Types of Academic Positions


Part-Time, Adjunct, Lecturer Positions

Institutions use different nomenclature for these positions and the expectations and requirements vary greatly. Some are contracted on a semester (or quarter) to semester basis others on a yearly basis. Some institutions offer benefits with these positions and others do not. It is important to ask these questions and ask to be given any information regarding expectations of the position before you sign a contract. The information given below regarding Scholarly Work, Hiring, and Credentials has been developed for Full-time Positions only.

Full-Time Positions

Full-time faculty are typically expected to divide their work into three different areas: teaching, scholarly endeavors, and service. The weight given to each “leg” of this tripod varies by institution and appointment type. For example, teaching and service will weigh more heavily in Associate and Specialty Focus institutions and scholarly endeavors in Research institutions. It is important to understand the expectations that are established for faculty by the tenure procedure and/or union contract. For a more complete discussion of these expectations read: What is a typical academic appointment? [insert link}

Associate Degree Granting Institutions:

Scholarly Work: Faculty are not typically expected to produce scholarship as a part of employment responsibilities.

Hiring Appointments: May include both Tenure-track/ Tenure and Non-Tenure Appointments.

Educational Credentials Required: May vary based on appointment, but a post-professional master’s degree is often required. Some programs may accept a bachelor’s degree with other professional credentials.

Bachelor Degree Granting Institutions and Special Focus Institutions:

Scholarly Work: Faculty may have some expectations, especially if teaching at the graduate level.

Hiring Appointments: Most likely to be Non-Tenure Appointments.

Educational Credentials Required: May vary based on appointment and level of instructional responsibilities (UG / G), but a master’s degree in the design fields is often required. Some programs may accept a bachelor’s degree with other professional credentials or minimum number of years of professional experience.

Bachelor & Master’s Degree Granting Institutions:

Scholarly Work: May have some expectations to produce scholarship as a part of employment responsibilities, especially if teaching at the graduate level.

Hiring Appointments: May include both Tenure-track/ Tenure and Non-Tenure appointment opportunities.

Educational Credentials Required: Can vary based on appointment and level of instructional responsibilities (UG / G), but a post-professional master’s degree in the design fields is often required.

Research Universities and Institutions:

Scholarly Work: Faculty are expected to produce scholarship as a part of employment responsibilities if on tenure-track/ tenure.

Hiring Appointments: May include both Tenure-track/ Tenure and Non-Tenure Appointments.

Educational Credentials Required: For faculty on tenure-track / tenure, a terminal degree in the field is required.  This would include PhD, and, some design programs may also accept an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree, which is considered by some to be a ‘terminal’ degree. For faculty on non-tenure track positions, a post-professional master’s level degree is required.