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The world of academia—that is, scholars and students in a research and learning community associated with higher education typically are defined by a rather rigid set of ranks for professors and other instructors. Those listed below refer specifically to colleges and universities, although other institutions may follow a similar schema.


Argentina (National Universities)

Academic ranks

Academic ranks include professors and teaching auxiliaries (assistants). There are four kinds of ordinary professorships: Profesor Titular Plenario (the only tenured faculty position), Profesor Titular, Profesor Asociado and Profesor Adjunto. The university may also appoint prominent members of the academic and scientific community as Profesor Emérito (a retired faculty member who demonstrated excellency in both teaching and researching), Profesor Consulto (also a retired faculty member who provides assistance in specific knowledge areas) or Profesor Honorario (an honorary mostly ceremonial position). Temporary professorships include the ranks of Profesor Invitado (who doesn't receive compensation for the position) and Profesor Contratado (who does receive compensation). Teaching auxiliaries or assistants are divided into three categories: Jefe de Trabajos Prácticos, Ayudante de Primera or Ayudante Diplomado and Ayudante de Segunda or Ayudante Alumno (usually, if not almost always, this rank is reserved for undergraduate students).

Administrative Ranks and Social Hierarchy

The administration of the university is in the hands of a Rector and a Consejo Superior, both elected by the Asamblea Universitaria, composed of professors, graduates (includes alumni, teaching auxiliaries and all other academic or research staff who do not qualify to vote as professors or undergraduate students) and undergraduate students elected by direct secret and compulsory vote. The Consejo Superior designates several Secretarios to assist the Rector, and chooses one of its members to be the Vicerrector (the deputy to the Rector). Each faculty, school or college is headed by a Decano, designated by the Consejo Directivo or Consejo Académico, composed also by professors, graduates and undergraduate students. It also picks several Secretarios to assist the Dean on the daily business and the Vicedecano (deputy to the Dean). Departments are chaired by a Director, which is assisted by Secretarios and a Director Adjunto (deputy to the Director). They have a Junta Departamental, the collegiate body which governs the department. In some universities non-academic staff is allowed to have a representative on collegiate governing bodies. Also, some universities separate alumni and teaching auxiliaries, allowing them to elect separate representatives to the university government.

Australia and New Zealand

Academic ranks

  • Professor - Level E appointments, equivalent to Chair Professor in certain area in the North American universities.
  • Associate Professor and/or Reader - Level D appointments, equivalent to Professor in North American universities.
  • Senior Lecturer - Level C appointments, equivalent to Associate Professor in North American universities.
  • Lecturer - Level B appointments, equivalent to Assistant Professor in North American universities.
  • Associate or Assistant Lecturer, Senior Tutor, Tutor - Level A appointments.

Administrative ranks

  • Visitor (titular)
  • Chancellor (titular)
  • Deputy Chancellor / Pro-Chancellor (titular)
  • Vice-Chancellor
  • Provost
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor
  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor
  • Registrar
  • Dean
  • Head of School


The ranks may differ between the Flemish Community and the French Community, as education is a community matter in Belgium.

Academic ranks (Flemish Community)

  • Gewoon hoogleraar (Ordinary Professor)
  • Hoogleraar (Professor)
  • Hoofddocent (Senior Lecturer)
  • Docent (Lecturer)
  • Doctor-assistant (postdoc research assistant)
  • Assistent (research assistant)

Administrative ranks (Flemish Community)

  • Rector
  • Vice-Rector
  • Decaan (dean, i.e. head of a faculty)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Academic ranks

  • Asistent (grade VII/1 or VII/2, BSc/MSc)
  • Docent (grade VIII,PhD-Reader)
  • Vanredni profesor (Associate Professor)
  • Profesor (Full professor)

Administrative ranks

  • Rektor/Rector
  • Dekan fakulteta/Dean of the faculty
  • Sef katedre/Head of department

Academic Degrees

  • Bachelor's degree (VII/1 stepen stručne spreme-fakultet – osnovne studije-VSS (visoka stručna sprema))
  • Master's degree (VII/2 stepen stručne spreme-magistratura-MR (magistar))
  • Doctorate (VIII stepen stručne spreme-doktorat-DR (doktor nauka))


At the University of Sao Paulo the academic rank system is:

  • Professor Titular (MS-6): equivalent to a "full professor" in the US
  • Professor Associado (MS-5): must hold a Livre Docente title (equivalent to a German Habilitation)
  • Professor Doutor (MS-3): must hold a doctorate; equivalent to an "assistant professor" in the US
  • Professor Assistente (MS-2): must hold a master's or equivalent degree
  • Auxiliar de Ensino (MS-1): only a bachelor's degree is required

In the Federal Universities the academic ranks receive other names:(In portuguese)

  • Professor Titular
  • Professor Associado, levels A, B and C (or I, II, III)
  • Professor Adjunto, levels A, B, C and D (or I, II, III, IV)
  • Professor Assistente, levels A, B, C and D (or I, II, III, IV)
  • Professor Auxiliar, levels A, B, C and D (or I, II, III, IV)

More information: (In portuguese)


Academic ranks

Titles for regular faculty (and faculty with special or temporary appointments):

  • Distinguished Professor or University Professor (Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University Professor Emeritus)
  • Professor or Full Professor (Research Professor, Visiting Professor, Adjunct Professor, Professor Emeritus)
  • Associate Professor (Research Associate Professor, Visiting Associate Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor)
  • Assistant Professor (Research Assistant Professor, Adjunct Assistant Professor)
  • Lecturer or Instructor (Sessional Lecturer or Sessional Instructor)

Traditionally, Assistant Professor is the entry-level rank for tenured members of faculty.

Titles for non-faculty teaching and research personnel:

  • Senior Fellow, Senior Research Fellow or Senior Scientist
  • Fellow, Research Fellow or Scientist
  • Research supervisor or Principal Investigator
  • Research Associate or Postdoctoral Associate
  • Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant

Administrative ranks

Institutional administrative officers:

  • Chancellor (ceremonial)
  • President or Principal (usually holds dual title as Vice-Chancellor)
  • Provost (usually holds dual title as Vice-President Academic)
  • Vice-President (Vice-President Research, Vice-President Finance, etc.)
  • Associate Vice-Presidents (Associate Vice-President Research, Associate Vice-President Finance, etc.)

Academic administrators:

  • Dean (often also Full Professors)
  • Associate Dean (often also Full Professors)
  • Directors of Administrative Departments
  • Associate/Assistant Directors of Administrative Departments
  • Chairs of Academic Departments (usually Full Professors)
  • Graduate Coordinators
  • Undergraduate Coordinators

China, People's Republic of

Most universities in the People's Republic of China adopt a four-level academic rank system, i.e. professor, associate professor, lecturer, and teaching assistant. The American title of assistant professor does not exist. Most PhD graduates will be appointed at the lecturer level initially and be promoted to associate professorship after two years of teaching. However, people holding a doctorate from Western universities and with some working experience overseas will normally be appointed at a higher level, sometimes at the full professor level directly.

