How to Become Professor in Nigeria

Filed in Career, Education by on May 26, 2020 0 Comments

This article will explicate how to become Professor in Nigeria. A professor has the highest academic rank in the Nigerian tertiary education system.

Attaining that rank is very important for lecturers who dream of occupying top management positions in the Nigerian university education system. Such positions include Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) and Vice-Chancellor (VC).

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How to Become Professor in Nigeria

How to Become Professor in Nigeria – Photo Source:

Many academics aspire to attain the rank but relatively few end up there. Since the title is meant for those who have demonstrated excellent academic achievements, becoming a professor requires a high level of dedication to your chosen field of education.

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Academic Qualifications for Professorship

Typically, qualifying for a career as a professor would require a doctoral degree in the desired subject area. This is besides the master’s degree and bachelor’s degree which are the foundation of a career in the education sector.

Obtaining a doctoral degree after master’s usually takes about three to five (5) years of study. In the course of obtaining the doctoral degree, the student is expected to conduct original research in his area of expertise.

Students aspiring to attain the rank of university professors must display academic excellence at all levels of studies, from secondary school, undergraduate school to graduate and doctoral school.

In Nigeria, it does not matter what school one attended or from what country someone acquired his degrees. However, the minimum first-degree type for a professor is second class upper division (2.1).

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Have Expertise in a Subject Area

A professor is expected to have a high degree of competence in his chosen subject area. The basis for this expertise is on original research or dissertation work.

After the dissertation, he is expected to conduct further researches in such areas of expertise and have them published in professional journals.

This would be necessary because some universities might require would-be professors to present a history of research. A professor can also garner expertise through industrial or field experience depending on his discipline.

Reasonable Teaching Experience

A university teacher must have years of teaching experience to qualify for a professorship. In Nigeria there is no specific number of years that could be required before the award of the title.

To gain enough teaching experience is advisable that an undergraduate who aspires to become a professor in Nigeria someday work as a graduate assistant while undertaking a doctoral course.

In Nigeria, a university lecturer is first made an Associate Professor. As an Associate professor, a university lecturer is expected to showcase professional integrity within and without the university.

While at this rank, he is expected to continue making valuable contributions to his discipline before ultimately moving to the rank of a full professor.

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Skills Needed to Become a University Professor in Nigeria

Certain skill sets are expected of a professor which will help him to effectively deliver his professorial career demands. Such skills are usually gained in the process of studying and researching in one’s chosen field of study.

The skills can also be acquired during one’s work experience as a lecturer assistant or associate professor. These skills include:

  1. A knack for research
  2. Excellent researching, analyzing, writing and publishing skills
  3. The ability to evaluate students’ performance
  4. High level of knowledge in the subject area
  5. Good verbal communication skills (for lecturing and other communication function)
  6. Good time management and organizational skills


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