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Instructor Credentials

The University of Houston appoints all tenured, tenure track and non-tenure track faculty and instructors of record in accordance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Faculty Credentialing Guidelines (PDF).  “The Institution employs competent faculty members qualified to accomplish the mission and goals of the institution.  When determining acceptable qualifications of its instructors, an institution gives primary consideration to the highest earned degree in the discipline. The institution also considers competence, effectiveness, and capacity, including, as appropriate, undergraduate and graduate degrees, related work experiences in the field, professional licensure and certifications, honors and awards, continuous documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning outcomes.”

Academic credentials are guided by the following principles when appointing individuals to teach a course at the University.  Please use this guide to determine if additional supporting documentation is required for an instructional appointment.

Faculty teaching baccalaureate courses:

  • doctorate or master’s degree in the teaching discipline or;
  • master’s degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline (minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline).

Faculty teaching graduate and post-baccalaureate course work:

  • earned doctorate/terminal degree in the teaching discipline or a related discipline.

Graduate teaching assistants:

  • master’s in the teaching discipline or 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline, direct supervision by a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, regular in-service training, and planned and periodic evaluations.

Please note that the University considers the following to be the terminal degree in the discipline.

  • Master of Fine Arts – Creative Writing, Fine Arts, Theatre and Dance
  • Master of Architecture – Architecture and Design
  • Master of Social Work & at least 2 years of post‐master’s social work degree practice experience. Applies to Social Work practice courses only.

If the individual to be appointed instructor of record does not have the above listed academic qualifications, a justification form must be completed to document the instructor’s qualifications and experience.  The relationship of the instructor’s qualifications and experience to the specific subject matter and topics covered in the course must be apparent and comprehensively summarized on the form.

Justification Form

For additional information regarding faculty and graduate teaching assistant appointments, please refer to the Faculty Handbook and Graduate Catalog for specific guidance.

If you have questions about a specific appointment, please contact the Office of Faculty Affairs at or 713-743-9168 for guidance.