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Q: Can I teach at the college level with an MD but no PhD? ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Can I teach at the college level with an MD but no PhD?
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: tomdornottomd-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 08 Oct 2006 13:01 PDT
Expires: 07 Nov 2006 12:01 PST
Question ID: 771782
Can I teach at the college level with an MD?  I have a BS in biology
and an MD.  I have completed a residency in internal medicine and have
practiced medicine in a clinical setting for several years.  

I have realized that I no longer wish to practice medicine.  I would like to
teach undergraduate level biology, preferably at a small liberal arts
college, although I would consider other settings, including community
colleges.  I have no experience teaching.  

I am currently in a Masters program (interdisciplinary, biology,
psychology, anthropology) and had intended to continue onto a PhD, but
I have already had so much schooling that I am beginning to wonder if
there is a more efficient way to reach my goal.

My question is this -- can I teach at the undergraduate level with an
MD?  Is there a precedent for this?  Or do I need to have a PhD in biology?  
Or is there some sort of post-doctoral fellowship that would provide
me with teaching experience?

Thank you for your help!  I look forward to your answer!
Subject: Re: Can I teach at the college level with an MD but no PhD?
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 09 Oct 2006 00:17 PDT
Hello Tomdornottomd,

   Some academic institutions hire people with master?s degrees and
not a Ph.D, and some ask for a Ph.D. or equivalent. Certainly an M.D.
would qualify as an equivalent for some positions. If you are not
looking to be on the tenure track, or willing to be an adjunct or an
instructor in a community college, you will have more opportunities.

   As you will see by the requirements I have posted further down in
my answer, every institution has its own list of what it is seeking in
a candidate. Some colleges, such as Duke University offer a teaching
biology program, which would surely improve your chances of getting
hired. Most postings do ask for a Ph.D., some ask for a Ph.D., or
equivalent, and some simply request your C.V. I would certainly send
your C.V. in to any position that interests you, and see what happens.
I know from my daughter, who is a Ph.D. professor, that some colleges
who don?t see adequate candidates will accept commensurate

 It certainly appears that a teaching program similar to the Duke
program would be beneficial, and most programs run one year or less.

    ?The Certificate in Teaching College Biology aims to enhance the
professional development of graduate students by preparing them to
teach biological sciences in academic venues that range from community
colleges to Research I universities. In this program, graduate
students work with faculty from nearby partner institutions (e.g.,
Durham Technical Community College, Elon University, and Meredith
College) and from Duke to develop as teachers and to gain awareness
about the roles of faculty. These experiences help to prepare graduate
students for the academic job market.

Program participants take courses on pedagogy, are mentored by faculty
at partner institutions, gain practical teaching experience, and
receive formal evaluation of their teaching. These requirements are
designed to be flexible enough to be pursued alongside full-time
disciplinary studies yet ensure that participants are rigorously
trained in biological pedagogy.?

University of Missouri 
?1) Required Teacher Certification Courses at the Graduate Level (17 hours) 
Tch Ed 5311, Foundations in Education (4) 
Ed Psy 6109, Learning and Development in Educational Environments (4) 
Tch Ed 5310, Instructional Design (3) 
Tch Ed 5313, Introduction to Learners with Disabilities and Inclusive
Education (3)
Tch Ed 4391, Teaching Reading in Secondary School Content Areas* 
Required Teacher Certification Courses at the Undergraduate Level (19-21 hours) 
These courses are not applicable to the Master's degree. 
Sec Ed 4xxxx, Curriculum and Methods of Teaching -----(3) 
Sec Ed 4989, Secondary Education Professional Internship (3) 
Sec Ed 4990, Secondary School Student Teaching (12) 
Sec Ed 4xxxx, Student Teaching Seminar (1-3)

Ferris State University
   ?The biology education degree program leads to a Bachelor of
Science degree through the School of Education, College of Education &
Human Services. Graduates of the biology education degree program must
complete all of Ferris State's general education, biology, and
education requirements. Professional education requirements include a
semester of directed student biology teaching. Consult the biology
education degree program description for all graduation requirements.?

University of Arizona

    ?Goode, 47, is one of a growing number of people who have traded
in their private sector careers for the classroom. These career
changers have taken teaching jobs, enrolled in training courses
provided by the school system and eventually received a state teaching
certificate within three years - all without taking extra classes at a
It's a process known as alternative certification.
The state cleared the way for such programs in 1998, allowing people
without education degrees to teach. All Florida school districts are
now required to operate programs.
Some educators question whether such programs place unskilled teachers
in the classroom, but many districts say it has helped them fill
vacancies caused by a flood of teachers leaving the profession after
only a few years.?


?	?Opportunities for postsecondary teaching jobs are expected to be
good, but many new openings will be for part-time or non-tenure-track
?	Prospects for teaching jobs will be better and earnings higher in
academic fields in which many qualified teachers opt for nonacademic
careers, such as health specialties, business, and computer science,
for example.
?	Educational qualifications for postsecondary teacher jobs range from
expertise in a particular field to a Ph.D, depending on the subject
being taught and the type of educational institution.

