How to become an english literature professor

As an English professor, your main job duties are teaching English literature and writing skills to students. Positions are available at colleges and universities. This includes most community and technical colleges. The job requires at least a master’s degree, and in many cases a doctoral degree, usually in English literature or creative writing. Additional qualifications are graduate teaching experience and work experience as an assistant professor. The career requires strong communication, critical thinking, and research skills. Many English professors are also required to publish original research in the field.

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How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More

How to become an english literature professor

teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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What degree do you need

One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become English Literature Professors or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked English Literature Professors what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

English or Language Arts Teacher Education
Comparative Literature
English Language and Literature
Creative Writing

English Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary who work for 4-year colleges and universities are most often required to have a doctoral degree in their field. However, a master’s degree may be enough for some postsecondary teachers at community colleges.

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How hard is it

You will need an extensive amount of skill, knowledge and experience to be a Postsecondary English Language and Literature Teacher . Many require more than five years of experience. For example, a surgeon must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

Careers in this difficulty category may need some on-the-job-training, but most of these careers assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, and work-related experience and training. These careers usually involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Similar careers include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, neurologists, and veterinarians.

Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

How to become an english literature professor

teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

How to become an english literature professor

Table of Contents

Job Description

English Literature Professors teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research. They also teach writing or communication classes.

Other tasks include:

  • Evaluate and grade students’ class work, assignments, and papers.
  • Prepare course materials, such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.
  • Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
  • Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
  • Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, course materials, and methods of instruction.
  • Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as poetry, novel structure, and translation and adaptation.

We asked English Literature Professors how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

83% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 83% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

People who are passionate about one area of study may be interested in pursuing a career as a college professor. Teaching at the college level requires a high level of skill and knowledge and can be an excellent career path for someone who enjoys both learning in a classroom environment and helping others. College professors have the opportunity to share their interests in the classroom and can make a direct impact on students.

In this article, we discuss the different parts of being a college professor as well as provide steps on how to earn a college professor position.

What do college professors do?

College professors design course curriculum and instruct students in their academic specialty at a higher education institution. They also regularly do research in their area of interest and publish articles and books to develop their academic reputation.

Many college professors teach part-time in addition to another career in their field, while others might focus exclusively on teaching and academic research. College professors also provide support and motivation for their students.

Requirements of a college professor

College professors are expected to be experts in their field of study and must prove that they are qualified to teach students earning their college degrees. They should be able to quickly find information for students and discuss the theory of their subject at an advanced level. Although different types of colleges and subjects have different requirements, some higher education and teaching experience is required for any professor position.


Most college professors are required to have a Ph.D. in their field. However, some colleges will accept a master’s degree combined with impressive work experience or publishing history. Many college professors earn multiple master’s degrees or Ph.D.s throughout their careers. While in school, aspiring professors should aim for a high GPA to earn admission to a good graduate program.


If you are interested in becoming a college professor, you should apply for teaching assistant positions to gain experience. Teaching assistantships also serve as a form of financial aid and can sometimes count as credits toward graduation. Also, you should focus on producing post-doctoral research and publishing as many works as possible in respected journals and books.

Steps to become a college professor

There are a wide variety of subjects that college professors can teach, but they generally follow a similar process when gaining their qualifications. Academic careers focus on building knowledge and establishing yourself as an expert on a subject. Use these steps as a guide when planning to achieve your goal of becoming a college professor:

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree.
  2. Earn a master’s degree or Ph.D.
  3. Focus on networking.
  4. Gain teaching experience.
  5. Get certified.
  6. Publish in your field.

1. Earn a bachelor’s degree

Before earning an advanced degree, apply to a college or university and earn a bachelor’s degree. During your undergraduate studies, you can decide on the subject you would like to pursue. Although you can specialize further when earning your postgraduate degree, you should select a major that is related to the subject you eventually want to teach. While earning your bachelor’s degree, focus on creating a strong application for graduate school by working closely with professors and completing research projects.

