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How does it feel like to be a physics professor?

  1. Aug 14, 2009 #1
    Hello, I haven't posted in some time but I've got a question.

    How does it feel like to be a physics professor?
    What do you do throughout the day?
    How much flexibility do you have as one?
    How much do you have to teach and how much can you research?
    Also, can you chose what you want to research on?
    And finally, how do you become one?

    Thanks for your time!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2009 #2


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    Gold Member

    If I'm not mistaken, I believe the last one involves finding a university that is hiring and then sending off your resume and CV... insert magic... and boom, you still didn't get hired because all the departments are broke.

    At least around here :rofl:
  4. Aug 15, 2009 #3
    Well, I meant what path does one need to take? Like education, experience...
  5. Aug 15, 2009 #4


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    You'll need a masters degree to teach at the 2-year college (community, technical) level and a PhD to teach at a 4-year college or university. Most colleges will also expect you to have completed at least one postdoc (~2-3 year research job after your PhD) before applying for a faculty job, but not all schools will require this.

    I'm in (hopefully) the last year of my PhD and starting to look for a job. My professors spend their time teaching classes, advising grad students (and sometimes undergrad), doing research, writing papers and grant applications, and serving on committees for the department and college. At a large research university, you may only be expected to teach 1 class a semester. At a liberal arts college, you might teach 2-3 classes a semester and won't be expected to do as much research. A community college might have you teaching 5 classes a semester and they don't care if you do research at all.
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