Adjunct Professor Job Description [Updated for 2024]

adjunct professor job description

In the realm of academia, the role of adjunct professors is becoming increasingly pivotal.

Educational environments evolve, and with each transformation, the demand for skilled educators who can contribute to, enrich, and protect the quality of our academic system grows.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from an adjunct professor?

Whether you are:

  • An aspiring academic hoping to grasp the intricacies of this role,
  • A hiring committee outlining the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply fascinated by the world of academia,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we introduce a customizable adjunct professor job description template, designed for seamless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Adjunct Professor Duties and Responsibilities

Adjunct Professors are part-time educators who teach courses at a college or university level.

They may be responsible for a variety of tasks, including curriculum development, research, and mentoring students.

As an Adjunct Professor, the following duties and responsibilities may be expected:

  • Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as research methods, urban anthropology, and the sociology of work
  • Guide the discussion and learning of students during class times
  • Prepare course materials such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts
  • Evaluate and grade students’ class work, assignments, and papers
  • Keep abreast of developments in their field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences
  • Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, and course materials and methods of instruction
  • Hold office hours for student consultations
  • Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records
  • Mentor students and supervise student research
  • Participate in campus and community events


Adjunct Professor Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a knowledgeable and dynamic Adjunct Professor to join our faculty team.

The Adjunct Professor will be responsible for creating an engaging learning environment, enhancing curriculum, and teaching courses in their area of specialization.

The ideal candidate should be an expert in their subject area, possess strong communication skills, and have a passion for teaching and mentoring students.

Previous teaching experience at the college or university level is highly desirable.



  • Prepare course materials such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts
  • Teach courses in the assigned subject area
  • Evaluate and grade students’ class work, assignments, and papers
  • Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions
  • Stay updated on innovations and changes within their course field
  • Provide constructive feedback to students
  • Meet with students during office hours to discuss course material and provide additional learning support
  • Participate in campus events, such as seminars and workshops



  • Ph.D. or Master’s degree in the relevant field
  • Previous teaching experience at a college or university level
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Deep knowledge of the subject area and a willingness to keep abreast of new ideas, understanding and teaching methodologies
  • Commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity in the classroom



  • Flexible working hours
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Access to campus amenities
  • Opportunity to engage with diverse student body


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Adjunct Professor
  • Work Environment: University campus. May require evening or weekend hours depending on course schedule.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Department Head or Dean of the relevant faculty.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: Varies based on experience and field of expertise
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Part-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our university. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume, a cover letter outlining your teaching philosophy and experience, and a list of three professional references to [email address or application portal].


What Does an Adjunct Professor Do?

An Adjunct Professor is a part-time academic faculty member who teaches at colleges or universities.

They typically have industry experience or specific subject matter expertise in the field they teach.

Their primary responsibility is to teach courses in their subject area.

This involves preparing course materials such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.

They lecture, guide discussions, and facilitate learning through various teaching methods.

Adjunct Professors often grade student assignments and exams, providing feedback to support student learning and success.

They hold office hours to assist students with their course work and to help them understand the course materials better.

They may also be involved in developing curriculum and course materials, depending on the institution and department policies.

While they do not typically have the same research requirements as full-time faculty, some Adjunct Professors may conduct research or be involved in academic publishing.

Adjunct Professors contribute to the academic community through service in department committees or participation in academic conferences, but their engagement may be limited due to their part-time status.

Their role is crucial in providing high-quality education to students and bringing real-world experience into the classroom.


Adjunct Professor Qualifications and Skills

An Adjunct Professor should possess the following qualifications and skills:

  • Expertise in their field of study to provide high-quality instruction and insights to students.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, to effectively convey complex concepts and ideas to students.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to foster a positive learning environment and maintain strong relationships with students, faculty, and staff.
  • Highly organized and efficient, with the ability to plan, prepare, and deliver engaging lectures and course materials.
  • Critical thinking skills to develop and implement innovative teaching methods and curriculum enhancements.
  • Possess a strong understanding of the latest advancements and theories in their field to remain updated in their subject matter.
  • Ability to assess student performance fairly and objectively, providing constructive feedback to encourage academic growth.
  • Patience and empathy to understand and respond to students’ queries, problems, and challenges.
  • Master’s or Doctoral degree in the relevant field, as well as previous teaching or professional experience in the subject.


Adjunct Professor Experience Requirements

Adjunct Professors typically have a minimum of a Master’s degree in their field of expertise, with many institutions preferring a Doctoral degree.

The amount of teaching experience required can vary, but often ranges between 2 to 5 years in a classroom setting.

Many adjunct professors have gained experience through teaching assistantships during their graduate studies, or by guest lecturing at universities.

This practical experience in the field of academia is essential for mastering classroom management and course planning.

Apart from teaching experience, subject matter expertise in their field is also a critical requirement.

This can be demonstrated through relevant professional experience, research projects, and published works.

For positions requiring specialized knowledge or skills, such as in STEM fields, professional industry experience could be highly valued.

These professionals often have years of experience conducting research or working in their industry, thus bringing practical and up-to-date knowledge to their students.

Adjunct Professors with more than 5 years of teaching experience and a strong research background may have the necessary qualifications to step into more senior roles, such as department chair or program director.


Adjunct Professor Education and Training Requirements

Adjunct Professors typically hold a doctoral degree in their field of expertise, though sometimes a master’s degree, coupled with extensive professional experience, might be acceptable.

The road to becoming an adjunct professor usually begins with a bachelor’s degree, followed by a master’s degree in a chosen subject.

A doctorate degree, or PhD, in the specific field of study is traditionally required.

However, in some professional or technical disciplines, industry experience and professional certifications may substitute for formal education.

Adjunct Professors need strong research and analytical skills, excellent oral and written communication, as well as mastery in their subject matter.

Depending on the institution and the field, there might be a requirement to have published articles in scholarly journals or to have a significant professional achievement, such as a book publication, a patented invention, or a notable career in the field.

While not necessary, additional training in pedagogical techniques and instructional technology can help stand out in the competitive academic market.

It is also crucial to keep up with the latest advancements in one’s field, which often involves continuous learning and professional development throughout one’s career.

Having a doctoral degree and/or demonstrating a commitment to continuous learning and professional development can indicate a candidate’s potential for success in an adjunct professor role.


Adjunct Professor Salary Expectations

An Adjunct Professor earns an average salary of $30,103 (USD) per year.

The salary can vary significantly based on factors such as the field of study, level of experience, the size and prestige of the institution, and geographic location.


Adjunct Professor Job Description FAQs

What qualifications are required for an Adjunct Professor?

Adjunct Professors typically need to have a doctoral degree in their respective field, although in some cases, master’s degrees are acceptable.

They should also have relevant teaching experience, ideally at a college level.

Some universities may also require Adjunct Professors to have published research.


What are the typical duties of an Adjunct Professor?

The duties of an Adjunct Professor include planning and delivering lectures, preparing course materials such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.

They also evaluate and grade students’ class work, assignments, and papers.

Adjunct Professors may also be required to maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.

They may participate in campus and community events and are expected to stay updated in their area of expertise.


What qualities make a good Adjunct Professor?

A good Adjunct Professor possesses excellent communication skills to clearly deliver course content.

They must be passionate about their subject and able to inspire students.

They should also have strong interpersonal skills to create a positive, inclusive learning environment.

Organizational skills and the ability to manage their time effectively are also important qualities for an Adjunct Professor.


What should you look for in an Adjunct Professor’s resume?

An Adjunct Professor’s resume should highlight their educational qualifications, teaching experience, and any research publications.

Look for candidates who have experience in course development and a proven track record in successfully managing a classroom.

Any awards or recognition for teaching excellence can also be a positive sign.

Also, ensure that they have the necessary certifications and licenses to teach at a college level.


What is the difference between an Adjunct Professor and a Full-Time Professor?

Adjunct Professors are part-time faculty members who are hired on a contractual basis, usually by the semester.

They often maintain careers outside of academia and may not be involved in departmental duties or research to the same extent as full-time Professors.

Full-Time Professors, on the other hand, are permanent faculty members who are involved in teaching, research, and administrative responsibilities within their department.

They are also typically on a tenure-track, whereas Adjunct Professors are not.



And there you have it.

Today, we’ve given you a behind-the-scenes look into what it means to be an adjunct professor.

Guess what?

It’s not only about teaching classes.

It’s about shaping the minds of tomorrow, one lecture at a time.

With our easy-to-use adjunct professor job description template and real-world examples, you’re all set to make your next career move.

But don’t stop there!

Go further with our job description generator. It’s your next step to creating impeccably detailed job listings or refining your resume to perfection.


Every lecture is a part of a larger educational journey.

Let’s shape the future of education. Together.

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