If you want to get a job as a history professor, you do need to hold a doctoral degree in History. In addition, you should have experience teaching in a university and have published scholarly writings or results of original research that you conducted. There are several ways of getting this teaching experience. You can start off be being a teaching assistant to a professor while you are doing your graduate studies. Even with a Master’s degree in History, you can get hired to teach a course or two as an instructor at the university.
When you apply for a position as a history professor, you will likely start off as a non-tenure track lecturer and receive a contract for a specified term. During this time you can work on your research and your writings to meet the requirements for the position of assistant professor and eventually be hires as a tenure track professor. At the end of your probationary period, you will likely be recommended for tenure and a promotion to the rank of associate professor. Eventually you can become a full professor of history, which is a full time tenured position with no age restrictions on when you must retire from the job.
As a history professor, you will specialize in one area of history. For your fist degree, you will concentrate on taking history courses and maintain a high enough GPA to be accepted into an honors degree program. In your Master’s degree you will then start to specialize in one main area, such as early US history or History of the Southwest. The subject of your thesis paper will concentrate on this area, which you will further expand on in your studies for the doctoral degree.
In the position of history professor, your responsibility will be to teach courses in your area of expertise for both undergraduate and graduate students. If you have written major works in this area, these can become part of the course materials. You can determine what textbooks are needed to fulfill the requirements of the course, the types of assignments the students are expected to complete and the manner in which they will be assessed. Even though you teach courses, there is an expectation that you will continue to be involved in professional development activities, by attending those created by other faculty members and developing opportunities yourself.
Teaching and developing professional development and other courses make the main portion of your work as a history professor. During the course of your job, you will also be expected to serve on various committees within the history department and to make recommendations for improving the university facilities and access. Extension courses, continuing education, distance education and online courses will be part of your workload. Through your curriculum vitae, references and writings, you should demonstrate a strong commitment to teaching and learning and to helping the students in your classes achieve success. These are the qualities the selection committee will be looking for in your application and interview before making a recommendation that you be hired for the position.