The site hosts a large and active message board community. The site allows students to include information for other students in sections labeled “strengths” and “drawbacks.” Every course listed on the site has a "review" section or board for discussion where students share their experience of a particular course and its' professor. "Reviews" on this site usually focus on teaching style of professors, homework load, type and number of exams, and overall "evaluation" from a students perspective of the class and professor. The reviews are submitted by volunteer students and contributions are read and posted by Pick-A-Prof
This site also features, professors’ grading patterns, university course schedules, schedule planner, degree planners, and book exchange programs.
This feature displays the semester(s) a professor teaches a particular course and the average GPA each professor gives in that course. While searching for a course, the site shows the professors teaching the course, a 5-star rating system (an overall average of student ratings for a professor), the number of student reviews submitted for each professor and the percentage of students who dropped the class.
The New York Times reports that students using the website “are enthusiastic, saying it is almost like having Consumer Reports ratings on professors.”
Many professors say the website portrays their courses unfairly and students will hesitate to take their classes if the grade distribution reported on Pick-A-Prof does not match their definition of earning an “easy A.” Edward Nuhfer says that both Pickaprof.com and RateMyProfessors.com "are transparently obvious in their advocacy that describes a 'good teacher' as an easy grader. The former site proudly displays the quote: '...the most vital academic tool[s] to students seeking good grades.' Karen Bragg, Director of University Relations at Pick-A-Prof, believes that there will always be students seeking an “easy A."
There are also criticisms of the website reviews written by students being offensive to professors. Pick-A-Prof, although controversial, claims that its website and policies follow the law. It has even won a court case against University of California, Davis to release professors’ grades.
5 New York Times article Lewin, Tamar, New York Times, 3/24/03