Ranks, Pathways and Track

Faculty appointments are defined by RankPathway, and Track. The type of appointment is determined by the Department Chair (SoM) or Dean (GSN) on initial appointment and is confirmed in the letter of appointment. The initial appointment is temporary and must be formally approved through the academic personnel process within 12 months from the date of appointment for non-clinical faculty or within 6 months from the date of appointment for faculty employed by the clinical system (UMass Memorial HealthCare). Complete information is contained in the UMMS Academic Personnel Policy.

Appointment Process: Click here for further information on the appointment process for new faculty.

Rank, Pathways and Track Diagram

Ranks and Titles

UMMS uses the standard academic ranks of Assistant ProfessorAssociate Professor, and Professor. In addition, the following ranks or titles are used for faculty with more limited academic responsibilities or in special circumstances (click on the titles below for more information; also see Article 5 of the Academic Personnel Policy):

  • Instructor: multiple uses, including as an entry-level faculty appointment.
  • Lecturer: for faculty with limited academic contributions.
  • Affiliate: for voluntary members of the faculty who are not employed by UMMS or UMMHC.
  • Adjunct: for faculty who hold a primary academic appointment at another institution.
  • Visiting: for faculty who hold an academic appointment at another institution and are at UMMS for a limited period.
  • Emeritus: for distinguished, retired faculty who have achieved the level of Full Professor, has attained international recognition in his/her academic discipline, and who has been an active member of the faculty for at least ten years prior to retirement.


There are three academic pathways (see Article 6 of the Academic Personnel Policy):

  • Traditional Pathway: faculty are expected to provide contributions to the academic programs in at least two of the three mission areas (research, education, service); titles are unmodified, e.g., "Assistant Professor".
  • Research Pathway: for faculty expected to focus on research and scholarly activity; titles are modified: e.g., "Research Assistant Professor".
  • Clinical Pathway: for faculty expected to focus on clinical service; titles are modified: e.g., "Clinical Assistant Professor".


Faculty are appointed to one of two academic tracks:

  • Tenure Track: requires high quality performance across all mission areas, with continued excellence in research, creative or scholarly activity. All tenure or tenure track appointments are on the unmodified pathway.
  • Non-Tenure Track: for faculty whose status or breadth of activities may not meet the criteria for tenure. Appointments may be on any Pathway.

Faculty may transfer between tracks, subject to approval: click here for more information.