At a college or university, a psychology professor usually serves in three capacities. First and foremost, he or she will be in charge of teaching psychology courses at the undergraduate and, in many cases, graduate levels. Second, this type of professor is typically expected to conduct original research and publish papers on it in academic journals. Third, psychology professors may be asked to serve on committees and boards for the university or community.
Psychology professors, like most other professors in post-secondary education, work primarily in college and university settings. These institutions can range from two-year colleges to post-graduate universities. In general, the focus and specialization of these programs varies depending on the educational emphasis of the psychology department.
Large universities may provide a psychology professor with more opportunities for professional research. While most schools encourage tenured professors to conduct such research and publish academic papers, not all do. Some large universities consider themselves to be research-oriented. PhD programs in psychology are usually available at these institutions.
Most university psychology departments advise instructors to concentrate on being good teachers. Typically, a psychology professor will give students lectures on psychological theories and practices. Lessons are planned, exams and papers are graded, and students are counseled these teachers. They may be asked to teach courses ranging from undergraduate introductory psychology to graduate-level specialized psychology.
Typically, each psychology professor focuses on a specific area of psychological theory and practice. Professors frequently choose their specialization during their doctoral studies. Professors may specialize in psychological disorders, developmental psychology, or even psychology as it relates to neuroscience.
Psychology departments at many large universities place a greater emphasis on original research than on teaching. At one of these research-oriented universities, a psychology professor will most likely be expected to complete studies and publish his or her findings in academic journals. Typically, academic research entails gathering and analyzing large amounts of data. This information can come in a variety of formats, including medical or survey research.
Typically, a psychology professor will write a paper based on the results of his or her research. In order to gain prestige, professors frequently try to get their papers published in well-known and well-respected journals. Academic prestige is frequently emphasized at research-oriented universities. If a professor fails to meet the department’s research expectations, tenure may be revoked these institutions.
Smaller schools may require more teaching time and are less likely to conduct extensive scholarly research. A college like this may be less likely to offer tenure to a psychology professor. Most of the teaching positions at these schools are filled part-time, adjunct, or assistant professors.