How to become a Chemistry Professor
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How to become a Chemistry Professor



A step by step guide to becoming a chemistry professor

A step by step guide to becoming a chemistry professor



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  • You struck the balance perfectly. The presentation is thorough, organized, detailed and intelligent, but it is also friendly and approachable. It avoids jargon and elitism. I was especially impressed with the description of the job itself; it provided a thorough set of duties that included, in part, teaching, advising, holding office hours, reading others' work, writing grants, evaluating students, working on committees, and so on. I think you said writing and publishing research. The presentation was long enough already, but if it were expanded, viewers could benefit from a couple of examples of chemical research studies (in layman's terms, of course) or glimpses of research labs and office spaces. I do appreciate your decision to stick with one kind of visual aid, though. Excellent work. -DForeman
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  • I like the class stuff, thats pretty cool. -ari
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  • So you have decided to become a chemistry professor are you ready to embark on the long road to the other side of the desk?
  • Now that you are out of high school. You have your SAT/ACT scores your resume and you have applied for your scholarships. Now you need to choose a school. Say You applied at the U of I and of course you got in. After taking your entrance exams you need to register for your classes and figure out your tuition and expenses at Iowa it adds up to about $38,454 year or for you Iowa Natives its only $21,120 per year.
  • So here Is an example of what your classes may look like for the first two years. Don’t let these classes scare you but make sure that you take them seriously your actions freshman year can determine later admissions decisions.
  • Your Junior Year is your last year of really heavy course work but in your senior year it is replaced with something even more important, Undergraduate Research. This is your first taste of being a professor and doing things on your own.
  • Before you get in to Graduate school there are some important things you need to do. Graduate Record Examination or GRE is required. Also many of the same steps you followed for getting in to undergrad must be applied again here. One of the most important parts of choosing a graduate school is finding one with the right level of competition for the type of professor you want to be. For example if you just want to just be a teacher then you can just enroll at a smaller college and get a Masters. However if you want to be a researching professor then you need to find a competitive PhD Program.
  • A masters degree is not required to start a PhD program. You will work toward your PhD by doing research with a professor as a guide. Make sure you request a professor that is doing research in your focus. Your work will be all your own and you will try to develop a thesis and decide a research topic the first semester. After the approval of your professor you can begin research in your second semester. You will also be Teaching classes for undergraduates and Taking cumulative exams. After 4-5 years of hard work you will have to make an oral defense of your thesis and then you will publish your findings.
  • There are currently about 24,800 chemistry professors in the united state at both small and large schools. There are some fundamental differences between the two and it is important to think carefully about what you want to do as a professor. If you really like research than a Large school is for you.
  • The ultimate goal of a professor is to get tenure. Tenure means that you cannot be fired with out just cause and due process. There a few different rankings that you have to work though in order to become a full professor. Typically you will be hired as a lecturer or assistant under a term contract and at the end of the contract you will either be awarded tenure or fired. Don’t worry though If you work hard and try your best I’m sure you will get tenure.
  • Congratulations you are now a Tenured Professor at a Major university. There are many important responsibilities that come with the Job. It is important to be available to respond to your students needs and progress. The Majority of Professors develop regular office hours for these purpose usually 3-6hrs out side of class. You will also have a class load of 12-16hrs. As a Tenured Professor you will be doing much more research than the assistant professors so some of the class responsibility will be on them.
  • You will have to keep up to date on the latest breakthroughs in research techniques and software. You will also need to keep up to date on the research of colleagues around the world. In order to fund your research you will need to write grants asking for money. Also you will be required to serve on committees at your college and make evaluations of colleagues and students.
  • There are many rewards that come with being a chemistry professor, your job will be very stable and you will have very few overseers. Your hours will be very flexible during the year and you will have the summer months to research. You may also have the opportunity to work with other professors around the world. Being a chemistry professor allows to work with people just as passionate about chemistry as you are and there is nothing better than that.

How to become a Chemistry Professor How to become a Chemistry Professor Presentation Transcript

  • Chemistry Professor
    The Long Road to the Other Side of the Desk
    By Alexandra Tamerius
  • Fresh Out of High School?
    Choose A School
    Entrance Exams
    Tuition 38,454
  • What are My Classes?
    Freshman Year
    Principles of Chem. I 4hrs
    Rhetoric 4hrs
    Mathematics 22M 4hrs
    GE or Foreign Language 6hrs
    Principles of Chem. II 4hrs
    Rhetoric or Literature 4hrs
    Calc I 22M 4hrs
    GE or Foreign Language 3hrs
    Sophomore Year
    Organic for Majors I 3hrs
    Basic Measurements 3hrs
    Calc II 4hrs
    Physics I 4hrs
    GE or Foreign Language 3hrs
    Organic for Major II 3hrs
    Organic Lab for Majors 3hrs
    Inorganic Chemistry 2hrs
    Physics II 4hrs
    GE or Foreign Language 3hrs
  • More Classes?
    Junior Year
    Analytical Chem. I 3hrs
    Physical Chem. II 3hrs
    Inorganic Chem. Lab 3hrs
    Foreign Language 4hrs
    GE or electives 3hrs
    Analytical Chem. II 3hrs
    Physical Chem. II 3hrs
    Analytical Measurements 3hrs
    Foreign Language 4hrs
    GE or electives 3hrs
    Senior Year
    Physical Measurements 3hrs
    Advanced Inorganic Chem 3hrs
    Undergraduate Research 2hrs
    GE Electives Foreign Lang 6hrs
    Undergraduate Research 2hrs
    GE electives Foreign Lang 12hrs
  • What about Graduate School?
    Find a school
    previous experience
  • PhD Program?
    No Masters Degree Required
    Find a good Professor
    A research project that explores an original idea
  • How About a Job?
    Small Schools
    More classes
    Less Pay
    Less Research
    More intimate classes
    Fewer hours out of Class
    Large Schools
    Fewer Classes
    More Pay
    More Research
    Large Classes
    More Responsibilities
    More Time Grading
  • When Do I Become a Full Professor?
    lecturers 52,436
    instructors 45,977
    assistants 63,827
    associates 76,147
    tenured 108,749
  • I Have Tenure, What Now?
    Lesson Plan
    Presentation and Lectures
    Lab Design
    Devise and Grade assignments and Tests
    Oversee Grad Students
    Research projects
    Publish Findings
  • More Responsibilities?
    Latest developments in Field
    Latest Software
  • So What are the Rewards?
    Flexible hours
    Summer Months
    Few Overseers
    Job Stability
    Intellectually stimulating
  • Bibliography
    “Estimated Costs of Attendance 2011-12” University of Iowa. 2005. Web. 5/3/11
    “Graduate Fall and Spring Terms 2011-2012” MIT. Web. 5/4/11
    “Graduate Program” MIT Chemistry. Web. 5/4/11
    “Teachers-Postsecondary” Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2009-2010. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dec 17, 2009. Web. 5/2/11.
    “Typical Schedule of Courses for the Chemistry Major” Department of Chemistry. University of Iowa. 2003. Web. 5/3/11.
    Comics. PhDcomics. Web. 5/12/11.