Associate professor

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Associate professor
Socrates Louvre.jpg
Socrates, one of the earliest recorded professors.[1]
Names Professor
Occupation type
Activity sectors
Competencies Academic knowledge, teaching
Education required
Sometimes a Master's degree, but typically a Doctoral degree
Related jobs

Associate professor (frequently capitalized as Associate Professor) is an academic title that can have different meanings. In North America and universities elsewhere using the North American system, it is a position between assistant professor and a full professorship. In a number of Commonwealth countries, the title associate professor is often used in place of reader, which is used in the United Kingdom and a number of other Commonwealth universities;[2] this usage is typical of universities in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in South Africa, Malaysia and other countries (the title associate professor in those countries, like the title reader, corresponds to a full professorship in North America).

Some universities in Commonwealth countries have changed to the American system, or adopted a combination. The University of Western Australia, for example, changed to the American-style system in 2009, and those who until then held the title associate professor received the new title professor, whereas those who until then held the title senior lecturer, received the new title associate professor.[3]


The table presents a broad overview of the traditional main systems, but there are universities which use a combination of those systems or other titles.

North American system Commonwealth system
(Distinguished Professor
or equivalent)
Professor Reader or Associate Professor (not all institutions have this grade[4])
Associate professor Senior Lecturer or Principal Lecturer or Associate Professor[4]
Assistant professor Lecturer or Associate Professor[4]


  1. ^ David K. Knox Socrates: The First Professor Innovative Higher Education December 1998, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 115-126
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Schedule A: Salaries and Casual Rates". Academic Staff Agreement 2010. University of Western Australia. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Academic posts at Oxford. At Oxford the position of associate professor corresponds to both assistant and associate professor at US institutions. An associate professor at Oxford corresponds to an assistant professor in the US before the associate professor at Oxford obtains tenure. An associate professor at Oxford after obtaining tenure corresponds to an associate professor in the US. Oxford University has abandoned the position of a reader.