We expect that all Carleton faculty will have at least one of the following:

  • A terminal degree (or, at a minimum, a master’s degree) in the discipline in which they are teaching, or a closely related discipline.
  • A terminal degree (or, at a minimum, a master’s degree) in another discipline, and at least 18 graduate semester credit hours (or the equivalent) in the discipline in which they are teaching, or a closely related discipline.

Because the assessment of a potential instructor’s qualifications is best done by those whose expertise is closest to the topic at hand, the process for assessing the qualifications of a candidate instructor is primarily situated at the department and program level. (For Interdisciplinary Studies courses, the Provost’s Office plays the role of the program/department in this process.) The typical method for determining the qualifications of faculty will be based on earned academic credentials, but the “tested experience” qualification can apply in a variety of situations, particularly in certain disciplines. Of course, establishing that someone is qualified to teach in a particular program or department is not the same as establishing that they are qualified to teach every course in that field; the chair or director has the responsibility of ensuring that faculty members are only assigned to teach a particular course when they have the necessary established expertise in the relevant subfield(s). Qualifications at the course level are also vetted via the college’s course approval process.

For a potential instructor whose qualification may come through the “tested experience” approach, the individual must submit verifiable documentation of their relevant experience. This documentation must include a current CV, and should also contain all other relevant materials, such as transcripts; records of previous teaching, scholarship, or artistic work; letters from previous employers; and documentation of any other relevant experiences or credentials. These materials should be sent to the chair or director of the relevant program or department, who is encouraged to initiate collaborative discussions about this potential instructor with the Provost’s Office early in the process. If the program or department is interested in moving forward with this candidate instructor (through hiring or through course approvals), the chair or director will forward those materials to the Provost’s Office. The Provost’s Office will review the submitted documentation, and must approve any such hire or course assignment.  

Upon hire, all faculty members must submit official transcripts from the institution that granted their highest degree. These official records will be retained by the college as part of each faculty member’s personnel file.


This document was originally drafted within the Provost’s Office, in October 2022. A preliminary draft was presented and discussed by FAC on 10 November 2022, and edited in response to FAC members’ comments. The edited version was circulated to chairs and directors for further comment on 28 November 2022, and many responded with substantive comments. This document was further revised in response to their feedback. This version was finalized on 11 January 2023.