He is currently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at Queens College in New York. He did his undergraduate work at Amherst College. This was followed by graduate work at Oxford University, University of Michigan, and Princeton University where he received his PhD degree. Hacker taught at Cornell before taking his current position at Queens.
His most recent book, Higher Education? was written in collaboration with Claudia Dreifus, his wife, a New York Times science writer and Columbia University professor. Professor Hacker is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books. In his articles he has questioned whether mathematics is necessary, claiming “Making mathematics mandatory prevents us from discovering and developing young talent.”