The Hogwarts professors are some of the most interesting and loveable characters in all of the Wizarding World. In many ways, the success of the Harry Potter series depended on the professors.
The reason for this is that the professor-student relationship in the Wizarding World reminded viewers of their own relationships with their teachers, whether it be in high school or college. The Hogwarts professors are as varied as the students, with some being strict, others sinister, and a few jovial and approachable.
This list will rank the 10 best professors, not by their personalities, but based on their intelligence.
10 Dolores Umbridge
Dolores Umbridge is arguably the worst Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher in Hogwarts history. She is universally despised among fans and hated among students. Not only was she an awful person, but she was such a bad teacher that Harry Potter had to pick up the slack and teach her class to the other students.
Furthermore, Umbridge also implemented various decrees that increased the Ministry of Magic's influence over Hogwarts and Dumbledore. While she refused to actually demonstrate defensive magic in her classroom, it is clear that Umbridge was more than adept at using defensive spells and had a vast knowledge of magic.
It is for this reason that she takes 10th place on this list.
9 Septima Vector
While this character was barely in the movies or books, her position in Hogwarts identifies her as a very intelligent individual. Vector was the professor of Arithmancy at Hogwarts, a subject known for being incredibly difficult and challenging to study. Hermione Granger, however, excelled at the subject and was one of few students to actually take the course at NEWT level.
As a consequence of her subject, we can gather that Vector is one of the most intelligent professors at Hogwarts.
8 Remus Lupin
Lupin was the best Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher during Harry's time at the wizarding school. He was not only a very capable wizard who was very adept with defensive magic, but he was also a fantastic teacher in his own right. His ability to teach left a great impression on the students, in particular, Harry.
Not only was Lupin well versed in magic, but he was also emotionally intelligent. This characteristic made Lupin a fantastic teacher and led to him forming an important relationship with Harry.
7 Cuthbert Binns
While this character was not included in the movie, he deserves a spot on this list. Professor Binns was the History of Magic teacher at Hogwarts and, as you can tell from the image, a ghost. It is clear from the books that Binns' classes were incredibly dull and students often fell asleep during them. Nevertheless, Binns is clearly an intelligent character.
Binns' vast knowledge of magical history coupled with the great amount of experience he has built during his time on Earth, easily makes him worthy of a place on this list.
Movie watchers might be unaware that Firenze became a professor at Hogwarts and it was a real shame that the character didn't return in the movies after his appearance in The Sorcerer's Stone.
In the Order of the Phoenix, Firenze was drafted in as the Divination professor to replace Professor Trelawney, who had been removed from her position by Professor Umbridge. Several students, including Ron Weasley, believed that Firenze was a better teacher than Trelawney.
Firenze was a wise individual who had great knowledge of both magic and divination, so it was extra disappointing that his role was cut short in the movies.
5 Filius Flitwick
Professor Flitwick is the Charms Master at Hogwarts and a very powerful wizard. While his ability with charms is well known, Flitwick even invented some of his own spells, although his ability as a dueler is made less clear in the movies.
After graduating from Hogwarts, Flitwick became a dueling champion. Due to his abilities as a duelist, Flitwick was skilled enough to force Snape out of Hogwarts and even managed to defeat Dolohov, a Death Eater who killed Remus Lupin and defeated "Mad-Eye" Moody.
In addition to magical abilities, Flitwick was also an accomplished conductor and led the school orchestra during the Yule Ball in the Goblet of Fire. Flitwick is clearly a very accomplished and intelligent wizard.
4 Horace Slughorn
While Slughorn may have appeared to be slightly unhinged, he was actually a very wise and astute professor. Even Lucious Malfoy complemented Slughorn to Draco, suggesting that Slughorn was a very able and competent wizard. This observation was also echoed by Albus Dumbledore, who also claimed that Slughorn was a very powerful wizard. This could be seen by the fact that Slughorn was able to shield his own memories for Dumbledore, one of the most powerful wizards of all time.
In addition to serving as Potions Master, Slughorn was also highly skilled in charms and defensive magic, as well as dueling and transfiguration. Slughorn fought with the defenders of Hogwarts during the Second Wizarding War, defeating several Death Eaters in duels.
3 Severus Snape
Severus Snape was one of the most accomplished wizards of his generation. The Hogwarts Potions Master wasn't only skilled at his subject, but he also excelled at defensive magic and charms.
Furthermore, Snape also managed to successfully work as a double agent for the Order of the Phoenix and infiltrate the Death Eaters in order to relay information that was vital to fighting against Voldemort. This espionage clearly required a high level of intelligence to complete successfully.
It is clear that Snape was an incredibly gifted and intelligent wizard and he more than deserves a high rank on this list.
2 Minerva McGonagall
Professor McGonagall is an incredibly gifted witch. Not only did she become Head of Gryffindor House at Hogwarts, but she was also Transfiguration Master and, after the Second Wizarding War, McGonagall became the Headmistress of Hogwarts.
Not only was McGonagall gifted at transfiguration, but she was also incredibly skilled at defensive magic and was able to defeat several dark wizards during the Battle of Hogwarts.
1 Albus Dumbledore
Is there anyone else who could have topped this list?
Albus Dumbledore is one of the most talented, intelligent, and powerful wizards of all time. The former Hogwarts Headmaster served on the International Confederation of Wizards as the Supreme Mugwump, was Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and also discovered the 12 uses of Dragon's blood.
In addition to these achievements, Albus Dumbledore also defeated the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in a duel, becoming the master of the Elder Wand.
Dumbledore is one of the most accomplished and powerful wizards of all time. He mastered almost all branches of magic, taught himself Parseltongue, and became master of the Elder Wand. He is easily the most intelligent professor at Hogwarts.