Carnegie Classification

Carnegie Classification

UT Tyler Office of Information Analysis

Carnegie classifications are organized around three key questions: What is taught? To whom? In what setting?

Two of the classifications focus on the instructional program (one on the undergraduate program and one on the graduate program). Two describe the profile of enrolled students (one describes the mix of undergraduate and graduate/professional students, while the other focuses on the undergraduate population). Finally, a fifth differentiates institutions with respect to size and residential character.

The Carnegie Classification® has been the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education for the past four and a half decades. Starting in 1970, the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education developed a classification of colleges and universities to support its program of research and policy analysis. Derived from empirical data on colleges and universities, the Carnegie Classification was originally published in 1973, and subsequently updated in 1976, 1987, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2018 to reflect changes among colleges and universities. This framework has been widely used in the study of higher education, both as a way to represent and control for institutional differences, and also in the design of research studies to ensure adequate representation of sampled institutions, students, or faculty.

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