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Want to be a Professor

  1. Mar 14, 2015 #1
    I'm currently a first-year student at OSU, and I'm a physics major. My first semester I got 2 C's and an A(college was harder than I expected and I didn't study a lot). This semester I am doing much better in my classes, getting close to straight A's but I was talking to someone and they said because I screwed up my first semester I should change my major because I won't be able to be a physics professor anymore.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2015 #2


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    Complete nonsense. Continue to study harder NOW and for the rest of you path to a Physics degree. Review what you were supposed to learn at which you earned the C's.
  4. Mar 15, 2015 #3


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    The road to becoming a "professor" is long, and is seldom defined by what you are doing in one or two semesters:


    However, at the same time, if you stick with physics, you should also consider the possibility that you will not get a faculty position. Consequently, you need to make sure you have a well-rounded education so that you will be able to be employed in another area. Life throws at us many wrenches along the way, and while these can't be predicted, you can make yourself as prepared as possible to be able to adapt.

  5. Mar 15, 2015 #4


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    Was the someone a peer. If so, I would imagine that person lacks substantial experience to provide an informed opinion on the matter. If one demonstrates improvement in subsequent terms, then that should not be an impediment to becoming a professor.

    On the other hand, consider ZapperZ's advice and guidance.
  6. Mar 17, 2015 #5
    There are definitely professors who performed far worse than that. Serendipity is what decides who becomes a professor.
  7. Mar 17, 2015 #6
    Your'e way far away from having any idea of whether or not it is a possibility. A successful academic career is essential. A successful research history is essential in a university. Even in college successful research history and ability to obtain grants is important in many cases. There is a great deal of competition. Your teaching merits only accrue when you get your first asst prof. position. But teaching isn't enough, I know of a great teacher and recognized by the university as such that never became a full professor because he did no research. Assist prof position may last years if you can hang on long enough a senior faculty may retire and open a position but the administration may decide on an outsider because of change research emphasis. You what to become a tenured Professor. You just jump into the stream and see where it takes you. But have a plan B.
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