At Princeton, Gauss became a full professor two years after his arrival; he was chairman of the department of modern languages; and he served as dean. After retiring from Princeton, he was president of Phi Beta Kappa.
Though he was not a prolific author or a public figure, Gauss left a mark on literary scholarship: Princeton University's semiannual series of Christian Gauss Seminars in Criticism (founded in 1949 by R.P. Blackmur), and Phi Beta Kappa's annual Christian Gauss Award (est. 1950) for a book of literary criticism are named in his honor. Gauss influenced and corresponded frequently with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edmund Wilson.