Docent is a title at some European universities to denote a specific academic appointment within a set structure of academic ranks below professor (i.e. professor ordinarius). Docent is also at some universities generically used for a person who has the right to teach. The term is derived from the Latin word docēns, which is the present active participle of docēre (to teach, to lecture).


Germany and Switzerland

In Germany and in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, Dozent or Hochschuldozent denotes an academic appointment at a university or similar institution, at a mid level ranking of seniority.

The title of Privatdozent is used (with certain conditions) by those who have successfully completed a Habilitation, thereby denoting that its holder has the right to independently teach without being supervised by a professor. In this way, a Privatdozent may for instance hold an appointment as Hochschuldozent or Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, or even Professor.

Central and Eastern Europe

In many countries, with academic traditions that stem from German-speaking countries, "docent" is an academic appointment below that of a professor. This is the situation in Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Docent is the lowest academic title that confers the right to teach at the university, below the extraordinary professor (associate professor in English parlance) and ordinary professor (full professor).

In Poland the title of docent formerly was mandatory in order to become a professor (i.e. full professor). This is no longer a requirement and this title nearly vanished in the last 20 years. Currently this title may be given to a person on non-scientist duty (teacher/instructor). Only a person on scientist duty may apply for the title of professor, therefore docent is the highest title for teachers and instructors.

In countries such as Lithuania, Bulgaria[1], Estonia, Macedonia, Serbia, Russia and Ukraine "docent" is used as an academic title equivalent to associate professor, between assistant and full professor[dubious ].

Northern Europe

In Finland and Sweden, docent (Finnish dosentti, Swedish docent), is an academic title conferred to a person fulfilling requirements similar to German Privatdozent. Such persons are usually expected to give lectures on their specialities if their professional activities permit this. Most docents are employed at the university where they are docents, but usually in a different position (often with the title Lecturer, which is equivalent to Associate Professor)[citation needed]. The Docents' Union of Finland and the Ministry of Education recommend the term Adjunct Professor.[2][3]

In Sweden, there used to be both stipendiary (docentstipendiat) and non-stipendiary (oavlönad docent) docent positions. A stipendiary docent both held the docent title (for life), and benefited from a stipend that paid for his or her salary at the university for up to six years. The non-stipendiary alternative was solely an academic title (also for life). Today only the non-stipendiary docent title exists. It is in most cases awarded to people employed as university lecturer (B)/assisting professor with a distinguished international reputation in research or scholarship after a rigorous review of their research; as such, Docent is equivalent to First Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor/Reader.

The title of docent is the second highest grade in the Swedish academic system, the highest being "professor". A docentship should be regarded as an educational title not connected with the employment pyramid as such. This is rather an assurance of the level of expertise, to enable the person to advance further in his/her academic career. A docent qualification is required of all head doctoral student supervisors. For conferment of the title, there is a requirement that the researcher has a good overview of his research area and has demonstrated both the ability to formulate research problems and to independently carry through research programs. It is a requirement that the researcher should be able to lead research projects. The researcher must have substantial scientific research experience and be well published in scientific journals.

In Finland, the docent title is solely an academic title for life and it is a rank between Lecturer and full Professor, i.e. it is similar to an Associate Professor according to the American universities. In addition to teaching, Docents are involved in research and supervising post-graduate students. To be awarded the docent title, a candidate has to have a doctor’s degree or have corresponding scientific competence and, in addition, have acquired advanced scientific skills as well as educational skills.[4]

In Norway, the title docent (Norwegian: dosent) was used for positions immediately below full professors and above Associate Professors (førsteamanuensis) until 1985. The requirements were the same as for full university professors, but until then, each department usually only had one professor and other academics with similar qualifications were appointed as docents. Hence, docents could be seen as professors without chair (Professor extraordinarius). All docents were lifted to full Professor status in 1985 when the title was abolished at the universities[citation needed].

In Denmark, docent is an appointment ranking between Lecturer (equivalent to Associate Professor) and full Professor[citation needed].


In Portugal, docente is a synonymous for teacher, being widely used across all academic ranks (i.e. high-school, undergraduate, etc...)

South Africa

In South Africa, the Afrikaans word dosent refers to any full-time university lecturer, independent of rank, as opposed to a lektor which is used to describe lecturers at Technikon and College level.


In Turkey, doçent is an academic appointment equivalent to an associate professor, ranking between assistant professor and professor.[5]


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  5. ^ Büyük Larousse Sözlük ve Ansiklopedisi 1986 "Doçent: Üniversite öğretim üyeliğinde yardımcı doçent ile profesör arasında yer alan akademik unvan."

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  • docent — DOCÉNT, docenţi, s.m. 1. (În alte ţări) Grad didactic onorific în învăţământul superior, corespunzând de obicei aceluia de conferenţiar; persoană care are acest grad. 2. (În ţara noastră; de obicei în sintagma doctor docent) Titlu ştiinţific… …   Dicționar Român

  • Doçent — (Abk. Doç.) ist ein türkischer Akademischer Grad. Er entspricht in etwa dem Titel Privatdozent. Der Grad „Doçent“ steht über dem Doktor und beinhaltet keine Lehrverpflichtung.[1] Die Hauptvoraussetzung ist eine erfolgreiche Promotion. Daneben… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • docent — dòcent (docȅnt) m <G mn nātā> DEFINICIJA samostalni predavač na fakultetu ili akademiji, po stupnju viši od višeg asistenta, a niži od izvanrednog profesora ETIMOLOGIJA njem. Dozent ← lat. docens: koji podučava ← docēre: podučavati …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Docent — Do cent, a. [L. docens, entis, p. pr. of docere to teach.] Serving to instruct; teaching. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] || …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Docēnt — (v. lat.), Lehrender, Lehrer an einer hohen Schule …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Docent — Docent, s. Dozent …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • dòcent — (docȅnt) m (dòcentica ž) 〈G mn nātā〉 samostalni predavač na fakultetu, po stupnju viši od višeg asistenta, a niži od izvanrednog profesora ✧ {{001f}}njem. ← lat …   Veliki rječnik hrvatskoga jezika

  • docent — 1630s (adj.), from L. docentem (nom. docens), prp. of docere to teach (see DOCTOR (Cf. doctor)). As a noun, from 1880 …   Etymology dictionary

  • docent — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. mos I, Mc. docentncie; lm M. docentnci {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} zniesione w Polsce na wyższych uczelniach (zachowane w Polskiej Akademii Nauk) w latach 90. stanowisko samodzielnego pracownika naukowego z tytułem doktora… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • docent — ☆ docent [dō′sənt; ] also [ dō sent′ ] n. [Ger, earlier sp. of dozent, teacher, lecturer < L docens, prp. of docere, to teach: see DECENT] 1. in some American universities, a teacher or lecturer not on the regular faculty 2. a tour guide and… …   English World dictionary

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