Is Professor Capitalized? Assistant or Associate; APA or MLA

Writing The Word Professor

Writing The Word Professor

Many people and students cast doubts when referring to their instructors, like press releases or homework in the educational world. Well, understating the capitalization rules can be challenging in the English world.

Several factors will determine whether one should capitalize the word professor or not. With that in mind. Let’s explore an exhaustive answer to this question.

The word Professor is capitalized when it is part of a title of a person and when referring to him or her. This happens when the title ‘Professor’ precedes a person’s name.

However, the word is not capitalized when referring to the general position of a professor that is not referring to a specific person.

However, it is good to remember to capitalize it when you are starting a sentence with it like any other word. This is done for all the words in English.

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Instances when to Capitalize the Word, “Professor”


When you are writing about professions, we use titles to differentiate among roles. In the academic world, the title reveals the amount of time, dedication, and money you invested in for you to earn a particular title.

Before you capitalize the title “Professor,” you should subject it to the type of grammar-style references such as MLA or APA. Overall, since the term professor is a noun, you can only capitalize it depending on the location of the same term in the sentence. Please follow the below rules:

1. When it Precedes a Name

In this case, it implies that you will be using it as a title or a tag instead of just describing a person’s job. It is in order for one to capitalize the noun “professor” as part of their title.

We can elaborate on that in this example.

The political campaign team for Jeff Michael performed well because they had the backing of Professor Nixon as their political advisor.

2. At the Start of the Sentence

Capitalizing a word at the beginning of any sentence is the simplest form of approach taught in first grade. Usually, the Basic English rules require one to capitalize the first letter at the start of every sentence. For example,

Professor Henry contributed much to the science world, prompting scientists to name a museum in his honor.

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Instances when not to Capitalize the Word Professor

when not to use capital letters

You can only achieve a good grammar style when you understand situations that you should avoid when capitalizing the word professor.

Some of the cases when you should not capitalize are as follows:

When a Person’s title precedes their Name

We can elaborate that in the following example;

He is John Maclin, professor of Modern Languages and Culture. He is a leading figure in this city.

For one to know about the grade history in your subject, you can reach out to Edmond Edwards, professor of Mathematics and statistical science.

1. When Commas Separate it in a Sentence

We do not capitalize the word professor if the commas separate it within a sentence, as explained in this example;

  • While in session, the team, Jane, the professor, and I resolved to launch a charity walk for the needy.
  • You should confirm if Jacob, the professor, Mary, and Peter are meeting the CEO of the company.
  • Jennifer bought lunch for us. We all ate it except Gideon, Claire, and the professor.

2. When the Noun Professor Lacks Names Accompanying it

For example

  • The professor said that he is scheduling a make-up class next week to compensate for the time lost.
  • When you are pursuing your Ph.D., you have a chance to become a professor or leave it at that point.
  • I cannot understand why students are taking advantage of our professor to secure more research projects that could land them lucrative jobs.

Is Assistant Professor Capitalized?

Assistant professor is a distinguished academic title that one should capitalize if they precede a personal name immediately. For example, in this situation,

  • Associate professor John Smith, assistant professor.

Importance of Capitalizing Job Titles

We capitalize job titles to ensure that they remain respectful to the person being addressed. Furthermore, it shows professionalism when you mention their role.

You should know instances when you should capitalize a job title like an assistant professor. It could be when you are doing the following:

  1. Resumes
  2. Emails
  3. Cover letter
  4. Other professional documents

How to Capitalize an Assistant Professor

The decision will vary while factoring in the placement. Notable, you should capitalize it under the following circumstances: 

1. Before a Name

How to capitalize

When you refer to someone who has such a title, you should be the title informant of the name.

Also, when referring to someone by title and name, let the first latter remain in the upper case.

If you feature the job title after a name, then it will be the lower case instead of uppercase.

This is part of the etiquette when writing an email to a professor that you need to observe.

2. In Your Signature

When the assistant professor writes a direct email, it is critical to capitalize the title along with the name. Such establish professionalism and makes the email have an authoritative impression. 

When writing the name and the title, begin to type the name first and then follow it with the title. Alternatively, opt for a line break and between the title and the name.

3. As a Resume Heading

While creating resumes, you should include job titles in the work experience part. Capitalize them as you feature them as headings. Since most resumes take the AP style, the job title should be in the lower case as the right way to keep such rules.

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Tips for Capitalizing Job Title

Stay Consistent

When you are capitalizing on a job title as an assistant professor, you should remain consistent. After writing your letter or essay, ensure that you proofread your work to ensure you did the right thing.  

Use Title Case when capitalizing

As you capitalize the job titles, ensure you capitalize principal words. Write good words and messages too. Read about how to sign off an email to your professor for more insight on the related etiquettes.

FAQs on Capitalizing Professor

Is the professor capitalized in the email?

Yes, you should capitalize the noun professor in your email. In other words, you capitalize the first letter in the similar way you would do to any other title. As you do salutations, you should use the initial uppercase when you are dealing with the first word. Use the usual case in the rest.

Is the professor capitalized in APA or MLA STYLE?

We capitalize the word professor when the title follows a name. In both styles, this is APA and MLA, the term a professor is an occupation; hence it calls for capitalization. It is a reference for a particular person; hence capitalization is inevitable. You can do so by capitalizing the first word of the title, professor.

Do you capitalize professor of psychology?

We do not capitalize the term Professor of psychology in a sentence. It only denotes the accomplishment of a certain professor in that particular field. However, you can capitalize it at the start of the sentence or when the term itself is the title or a subheading of your work. For example, we when to consult Jorum Manasseh, professor of psychology.

Is profession capitalized?

Typically, you should not capitalize the word profession in the sentence unless it is at the beginning of the sentence. We only capitalize professional titles when preceded by a proper noun. Even so, one should capitalize a profession immediately before placing a name in the context. Caution is critical, as you should avoid capitalizing on job descriptions.

Is professor a proper noun?

No, the professor is the title that befits your accomplishment, and therefore we cannot equate it in a proper noun. It is a term that we refer to teachers that lecture at colleges or universities. For this case, it rains a noun and not a proper noun. We capitalize it depending on the context you used it in a sentence

Is university capitalized?

It also depends on the context. If it is a name of an institution, then it becomes a proper noun; hence you must capitalize it. For instance, the University of Florida.  That is because it indicates a physical presence that one can visit, see and address. According to grammar conventions, you should capitalize such a word.

However, when it is just a word in a sentence, you should never capitalize it with the exception of the beginning of the sentence.