Academic ranks

  • Principal Professor (in Chinese: 首席教授, on exists in some Chinese universities)
  • Emeritus Professor (in Chinese: 退休教授)

Principal faculty ranks in the mainland of PR China are:

  • Professor (in Chinese: 教授)
  • Associate Professor (in Chinese: 副教授)
  • Lecturer (in Chinese: 讲师)
  • Teaching Assistant (in Chinese:助教 )

Academic trainee ranks in the mainland of PR China are:

  • Post-doctoral Research Fellow (in Chinese: 博士后研究员) and Research Fellow/Researcher (in Chinese: 研究员)
  • Research Assistant (in Chinese: 研究助理) and Teaching Assistant (in Chinese: 教学助理/助教)
  • Postgraduate (in Chinese: 研究生)
  • Undergraduate (in Chinese: 本科生)

Academic title awards for certain purposes:

  • Honorary Professor (in Chinese: 名誉教授, usually for people with great academic or social contribution)
  • Guest Professor (in Chinese: 客座教授, usually for famous scholars of other schools)
  • Distinguished Professor (in Chinese: 特聘教授, usually for people with great achievement in certain field)

Administrative ranks

  • President (in Chinese: 校長)
  • Vice-President (in Chinese: 副校長)
  • Registrar (in Chinese: 教務長) and Secretary of the party committee (in Chinese: 黨委書記)
  • Dean (in Chinese: 院長)
  • Deputy Dean or Associate Dean (in Chinese: 副院長) of schools and faculties
  • Associate Secretary of the party committee (in Chinese: 黨委副書記)
  • Director (in Chinese: 所長/主任) of academic centre and Director (in Chinese: 系主任) of academic departments


Academic ranks

Czech Republic (Czechia)

Administrative positions:

  • Rektor (Rector), head of the University
  • Prorektor (Vice-Rector), typically 3 to 5 people are vice-rectors; the position is usually further specified by indicating domain a vice-rector is responsible for (e. g. research, communication, study-related issues)
  • Kvestor (Registrar, Bursar), a "manager" of the University
  • Děkan (Dean), head of a faculty
  • Proděkan (Vice-Dean)
  • Ředitel (Director), head of a sub-unit at a faculty (e.g. institute, research center)
  • Vedoucí katedry (Department leader), sometimes at the same level as director

Academic degrees and positions:

  • Professor (Professor), both degree and position. Professors are appointed by the Czech president after a successful accomplishement of řízení o udělení profesury (process of awarding a professorship). One of the requirements is an already accomplished docent degree.
  • Docent (Associate Professor), both degree and position. The degree is awarded by the rector after a certain amount of years of teaching and after a successful accomplishment of habilitace (a process concluded by a defense of a reviewed research manuscript and a public lecture).
  • Odborný asistent (lecturer / researcher), this title covers positions from lecturers to researchers. Requirements for Assistant lecturers / researchers vary, usually a Ph.D. is required.
  • Asistent (assistant lecturer), at least Master degree is required.
  • Ph.D., also called velký doktorát (big doctor degree), typically awarded after accomplishment of a 3 or 4 years long Ph.D. programme.
  • Doktorát (Doctor degree), also called 'malý doktorát' (small doctor degree), a residual of the academic system before Bachelor and Master degrees were introduced in the 1990s. Although this degree does not have any academic significance (it is still master level), tt is rather popular to accomplish rigorózní řízení, a process of defending an extended master thesis to get especially a PhDr. (philosophy) or JUDr. (law) title and be called "doctor". The title gives its holder a better status in some communities.
  • Magistr or Inženýr (Master, Engineer), typically Mgr. (university) or Ing. (technical university), a degree earned after 2 or 3 years of studies after a Bachelor degree or after 5 or 6 years of studies in total. Medicine students are awarded a doctor degree (MUDr.), which despite its name is a master level degree.
  • Bakalář (Bachelor), typically Bc., a degree earned after 3 or 4 years of university studies.


Administrative positions:

  • Rektor (Rector)
  • Dekan (Dean), head of a faculty (human sciences, natural sciences etc.)
  • Institutleder (Department manager), head of a department (computer science, mathematics etc.)

Academic positions:

  • Professor
  • Lektor (Associate professor), time traditionally divided as 50-40-10 between teaching, research, and administration
  • Ekstern Lektor (Part-Time Associate Professor / adjunct faculty) Part time teaching at university
  • Adjunkt (Assistant Professor), usually almost the same teaching/research/administration division as lektor, although sometomes a little more time for research
  • Post-doc, generally a research position, but with the possibility of teaching

Academic degrees:

  • Doktor (Doctorate; e.g. dr.phil, dr.scient, dr.jur.)
  • Ph.d., usually earned after three years of research where the Ph.D. Fellow is faculty/academic staff
  • Kandidat (MA; e.g. cand.mag, cand.scient), usually earned after two more years of graduate school
  • Bachelor (BA), usually earned after three years of undergraduate studies


In Egyptian Universities, there are five academic ranks for faculty members. The first is MOEED (معيد) , or Teaching Assistant. Once hired by an academic department, the MOEED (معيد) has to pursue a Master’s degree at the same department (or in some rare cases at another university). Upon obtaining the Master’s degree, he/she is normally appointed as MODARESS MOSAED (مدرس مساعد) , or a Senior Teaching Assistant—if you like. Then, he/she has to obtain a PhD from the same department or from any university abroad. With a PhD, he/she is normally promoted to be a MODARESS (مدرس) , which is equivalent to the post of Assistant Professor in American Universities. After some time—not less than five years—he/she may apply for the position of OSTAZ MOSAED (أستاذ مساعد) , which is equivalent to Associate Professor. After another period of at least five years, he/she may apply for the highest rank in academia: OSTAZ (أستاذ) , which is equivalent to Professor.


There are a specific number of posts, which can be applied to when they are vacated or established. A Professor, for example, is a leader of a laboratory or a group.

  • Kansleri Chancellor (only in the Universities of Helsinki, Tampere, Turku and in Åbo Akademi).
  • Rehtori (Rector)
  • Vararehtori (Vice Rector)
  • Dekaani (Dean), osastonjohtaja (Head of Faculty)
  • Professori (Professor). Formerly divided into three classes:
  • Vakinainen Professori (Professor Ordinary). Class combined with the ylimääräinen professori by the end of 1970s
  • Ylimääräinen professori (Professor Extraordinary)
  • Apulaisprofessori (Associate Professor). All positions changed into professorships in 1998.
  • Lehtori or yliopistonlehtori (Lecturer), teaching-oriented faculty position requiring a PhD.
  • Dosentti (Adjunct Professor), is not necessarily permanently associated with the university but holds the right to teach (Latin: venia docendi

), similarly to German Privatdozent and Swedish docent.

  • Yliassistentti (Senior Assistant, Assistant Professor), post-doc or senior Ph. D student position), laboratorioinsinööri (Laboratory Engineer) a formally administrative position, the holders of which often conduct research and teach, however.
  • Assistentti (Assistant) and tutkija (Research Associate, Research Scientist) are Ph.D. student positions
  • Tutkimusapulainen (Research Assistant) is an undergrad or Master's student position
  • Ylioppilas (Student)

Notice that Professor is also a title, conferred by the President of Republic as a mark distinction for prominent artists, literary persons or directors of state scientific laboratories. In addition to the ranks mentioned above, the title of Academician may be conferred to the most accomplished scientists, scholars, writers or artists.


Main article: Academic rank in France

One of the peculiarities of the French higher education system is the existence of both a university system and a network of Grandes Écoles. Ranks in the two systems are not always exactly the same. Concerning National Universities :

  1. Professeur des Universités (i.e. tenure track professor) is the highest rank. For some academic areas (such as Law, Economics, Management Sciences), some professors are "Agrégés des Facultés" which is the most distinguished titled.
  2. Maître de Conférence or Maître Assistant (in academic areas such as Architecture, Agronomy, Mines) is the second level (Lecturer or Assistant/Associate Professor).
  3. Professeur agrégé is another kind of second level, but without training into research (only teaching in college and university).

These two levels are reserved for civil servants. Other positions exist but they are on contractual basis (ATER, allocataire moniteur). Professeur and Maître de conférence are positions with various subcategories but the title is always the same. These subcategories (1st class, 2nd class, Exceptional Class) solely serve to determine the appropriate income they earn. No one can become Professeur or Maître de Conférence if the PhD has not been passed (with honors).

The Grande École system is a parallel educational generally attributed to Napoleon. Some of them (for example Sciences Po Paris) are part of the state university recruitment system. The others - mainly the private ones - follow various guidelines. Among the business schools it is common to follow the North American terminology. That is,

  • Instructor (vacataire or chargés d'enseignements)
  • Adjunct professor (professeur affilié)
  • Assistant professor (professeur assistant(e))
  • Associate professor (professeur associé)
  • Full professor (professeur)
  • Chaired professorships are a new phenomenon and can be given to either an associate professor or full professor.

Typically, anyone teaching in a Grande Ecole will identify themselves publicly as "Professeur" regardless of their internal rank. This is an acceptable practice for tenured or full-time staff ("professeurs permanents") and permanently employed part-time staff (professeurs affiliés). It is considered inappropriate for others who teach a single course (vacataires or chargés d'enseignements).


Academic ranks

Appointment Grades

  • Professor ("Ordinarius" W3)
  • Professor ("Extraordinarius" W2)
  • Hochschuldozent (W2, only in Baden-Württemberg)
  • Juniorprofessor (W1)
  • Juniordozent (W1, only in Baden-Württemberg)
  • Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Akademischer Rat auf Zeit (TVöD, A13)
  • Akademischer Mitarbeiter (TVöD only in Baden-Württemberg)
  • Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft (TdL)
  • Studentische Hilfskraft (TdL)

None Appointment Grades

The title Privatdozent are used by a those who have obtained a Habilitation, but not formally appointed as Professor.

The title Außerplanmäßiger Professor (apl. Prof.) can be confered, in some German States, to a Privatdozent, who has been in service for several year, without formally being appointed as Professor.

Administrative ranks

  • Rektor, Präsident - Rector or President, highest representitive of the University or Polytechnic, elected
  • Prorektor, Vizepräsident, Prorector or Vice President, elected
  • Kanzler - Chancellor, administrative head, often a permanent job
  • Dekan - Dean, elected
  • Institutsdirektor - Head of department, elected


Academic ranks

  • Professor Emeritus
  • Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Assistant Professor
  • Lecturer
  • Adjunct Lecturer or Adjunct Assistant Professor (a temporary employee with a short-term contract, usually for 1 semester, usually holder of a Ph.D. as described in the Greek Presidential Decree 407/1980. Adjunct Lecturers are sometimes called simply as "407", after the number of the Decree)
  • Teaching Assistant (That rank was abolished in 1982, but people holding it remain Teaching Assistants until retirement.)

The prefix of Professor is only assumed by Professors and Professors Emeriti, not by Assistant Professors and above.

Administrative ranks

  • Rector
  • Vice-Rector
  • Secretary General
  • Dean
  • Deputy Dean
  • Chairman of the Department
  • Deputy Chairman of the Department
  • Director of the Section

The holders of administrative ranks must be Professors or Associate Professors. The only exception is Secretary General, who is not a member of the Teaching and Research Staff.

Hong Kong

Academic ranks

In the past, Hong Kong followed the British system (4 levels). In recent years it is moving towards the North American counterpart, with the titles renamed to their corresponding equivalence (professor, associate professor, and assistant professor). Institutions established in the 1980s and 1990s almost entirely follows the North American system, while older ones, notably the The University of Hong Kong is in the process of transition. [1] Depending on institutions, the title of "Professor" is assumed by chair professors and professors, or assistant professors and above.

  • Chair Professor
  • Emeritus Professor
  • Honorary Professor
  • Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Assistant Professor
  • Lecturer
  • Research Assistant Professor
  • Post-doctoral Fellow
  • Adjunct (Associate/Assistant) Professor
  • Professional Consultant or Teaching Consultant/Fellow
  • Research assistant and teaching assistant (or tutor, instructor, demonstrator)
  • Postgraduate or graduate
  • Undergraduate

Administrative ranks

  • Chancellor (titular, normally the Chief Executive (formerly the Governor) of Hong Kong) or President in the Hong Kong Shue Yan University
  • Pro-Chancellor (titular, only for the University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
  • Vice-Chancellor or President (or Vice President Principal in the Hong Kong Shue Yan University): being the chief executive of the institutution
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (as the first among Pro-Vice-Chancellors in the University of Hong Kong)
  • Pro-Vice-Chancellors or Vice-Presidents or Deputy Presidents
  • Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellors (as in the Chinese University of Hong Kong) or Associate Vice-President (as in the Hong Kong Baptist University, the Lingnan University, the Hong Kong Shue Yan University, and the Hong Kong Institute of Education)
  • Registrar
  • Provost (for some universities)
  • Deans of Faculties / Schools
  • Heads of Departments / Schools


Academic ranks

At Universities (provide B.A./B.Sc.,M.A/M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees for students)

Egyetemi tanár (university professor, in general DSc.);

Habilitált egyetemi tanár (university professor with PhD., and a special university habilitation);

Habilitált egyetemi docens (reader (UK)/associate professor (US) - always with a Ph.D., and with a special habilitation);

Egyetemi docens (senior lecturer (UK)/associate professor (US),always with Ph.D.);

Egyetemi adjunktus (lecturer (UK)/assistant professor(US), usually with PhD.);

Egyetemi tanársegéd (graduate teaching assistant (GB)/ instructor (US), generally without PhD.)

At College level (in Hungarian 'főiskola', provide B.A./B.Sc., usually M.A/M.Sc. degrees for students / without Ph.D.)

Főiskolai tanár (professor, always with a Ph.D., and usually with a special habilitation)

Főiskolai docens (senior lecturer (UK)/associate professor (US), usually without Ph.D.)

Főiskolai adjunktus (lecturer (UK)/assistant professor(US), generally without a Ph.D.)

Főiskolai tanársegéd (graduate teaching assistant (GB)/ instructor (US), generally without Ph.D.).

Academic degrees


Academic ranks

There are 9 ranks, in total, which can be categorized to 4 main levels.

Level 1: Asisten Ahli (= Assistant Professor) Level 2: Lektor (= Associate Professor) Level 3: Lektor Kepala (= Associate Professor) Level 4: Professor (= Professor)

Level 1: Asisten Ahli 1. Asisten Ahli - Rate 100 2. Asisten Ahli - Rate 150

Level 2: Lektor 1. Lektor - Rate 200 1. Lektor - Rate 300

Level 3: Lektor Kepala 1. Lektor Kepala - Rate 400 2. Lektor Kepala - Rate 550 3. Lektor Kepala - Rate 700

Level 4: Professor 1. Professor - Rate 850 2. Professor - Rate 1050


Academic ranks

  • Ostad-e Momtaz (Distinguished Professor)
  • Ostad (Professor)
  • Daneshyar (Associate Professor)
  • Ostadyar (Assistant Professor)
  • Morabbi (Instructor)

Emeritus ranks

Administrative ranks

  • Chancellor
  • Vice-Chancellor
  • Deans of Faculties


Holders of Master and PH.D. degree can be:

  • Professor
  • Assistant Professor
  • Lecturer
  • Assistant Lecturer


  • Professor (Full Professor)
  • Associate Professor
  • Emeritus Professor
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Lecturer


Academic ranks

Faculty (all these positions are tenured or tenure-track):

  • Professore Emerito (Full Professor after retirement age whose high importance in academic field has been credited by the Faculty Council: a Professore Emerito can work at a university for life, including after retirement age; however, he has no teaching duties)
  • Professore Ordinario (Full Professor)
  • Professore Straordinario (a professor taking his three years of testing before being confirmed as Full Professor)
  • Professore Associato (Associate Professor)
  • Ricercatore confermato (Assistant Professor or Researcher)
  • Ricercatore non confermato (Assistant Professor or Researcher with no tenure; a researcher taking his three years of testing before being confirmed as Researcher)
  • Assistente (The former third level of permanent positions before Ricercatore replaced it in the early 1980s. No positions of Assistente were created since then, but existing personnel kept the title)

Non-faculty and temporary:

  • Professore a contratto (Professor with a temporary appointment for a given course or lecture series)
  • Professore incaricato (Temporary Professor, as above)
  • Assegnista di Ricerca (Research fellow with a temporary position, usually holding a Ph.D. title)
  • Dottorando di Ricerca (Ph.D. student)

Administrative ranks

  • Rettore (Rector)
  • Prorettore (Vice-Rector)
  • Preside (Dean of Faculty)
  • Presidente di Consiglio di Corso di Laurea (Head of a Bachelor/Msc curriculum on a given topic)
  • Direttore di Dipartimento (Head of Department)


Japanese research universities typically have similar positions as the North American system. Principal faculty ranks are:

  • Professor, kyōju (教授?)
  • Associate Professor, junkyōju (准教授?)
  • Lecturer,kohshi (講師?)
  • Assistant Professor, jokyō (助教?)


The two governmental universities in Kuwait, namely Kuwait University and PAAET, require their Kuwaiti faculty to obtain PhD from a list of approved institutions, preferably Western highly ranked universities. A newly graduated Kuwaiti faculty member would be ranked as Assistant Professor. After 5 publications in decent journals in his or her area of research, the faculty member would be promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. Of course, this faculty member must have served the community by an outreaching program. 10 further publications in journals with high impact factor as well as community service are needed to apply for promotion to the rank of Full Professor. The referees for promotions are usually the pioneers in the field of research. It is worth mentioning that for Kuwaitis, virtually the only way to be a faculty member in one of these universities is to be selected for a scholarship by one of these two universities. Afterward, the student would be enrolled in the graduate program of approved western universities. His/her course of study would be closely monitored by one of the Kuwaiti cultural offices in USA, UK, Australia or elsewhere. Whilst there is no Cultural office in Canada, Kuwaiti graduate students there are monitored by the Kuwaiti Cultural office in Washington DC. As for foreigner professors, they are selected among those with good research portfolio, starting mostly from the rank of Associate Professor.

Macau SAR

The University of Macau basically follows the American system. There are four levels of faculty rank, namely professor,associate professor,assistant professor and lecturer. Assistant professor is the entry-level appointment for any academics holding a PhD degree. People without a PhD can normally only be appointed at the lecturer level. However, there are some exceptional cases whereby an academic without a PhD can be awarded an "invited assistant professorship." The university authorities is trying to raise the percentage of PhD holders among its teaching staff.

The Macau Polytechnic Institute follows the system in mainland China, i.e. professor, associate professor and lecturer. The level of assistant professor does not exist. The associate professor is supposed to be the equivalent of the levels of associate professor and assistant professor in the American system. However, a PhD holder will normally be appointed higher than that level.

Republic of Macedonia

  • Brucosh, Бруцош-(First Grade Student)
  • Student, Студент-(Regular Student)
  • Apsolvent, Апсолвент-(Last Year Student)
  • Young Assistant, Помлад Асистент-(B.Sc.)
  • Assistant, Асистент-(M.Sc.)
  • Docent-(Ph.D.)
  • Vonreden Profesor, Вонреден Професор-(associate professor)
  • Professor, Професор-(Full Time Professor)
  • Academic, Академик-(Research Arch Professor)


Staff ranking in Malaysian public universities are based on the British system as a legacy of the British colonising the country. There are only slight variations among the universities but the general ranking is as follows

Academic positions (in descending hierarchy)

  • Profesor DiRaja (Royal Professor, usually retired professors, title bestowed by King)
  • Profesor Emeritus (usually retired professors)
  • Senior Professor (a newly introduced rank mainly to denote salary and hierarchical difference)
  • Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Lecturer/Tutor/Assistant Lecturer
  • Instructor (with pre-degree qualifications)

Administrative (in descending hierarchy)

  • Chancellor (Federal/State Ruler)
  • Pro Chancellor (non-executive)
  • Vice Chancellor
  • Deputy Vice Chancellor
  • Assistants Vice Chancellor
  • Deans of Faculties
  • Head of Programme


The model for the classification of academic positions is the National Autonomous University of Mexico

Academic positions (in ascending hierarchy)

  • Assistant Professor
  • Subject Professor
  • Full Time Professor
  • Research Professor
  • Professor Emeritus

The last classification in only given to those academics that have a prominent career and has at least 25 years of service


The Dutch system is comparable to the U.S. system, although Ph.D candidates are usually employed by the university. However, some call for a general introduction of Ph.D student tracks, where students are given a scholarship instead of being paid wages.

Faculty Positions

  • Universiteitshoogleraar (a distinguished full professor)
  • Hoogleraar 1 (a senior full professor, leading a large department or university institute)
  • Hoogleraar 2 (a junior full professor, leading a research group)
  • Universitair Hoofddocent (an associate professor)
  • Universitair Docent (an assistant Professor)
  • Onderzoeker / Postdoc (a senior research fellow; postdoctoral fellow)
  • Junior Onderzoeker / Assistent in Opleiding / Promovendus (a junior researcher; Ph.D candidate employed by the university)
  • Docent (Lecturer, teaching staff usually not holding a Ph.D)
  • Student Assistent (Research or Teaching Assistant, (under)graduate student employed by university for research or teaching activities)

Administrative position

  • Rector Magnificus (Head of research and education of a university)
  • Dean (Head of research and education of a faculty/school)
  • Department Chair

Only full professors (including extraordinary professors) are allowed to carry the abbreviation 'prof.'. Although unlikely, it is possible for someone to become Rector Magnificus or Dean without being a full professor. In such cases, usually an honorary 'prof.'-title is granted for the duration of the office, however without the prerogatives usually attached to a full professorship.

New Zealand

see under Australia and New Zealand (above)


Elected faculty positions:

  • Rektor (Rector; one per university; usually assisted by prorektor and/or viserektor)
  • Dekan (Dean; one per faculty; formerly Dekanus (males) and Dekana (females), sometimes assisted by a prodekan)

Professorial ranks:

  • Professor (full professor)
  • Professor emeritus (retired professor; title conferred to all former full professors, regardless of how they are currently employed)
  • Professor II (Part-time professor; professors II are usually full professors in another institution than the one in which they are professor II)

Postdoctoral ranks:

  • Dosent (Reader; rarely used in universities, somewhat more common in professional colleges)
  • Førsteamanuensis (associate professor)
  • Førstelektor (senior lecturer; lecturer who holds a doctorate)
  • Postdoc (senior research fellow; postdoctoral fellow)

Postgraduate ranks:

  • Amanuensis (assistant professor; rarely used in universities, somewhat more common in professional colleges)
  • Universitetslektor (university lecturer; lecturers in professional colleges are called høgskolelektor)
  • Stipendiat (research fellow; PhD-student)
  • Vitenskapelig assistent (research assistant; usually a graduate student)


Research-and-teaching staff:

  • Instructor (asystent)
  • Assistant professor (adiunkt)
  • Associate professor (docent dr habilitowany)
  • Professor extraordinarius (profesor nadzwyczajny)
  • Professor ordinarius (profesor zwyczajny)

and also for a special purpose:

  • visiting professor (profesor wizytujący)
  • professor emeritus (profesor emerytowany)

Teaching staff:

  • lecturer (wykładowca)
  • senior lecturer (starszy wykładowca)
  • instructor (instruktor)
  • lector /foreign language teacher/ (lektor)

Elected faculty positions:

  • Rector (Rektor); one per university; usually assisted by several prorectors
  • Dean (Dziekan); one per faculty;


Academic Ranks

Professor Catedrático, equivalent to Full Professor
Professor Associado, equivalent to Associate Professor
Professor Auxiliar, equivalent to Assistant Professor
Assistente, equivalent to Assistant Lecturer (without a PhD). Normally is someone which simultaneously is doing a PhD. Only teaches practical (lab) classes.
Assistente Estagiário, equivalent to a Senior Tutor. It's the start of the career, it's becoming rare, due to the Bologna agreement. It is a Graduate studying to obtain a Master Degree. Only teaches practical (lab) classes.

Both Professor Associado and Professor Auxiliar can have 'Agregação', an additional degree in their rank. Agregação is based on CV evaluation and a public lecture, in which the professor is evaluated and the title obtained.


Administrative ranks:

  • Rector ("Rector"; one per university; usually assisted by a "Prorector")
  • Dean ("Decan"; one per faculty; assisted by a "Prodecan")
  • Head of Department ("Şef de Catedra"; one per Department)

Research-and-teaching staff (higher rank):

  • professor ("profesor")
  • associate professor ("conferentiar")
  • assistant professor ("lector" or "sef de lucrari")

and also for a special purpose:

  • visiting professor ("profesor vizitator")
  • professor emeritus ("profesor emerit" or "profesor consultant")

Teaching staff (lower rank):

  • teaching assistant ("asistent")
  • junior teaching assistant ("preparator")


Administrative positions:


  • Provost (Russian: первый проректор


  • Vice-rectors (Academic, Research, Financial, Foreign Activity)
  • Dean (Russian: декан


  • Associate Deans (Academic, Research)
  • Chair (head) of a department (Russian: заведующий кафедрой


  • Head of Administrative Departments

On a par with Rector, some universities has President Position, but it’s usually honored position.

Academic department heads and chairs serve the same function, and there may also be associate and assistant department heads or chairs (though this is unusual). The term "Department Head" usually indicates the administrator is elected to the post by the faculty of the department, while the term "Department Chair" usually means the person is appointed by the dean without election by the faculty.

Academic degrees:

  • Doctor of Science, Dr. of Sc. (the highest degree), a pretender must have Candidate of Science Degree
  • Candidate of Science, Cand. of Sc. (like PhD), usually earned after three years of research, a pretender must have Master or Specialist Degree
  • Master, usually earned after six years of academics (4 years undergraduate studies and 2 years graduate studies), a pretender must have Specialist or Bachelor Degree
  • Specialist (e.g. Diploma in Engineering), usually earned after five years of undergraduate studies)
  • Bachelor, usually earned after four years of undergraduate studies

The main difference Russian educational system is: There are two degree (Dr. of Sc. and Cand. of Sc.). Usually standard PhD is close to Cand. of Sc. However, if you have PhD and a lot of books, huge academic experience, many published research results, you have a chance to hold the certificate that your PhD equals Dr. of Sc. Also each degree (Cand. and Dr.) is divided into majors. PhD means specialist from any major (excepting medicine) is called Doctor of Philosophy. In Russian educational system the following variety of degree:

  • Doctor/Candidate of Engineering Science
  • Doctor/Candidate of Physical-Mathematical Science
  • Doctor/Candidate of Biological Science
  • Doctor/Candidate of Medical Science
  • Doctor/Candidate of Economical Science
  • Doctor/Candidate of Juridical (Law) Science
  • Etc.

Academic positions:

  • Dean
  • Chair (head) of a department
  • Professor (Full Professor), usually Doctor of Sc.
  • Associate Professor (dozent, доцент), usually Cand. of Sc.
  • Lecturer - time divided equally between research and teaching (it can be both Professor or Dozent)
  • Senior instructor (sometimes "Lecturer")
  • Instructor (sometimes "Lecturer")
  • Assistant Professor (usually first academic level after Cand. of Sc. dissertation defence)
  • Research Assistant (research technicians, lab managers, and related personnel are generally regarded as administrative staff rather than faculty).

South Africa

Academic ranks

  • Extraordinary Professor
  • Senior Professor (Must hold a PhD, except in Accounting)
  • Professor (Must hold a PhD, except in Accounting)
  • Associate Professor (Must hold a PhD, except in Accounting)
  • Senior Lecturer (Must hold a PhD, except in Accounting)
  • Lecturer (Must hold a Masters degree, except in Accounting)
  • Junior Lecturer (Must hold a Honours degree, except in Accounting)
  • Research Assistant
  • Tutor, Student-Assistant, Demonstrator

Administrative ranks

  • Chancellor (titular), (honorific)
  • Rector/Principal & Vice-Chancellor (dual title)
  • Vice-Rector/Vice-Principal & Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Pro-Vice-Chancellor
  • Dean
  • Vice-Dean/Deputy Dean
  • Programme Directors/Programme Convenor
  • Departmental Chairperson or Head of Department

In Afrikaans-speaking universities the terms Rector and Vice-Rector are common, whereas English-speaking universities tend to favour the terms Principal and Vice-Principal. The use of Deputy Vice-Chancellor seems to be phasing out Pro-Vice-Chancellor.


Academic ranks

Civil servants:
  • Catedrático de Universidad (Full Professor)
  • Profesor Titular de Universidad (Professor)
  • Catedrático de Escuela Universitaria (to be phased out)
  • Profesor Titular de Escuela Universitaria (does not have to hold a PhD) (to be phased out)
Non-civil servants:
  • Profesor Contratado Doctor (must hold a PhD) (Associate Professor)
  • Profesor de Universidad Privada (must hold a PhD)
  • Profesor Colaborador (does not have to hold a PhD) (to be phased out)
  • Profesor Ayudante Doctor (must hold a PhD) (Assistant Professor)
  • Profesor Ayudante (Lecturer)
Other positions:
Teaching positions
Research positions
  • Técnico Superior de Investigación (Research Associate)
  • Técnico Medio de Investigación (Research Assistant)
  • Becario de Investigación (Research Fellow)
  • Becario de Colaboración (Collaboration Fellow)

Administrative ranks

Universidad (University)
  • Rector (Chancellor), (necessarily a Catedrático de Universidad)
  • Vicerrector (Vice-Chancellor)
  • Secretario General
  • Gerente (Registrar)
Facultades (Faculty) o Centros
  • Decano (Dean) or Director
  • Vicedecanos (Vice-Deans) or Subdirectores
  • Secretario del Centro
Institutos de Investigación (Research Institutes)
  • Director de Instituto
  • Secretario de Instituto
Departamentos (Departaments)
  • Director de Departamento
  • Secretario de Departamento

Sri Lanka

Academic ranks

Administrative ranks

  • Chancellor (titular)
  • Vice-Chancellor/President
  • Registrar
  • Deans of Faculties
  • Heads of Departments/Schools


Academic ranks

Academic ranks with their corresponding required skills in teaching and research are defined in the University Law (SFS 1993:100) and the University Ordinance (SFS 1992:1434). The hiring of and promotion to the rank of professor are examined in committee before being decided by the appropriate university official, usually the prefekt, dekan or rektor. The examination is based on the views of two or more external examiners. Decisions are frequently appealed to the Appeals Board for Swedish Universities and Colleges (Överklagandenämnden för Högskolan). A similar but less strict procedure is used before the title of docent can be awarded or the employment of a lektor.

In general, the Swedish system of academic ranks contains two intertwined career ladders; one based in teaching, the other based in research. The teaching ladder starts with adjunkt, continues with lektor, and ends with professor. The research ladder starts with doktorand, continues with doktor and then docent, and ends with professor. All titles, except for the doktor degree (PhD) and the docent title, are tied to the employment in a certain position.

It should be noted that the Swedish Government Official Report (SOU 2007:98) on Academic Career Ways published in December 2007 proposed several changes to the here described structure.

Professor: Previously only holders of a Chair were called Professor, but since the 1990s a second career way has been opened, allowing qualified lecturers to apply for promotion. A successful examination will automatically confer professorship upon the applicant. These promoted professors (or Tham professors, after the Minister for Education Carl Tham who adopted the procedure), enjoy most of the advantages of a full professors, but as the institution will receive no extra funding for their research work, they have so far carried a disproportionately large responsibility for teaching. Both unions and universities agree that this must change over time, but progress have been slow. The professor title is tied to the employment - when a professor resigns, he/she will lose the title.

Tillförordnad professor / Adjungerad professor / Gästprofessor: Acting professor, adjunct professor and visiting professor are all temporary professor positions used to solve the need for a certain competence or a managerial resource. An adjunct professor usually works on a part-time basis (e.g. 20%) and has his/hers main employment elsewhere. As the positions are temporary, they require less formal merits, and individuals are usually directly recruited without any selection process.

Docent: Having considerably increased the width and depth of his research, a lecturer may apply to be awarded a docentur. The hearing is similar to that applied before hiring a professor, but less strict in its form. Through his research, the docent is considered to have acquired venia docendi, the right to teach. Accordingly, he may teach at all levels and act as opponent at Thesis defence. Typically, a docent manages a group of PhD-students or a subdivision of a research group. He often chairs smaller research projects of his own. While once a formal position that could be obtained through an excellent grade on the PhD dissertation, today lecturers apply to be accepted as unpaid docents, meaning that they keep their current job but may use the senior title. The docent title remains with the individual for life.

