Do you need several PhD’s to lecture in different fields (cognitive neuroscience and psychology)? Usually?

1 Answer 1



Note also that "neuroscience" is a very new term, dating to first use in the 1960s and common use only by the 1970s, which is also when the first departments with "neuroscience" in the name were created. I'm not sure when "cognitive neuroscience" was first used, but I am quite confident that the number of people with a "PhD degree in cognitive neuroscience" is very, very small. The number of people with a PhD degree called "neuroscience" before the 1990s is very small, much smaller than the number of people qualified to lecture in a neuroscience course who earned their PhD before then.

Typically the requirement to lecture in a course is that the university department that has some level of ownership/responsibility for that course assigns that course to be taught by that person. Hopefully they make this choice by choosing someone they feel is qualified.

There may sometimes be obstacles to certain people teaching certain courses according to the department they are part of. For example, if a cognitive neuroscience course is situated in a psychology department, then it is possible that only people with appointments in the psychology department will be chosen to teach it. However, the psychology department can hire whoever they want and their degree can be in any field; these are administrative obstacles.

  • I'd guess that some medical fields might require special credentials for lecturing above a certain level. These, I don't know about.
    – Buffy
    Dec 22, 2021 at 21:03
  • @Bryan Krause, that surely that depends on you experience in the area,right? If you just have an interest that could not cut it right? You at least need some research in the area or knowledge of research methods? Dec 23, 2021 at 13:34
  • @CatarinaGaglianone Not research, no. Enough understanding of the course material would certainly be preferred.
    – Bryan Krause
    Dec 23, 2021 at 13:49
  • @BryanKrause, so you could technically lecture if you know the topic; but not conduct research, correct? If you want to conduct research in two different ( overlapping fields)- 2 phds or specified degrees would be best? Dec 23, 2021 at 14:20
  • @CatarinaGaglianone Cases where it would make sense to have more than one PhD are so rare I think it's not realistically worth considering. There is no rule about what you can and can't research. For many academics, their research area grows as they progress as depicted in phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=2031 My boss studied neurophysiology in the auditory brainstorm of rodents as a grad student. Now our lab studies psychedelics, anesthesia, sleep, consciousness, the auditory system, delirium, using EEG ECoG and fMRI in rodents and people. His PhD hasn't changed.
    – Bryan Krause
    Dec 23, 2021 at 14:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .