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Becoming a college professor requires advanced education. Most universities will only consider hiring applicants with a Ph.D. to teach their classes. Very few may hire an applicant with a master’s degree but these are typically limited to assistant and associate level professors.

Before considering a career as a college professor you must make sure that you are prepared to spend an extended time studying. After you’ve completed your bachelor’s degree program, you will need to complete at least another 6 years of full time study before you can start working as a college professor.

If you are not deterred by the additional study time, the next thing to think about is what undergrad major you need to take. There is no one single major to consider in order to become a college professor. Ideally, you should major in both education and the field in which you’d like to teach—though you could consider minoring as well. To be hired by any higher learning institution, you must be able to demonstrate academic excellent at every level of study in your chosen field. In addition, some colleges require applicants to have made notable contributions to their chosen field.

Two ways to contribute to your field and make a name for yourself are by publishing multiple papers during your master’s and doctoral studies and by looking for employment opportunities that allow you to get and build your teaching experience.

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