Academic Review

Academic review is a common process at UC San Diego that is required for a variety of personnel actions to be approved and completed. This page contains information about the academic review process.

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What is Academic Review?

The academic review process is conducted to ensure the continuing quality of faculty and academics who are eligible for a reappointment, merit advancement or promotion through examination of several different aspects. The academic review involves an examination of the body of work of a faculty or academic by reviewers, which may also require review by additional School of Medicine or University committees to ensure that the individual is meeting the standard of quality expected of faculty and academics at UC San Diego. In addition to the role of reviewers and committees, departments, faculty or academics themselves play an active role in the process through the submission of documents that create a standardized review file.

Preparation for an academic review begins with submission of required documents that depend upon the series and proposed action. Depending on the series of the applicant and the proposed action, the submitted materials can consist of several different documents. These files are usually assembled by Academic Resource Center (ARC) staff with input from both department and faculty. Once a file has been prepared, it is reviewed at minimum by the Department Chair and sent to reviewers.

Reviewers/Committees generally review files to ensure that the proposed action is warranted based upon fulfillment of the key criteria of the series which may include:

  • Research and Creative Activity
  • Teaching
  • Professional Competence and (Clinical) Activity
  • University and Public Service

A proposed action can be approved, modified or denied.

Preparation of an Academic Review File

One of the steps in the process of submitting an academic review file is preparing documents to include in the review file. This file is a collection of materials which allow reviewers to accurately assess the performance of the candidate and make an appropriate approval decision. Depending on the series, a review file might require different forms (i.e. some might require PDFs of publications, internal/external referee letters). The files are primarily assembled by an Analyst within the Academic Resource Center with input from faculty and their department. This input is usually in response to one of several "call for materials" emails that will specify which documents to submit to ARC. To contact ARC with specific questions related to your case, please email

Timeline for On-Track Advancement

Below is a table outlining the general timeline for on-track advancement. Please note that most entry-level faculty begin as an Assistant Professor I and must work through each step from there following the indicated timeline. For more information on this timeline or specific questions, please contact the Academic Resource Center.

Assistant Professor:

Assistant Professor I

Assistant Professor II

Assistant Professor III

Assistant Professor IV

Two years at each step

Assistant Professor V

Assistant Professor VI

1 or 2 years

Associate Professor:

Associate Professor I

Associate Professor II

Associate Professor III

Two years at each step

Associate Professor IV

Associate Professor V

1, 2, or 3 years


Professor I

Professor II

Professor III

Professor IV

Three years at step

Professor V

Professor VI

Professor VII

Professor VIII

Three years or indefinite

Professor IX

4 years or indefinite

Professor, Above Scale

4 years at each salary level or indefinite


Questions? Please click here to email the Academic Resource Center.