What Are the Education Requirements to Be a History Professor?

Read about the degrees required to become a full- or part-time history professor at a 4-year college. Learn about the courses you will take and the outlook for this career. Schools offering Teaching - Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Do I Need to Study to Become a History Professor?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many 2-year schools require only a master's degree for full-time instruction. Some 4-year colleges require only a master's degree for part-time professorship. However, if your goal is to work in a college full-time, you likely need to earn a doctorate. Since teaching a subject in postsecondary schools requires you to have mastered your subject, you may wish to pursue a Ph.D. in History.

Education Requirements Master's degree or doctorate
Curriculum Study of nations, cultures and time periods
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree and language requirements
Career Outlook Moderate growth*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is the Curriculum?

Enrolled in a Ph.D. in History program, you can expect to study the pivotal eras of many locales, such as America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Along with the history of each country, you study cultures and folklore. Topics of study also include magic and religion, disease and medicine, women and learning, museum studies, American literature, ancient worlds, dissolution of ancient worlds, war, the Renaissance, the African Diaspora and Medieval Europe.

The bulk of your study is dedicated to your dissertations. Since this project showcases your skills and knowledge, colleges nurture and encourage this process-which may be completed several years past the completion of your studies. You complete an oral defense once your dissertation is finished.

What Are the Degree Requirements?

Most Ph.D. programs require incoming candidates to have at least a relevant bachelor's degree; some colleges require an original history essay as part of the application. Many programs have a language requirement. You are required to demonstrate reading skills and be able to translate passages from a book in your second language. Common languages that are required are Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French and German. This is essential for historians because sources come from all over the world, and a historian must be able to translate an original text.

What Is the Career Like?

As a professor, in addition to teaching students in the classroom you are expected to continue research outside of school. Many professors publish these findings in books and scholarly journals. You are also expected to keep up with publications and conferences in order to follow with developments in history.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, due to continued strong college enrollment and the need for higher education for skilled labor, college professors will be in demand over the next decade (www.bls.gov). It's believed that employment will increase by about 10% for history professors between 2014 and 2024. As of May 2015, history professors made an average salary of $76,670.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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