It is, perhaps most notably, used by teachers at wizarding educational institutions such as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Durmstrang Institute, and Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is considered rude by some for students to not address a member of a teaching staff on their school as professor, Madam or Sir, as is the case with Professor Snape. Harry Potter often chose to omit this title when speaking of Snape to others, leading them to chastise him. However, the most notable exception to this is Rubeus Hagrid, who is usually referred to by his surname.
The term Sir or Madam (depending on the gender) is an alternative title to use instead of Professor, on the speaker's preference. While talking to their colleagues, they usually use their first name. Professor Snape, however, preferred to use others' surnames. For example, he called Remus Lupin, Lupin, and Gilderoy Lockhart, Professor Lockhart in the Duelling Club in 1992. The exception to this would be Professor McGonagall, whom Professor Snape called Minerva.
Powers and rights
Professors have the power to award and dock points (to determine the winner of the house cup competition), give detention, and write notes for certain areas and activities that are usually off limits. Examples is how Hogwarts Professors can grant permission to such locations as the Restricted Section in the Hogwarts Library or permission to practise on the Quidditch pitch.
Professors have no right to use magical or physical force to assault students (at least under Headmaster Albus Dumbledore), as Professor "Moody" was reprimanded by Minerva McGonagall for turning Draco Malfoy into a ferret, while Dumbledore threatened Dolores Umbridge for violently shaking Marietta Edgecombe. They can put students in detention, but cannot expel them without the approval of the Headmaster.
Life outside of classes
Many Hogwarts professors reside at the school during the school year, though this is not always the case. During the 1980s, Minerva McGonagall owned a cottage in nearby Hogsmeade with her husband, later moving out after his death. A teacher could also visit a home by means of Apparition, the Floo Network, or a Portkey. In the summer of 1996, Severus Snape returned to his childhood house in Spinner's End.
Those who remain at the school throughout the night seem to have private quarters, similar to apartments/flats, that are near or attached to their offices. A Head of House probably has private quarters near their House's common. On at least one occasion, Professor McGonagall could hear the noise of a party in the Gryffindor common room from wherever she was sleeping.
Professors typically eat meals with the students in the Great Hall, but this is not required. Sybill Trelawney often preferred to eat alone in her classroom. When Harry Potter attended his first Divination class with her in 1993, she mentioned that some of the students might not have seen her before.
Each Professor seems to have at least one "free" period during the school week. Harry Potter's third-year Defence Against the Dark Arts class saw Professor Snape in the staffroom once. Snape was also available to serve as a substitute teacher when Remus Lupin was, unbeknownst to the same group of students, ill from the effects of a werewolf transformation. Harry's fifth-year Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge, sent him to Professor McGonagall after he argued with her during a lesson. McGonagall was in her office.
During the second term of each year, a Head of House holds career counselling meetings with each of their fifth-year students, advising them on what N.E.W.T.-level classes they should take in preparation for their desired careers.
When a weekend Apparition Course take place at the school, a Head of House attends and helps to oversee the participating students from their House.
It is presumed that wizards and witches do not need any form of specific education or training if they wish to become teachers. They should possess knowledge and skill in the subject of their teaching, and preferably hold an O.W.L. and a N.E.W.T. in the subject. Sometimes a Headmaster/Headmistress will hire someone who did not sit the O.W.L. exams.
Dumbledore chose Rubeus Hagrid as a Care of Magical Creatures Professor in 1993, even though Hagrid was expelled from Hogwarts during his third year. In 1996, Dumbledore hired Firenze, who, as a Centaur, had never attended a human school. On the other hand, he refused to hire Tom Riddle, knowing his ill intents despite his superior qualifications. Of course, this all depends on who is the current Head in question.
At least three years of after-school life experience are necessary. Both Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape were hired when they were twenty-one years old. When Tom Riddle graduated from Hogwarts, he immediately asked then-Headmaster Armando Dippet if he could teach Defence Against the Dark Arts. Dippet considered him to be too young at age eighteen, but invited him to return in a few years and apply again.
Even acquiring a post as Professor, teachers may temporarily return to the outside world to continue their practical studies. Quirinus Quirrell left his post as Muggle Studies instructor for a year-long sabbatical, allegedly to "gain first-hand experience" in Defence Against the Dark Arts so he can teach it the following year.
When Dumbledore hired Gilderoy Lockhart, simply to expose him as a fraud to the wizarding world, Professor McGonagall asked what can be learned from such a vain man. Dumbledore replied that much can be learned even from a bad teacher: what not to do, how not to be.