2. Earn a master’s degree or Ph.D.

Once you have decided on a more specific specialization, research graduate programs in that area. You should select a graduate school that has a good reputation, interesting classes and professors you would like to work with. During your postgraduate education, you will most likely complete one or more major thesis projects that prove your proficiency in a subject.

3. Focus on networking

Building connections with your professors and classmates is an important part of becoming a professor yourself. You should work to build a network of publishers, academics and industry experts. Collaborating with others can be an effective method of building your credibility and gaining career opportunities. Your ability to network will often determine your success in finding a job as a professor.

4. Gain teaching experience

During and after your college education, pursue opportunities to teach or tutor others. Working as a teaching assistant on the graduate level will give you the most hands-on experience in a classroom environment before becoming a professor. You can also work with high schoolers or your classmates to develop your teaching skills.

5. Get certified

Depending on your subject and the state you live in, you may need to get certified to teach college classes. Research the necessary teaching licenses or other certifications that are required in your specific field. Even when an employer does not ask for certifications, taking the time to get certified in your field demonstrates your commitment and knowledge.

6. Publish in your field

To become a college professor, you should publish multiple pieces of writing or research that directly relate to the subject you want to teach. The more peer-reviewed publications you have on your resume, the more impressive you will be to a university.

Many colleges expect professors to be well-known in their community and bring recognition to their programs. By publishing regularly, you can stay relevant in the academic job market.

Useful skills for college professors

In addition to knowledge in their subject area, college professors must have strong research and teaching skills. They also need to have a variety of soft skills to connect with students and collaborate with other teachers. Some of the most important skills for a college professor to have are:

  • Open-mindedness
  • Oral and written communication
  • Integrity
  • Patience
  • Enthusiasm
  • Analytical thinking
  • Curiosity

Sample college professor job description

Midwestern University is currently seeking an experienced English professor to join our School of Humanities. This is a tenure-track position that involves regularly teaching assigned intro and advanced courses.

How to become an english literature professor


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Spanish professors do much more than teach basic language skills. In a higher education setting, a Spanish professor fulfills the role of resident expert in the subject area, providing students with a broad base of knowledge necessary to engage the Spanish-speaking world. Spanish professors come from all backgrounds, their passion for Spanish language, literature and culture being the one thing they have in common.


Universities require faculty members to have completed a master’s degree, at minimum, to be eligible for employment. If you wish to teach Spanish at the community college level, you may be able to find a job if you have a master’s degree in Spanish or a master’s degree in another subject and some coursework in Spanish at the graduate level. If you plan to teach at a university, you must have completed a doctoral degree program in Spanish to secure an assistant professorship, although exceptions may be made for part-time Spanish language instructors based on an institution’s need.

Near-Native Fluency

Even if you learned enough Spanish to pass your undergraduate and graduate courses, Spanish professors must be able to speak the language with near-native or native fluency to be eligible for employment. If Spanish is not your first language, studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country could advance your fluency. If study abroad programs don’t appeal to you, seek employment in a Spanish-speaking country and spend six months to a year honing your speaking skills. Some prospective Spanish professors, for example, spend time in Spanish-speaking countries teaching English as a second language and develop near-native fluency by living among the people with whom they work.

Teaching Experience

Although Spanish language teaching experience is highly desirable, any university-level teaching experience helps you get your foot in the door if you speak Spanish and have the appropriate education credentials. If you are a former high school Spanish teacher, after you earn your master’s or doctoral degree, you can leverage your experience teaching young adults to gain employment as a Spanish professor. Experience as a corporate or federal government foreign language trainer also qualifies you to teach Spanish at the college level.

Research and Publications

Expert knowledge of past and present Spanish and Latin American literature, history and cultural trends could determine your job prospects and career path. If you plan to plant roots at a particular college or university and eventually gain tenure, your interest in research and writing must be apparent during the job interview. Above and beyond graduate program requirements such as your master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation, be prepared to show interview panels peer-reviewed articles you’ve written and discuss any research and manuscripts you have in the works to get a leg up over your competition.

