The academic ranks and minimum requirements for each are as follows:
Professor: A doctoral degree or its equivalent with at least five years of successful teaching as an associate professor, and undoubted evidence of scholarly attainments and/or outstanding ability as a teacher.*
Associate Professor: A terminal degree in the faculty member’s field with at least five years of successful teaching as an assistant professor, and some evidence of scholarly attainment and/or superior ability as a teacher.*
Assistant Professor: A terminal or advanced degree in the faculty member’s field with at least five years of college-level teaching or equivalent professional experience.*
Instructor: At least a master’s degree or its equivalent with teaching experience preferred but not required.
Librarian: At least a master's degree in library science with primary duties that do not include teaching.
Adjunct Faculty: Temporary, part-time teaching faculty.
See also faculty policy “Conferring Titles of Emeritus.”
*Note: Professors whose major function is research rather than teaching may have “research” preceding their academic title (i.e., research professor). Professors conferred with endowed chairs may have the endowment name preceding their academic title (i.e., Henry Professor). University Professor is a faculty appointment made by the president and chief operating officer.
To meet the requirements for appointment and promotion, faculty members should have earned degrees from institutions of recognized standing and should hold degrees appropriate for their subject field or work. The faculty member is responsible for furnishing transcripts certifying all degrees. The above rank-by-rank specifications are given only as a guiding policy and are not intended as justification for automatic promotion nor intended to prohibit appointment and/or promotion of rare individuals whose experience and accomplishments outweigh the lack of formal academic training.
The qualities to be recognized through appointments and promotions extend far beyond, and some cases may be independent of, the possession of advanced degrees and years of experience. These important though less tangible factors can be regularly evaluated, but can hardly be meaningfully enumerated on a rank-by-rank statement of policy. Nevertheless, it is not intended in any way to minimize their importance.