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Associate professor (frequently capitalized as Associate Professor) is an academic title. In North America and universities elsewhere using the North American system, it is a position between assistant professor and a full professorship. In the United Kingdom, the title associate professor is sometimes used in place of reader[1]. The title of associate professor in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in South Africa, India, parts of Southeast Asia, Ireland and other countries, like the title of reader, corresponds to a full professorship in North America.

Associate professor
Occupation type
Activity sectors
CompetenciesAcademic knowledge, teaching
Education required
Typically a doctoral degree and additional academic qualifications
Fields of
Related jobs




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. Some universities in Commonwealth countries have also entirely adopted the North American system in place of the Commonwealth system.

North American system Commonwealth system
(higher tier, including Distinguished Professor or equivalent)
Professor Reader or Principal Lecturer (mainly UK) or Associate Professor (mainly Australia, NZ, South Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Ireland)
Associate professor Senior Lecturer
Assistant professor Lecturer

Adoption of American titles by Commonwealth universitiesEdit

Increasingly, some universities in Commonwealth countries have adopted the American hierarchy of titles.

The University of Western Australia, for example, adopted the American system in 2009; those who until then held the title lecturer received the new title assistant professor, previous senior lecturers received the new title associate professor, previous associate professors under the old system received the new title professor, and previous professors under the old system received the new title Winthrop professor.[2] Under this methodology the titles correspond in the following way:

Old titles New titles
Professor A higher/named professorship (e.g. "Winthrop Professor")
Reader or Associate Professor Professor
Senior Lecturer Associate Professor
Lecturer Assistant Professor


  1. ^ "Australia, Academic Career Structure". Archived from the original on 28 June 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Schedule A: Salaries and Casual Rates". Academic Staff Agreement 2010. University of Western Australia. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.