Glossary / A / Associate Professor

Associate Professor

What is an associate professor?

An associate professor is a person who holds the rank of an academic title just below that of a Full Professor. The difference between Associate Professor and Full Professor can vary from university to university, but it usually signifies that they are within ten years or so away from achieving tenure (the process by which professors earn their permanent position). Therefore, an associate professor is a title that can be given to an individual who has achieved the rank of full professor but does not have tenure.

The term “associate” in this instance means they are associated with another person or group and cannot hold their position on their own accord.  These professorships were created specifically for people who want to teach at universities without having attained permanent status as a tenured faculty member yet still wish to pursue teaching careers within academia.

Usually, professors teach undergraduate students and provide guidance for graduate students conducting research on topics related to their expertise. An Associate Professors duties may include teaching classes, grading papers, and exams as well as conducting research for publication in journals. Some may conduct original research themselves; either way, they will come up with important findings that contribute new knowledge within the fields of study which could lead to a better understanding of our world.

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