How to Teach at the College Level Without a PhD


Teaching at a university without a Ph.D. can be challenging. To meet national accreditation, universities maintain a ratio of professors with doctorate degrees to the number of students. A college with a competitive reputation is likely to hire professors who hold doctorate degrees. However, with impressive work experience or special skills, you can get temporary or part-time jobs at universities. You can also get hired at community colleges if you hold a master's degree.

  • Earn a master's degree. Some master's programs, such as architecture, social work, engineering and some business programs, are terminal, meaning earning this degree will allow you to do almost anything in the field. Others such as liberal arts, math and sciences require a Ph.D. in order to teach at the university level.

  • Work as a teacher's assistant. While earning your master's degree, inquire with your school about assistant positions. Some are paid and some are not, but accept what you can get. The more experience you have in a classroom, the more prepared you will be to teach and the more likely a university will hire you.

  • Work in the field. Universities will sometimes hire professionals with real word experience to teach courses. For example, working at a magazine or newspaper could qualify you to teach a journalism class.

  • Publish your work. This will show your mastery of a skill and provide a basis for a school's interest in you.

  • Create a resume. Include all of your education, studies and other work related to your field.

  • Apply to multiple universities and don't overlook community colleges. These schools account for 44 percent of undergraduate students in the Unites States, according to the American Association of Community Colleges, and are more likely to hire someone with only a master's degree.

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