Skip to Ramapo College Policies and Procedures site navigationSkip to main content

Terminal Degree Requirement for Faculty Appointment and Tenure

Section Title:Administrative
Policy Number:621
Policy Name:Terminal Degree Requirement for Faculty Appointment and Tenure
Approval Authority:President’s Cabinet
College Policy Executive:Chief Planning Officer
Responsible Executive:Provost / Vice President for Academic Affairs
Responsible Unit:Office of the Provost / Vice President for Academic Affairs
Date Adopted:July 7, 1976
Date Revised:October 2001; January 2006; November 2008; October 2013; January 2014


Policy Statement

The academic qualification for appointment to a tenure-track position is the established terminal degree in which the faculty member will teach. Exceptions may be made by the Provost upon recommendation of the Dean.

Reason for Policy

To establish terminal degree requirements for faculty appointment and tenure

To Whom Does the Policy Apply

Full-time faculty appointed in tenure-track positions

Related Documents

  • Procedure
  • List of terminal degrees


Office of the Provost / Vice President for Academic Affairs
(201) 684-7529


The following guidelines apply to the educational qualifications for tenure track hire at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

  1. Possession of an earned doctorate from an accredited institution in all fields where the doctoral degree is the terminal degree is required for appointment to a tenure track position. In interdisciplinary fields, the doctoral degree requirement may be met by possession of a doctorate in a related field or in an interdisciplinary subject. The faculty member has demonstrated preparation to offer instruction in a teaching discipline although the faculty member may possess the doctorate in another discipline.
  2. In the event an individual is appointed to tenure track status without completing the doctoral degree, the letter of appointment shall clearly stipulate the date by which the terminal degree must be completed.
  3. In fields where the masters or some other degree is considered the terminal degree for that field (e.g., the Master of Fine Arts or the Master of Library Science the appropriate degree will satisfy the educational qualification for tenure track appointment. Decisions regarding whether or not a specialized degree is the terminal degree for a particular field shall be based upon documented national or international standards, e.g., those set by professional associations or accrediting agencies.
  4. Exceptions to the requirements of the earned doctorate or other recognized terminal degree may be made by the President in consultation with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, but only upon the recommendation of the school and convening group. One or more of the following circumstances may justify approval of an exception to the requirement of the doctorate.
  5. Exceptional individuals may be hired on tenure track status who do not possess the doctorate or appropriate terminal degree. Recommendations to hire individuals who do not possess the doctorate or appropriate terminal degree must be accompanied by documentation of the combination of formal training and scholarly work which provides clear evidence of scholarly or creative attainments equivalent to the level of a doctorate or appropriate terminal degree. The evaluation of academic background should consider pre- and post-doctoral fellowships, scholarship, professional certifications, academic honors received, formal training, creative work, or other pertinent attainments. The dean and convener will review the documentation of educational qualifications noted above.
  6. Each recommendation to hire an individual on tenure track status shall include a review of the educational qualifications of the proposed candidate by the Office of Affirmative Action and Workplace Compliance for degree verification and the dean and convener for educational documentation.
  7. Educational degree requirements for appointment to a tenure track position must be clearly stated in the vacancy announcement.
  8. The attached list describes the required terminal degrees by program and school.


The following list describes the required terminal degrees by school and program (majors, minors, and concentrations).

Terminal Degree Requirement for Faculty Appointment and Tenure

School Program Required Terminal Degree
AIS Creative Writing MFA
All Others PhD
ASB Accounting PhD or DBA in accounting or related field
Economics PhD in economics
Finance PhD or DBA in finance or PhD in economics with financial economics as a field
Information Systems PhD or DBA in information systems or related field.
International Business PhD or DBA in international business or PhD or DBA in a related discipline with significant
relevant experience
Management PhD or DBA in management or related field
Marketing PhD or DBA in marketing or related field
CA Communications PhD or MFA
Journalism / Writing MFA or MA in Journalism with 5 years experience
Music DMA
Art History PhD
All Others MFA or PhD
Library All Master of Library Science (MLS) or
Master of Library and
Information Science (MLIS)
SSHS Social Work DSW and MSW, or PhD and MSW
Law and Society PhD
Psychology PhD, PsyD or EdD
All Others PhD or EdD
TAS Bioinformatics PhD or PhD in related field
Biochemistry PhD or PhD in related field
Biology PhD
Chemistry PhD
Environmental Science PhD or PhD in related field
Mathematics PhD
Nursing DNSc, DNS, DPh, PhD, EdD, DPN
Physics PhD
Computer Science PhD or PhD in a computer related field with a MA in computer science

Exceptions may be made based on curricular need and dean’s recommendation to the provost. Other terminal degrees exist, for equivalency, see Faculty Handbook. Section IV-6, Qualifications for Rank: “. . . appropriate terminal degree required for reappointment with tenure” and “equivalence of degree or prior experience.” .

Faculty Handbook