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Academic rank (also scientific rank) is the rank of a scientist or teacher in a college, high school, university or research establishment. The academic ranks indicate relative importance and power of individuals in academia.

The academic ranks are specific for each country, there is no worldwide-unified ranking system. Among the common ranks are professor, associate professor (docent), assistant professor and instructor.[1]

In most cases, the academic rank is automatically attached to a person at the time of employment in a position with the same name, and deprived when a working relationship ends. Thus, the term "academic rank" usually means the same as "position in academia".

In some countries, however, the terms "position" and "academic rank" are not synonymous. So in modern Russia there exist the docent and professor ranks, yet the set of positions in academia is broader. The academic rank is conferred only after the person has been successfully working in the docent or professor position for a certain period (and later underwent a centralized control procedure), i.e. not at enrollment, and is kept for life.[2]

The list of academic ranks below identifies the hierarchical ranking structure found amongst scholars and personnel in academia. The lists below refer specifically to colleges and universities throughout the world, although other institutions of higher learning may follow a similar schema.


Ranks in universities of Afghanistan are listed below according to the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) of Afghanistan. These ranks are issued stepwise by the MoHE after some procedures, a period of service and conditions.[3]

Honorary degree:

Term of address in general: ostād or استاد


Ranks in universities of Albania are listed below according to the Ministry of Education (Albania). These ranks are issued stepwise by the MoHE after some procedures, a period of service and conditions.


Academic ranks


Administrative ranks


Main article: Academic ranks in Argentina

Tenured positions:[4]


Main article: Academic ranks in Australia

There are often multiple bands or steps for each Level (e.g. Level B - 6 steps, Level C - 6 steps, Level D - 4 steps). For example, an academic who earns the title of Level D has progressed through 12 bands/steps of previous academic service or the equivalent in accumulated academic achievements. There is only one step for Level E. An academic cannot automatically progress from Level B, Step 6, to Level C, Step 1, without a formal application for promotion, which is typically a peer reviewed process.


Teachers are categorized in four main classes in Bangladesh at the university level. The ascending ranks of teachers are Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor. University lecturers are normally required to hold a Master's degree. After obtaining a PhD, the appointment starts with assistant professor, then gradually associate professor and professor depending on research/teaching experience. Beside these, the title of emeritus is given to extraordinary professors after their retirement.


Academic ranks

Researchers by seniority levels

Administrative ranks


Dutch speaking community

Administrative ranks:

French speaking community

Administrative ranks:

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Administrative ranks

Honorary ranks


Main article: Academic ranks in Brazil

There is no official academic ranking in Brazilian private universities. However, most of the public Federal Universities apply the following (from the highest position to the lowest one):


Academy of Sciences
Higher administration of the academy of sciences
Administrative ranks


Main article: Academic ranks in Canada

Faculty (teaching staff)

Assistant professor is the entry-level rank for non-tenured members of faculty.

Non-faculty teaching and research personnel

Administrative ranks


Main article: Academic ranks in China


Main article: Academic ranks in Colombia

Costa Rica

The list above presents the ranks used by University of Costa Rica for their academic regime. However, there are no formal or legal academic ranks in Costa Rica. Each university decides their own names. For example in University of Costa Rica the highest rank is 'Profesor Catedrático' and it requires no more than a 5 year "licencitatura" degree and 15 years of teaching/researching and 16 publications ( Most other universities have no similar framework and the title Professor is used unregulated by anyone.


Honorary academic rank

Administrative ranks






Tenure-track faculty positions

Non-tenure track positions

Czech Republic

Main article: Academic ranks in the Czech Republic


Main article: Academic ranks in Denmark


Main article: Academic ranks in Egypt

Teachers are categorized in five main classes in Egypt at university level. The ascending rank of teacher is Demonstrator, Assistant Lecturer, Lecturer, Associate Professor and Professor. The initial position Demonstrator is generally enrolled as the top student of the class. Master's degree is required for university level Assistant Lecturer. After PhD, the appointment starts with Lecturer, then gradually Associate Professor and Professor depending on research/teaching experience. Beside these, professor of Emeritus is given to extraordinary professor after their retirement.



Main article: Academic ranks in Finland

In Finland, there is less distinction between graduates and undergraduates: university students may be employed as research assistants (tutkimusapulainen) before they graduate with a master's degree. A person pursuing a doctoral degree must already hold a Master's degree, and is typically employed by the university, or enjoys a similar grant, and will be called väitöskirjatutkija (doctoral researcher), nuorempi tutkija (early career researcher), or tohtorikoulutettava (doctoral student).[5] Besides post-doctoral researchers (tutkijatohtori) and senior teaching assistants (yliassistentti), there are several mid-level non-professorial positions, such as teaching researcher (opettava tutkija). Senior teachers and researchers may be employed as, e.g., erikoistutkija (special researcher) or yliopistotutkija (senior research fellow). Docent (dosentti) is a non-professorial rank and title (for life) awarded to academics qualified as a principal investigator and for supervision of doctoral students; however, they do not belong to the professor corps and may be employed elsewhere. Professors (professori) are understood as research group leaders and managers, and traditionally there is no direct equivalent of an assistant/associate/full professor career path, although Aalto University is introducing these. Qualifications for a professor's position are earned as a docent or in other mid-career positions. In management, professors serve as department heads (laitosjohtaja or osastonjohtaja) and deans (head of the faculty, dekaani). The leader of a university is called a rector (rehtori), assisted by multiple vice-rectors (vararehtori). Vice-rectors may retain their professor positions or work full-time as a vice-rector. Some universities have an even more senior officer called Chancellor (kansleri), who is more concerned with outreach and public relations than daily management.


Main article: Academic ranks in France

Faculty Research only Teaching only Part-time
Permanent positions Professeur des universités Directeur de recherche Professeur des universités associé
Maître de conférences Chargé de recherche Professeur agrégé or
Professeur certifié
Maître de conférences associé
Temporary positions Attaché temporaire d'enseignement et de recherches (ATER) Post-doctorant Chargé d'enseignement
Doctorant contractuel chargé d'enseignement Doctorant contractuel

In French business schools, ranks are the same as in the United States: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and finally (Full) Professor.


Main article: Academic ranks in Germany

A simplified overview of academic ranks in Germany:

Faculty Teaching only Part-time
Permanent positions Universitätsprofessor (Pay grade: W3 or W2), Professor (W3) Lehrprofessor Honorarprofessor (honorary title)
Professor (W2)
Professor (W1), Akademischer Oberrat, Akademischer Rat, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (tenured) Lehrkraft für besondere Aufgaben (LfbA) (tenured)
Temporary positions Akademischer Rat auf Zeit, Akademischer Oberrat auf Zeit (AR/OAR a.Z.), Juniorprofessor (W1 non-tenured), Professor auf Zeit (W2) Lehrkraft für besondere Aufgaben (LfbA) (non-tenured) Lehrbeauftragter
Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft

Appointment grades

Non-appointment grades


Administrative ranks (Universities and Technical Universities)

The holders of administrative ranks must be Professors or Associate Professors. The only exception is Secretary General, who is not a faculty member.

Administrative ranks (former Technological Educational Institutes; defunct)

The Technological Educational Institutes (TEI) (1983–2019) were reformed between 2013 and 2019 and their departments incorporated into existing universities.

The holders of administrative ranks must be Professors or Associate Professors.

Defunct Academic Staff Ranks


Administrative ranks

Hong Kong

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 (professor), associate professor (professor/reader), and assistant professor (senior-)lecturer)). Hong Kong's universities usually differ between professorial grades (end- or mid-career research and teaching positions) and lecturers (entry or mid-career positions - in the UK called either teaching fellows or lecturers, and "Mittelbau" in German-speaking countries).[10] Depending on institutions, the title of "professor" is assumed by chair professors and professors, or assistant professors and above.

Academic ranks

Administrative ranks


Main article: Academic ranks in Hungary


In Icelandic universities, particularly at the University of Iceland, prófessor is the most senior ranking teaching position. Below prófessor is dósent, then lektor. This three step hierarchy is akin to the US-scale, of full-, associate- and assistant-professors. Until the early 1990s no upward mobility was available in the Icelandic system. Most university teachers were hired as "prófessor." A "dósent" or a "lektor" wishing to ascend to a higher rank had to apply for a new position when it became available. Currently (since the 1990s) much more university teachers are hired as junior rank "lektor" and are promoted to "dósent" and "prófessor" if their work proves worthy of it.

Research and teaching career pathway

Research career pathway


Main article: Academic ranks in India

Regular Academic ranks (Hierarchy from top): Academic institutions in India have the mandate of teaching, training and research. This also includes research universities.

  1. Professor
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. In addition to these, there are government sponsored fellowships awarded to able candidates for a 5-year contract period during which they are hosted by an academic or research organisation. Their primary function is to carry out high quality original research. They may become a regular faculty as an assistant professor or associate professor during this period subject to their performance.
  5. Assistant Professor (on contract) / Ad hoc faculty – They are primarily involved in teaching for a limited contract period typically 6 months – 1 year.

Research ranks (Hierarchy from top): Research institutions such as national labs have a different kind of hierarchy and are primarily concerned with basic and applied research. They guide Ph.D. students in their research thesis but do not grant degrees. In most cases the Ph.D. candidates are registered with another university which grants the degree. Awarding of degree is subjected to meeting the same criteria as Ph.D. guided by university professors.

  1. Scientist H
  2. Scientist G
  3. Scientist F
  4. Scientist E (in some cases EII)
  5. Scientist D (in some cases EI)
  6. Scientist C
  7. Scientist B

Non-faculty ranks

  1. Research associate (postdoctoral fellows/inspire faculty)
  2. Senior research fellow (Ph.D. students after completing two years of course work and research)
  3. Junior research fellow (Newly joined Ph.D. candidates)

Administrative ranks in universities

  1. Chancellor
  2. Vice chancellor
  3. Pro vice chancellor
  4. Deans / directors
  5. Chairmen / HODs / wardens

Administrative ranks in research institutions

  1. Director general
  2. Director
  3. Chairman of departments / divisions


Main article: Academic ranks in Indonesia

Academic ranks

According to the Joint Regulations of the Ministry of Education And Culture And Head of National Civil Service Agency No 4/VIII/PB/2014; No 24 Year 2014 and the Regulation of Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform No. 46 Year 2013 and No. 17 Year 2013 Article 6; and the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education decree No. 164/ M/ KPT/ 2019,[11] the academic ranks (Jabatan Fungsional) for lecturer (university-based) and researcher (non-university) are

Academic ranks for lecturers[11]

  1. Dosen (Lecturer)
  2. Asisten Ahli (Assistant Professor - Lower)
  3. Lektor (Assistant Professor - Upper)
  4. Lektor Kepala (Associate Professor)
  5. Guru Besar, Profesor (Professor)

Academic ranks for researchers

  1. Peneliti Pertama (Junior Researcher)
  2. Peneliti Ahli Muda (Associate Researcher)
  3. Peneliti Ahli Madya (Senior Researcher)
  4. Peneliti Ahli Utama (Research Professor)

Administrative ranks (university)


Holders of bachelor's degree when granted to teach in a college:

Holders of master's degrees when granted to teach in a college:

Holders of Ph.D. degrees:

Terms of address in general: ostād

Emeritus ranks

Administrative ranks


Holders of master's degrees can be (in ascending order):

Holders of PhD degrees can be (in ascending order):

Note: Holders of PhD degrees are automatically promoted to lecturer if they were assistant lecturers before they received their PhD.


Main article: Academic ranks in Israel


Administrative Ranks:


Main article: Academic ranks in Italy

Tenured positions (confermato):

Non-tenured positions (non confermato):

Honorary titles as Professore Emerito and Professore Onorario also exist and are typically appointed to illustrious academics after retirement.

In Italian universities the role of "Professore a contratto" (literally "Contract Professor") is paid at the end of the academic year nearly €3000 for the entire academic year, without salary during the academic year.[12] In 2020 there are 23 thousand Associate Professors and 28 thousand "Professori a contratto" in Italy.[13] Associate Professors have a salary of around 35,000 euros per year, Full Professors have a salary of 50,000 euros per year, and Contract Professors of around 3,000 euros per year.[14]



In the past few decades, Japan has taken steps to make its academic rankings similar to that of the United States. The ranking system is as follows:

Unlike the other ranks, the kōshi title has no official criteria and thus no standardized English translation. Historically many Japanese associate professors had only master's degrees, but this is no longer the case for younger generations of academics, who in such cases are now limited to the rank of kōshi. There were previously other ranks similar to associate professor and postdoctoral researcher called jokyōju (助教授) and joshu (助手) respectively, but these positions have been eliminated.

The Japanese system includes non-tenured, term-limited positions at all ranks, including professor. These are referred to as ninki tsuki (任期付き) positions and include tokunin (特任) in the official title when contracts are awarded on a rolling, one-year basis. Limited tenure track positions have recently been introduced.[15]

Granting of tenure and promotion to associate professor are not linked; one may be tenured yet remain an assistant professor or promoted to associate professor before being awarded tenure. Because the number of professor and associate professor position is nearly fixed, direct promotion usually requires a higher-level post to be vacated.


Main article: Academic ranks in Jordan


Administrative positions:

Academic positions:


Academic positions at the Lebanese American University:





At the University of Macau there are nine levels of faculty rank, namely

At the Macao Polytechnic University there are four levels


Main article: Academic ranks in Malaysia

In general for most public universities in Malaysia:



The ranking system in most Mexican public universities is as follows

Usually Mexican academics are also fellows of the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores (SNI) that has four levels (candidate, I, II and III) that more or less correlate (but are not equivalent) to the Asociado and Titular A, B, and C professorships. The rank as professor is determined by the individual's institution while the SNI level is determined by an independent committee that evaluates the researchers nationwide.

Many universities and research institutions make a distinction between "Profesores" -Professors- and "Investigadores" -Researchers- (Asociado A, B, C, Titular A, B, C), the main difference is that "Profesores" have a higher load of teaching, while "Investigadores" have a higher load of research, but normally all of them take part in both activities and are considered equivalent.

Research rankings are awarded by the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores which depends on the national research council (Conacyt):

All titles, both professors and researchers, can be given in a:

Administrative academic positions:


Academic Positions

1. Professeur d'Enseignement Supérieur

2. Professeur Habilité à Diriger les Recherches (supervise les recherches)

3. Professeur Assistant (co-encadre les recherches)

Before Academic Position

1. Docteur

2. Doctorant


Main article: Academic ranks in Myanmar


Pro-Rector I

Pro-Rector II

Pro-Rector III

Professor (Head of Department)

Professor I


Associate Professor


Assistant Lecturer

Tutor/ Demonstrator


Academic Positions

1. Professor Emeritus

2. Professor

3. Associate professor/Reader

4. Assistant Professor

5. Lecturer

6. Teaching Assistant

7. Instructor

8. Technical support staff

Administrative Positions


Main article: Academic ranks in the Netherlands

New Zealand

Main article: Academic ranks (Australia and New Zealand)


Academic Positions

Administrative Positions

North Macedonia

Administrative positions:


Main article: Academic ranks in Norway


The hiring of academic positions in public universities throughout Pakistan is managed by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, the requirement for all positions vary with respect to the field of studies e.g. Engineering, IT, Medical, Law, and Arts and Design.

There are four faculty ranks lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor.

In engineering public universities, a lecturer requires an M.Sc. or B.Sc. degree and high academic standing in the field (e.g. gold medalist, among top 15 students of graduating class). An assistant professor position requires a Ph.D. in relevant field with no experience. An associate professorship can be conducted in the fourth year of employment, although, it is becoming more common for promotion and tenure to be awarded in the sixth year of employment. The review requires a certain number 5/8/10 research publications (with at least 1/2/4[jargon] publications in the last 5 years) by the calendar years 2007/2008/2012 respectively, in HEC/PEC recognized journals.

A professor requires ten years post-PhD teaching/research experience in an HEC recognized university or a post-graduate institution or professional experience in the relevant field in a national or international organization. It requires a minimum of 8/12/15 research publications (with at least 2/3/5 publications in the last 5 years) by the calendar years 2007/2008/2012 respectively, in HEC/PEC recognized journals


After some recent reforms in the University Law (Minedu, 2014),[17] the Peruvian universities (publics and privates) consider these ranks:

Extraordinary Professors: Principally, this is a category of recognition for his contribution as professor or researcher when he retires or as a professional when he has built a great contribution to society throughout his career. To have 10% as maximum of these professors in any university (public or private) is mandatory.

Research Professors: Principally, full-time research position with few teaching responsibilities. Research professorships are almost always funded by grants or fellowships apart from the regular university budget. He is designated because of its academic excellence. He has a special bonus of fifty percent (50%) of its total payments. The competent authority of each university evaluates every two years, the production of the ordinary professors, for their permanence as a researcher.

Ordinary Professors: Often full-time (with exclusivity) professors with research competences. Principal faculty. To have 25% as minimum of these professors in any university (public or private) is mandatory.

Lecturer (Hired Professors): Often part-time (with non-exclusivity) professors. Complementary faculty. Generally, their primary employer is not the university with which they have the status. Principally, this kind of professor come from practitioner market and not develop research activities. MSc required.

In addition, the universities developed prior ranks, as junior temporary rank, to get experience and training (with strong motivation to be ordinary professor):


Administrative ranks (UP System;National)

Other professors


Due to Philippine labor laws regarding permanency, a faculty member who has not received tenure within three years of initial hire cannot continue as a full-time hire at the same university.


Research-and-teaching staff:

and also for a special purpose:

Teaching staff:

Elected or nominated posts


Main article: Academic ranks in Portugal

Extinct ranks:


Administrative ranks

Research-and-teaching staff (higher rank)



Main article: Academic ranks in Russia

In Russia, otherwise than in the most other countries, synonimization of the terms “academic/scientific rank” and “position in academia” is not admissible, except in informal conversations. Officially, the “scientific rank” in Russia is a title which is conferred by the Higher attestation commission to the scientist after several years of a successful work in the professor (or deemed equivalent) or docent (or deemed equivalent) position. Similar traditions existed in the USSR.


Academic ranks

Saudi Arabia

Main article: Academic ranks in Saudi Arabia


Main article: Academic ranks in Serbia


Singapore universities adopt a hybrid of US and British academic ranks. Faculty members on the tenure track are appointed for sustained excellence in both teaching and research. Assistant Professors are appointed on term contracts, while Associate Professors and Professors may be appointed either with tenure or on term contract. Faculty members on the Educator Track engage in high quality educational activities. They are oriented towards teaching excellence, student learning, and pedagogical research and innovation. Appointments in this Track include Teaching Assistants, Instructors, Lecturers, Senior Lecturers and Associate Professors (Educator Track). They are on term contracts which are usually of 1 – 3 years in the first instance. Research track faculty members focus on conducting fundamental research of high international quality. Appointments on this Track include Research Assistants, Research Fellows, Senior Research Fellows, Associate Professor (Research) and Professor (Research). They are on term contracts of 1 – 3 years in the first instance. Practice Track faculty members are scholar-practitioners with professional skills and expertise in industry to complement the teaching and research enterprise of the university. They also contribute significantly to the outreach activities of the School. Appointments are to Associate Professor (Practice) and Professor (Practice). They are on term contracts of 1 – 3 years in the first instance.[18]


Main article: Academic ranks in Slovakia



Honorary ranks


Administrative ranks

Honorary ranks

South Africa

Main article: Academic ranks in South Africa

South Korea

Protected job titles (a.k.a. tenure positions):

Other positions:


Main article: Academic ranks in Spain

Sri Lanka

The appointment of professors follows the British system and is governed by the University Grants Commission regulations. A points-based system considers contributions to the research field, national development and institutional development. Several types of professorships exist:

Professor positions are clearly separated from other junior faculty positions such as, in seniority order: senior lecturer (grade I) (usually PhD and 6+ years service), senior lecturer (grade II) (usually a PhD and 2+ years service), lecturer (usually with PhD), lecturer (probationary), Temporary lecturer.