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Maya Black has been covering business, food, travel, cultural topics and decorating since 1992. She has bachelor’s degree in art and a master’s degree in cultural studies from University of Texas, a culinary arts certificate and a real estate license. Her articles appear in magazines such as Virginia Living and Albemarle.

How to become an english literature professor

How can I become a Professor in Nigeria? This is the questions a very bright university student asked me a few days ago. I also believe that there are many persons out there who are willing to know the requirements to become a professor in Nigeria.

Based on the knowledge I have gathered so far, the following are requirements to become a professor in Nigeria…

  • PhD
  • Years of Lecturing
  • Publication of Articles
  • Assessment of Scholarship

The above are standard documents and requirements to become a professor in Nigeria. However, many of our professors today never meant up to these requirements yet they were given the title.

I will now explain the above requirements (PhD, years of lecturing, publication of articles and assessment of scholarships) one after the other.

1. PhD

The first step to becoming a prof in Nigeria is to have a PhD degree. And you obviously know the journey to getting a Doctorate Degree (PhD) in Nigeria. From Primary Six certificate to SSCE, then get a Bachelor’s degree, Masters Degree and finally PhD.

You need a doctorate degree in a relevant area of specialization, from an accredited University in any part of the world and approved course of study.

2. Years of Lecturing

To be a professor in Nigeria, you must have teaching experience beside having a PhD. Up to three years of teaching experience as Lecturer Grade 2, Lecturer Grade 1, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor will do.

3. Publication of Articles

You must have publications in high impact international journals. A minimum of 50 high-quality internationally-published works will qualify you as a candidate to receive a positive assessment.

4. Assessment of Scholarship

This stage is to access how scholarly you are and impart you have made in the Education Sector. Assessment is done by eminent professors who are in the field related to what you studied. How long and how good you have been teaching, the score you have made and the impact you have made in your community matters. Your score under this assesment counts.

Hope you found this article helpful? Feel free to share with your friends and don’t fail to let me know if you have any contribution to make.

Written in English, these novels are great reads and important works of art.

“We are all refugees from our childhoods. And so we turn, among other things, to stories. To write a story, to read a story, is to be a refugee from the state of refugees,” Mohsin Hamid writes in his novel How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. “Writers and readers seek a solution to the problem that time passes, that those who have gone are gone, and those who will go, which is to say every one of us, will go. For there was a moment when anything was possible. And there will be a moment when nothing is possible. But in between, we can create.”

Next week will mark my 29th year of teaching literature at UCONN in Storrs, CT. Over the nearly three decades in the classroom, teaching both undergraduates and graduate students, I’ve developed a long list of novels I consider essential. Friends, especially Facebook friends, often ask for suggestions about what to read next.

OK, you asked for it.

I decided to take a deep breath and put my reading lists together, limiting my choices by the following factors:

1. I admire this work so much that I’ve taught it in a course, have notes on it, and believe that it’s a terrific accomplishment as a work of literature.

2. These works have all (to my knowledge) been written in English and not translated from other languages (otherwise, Madame Bovary would be on there, as well as dozens of others).

3. These books are not in any particular order, except in my own spiderweb mind, so if you can see the patterns, I’d love to know what you think (can you find the Waldo of my imagination in the sets of five?). The patterns exist, but they are subtle and eccentric.

So here’s your reading list, folks. Let me know what books you love, and let me know, too, what you think I should have included.