When the Ministry of Magic took on more tyrannical methods of trying to wrest control of Hogwarts from Dumbledore, they imposed an Educational Decree allowing them to implant a professor into the staff should the Headmaster fail to find a suitable candidate. This led to the installation of Dolores Umbridge, who showed her own inability to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts properly, revealing that the Ministry would prefer to a figurehead to deliver politically authorised theories, rather than a genuine professor with practical qualifications.
|Professor||Subject||Other roles and notes|
|Godric Gryffindor||Unknown||Hogwarts founder, Head of Gryffindor|
|Rowena Ravenclaw||Hogwarts founder, Head of Ravenclaw|
|Helga Hufflepuff||Hogwarts founder, Head of Hufflepuff|
|Salazar Slytherin||Hogwarts founder, Head of Slytherin|
|Albus Dumbledore||Transfiguration, Unknown-1956||Headmaster, 1956-1997|
|Alecto Carrow||Muggle Studies, 1997-1998||Appointed by Voldemort, was also in charge of punishment.|
|Amycus Carrow||Dark Arts, 1997-1998||Appointed by Voldemort, was also in charge of punishment.|
|Aurora Sinistra||Astronomy||A witch who teaches at the Astronomy Tower.|
|Professor Bartholomew||Potions hundreds of years ago.||Taught in the Potions Classroom, co-conspirator to Charms Professor Fortinbras in researching the fabled Cursed Vaults, intent on seeing the power within in the 'right hands'.|
|Bathsheda Babbling||Study of Ancient Runes||Teaches in Classroom 6A on sixth floor.|
|Bartemius Crouch Jr||Defence Against the Dark Arts, 1994-1995||Barty Crouch Jr posing as Alastor Moody by using Polyjuice Potion; aided in a plan to use Harry to revive Voldemort; given the Dementor's Kiss after capture.|
|Charity Burbage||Muggle Studies, 1993-1997||Took over Muggle Studies in 1993; killed by Voldemort at Malfoy Manor for expressing pro-Muggle views.|
|Cuthbert Binns||History of Magic||Ghost; fell asleep in front of the staffroom fire one day, died, then got up to teach, leaving his body behind.|
|Dolores Umbridge||Defence Against the Dark Arts, 1995-1996||High Inquisitor of Hogwarts, 1995-1996, Headmistress of Hogwarts, 1996; part of a scheme by Cornelius Fudge to exert greater control by the Ministry over Hogwarts.|
|Professor Fortinbras||Charms hundreds of years ago.||Taught in Classroom 2E, co-conspirator to former Potions Master Bartholomew in researching the fabled Cursed Vaults. Left behind a Folio of Fartinbras with her fears and suspicions about the vaults.|
|Filius Flitwick||Charms||Head of Ravenclaw; part-goblin.|
|Firenze||Divination, 1996-1998||Centaur, temporary replacement after sacking of Sybill Trelawney. Shared classes with Sybill Trelawney in 1996-1998|
|Galatea Merrythought||Defence Against the Dark Arts, 1895-1945||Was possibly going to be replaced by Tom Marvolo Riddle, but was turned down, due to Riddle being too young, and Dumbledore's suspicions.|
|Gilderoy Lockhart||Defence Against the Dark Arts, 1992-1993||A famous author that used Memory Charms to modify people's memories, taking credit for their work; lost his memory due to a backfired Memory Charm; now a permanent patient at St Mungo's.|
|Herbert Beery||Herbology||Directed Hogwarts' one and only Christmas play; left Hogwarts to teach at W.A.D.A. (Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts).|
|Horace Slughorn||Potions, c. 1931-1981 and 1996-Unknown||Head of Slytherin House, First term as head unknown and 1996-unknown. An old colleague of Albus Dumbledore; a "collector" of famous and talented students through his Slug Club.|
|Minerva McGonagall||Transfiguration, 1956-1998||Deputy Headmistress, Head of Gryffindor, Headmistress of Hogwarts, 1998-before 2017|
|Neville Longbottom||Herbology, Before 2017-Unknown||Previously an Auror; sometimes shows his Dumbledore's Army coin to his students.|
|Patricia Rakepick||Defence Against the Dark Arts, 1988-1989||World-famous Curse-Breaker, accepted the role after being summoned by Albus Dumbledore to help put an end by the threat posed by Cursed Vaults.|
|Pomona Sprout||Herbology, Unknown-Before 2017||Head of Hufflepuff.|
|Quirinus Quirrell||Muggle Studies until 1990; Defence Against the Dark Arts, 1991-1992||Subjugated by Lord Voldemort after meeting him in Albania during his one-year sabbatical in 1990; attempted to steal the Philosopher's Stone; died after Voldemort abandoned him. He was replaced by an un-named Professor.|