Administrative ranks



Main article: Academic rank in Sweden

Academic ranks

Administrative ranks

Honorary titles


German-language universities

[note 1]

French-language universities


The academic rankings in the Syrian Arab Republic are very similar to the Egyptian ones; see Academic ranks in Egypt for details.



Main article: Academic ranks in Thailand

Trinidad and Tobago


Administrative ranks


Academic ranks

Administrative ranks


Academic ranks

Administrative ranks

United Kingdom

Main article: Academic ranks in the United Kingdom

Research and teaching career pathway

Research career pathway

Technical career pathway

Teaching career pathway

United States

Main article: Academic ranks in the United States


Main article: Academic ranks in Uruguay

At the University level, Services/Chairs follow the following structure:




  1. ^ The title of "Oberassistent" is comparable to the German Akademischer Rat [de], a postdoctoral position that today has mostly been replaced by the position of Juniorprofessur [de]. It is typically non-tenured and does not imply faculty rank (i.e., one would not participate in faculty meetings of professors).


  1. ^ "Definition of 'academic rank'". Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  2. ^ "Russian State law on awarding the scientific ranks". The Government of Russia. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  3. ^ "Ministry of Higher Education". Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  4. ^ "Estatuto de la UNLP". 28 June 2008.
  5. ^ "Shared rules vitally important in the doctoral researcher-supervisor relationship". Tieteentekijät. October 1, 2020. Archived from the original on November 8, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Νόμος 4009/2011 ΦΕΚ 195, Τεύχος A, 6 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011" [Law 4009/2011 Government Gazette 195/A/6-9-2011] (PDF) (in Greek). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-11-24 – via University of the Aegean. Law 4009/2011 Government Gazette 195/A/6-9-2011, Page 4266(12), Academic Staff of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Greece, Part I, Article 16, HEIs Professors are three ranks: Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor
  7. ^ "Διδακτικό-Ερευνητικό Προσωπικό (ΔΕΠ)" [Official Academic Staff Ranks at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Greece]. Technical University of Crete Department of Mineral Resources Engineering (in Greek). Archived from the original on 2006-09-16.
  8. ^ Zois, Dimitris. "Οι Λέκτορες μετά τον νόμο 4009/2011" [The university lecturer academic rank after the law 4009/2011 Government Gazette 195/A/6-9-2011]. (in Greek). Panhellenic Federation of Associations of the Teaching and Research Staff (Πανελλήνια Ομοσπονδία Συλλόγων Διδακτικού και Ερευνητικού Προσωπικού, Π.Ο.Σ.Δ.Ε.Π.). Archived from the original on 2021-05-09.
  9. ^ "Law 4009/2011 Government Gazette 195/A/6-9-2011". Hellenic Parliament (in Greek).
  10. ^ Archived 2006-08-21 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Monella, Lillo Montalto (2018-01-26). "Essere professore a contratto all'università...per 3,75 euro l'ora". euronews (in Italian). Retrieved 2022-01-09.
  13. ^ USTAT Miur Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research (Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’ Università e della Ricerca - MIUR) official website. "Esplora i dati". USTAT. Retrieved 2022-01-09.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "Salary Sapienza University of Rome Italy (in Italian) Tabella stipendi personale Docente | Sapienza Università di Roma". Retrieved 2022-01-09.
  15. ^ "tenure". 国立研究開発法人 科学技術振興機構. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  16. ^ "قرار 501 لسنة 2010 بشأن إصدار لائحة التعليم العالي - جامعة مصراتة-Misurata University".
  17. ^ Ministry of Education (July 3, 2014). University Law N° 30220
  18. ^ "Academic Appointments". NUS - National University of Singapore.