How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe

Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter

The Life and Loves of a She-Devil by Fay Weldon

Underworld by Don De Lillo

The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen

The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

Frost in May by Antonia White

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

Pamela by Samuel Richardson

Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw

Dubliners by James Joyce

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

The Odd Women by George Gissing

The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield

The Collected Stories of Flannery O’Connor

The Collected Stories of Dorothy Parker

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos

Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

Three Men In a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Fanny Hill by John Cleland

BU-tterfield 8 by John O’Hara

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

The Country Girls Trilogy by Edna O’Brien

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1984 by George Orwell

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

The Shipping News by Annie Proulx

Asylum by Patrick McGrath

The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

The Female Quixote by Charlotte Lennox

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fanny Flagg

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

City Boy by Herman Wouk

Red Shift by Alan Garner

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh

The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki

Election by Tom Perrotta

The Three Sisters by May Sinclair

McTeague by Frank Norris

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious

Carrie by Stephen King

Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharpe

The Waterfall by Margaret Drabble

The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

The Godfather by Mario Puzo

The Odd Woman by Gail Godwin

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Final Payments by Mary Gordon

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

Property by Valerie Martin

Possession by A.S. Byatt

The Quiet American by Graham Greene

The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

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It is no secret that the United Kingdom is currently experiencing a teacher shortage nationally and those who have the courage and compassion to guide secondary-level students towards GCSE exams and beyond into their college years are certainly in high demand. Let’s have a look at what does it take to become an English teacher.


All candidates who wish to get into teaching will need to hold a Bachelor’s degree at minimum (2:2 level recommended) in the subject they wish to teach or something very closely related. Should candidates fall into the “closely related” realm; then they will usually be provided with a subject enhancement course in order to consolidate what they have academically missed and prepare them for their specific subject.

English teachers will need a degree in language or literature, but many humanities are currently accepted as close equivalents depending, on the teaching institution candidates wish to join.

GCSE or equivalent qualifications in English and Mathematics are also required for English teachers. When these are not present, candidates will be expected to take general literacy and numeracy tests to prove their competency and any enhancement modules should their scores fall below par.

entry routes.

The most common method of entry into English teaching is through a PGCE. These slightly competitive courses will take up to two years to complete and will provide candidates with the professional skills to handle a classroom and bring them up to speed with the current academic requirements for students.

The PGCE course is conducted under the School Direct Training Programme framework where candidates can be hired for on the job training. Candidates will normally serve as classroom assistants while they make professional observations, then jump into teaching practices in front of a classroom. Candidates can often expect to be hired for teaching roles immediately following the course, but there is no guarantee of this happening and candidates may have to begin a job search after reaching Qualified Teacher Status in the UK (QTS).

School Direct is not the only method of teacher training. There may also be School-based teacher training known as SCITT. Candidates will learn the necessities of teaching through a simulated environment. However, it is important for candidates to ensure this method provides them with PGCE credits: sometimes, they are not necessarily equivalent and may not award candidates with the certificate at the end of the course, but will give them QTS.

other routes of entry.

Doing a PGCE is not the only method of getting into teaching and is not necessarily required for those who have otherwise proven teaching experience or hold qualifications from outside the United Kingdom. There is an assessment only option, where teachers provide a live class in front of an assessor in order to determine their suitability for teaching based on their current standards. If they satisfy the assessor, then they will be awarded QTS without any further obligation. However, candidates who fail to impress will be required to go through a more traditional route in order to bring their qualifications and experience up to speed, with the needs of British schoolchildren.

teach first.

An emerging option for people looking to land a job as an English teacher is to apply under the Teach First route, which provides immediate professional placements within the most challenging schools in the United Kingdom. Candidates will need to have done particularly well during their undergraduate students (often passing with credit or higher) and demonstrate the professional qualities necessary to deal with some of the UK’s toughest schools. This route of entry will provide candidates with QTS in a relatively short period of time, but it will not be without exposure to some of most challenging of tasks for a teacher.

financial support.

This level of commitment at a later stage in a candidate’s academic life will obviously require some funding in order to keep candidates afloat during the up to two year process. Bursaries are available for up to ВЈ25,000 per year in order to help keep candidates well maintained during their teacher training. Candidates may also be eligible for salaried training positions that provide a minimal stipend in order to supplement these funds from public sources.