Do you need a Ph.D. to be a Professor? Professor Qualification

According to different academic ranks in the colleges and universities, they assign faculty members. The rank given to the faculty is according to the level of education. Professorship makes a difference in the distinctions in academic life. If you are willing to become a professor, you may be told that you must do your Ph.D. However, you may always wonder “If you need a Ph.D. to be a Professor?”

Quick Takeaways

  • The main role of the professor is to teach students at colleges and universities.
  • It all depends upon the school or the college you want to teach as a professor. 
  • Though in most colleges you may need to have Ph.D. in colleges like community colleges, you may not need to have it. 

However, you must read till the end so that you get a better understanding of if you need a professional PhD degree to become a professor or not.

What does the professor mean?

Colleges and universities use academic rank according to the education done by the faculty. The professor is one the ranked among them. The main role of the professor is to teach students at colleges and universities. They are experts in the field in which they are teaching. They are the teachers of the highest rank. In the case of the United States, the professor is also referred to as the lower ranks such as assistant professor and associate professor. They mainly teach undergraduate, professional, or postgraduate courses in which they have expertise. You must also try to involve evidence-based techniques.

Do you need a Ph.D. to be a Professor?

Can a teacher become a professor without a Ph.D.? It varies from school to school. In a university college becoming a professor needs Ph.D. but in a lower educational university college like in a community college (the college in which there is an open enrollment of students), the requirement is dependent on the other qualification.

When a teacher earns a Ph.D. is the highest academic degree that can be awarded in the field. It gives the professor more knowledge about the subject or the field and expertise to teach at the post-secondary level. In some countries, one is allowed to become a professor without Ph.D. This is an expectation in some specific fields only. But having a professor with Ph.D. will be given higher priority than a professor without Ph.D. You may also get your own grade book accounts where you can get all the important things related to your course.

How to become a professor:

Becoming a problem for us is a long or monotonous process. the following are steps to becoming a professor.

  1. The student first needs to have a bachelor’s degree which is approximately 4 years.
  2. After a bachelor’s degree, the student needs to do a master’s degree which is 1.5 to 2 years.
  3. Ph.D. studying takes time and when a student has decided to have Ph.D. it’s a must to finish the process.
  4. Starting from bachelor’s to Ph.D. the student may take a maximum of 8 years.

How to become a professor without PhD?

For becoming a professor without having a PhD done, such benefit or advantage varies from school to school. Some of the schools may appoint the person to become a full professor simply by have dome a master’s degree in the field that is given. But finding a job without PhD is a bit harder than having a PhD. It depends on the university’s rules and the requirement needed.

Comparing the salary of a professor with a PhD and one without a PhD is a bit lower. for example, if a professor of creative writing need not needs to do a PhD there are lots of colleges or universities which they have a professor of creative writing having done a master’s in fine arts. You may also need your early professors as a professional references.

Professor’s academic ranks and their requirements:

Before knowing the requirements you must remember that as a professor it will be your duty to make sure that any of your students do not get wrong grades. However, further, we have discussed different ranks and requirements-

1. Assistant professor’s requirements:

An assistant professor in the lowest or junior faculty in an academic department. as it is a new doctoral graduate who is starting a career in higher education. As being the lowest faculty post in the academic department Ph.D. is required and some work experience is also needed from some universities. The assistant professor also needs to work on scholarships where they have to represent their research.

2. Associate professor’s requirements:

To earn the title of associate professor one needs to complete all the requirements of the assistant professor which also include a Ph.D. in the particular field. Associate professors should have teaching skills and also scholarly performance. in case of getting a promotion in this profession, the professor needs to publish his researched-based article, journal, or book.

3. Full professor’s requirements:

Full professor is the highest academic rank with a proven record of scholarly success. After accomplishing all the requirements of assistant and associate professor a person earns the title of full professor. Along with a Ph.D., the professor should hold 5 to 10 years of experience in a particular field of teaching at the post-secondary level. Full professors require the work to be published and should be engaged on campus with a leadership role. You will also need to have a professional email so that the students can contact you and take your appointment when they need help from you.

Salary of a Professor based on ranks:

The average salary of an assistant professor$81246 per year
The average salary of an associate professor $ 78k-110k per year
The average salary of a full professor $ 146,600 per year

Highest paying cities for a professor in the US:

New York, NY $88093
Boston, MA$ 86770
Los Angeles, LA$83383
Atlanta, GA$79508
Houston, TX$77688
phoenix, AZ$77505


As a student, the demand for the student of getting educated must come from a full professor with some work experience and having research with a published book, not a professor with no work experience and not being an expert in the particular field. So becoming a professor with a Ph.D. is the best option.

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