these pencils to your favorite grammar police officer. They come with fun sayings like, “You lost me at your beautiful,” “To serve and correct,” and “*You’re.”


Sock Candy Holiday Triple Bundle

Fancy socks aren’t typically something we buy for ourselves, so they make great gifts. They’re also a quick and easy way to jazz up an outfit, even on mornings when they’re running late before class. Bonus: each Sock Candy gift set comes cutely packaged with a little bag of salt water taffy included.


Math Equation Infinity Scarf

This math equation scarf reminds us of something Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus would wear, but much chicer. Made from chiffon, it’s sheer, lightweight, and totally stylish.

$19.80 AT AMAZON

Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Pillow Mist

A great pillow mist is one of those things you maybe never thought to buy, but after you use it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. This lavender and vanilla spray has a soothing scent that helps you drift into dreamland, making it a useful gift for a hardworking professor.

$16.50 AT AMAZON

“Pi” Pie Plate

Who can resist a good pun? This “pi” pie plate is perfect for any math professor who loves to bake in their spare time. You know they’ll be eager to pull out this punny dish to serve friends and family over the holidays.

$24.99 AT AMAZON

Papier Wellness Journal

The pages of this wellness journal have prompts for goals and intentions, gratitude check-ins, space for logging in sleep and water intake, and more. And you can personalize the cover with their name or an inspirational quote of your choice.

$26.39 AT PAPIER

Rifle Paper Co. 2021 Large Planner

We’re all more than ready to say goodbye to 2020, so everyone will appreciate a 2021 planner. It makes a worthy gift idea for your professor because it’ll help them keep track of their ever-changing schedule. Further, this bound book is beautiful and large pages are easy to write in — there are even stickers in the back to add a fun touch to special reminders. In addition to to-do lists, hopefully they can fill it with more social engagements this year.


Thank You Gifts For Professors

Hickory Farms Chocolate Caramel Apples

If you don’t know what to get your favorite professor, you can’t go wrong with a classic. These chocolate caramel apples are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, and just the fuel they’ll need to get through a paper grading sesh that lasts til midnight.


The Book Lover's Journal Set

This Book Lover’s Journal is ideal for bibliophiles who want to keep track of their favorite reads. It includes a mini pencil, library-themed bookmark, and an Official Borrowed Book Log so their beloved novels never go missing again. It’s also neatly packaged in a drawstring bag, making it wonderfully giftable, especially if you present it alongside a brand new book.



Pinch Provisions Work From Home Survival Kit

This kit comes with everything you need to survive the WFH experience—from a “Do Not Disturb” sign to a conference call bingo game. Heck, you might want to pick one up for everyone else on your list, too.


Upness Hemp-Infused Bath Bomb

You’ve heard of bath bombs, but CBD bath bombs are on an entirely different level. They give you an all-over body relaxation experience, and they’re the perfect way to say “I know you are overworked, and you deserve a break.”


Paddywax Edgar Allen Poe Candle

Any poetry-loving professor will appreciate this Edgar Allen Poe-themed candle that smells like cardamom, absinthe and sandalwood. Between the intriguing scent and atmospheric candlelight, it’ll set the tone for a reading or writing sesh.

$22.04 AT AMAZON

Susanne Kaufmann Home Spa Box

Since we can’t get to the spa that easily these days, give your favorite educator a “spa in a box” with this luxury gift set from Susanne Kaufmann. This brand is known for its top-notch bath products, making it a great gift for stressed-out professors.


The New York Times Classic Crossword Puzzles

This book features classic crossword puzzles from The New York Times, perfect for anyone who prefers reading from an actual newspaper to scrolling through Twitter. This handsome hardcover will also look good as a fixture on their desk.

$13.59 AT AMAZON

Everlasting Comfort Under Desk Foot Rest

Professors spend hours at their desk grading papers and exams. Give them this foot rest (with over 6k reviews and nearly a 5-star rating on Amazon) so they can take a literal load off.

$32.95 AT AMAZON

Nevertheless She Persisted Puzzle

Puzzles are bound to be a popular gift this season, and the recipient will love pulling one out in their downtime. This 1,000-piece puzzle features some of history’s most empowering women, perfect for your favorite Women’s Studies professor.


Bodily "You're Doing Great" Water Bottle

This stainless steel water bottle is a perfect gift for overwhelmed professors because it’s twofold: It’ll keep them hydrated and give them the much-needed reminder that hey, it’s okay, you’re doing great. It’s sort of like a pep talk in a bottle, if you will.


Prosource Acupressure Mat & Pillow Set

Professors spend a good portion of their day hunched over their computers, and that can take its toll on the body. Give them this acupressure mat and pillow set that has over 19k reviews and a near 5-star rating on Amazon.

$21.99 AT AMAZON

Mouth “It’s 5’Oclock” Happy Hour Gift Set

After a long day of lectures, grading papers, and faculty meetings, professors deserve to let their hair down and relax a little. Give them this “It’s 5’Oclock” gift set that comes with everything you need to have the happiest hour.


Energizer Clip-On Book Light

With over 13k reviews and nearly a 5-star rating on Amazon, this clip-on book light is perfect for any professor—or really anyone who prefers reading at night over binge watching TV.


Cavallini Papers & Co. Vintage Hanging Map

Whether you’re an expert in cartography or not, this vintage hanging map makes a really cool and unique gift. They can hang it in the classroom, at home, or use it as an interesting background for their virtual lectures.

$24.95 AT AMAZON

Kate Spade Calculator

Yes, we technically already have calculators on our phones. But there’s something fun about using an old school-style calculator, like this one from Kate Spade. This one is definitely more for decoration than practicality, but that said, sometimes it’s more convenient to punch numbers into this gadget rather than pulling out your phone.

$24.00 AT AMAZON

Chemistry Beaker Mug

Science professors will love sipping their morning coffee out of this mug that looks like a chemistry beaker. And true to form, it’s extra practical (just like your professor): It’s made of Pyrex, its measurements are accurate enough for baking, and it’s microwave-safe.

$14.99 AT AMAZON

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.
stroke red
Read The Syllabus Mug
Blissy Dream Set, King Size
Rifle Paper Co. Classics Book Collection
See’s Candies Christmas Delivery Gift ...
Composition Notebook Tote Bag
L’ange Le Duo 360 Airflow Styler
Jane Austen Lip Balm
Beam Dream Powder, 30 Serving Bag
Grammar Police Pencils
Hickory Farms Chocolate Caramel Apples
Sock Candy Holiday Triple Bundle
The Book Lover's Journal Set
Math Equation Infinity Scarf
“Pi” Pie Plate
Energizer Clip-On Book Light
Pinch Provisions Work From Home Survival...
Upness Hemp-Infused Bath Bomb
Paddywax Edgar Allen Poe Candle
Susanne Kaufmann Home Spa Box
The New York Times Classic Crossword Puz...
Everlasting Comfort Under Desk Foot Rest
Nevertheless She Persisted Puzzle
Origins Feel Good Hug Body Wrap
Prosource Acupressure Mat & Pillow Set
Mouth “It’s 5’Oclock” Happy Hour...
Rifle Paper Co. 2021 Large Planner
Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Pillow ...
Cavallini Papers & Co. Vintage Hanging M...
Kate Spade Calculator
Chemistry Beaker Mug
Bodily "You're Doing Great" Water Bottle
Papier Wellness Journal