Approved by the provost and deans, August 2017

In accordance with accreditation requirements, Washington University adheres to the following guidelines both when hiring instructional faculty and at the time of teaching assignments. These guidelines apply to all persons who teach on behalf of the university, including tenure-track faculty, teaching-track faculty, adjunct faculty, staff, or others who may provide instruction, with the exception of graduate students enrolled in a relevant program and participating in a supervised, mentored teaching assignment, who are excluded from these guidelines.

Primary qualifications include:

  1. Official credentials (degrees) and
  2. equivalent, tested experience


At the time of hire or assignment, the decision-making person(s) in the academic unit must consider the applicability of the candidate’s academic degrees and the depth of training and knowledge in the relevant area of expertise.

  • Faculty who teach in an undergraduate program should possess a degree at least one level higher (i.e., a master’s level degree) in a field or discipline relevant to the instruction.
  • Faculty who teach in a graduate program should possess the terminal degree, PhD, or the equivalent for that program, as well as a record of research, scholarship, or achievement appropriate for the graduate program.

2.Equivalent Tested Experience:

Tested experience may substitute for an earned credential or portions thereof*. Each academic unit hiring an instructor or making a teaching assignment to a person who does not meet the “credentials” requirement, above, must establish criteria defining the threshold of quality and quantity of experience sufficient to teach students in given field or discipline. These criteria must be reviewed by the appropriate school dean’s office or by the provost’s office prior to implementation or revision.  At the time of a hire or assignment that substitutes tested, equivalent experience for a credential, the academic unit must document evidence of the instructor’s experience that meets the criteria for equivalence.


* Faculty Qualifications Official HLC Guidelines page 4 see: