How Old do You Have to be to be a Professor? (Answered 2024)

Ever wondered about becoming a professor after seeing them in a college or university? Well, being one of them is a dream of many. Most of us are confused that to become a professor, one must be in the 40s or 50s to become a professor, which is wrong.

Earlier I also believe that. But after my cousin became a professor in his 30s, it puzzled me. I did some research and cleared all my doubts. I am sure you are still confused about how old do you have to be to be a professor. Thus, here is a guide that will help you clear all your doubts and also help you in knowing how to become a professor.

How Old do You Have to be to be a Professor?

How old do you have to be to be a professor?

The professor’s age will vary with different factors like type of institution, area of living, etc. There are various levels of professorship like a lecturer, professor, associate professor, etc., which require different qualifications and thus have different ages. The minimum requirement to become a professor is to have at least a master’s degree. It means you can become a professor to complete a master’s degree.

Usually, you complete your master’s degree in your early 20s. After that, you must first try to gain some experience in the related field and participate in various research. Once done apply for the job role depending upon your qualifications. However, on the other hand, some higher educational institutions may need a professor who has done their PhD in the related field. In such a scenario you will have to give your 2-3 years more after completing the master’s degree. It means you will be 24-26 to become such a professor.

According to various studies, students start becoming a professors during their 30s. On the other hand, some people become full-time professors at 40. Therefore there is no specific age to become a professor. It all depends upon your efforts and how much time you give to become a professor.

What is the average age of a professor?

The average age of a professor used to be 40 years earlier. However, with time there has been a change in the average age of becoming a professor. According to the latest research, the average age of a professor is around 50-55 years. There can be several reasons why there is a shift in the average age of the professor. The most common are students getting out of school at later times. Many students are getting married at an early age and having babies.

How Old do You Have to be to be a Professor?

How to become a professor?

When a person is trying to know the age of a professor, he or she might want to know how to become one. Thus, here is a guide on how to become a professor-

1. Earn a Bachelor’s degree

The first thing, you need to become a professor is to earn your bachelor’s degree. You will need to get a three-year undergraduate degree in your related subject. It will help to act as a base for your higher education. However, even if you want another career field, you must get your bachelor’s degree.

2. Select your specialization

You will need to choose a particular branch of your chosen subject to get specialization in it. Suppose you have studied economics in your undergraduate degree, you can select microeconomics, macroeconomics, financial economics, etc. in your master’s degree. It is important to choose your branch as you will teach that particular subject to the students. 

3. Go to graduate school

When you choose the subject you want to specialize in, you will need to attend graduate school in that particular subject. It is the basic requirement to become a professor, and completing it is essential. You can also complete a major in education for the chosen subject.

How Old do You Have to be to be a Professor?

4. Try to assist a professor

After completing your master’s program try to assist your professor. You must take part in their research projects and work closely with them. In addition to that you will also need to assist the students if they are having any problem. It not only helps you to gain knowledge but also helps you to gain more experience.

5. Pursue PhD

The last thing you need to do is to get your doctoral degree. It is the highest degree and earns you the doctor’s title. When I was in my PhD, I took part in different research, had my own publications, and got experience.

6. Apply for the role

Once you get your doctoral degree you must apply to different institutions. Becoming a professor with a doctoral degree is easy as every institution wants to have a professor with high knowledge in their related field. 

How much time you will take to become a professor?

The time taken to become a professor depends upon whether you are applying after getting the master’s degree or getting your Ph.D. In addition to that, it also depends upon when you started studying your undergraduate school. Generally, it will take around 10-12 years depending upon how much time you are taking to complete your graduate school and your Ph.D. However, if you want to become a professor at the senior level, you will need to spend 3-4 more years gaining experience.


The professor’s age depends upon different factors like when they start getting their undergraduate degree, master’s degree, etc. It will also depend upon when they complete their PhD and start applying at the institution. The average age of a professor in the United States is around 50 years. However, many students become professors just after completing their master’s when they are around 22 or 23. Thus we can say that you can become a professor even at the age of 22 if you complete your education rightly.


Can a 25-year-old become a professor?

Undoubtedly, you can become a professor if you are a 25-year-old student. The basic requirement of becoming a professor is to get a master’s degree and when you get your master’s degree, you can start applying to the institutions. Even if you complete your master’s degree at 23 or 24, you can apply for the position by 25.

What is the youngest age to be a professor?

The youngest age to become a professor according to various studies is 22. However, there was a girl named Alia Sabur, who became a professor at 18. She also holds the Guinness World Record for being the youngest professor

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