Lektor: A position as lecturer requires proven pedagogical and scientific skills, usually being understood as teaching experience during his PhD-studies and a defended thesis. Although lecturers are promised a 50/50 partition between research and teaching, for those lecturers unable to find external funding it is largely a teacher's position. Coursework will include all levels, but lecturers do not act as examinators at the PhD-level. As with the professors, a promotion procedure can be applied for junior staff that qualify. Administrative or pedagogical skills can substitute for a lack in research work, if combined with long service. Today, almost all lecturer positions require a PhD exam. Qualification as lektor is the required level to participate in academic elections, as well as to stand for the offices of dekan or rektor. The title of lektor is tied to the employment.

Forskningsingenjör / PostDoc / Forskare / Forskarassistent: Research engineers, PostDoc researchers or Researcher are time limited positions allowing a former PhD student to continue his research. Teaching responsibilities of these junior researchers are very limited and it is considered to be a short cut in the career track. A current commission will most probably suggest changes in the post doctoral positions by the end of 2007.

Doktor: An individual who has obtained the PhD degree. In a few Swedish universities, it is also a permanent teaching position.

Adjunkt: The adjunkt is a teacher's position, with responsibilities on the undergraduate and masters' levels. Having no other qualifications than a Masters' Degree, while the adjunkt is common at both universities and colleges, the former are striving to upgrade adjunkts to lektors. This is done by allowing time to perform or complete PhD-studies, or by systematically replacing adjunkts who have quit or retired with positions as lektors.

Doktorand: The Faculty Board may not accept PhD-students unless they can prove that the relevant finances are available to support the student. While employment as doktorand is unpopular with faculty for economical reasons, it is widely demanded by student organizations and acknowledge in law. The position as doktorand does not per se distinguish between those students who are employed and those benefiting from public or private grants. It is common to prolong the doktorand employment or scholarship period by teaching as adjunkt or doing other work for the department. Such work cannot surpass 20% of a full time position, bringing the four year PhD programme to a total of five years.

Emeritus rank

Emeritus rank are most commonly used for professors, although there is no particular regulation prohibiting a lektor or docent to add the letters em after his title.

Administrative ranks

Rektor: Most universities and colleges being state institutions, the rector is appointed by Government. The appointment is for six years, renewable for two times three years. However, while directors general of all other departments and authorities are parachuted from above, no rector will be appointed without the board of the university's recommendation. This, in turn, will be based on the opinion of lektors, professors and students. A formal account of the hearing process, including aspects of equal opportunity, is part of the recommendation sent to the Government. Rektors will hold the rank of lektor or higher. The private colleges follow a very similar procedure, but with appointment being made either by Government or by the board itself.

Prorektor: The board of the university appoints a prorektor for the university, which will serve as acting rector during the rector's vacation, travels and other absences. The position is proscribed in law; prorektors will usually hold the rank of lektor or higher.

Vice-rektor: Several of the large universities have adopted an organization where vice-rektors will hold a specific office as the rector's chargé d'affaires in a particular domain. The office of vice-rektor is not proscribed in law. Procedures and requirements for election as well as missions have therefore varied widely between institutions. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, Student's Welfare, Education Quality, Off-Campus Programmes, Corporate Affairs, Information Technology and Internationalisation. Vice-rektors will usually hold the rank of lektor or higher, but again, this may vary between institutions.

Dekan, Dekanus: While the internal organization of the higher education institutions are not regulated by law, most have opted to divide into faculties or areas headed by a board and a dekan or dekanus, the dean. Deans are commonly appointed by the rector after hearing the opinion of the lektors and professors. The usually serve with a time limited mandate. Deans will hold the rank of lektor or higher.

Prefekt: Most universities and colleges are subdivided into departments, headed by the prefekt and the department board or, sometimes, by the prefekt alone. Prefekts may be appointed by and report directly to the department board, the faculty board or the rector. There are no formal requirements for a prefekt, but will adjunkts have held the position a prefekt will usually hold a position as lektor or higher.


Academic ranks

  • Asistent (grade VII/1 or VII/2, BSc/MSc)
  • Docent (grade VIII,PhD-Reader)
  • Vanredni profesor (Associate Professor)
  • Profesor (Full professor)

Administrative ranks

  • Rektor/Rector
  • Dekan fakulteta/Dean of the faculty
  • Sef katedre/Head of department

Academic Degrees

  • Bachelor's degree (VII/1 stepen stručne spreme-fakultet – osnovne studije-VSS (visoka stručna sprema))
  • Master's degree (VII/2 stepen stručne spreme-magistratura-MR (magistar))
  • Doctorate (VIII stepen stručne spreme-doktorat-DR (doktor nauka))


German-language universities of Switzerland

  • ...

French-language universities of Switzerland

  • Professeur ordinaire (full professor)
  • Professeur extraordinaire
  • Professeur associé (associate professor)
  • Professeur assistant (assistant professor)
  • Maître-Assistant (Assistant professor or Senior lecturer)
  • Assistant (Lecturer)


Academic ranks

  • Professor Emeritus
  • Professor ("Named Chair")
  • Professor ("Full Professor")
  • Associate Professor
  • Assistant Professor
  • Lecturer

There are also Clinical Professor, Adjunct Professor and Adjunct Lecturer positions.

Administrative ranks

  • President or Rector
  • Dean or Director
  • Department Head


  • yök başkanı
  • rektör
  • dekan
  • ordinaryüs profesör
  • bölüm anabilimdalı başkanı
  • profesör
  • doçent
  • yardımcı doçent
  • doktor
  • öğretim üyesi
  • öğretim yardımcısı
  • öğretim görevlisi
  • araştırma görevlisi
  • asistan
  • tercüman
  • okutman
  • uzman

United Kingdom

Academic ranks

Academic Teaching and Research/ Teaching and Scholarship Career Pathway

Pre/None Career Grade

Research Career Pathway

Pre/None Career Grade
  • Research Associate
  • Research Officer
  • Research Assistant

Emeritus ranks

Upon retirement, a university may grant honorary status to the former staff member. In the case of the University of Hull, the ranks correspond as follows:

  • Professor : Emeritus Professor
  • Reader : Emeritus Reader
  • Senior Lecturer : Senior Fellow
  • Lecturer : Fellow

Administrative ranks

There are two systems of administrative ranks - one for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and one for Scotland.

England, Wales and Northern Ireland

  • Chancellor (titular)
  • Pro-Chancellor (titular)
  • Vice-Chancellor (also known as Rector or Provost at some universities, and President at Manchester)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor
  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor
  • Deans of Faculties
  • Heads of Departments/Schools
  • Department/School Directors of Studies


  • Chancellor (titular)
  • Rector (Ancient Universities only)
  • Principal (who is also Vice-Chancellor)
  • Deputy Principal
  • Vice-Principals
  • Deans of Faculties
  • Heads of Departments/Schools
  • Department/School Directors of Studies

United States

Academic ranks

Regular faculty:

  • University Professor or Institute Professor (not all universities)
  • Distinguished Professor (usually a "Named Chair")
  • Professor ("Named Chair")
  • Professor ("Full Professor")
  • Associate Professor
  • Assistant Professor
  • Instructor (sometimes "Lecturer")

Traditionally, Assistant Professor has been the usual entry-level rank for faculty who hold doctorates, although this depends on the institution and the field. While Instructorships seldom require a doctorate, competition for jobs has led to an increase in the number of Instructors who hold PhDs or other terminal degrees.

