The similarity of process in psychotherapy and in the interpersonal dynamics of tertiary teaching is of interest in attempting to maximise student interest and success. This article reviews the similarities in predictors of positive outcome in both psychotherapy and tertiary education, and suggests that the two processes have a great deal in common. This suggestion is tested by comparing the personality variables (as measured by the Adjective Check List) which predict success in two dissimilar medical courses, Physical Chemistry and Counselling Skills. Results indicate that, in both courses, variables which predict success include aspects of personal adjustment and intellectual style which also would predict success in psychotherapy. It is concluded that the interaction of personal and interpersonal factors in success in tertiary courses may be based on similar processes as success in psychotherapy, and that these processes warrant further research.