|Remus Lupin||Defence Against the Dark Arts, 1993-1994||A werewolf that worked for the Order of the Phoenix; husband of Nymphadora Tonks and father of Teddy Lupin; died in the Battle of Hogwarts.|
|Rolanda Hooch||Flying Instructor||Referee of Hogwarts Quidditch matches and Flying class teacher|
|Rubeus Hagrid||Care of Magical Creatures, 1993-Unknown||Keeper of Keys and Grounds; became Care of Magical Creatures teacher in 1993; left job in 1997 as he was on the run; possibly returned to job after Voldemort fell; half-human, half-giant.|
|Septima Vector||Arithmancy||A strict witch who teaches in Classroom 7A on the seventh floor.|
|Severus Snape||Potions, 1981-1996; Defence Against the Dark Arts, 1996-1997||Head of Slytherin, 1981-1996. Headmaster, 1997-1998. When Dolores Umbridge inspected his class in 1995, he told her that he had been teaching for fourteen years. Murdered by Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts.|
|Silvanus Kettleburn||Care of Magical Creatures, Unknown-1993||Lost limb(s) in classes, dealing with dangerous creatures, and retired in order to spend time with remaining limbs.|
|Sybill Trelawney||Divination, 1979- unknown||Conceived the prophecy of the Chosen One; predicts the death of a student at the beginning of every school year.|
|Male Muggle Studies teacher||Muggle Studies, 1990-1993||Replaced by Charity Burbage.|
|Vindictus Viridian||Unknown, possibly Potions in 1703||Author, Potioneer, and has his portrait hanging in Hogwarts Castle|
|Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank||Care of Magical Creatures||Substitute for Rubeus Hagrid while he was attempting to parley with the giants on Dumbledore's behalf.|
|Professor Swoopstikes||Potions||Former Potions Master, He reports that he was "something of an expert."|
|Rionach Steward||The younger daughter of Founders Isolt Sayre and James Steward. Teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts.||c. late 17th century to early 18th century|
|Eulalie Hicks||Professor of an unknown subject by 1927||By 1927 - unknown|
Extra-curriculum Hogwarts professors
|Professor||Subject||Other Roles and Notes|
|Advanced Arithmancy Studies professor||Advanced Arithmancy Studies||Teaches in a classroom in the Hogwarts Turris Magnus.|
|Art professor||Magical Art||Teaches in a classroom on the fifth floor.|
|Ghoul Studies professor||Ghoul Studies||Teaches in a classroom in the Hogwarts Turris Magnus.|
|Male Professor||Magical Music||Taught during the 1992–1993 school year in the Music Classroom.|
The title of Professor is also used by certain esteemed individuals within the wizarding community tasked with magical research and development. Among them are:
- Professor Bathilda Bagshot — the most celebrated magical historian of the 20th century; author of A History of Magic, Hogwarts: A History, The Decline of Pagan Magic, The Oracle of Palombo and Omens, Oracles & the Goat.
- Professor Mordicus Egg — expert on Muggle Studies, author of notable books on the subject, such as The Philosophy of the Mundane: Why the Muggles Prefer Not to Know and Cooking the Muggle Way
- Professor Regulus Moonshine — potioneer; developed a potion to suppress hags' normal appetite for human flesh and conducted the clinical trials, in which he lost several chunks of own body.
- Professor Phoebus Penrose — served as Head of a research committee at the Ministry of Magic.
- Professor Catullus Spangle — a great 18th century researcher of Charms; author of Charms of Defence and Deterrence, in which he set forth certain principles about the Patronus Charm that are, even today, widely accepted as true.
- Professor Emerett Picardy — researcher of the behaviour of werewolves; author of Lupine Lawlessness: Why Lycanthropes Don't Deserve to Live.
- Professor Saul Croaker — Unspeakable for the Department of Mysteries, carrying out confidential research; is known to study the essence of Time.
- Professor Helbert Spleen — Healer at St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries and advice columnist for the Daily Prophet.
- Professor Emeric Switch — specialist in Transfiguration; author of A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration.
- Professor Garius Tomkink — magical historian.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real) (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
Notes and references