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5 Things to Know About Carnegie Classification

5 Things to Know About Carnegie Classification

For the third time in its history, the University of Oklahoma achieved the 2018 Carnegie Institution’s Very High Research Activity classification. With this designation, OU is among the nation’s top 130 doctoral-degree granting institutions in the 2018 top research category. Why is this important? Let’s break it down for you.  


Five things you need to know about the Carnegie Classification:

1. What are the key criteria for the classification?

Out of dozens of criteria collected, seven are key for Carnegie basic classification of research universities. Some are more influential than others.


Here are the criteria by most to least influential:

a. STEM doctorates conferred

b. Science and engineering research expenditures

c. Postdoctoral fellows and other non-faculty researchers

d. Social science doctorates conferred

e. Humanities doctorates conferred

f. Other /professional doctorates conferred

g. Non-science and engineering research expenditure



2. How have the classifications changed over time?

The titles for the three tiers have changed over time. In 2018, for the first time, professional degrees could count toward “other doctorates” conferred. In addition, the requirements to elevate research institutions out of Tier 3 were revealed.



3. Other than enhanced reputation, how else does the Very High Research Activity classification benefit OU?

The classification enables universities to compare themselves to the proper peer universities, but is not a ranking system.



4. Where does Carnegie get the data for the classification?


Data for the Carnegie classification is collected from two National Science Foundation surveys: the Higher Education Research and Development survey and the survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering. Furthermore, three U.S. Department of Education Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System surveys provide degrees conferred, enrollment and human resources information.

5. How often is the Carnegie classification reported?

Carnegie issued the classifications every five years until 2018 when it began issuing the classification every three years.