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Professor in two similiar areas

  1. Sep 12, 2011 #1
    Hey everyone. I see people give a lot of great advice in this forum, so I'd like to get everyone's input. I have a B.S. in Physics and I'm getting ready to start a graduate program in Meteorology to work on my Ph.d. I really would like to be a professor in the future. Now, I know that jobs in academia are very, very hard to land. I'm aware of this, but this is what I want to do above everything else, so I have to try. I may end up forecasting somewhere (if I can find that), but I want to at least attempt a career as a professor or I will never be happy.

    My question isn't about my chances to land a job, but about qualifications. Meteorology and Physics are very closely related as Meteorology can be considered a branch of Physics. However, Meteorology has branched out as it's own field as a lot of universities have Meteorology departments seperate from Physics. If I were to also gain a M.S. in Physics in the future along with my Ph.d in Meteorology, would I be qualified to be a professor of Physics for a Physics department as well as a Meteorology professor since the two fields are so closely related? I know of one department that a Meteorology professor who is tenured who teaches and conducts research for both the Meteorology department and the Engineering department. He told me he had a B.S and M.S. in Engineering and a Ph.d in Meteorology. Surely, since the two are so closely related, I wouldn't need a Ph.d in Physics and a Ph.d in Meteorology. I would never consider two Ph.ds anyway. Just curious about this. Anyone know how this would work?

    I would appreciate anyone's opinion on this. Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2011 #2
  4. Sep 15, 2011 #3
    Pretty unlikely for a research university. Having two post-docs and a Ph.D. in the field is close to an absolute requirement for a physics professorship. For a teaching university or community college, it's possible, maybe even encouraged.
  5. Sep 15, 2011 #4
    I've only known one dual department professor, and he has a Nobel prize in physics.
  6. Sep 16, 2011 #5
    If your interests are in meteorology, why does it matter if you have a professorship in physics if, as you say, meteorology is becoming its own separate department?

    And I've seen a lot of physical chemists do atmospheric research. Not sure what to make of it, but its something I wanted to point out.

    EDIT: something I want to point out. This is purely anecdotal evidence, but my school's physics department has 45 professors, 3 of whom have joint appointments. My school's chem department has about 50 professors, 10 of whom have joint appointments.
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