?Four-year colleges and universities usually consider doctoral degree
holders for full-time, tenure-track positions, but may hire master?s
degree holders or doctoral candidates for certain disciplines, such as
the arts, or for part-time and temporary jobs. Most college and
university faculty are in four academic ranks?professor, associate
professor, assistant professor, and instructor. These positions
usually are considered to be tenure-track positions. Most faculty
members are hired as instructors or assistant professors. A smaller
number of additional faculty members, called lecturers, are usually
employed on contracts for a single academic term and are not on the
tenure track.

In 2-year colleges, master?s degree holders fill most full-time
positions. However, in certain fields where there may be more
applicants than available jobs, institutions can be more selective in
their hiring practices. In these fields, Master?s degree holders may
be passed over in favor of candidates holding Ph.Ds. Many 2-year
institutions increasingly prefer job applicants to have some teaching
experience or experience with distance learning. Preference also may
be given to those holding dual master?s degrees, especially at smaller
institutions, because they can teach more subjects.

Schools and programs that provide education and training for working
adults generally hire people who are experienced in the field to teach
part time. A master?s degree is also usually required.?

For Iowa Community Colleges
Initial requirements:

1.Have a master's degree in a field of instruction from a regionally
accredited graduate school.

***** Note this ----  >>>  (In special fields or areas which require
education and licensure beyond the bachelors degree, including
accounting, engineering, law, law enforcement, and medicine; the
applicant may be certified on the basis of two or more years of
successful experience in the fields or areas they will instruct and
the possession of the academic preparation ordinarily required for
such special fields or areas.)


2.A new teacher's workshop of approximately thirty clock hours in
specified competencies, and
3.Competency attainment in the four basic study areas of: methods and
techniques of teaching, course and curriculum development, measurement
and evaluation of programs and students, and history and philosophy of
the development of the community college, and
4.Completion of an approved human relations component.

Some school's requirements

Henderson State University
?Assistant Professor of Biology, available August 2007; tenure-track,
nine-month appointment with additional stipend for summer teaching

Ph.D. preferred, ABD considered?

Community College of Philadelphia
?Biology: Two tenure track positions (rank of Instructor or Assistant
Professor) beginning September 2007. Successful candidate will have a
demonstrated record of innovative teaching techniques in biological
sciences plus a strong background in Anatomy/Physiology or
Microbiology/Cell Culturing techniques. Teaching experience at the
community college level and expertise in biology curriculum
development an advantage. Earned doctorate preferred; Master's in
Biological Sciences or a related field with twenty graduate credits in
biological sciences required.?

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
   ?The Department of Biology invites applications for a full-time
temporary faculty position to teach introductory biology for
non-majors for the Spring 2007 semester. Required: A Master's degree
in Biology or related field; Ph.D. preferred. One year of
college-level teaching experience involving non-science majors, or
equivalent, required; additional teaching experience is desirable.
Full-time temporary faculty are also expected to meet some service
obligations to the department, which could include participation in
the revisions of the non-majors biology courses, and other
departmental duties.?

Glendale Community College, CA
    ?Minimum Qualifications: Master's in any biological science OR
Bachelor's in any biological science AND Master's in biochemistry,
biophysics or marine sciences from an accredited institution OR the

St. Mary?s University, TX
   ?A Ph.D. in Biology or a related discipline is required and
postdoctoral experience is preferred.?

Carelton College 
?Candidates must have a Ph.D. in biology or a related field, and
post-doctoral experience is preferred.?

University of Kansas Medical Center
?A Ph.D. (or equivalent) and 2-3 years of postdoctoral training are
required. Salary will be commensurate with experience.?
OUCOM Biomedical Sciences

?Minimum requirements include a Ph.D. degree in the biological
sciences and/or a M.D. degree, and relevant postdoctoral research

Morningside College, Sioux City, IA
    Screening for the positions will begin immediately and will
continue until the positions are filled. Send letter of application,
e-mail address, curriculum vita, transcripts, and three letters of
recommendation addressed to the specific search, c/o Dr. William
Deeds, VPAA, Morningside College, 1501 Morningside Avenue, Sioux City,
IA 51106. Morningside College is an EEO employer.

Blue Mountain Community College
Minimum Qualifications ? Bachelor?s degree in field and /or
certification by recognized national certifying organization and
appropriate experience.

College Prep (pre-College) reading, writing, math 
Computer Aided Drafting
GED/ESL (correctional institutions assignment)

Lower Division Collegiate:
Minimum qualifications:  Master?s degree in field or bachelor?s degree
+ 20 graduate hours in subject area.

   One of the better places to seek an academic teaching job is the
Chronicle of Higher Education Chronicle Careers site. (I know, I
monitored this site for months for my daughter!) You may sign up to be
notified of jobs in biology and receive a emails quite often of new

Another site for biology jobs is

Here is one example:
BS or BA in Biology or related field.
Job Description:
The Marine Science Consortium in Wallops Island, VA, is searching for
biology enthusiasts to teach our precollege Coastal Ecology program.
Join our hands-on, feet-wet approach to education. Room and board for
instructors is provided on station, in addition to a biweekly stipend.
A two week training period begins on September 4th.

Would the Peace Corp or Doctors Without Borders interest you?
Peace Corps

Doctors Without Borders

These articles may interest you:

Former doctors find new careers


   I hope this has answered your questions. You can see that
requirements vary widely, school to school, state to state.
If anything is unclear. Please request an Answer Clarification, and
allow me to respond, before rating this answer.

Sincerely, Crabcakes

Search Terms
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