The rank of Associate Professor usually indicates that the individual has been granted tenure at the institution. Those hired as Assistant Professors on a traditional tenure track will usually attain the rank of Associate after six to eight years, or their employment will be terminated. It is usually another six to ten years before an Associate Professor can be considered for promotion.

Professor is often the highest rank attained by a senior faculty member, although some institutions may offer some unique title to a senior faculty member whose research or publications have achieved wide recognition. This is most often a "named chair": for example, the "John Doe Professor of Philosophy".

Large research universities also offer a small fraction of tenured faculty the title of "Distinguished Professor" to recognize outstanding and broad contributions to the advancement of a field of study. The most prestigious academic appointment is the University or Institute Professor. Such faculty members are not usually answerable to deans or department heads and may directly report to the University Provost.

In research, faculty who direct a lab (1 to 30+ people) can be called Principal investigator, though this is not usually thought as an academic rank.

Temporary faculty and those with special appointments:

Modifier Example Explanation
Adjunct Adjunct Professor
Adjunct Associate Professor
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Indicates a part-time or temporary appointment; also may denote a faculty member from another academic department whose research or teaching interests overlap substantially with those of the appointing department
Visiting Visiting Professor
Visiting Associate Professor
Visiting Assistant Professor
Almost always indicates a temporary appointment, often to fill a vacancy that has arisen due to the sabbatical or temporary absence of a regular faculty member.
Research Research Professor
Research Associate Professor
Research Assistant Professor
Indicates a full-time research position with few or no teaching responsibilities. Research professorships are almost always funded by grants or fellowships apart from the regular university budget.
Clinical Clinical Professor
Clinical Associate Professor
Clinical Assistant Professor
Indicates a part-time teaching position with limited research responsibilities, especially in the health sciences. At a law school, "clinical" professors may have highly variable teaching and research responsibilities, but generally supervise student pro bono law practice.
Emeritus Professor Emeritus
Associate Professor Emeritus
Assistant Professor Emeritus
Indicates a retired faculty member, who is usually not paid a regular salary but often retains office space and access to the university's facilities.

The ranks of Lecturer and Senior Lecturer are used at some American universities to denote permanent teaching positions with few or no research responsibilities. At other American universities, the rank of Lecturer is equivalent to that of Instructor.

Other teaching and research personnel

Fellowships and Research Associate positions are most often limited-term appointments for postdoctoral researchers. They are not usually regarded as faculty positions, although some teaching may be required. The definition of scientist position is vague, but usually regarded as advanced level after research associate. Rank of research personnel without a professor title is:

  • Senior Scientist
  • Research Scientist
  • Research Associate
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Research Assistance
  • Senior Research Technicial

Teaching assistants are typically graduate students who have varying levels of responsibility. A typical undergraduate class, for example, comprises lecture and small-group sessions, with a faculty member giving the lecture, and teaching assistants leading the small-group sessions; in other cases, the teaching of an entire class may be entrusted to a graduate student. (See generally A Handbook for Mathematics Teaching Assistants, published by the Mathematical Association of America.)

At most American universities, research technicians, lab managers, and related personnel are generally regarded as administrative staff rather than faculty.

At some universities, librarians have a rank structure parallel to that of the regular faculty (Assistant Librarian, Associate Librarian, Librarian). Some senior librarians, and often the head librarian, may have faculty or faculty-equivalent rank.

Administrative ranks

Officers of the corporation

  • President or Chancellor
  • Provost (sometimes called 'Chancellor', or 'President' or 'Warden')
  • Associate Provost (rare)
  • Assistant Provost (assists the Provost, as do any associates; not superior to vice presidents)
  • Vice-Chancellors or Vice Presidents (of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Finance, etc.)
  • Associate Vice-Chancellor or Associate Vice President
  • Assistant Vice-Chancellor or Assistant Vice President

Academic administrators

  • Deans (often also Full Professors)
  • Associate Deans (often also Full Professors)
  • Assistant Deans
  • Directors of Administrative Departments
  • Associate/Assistant Directors of Administrative Departments
  • Chairs or Heads of Academic Departments

America's system of higher education is highly variable, with each of the 50 states and the 6 non-state jurisdictions regulating its own public tertiary institutions, and with each private institution developing its own structure. In general, the terms "President" and "Chancellor" are interchangeable (like "Premier" and "Prime Minister"), including the vice presidents, associate and assistant vice presidents, and so on. The dominant paradigm is president, vice president, associate vice president, and assistant vice president.

Some university systems or multi-campus universities use both titles, with one title for the chief executive of the entire system and the other for the chief executives of each campus. In California, for example, the chief executive officer of the entire California State University system of 23 campuses is called "Chancellor" while the CEO of each individual campus is called "President" - so, there is an officer called "Chancellor of the California State University," and there is the "President of San Francisco State University." The University System of Maryland has a similar system. (See the University System of Maryland Bylaws.) In the University of California the terms are reversed - so there is the "President of the University of California", and below that person in the hierarchy is the "Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles", and so on.

The term 'Warden' is almost never used in the United States in an academic sense. Where it is used, it typically means "provost" or "dean".

Deans may head an individual college, school or faculty; or they may be deans of the student body, or a section of it (e.g., the dean of students in a law school); or they may be deans of a particular functional unit (e.g., Dean of Admissions, or Dean of Records); or they may be deans of a particular campus, or (unusually) of a particular building (e.g., a university with an elaborate performing arts complex might designate a very senior administrative faculty member as "Dean of the [Name] Performing Arts Center."

Academic department heads and chairs serve the same function, and there may also be associate and assistant department heads or chairs (though this is unusual). The term "Department Head" usually indicates the administrator is elected to the post by the faculty of the department, while the term "Department Chair" usually means the person is appointed by the dean without election by the faculty.


Academic ranks

  • Titular Professor
  • Associated Professor
  • Aggregate Professor
  • Assistant Profesor
  • Instructor
    • Retired Professor
    • contracted Professor (no academic rank)

Administrative ranks (Public National)

  • University Council
  • Rector
  • University Secretary
  • Academic Vicerector
  • Administrative Vicerector
    • Dean (Decan) (One per Faculty)
    • Faculty Council
      • Principal (One per School)
      • School Council
        • Chief of Departament
        • Chief of Chair (Cátedra)

See also


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