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Carnegie’s Basic Classification Revised and Available for Review

January 3, 2006

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has released a preview of its major revision to the original 1970 classification framework. Documentation of the classification methodology and a tool allowing users to look up classifications of individual institutions are available online(Viewers must agree not to circulate the classifications in publications, e-mail, and other media.)  The preview period is intended to provide opportunity for comment and identification of data errors. The review period will close Wednesday, January 25; a final release is slated for February.

Noteworthy changes to the basic classification include:

  • Associate's Colleges are broken into subcategories;
  • A new measure of research activity is used for doctorate-granting institutions;
  • Master's-level institutions are split into three subcategories; and
  • The threshold levels of degree production separating Baccalaureate Colleges, Master's Colleges and Universities, and Doctoral-level institutions have been increased.

In November, five new classification schemes—based on undergraduate program, graduate program, enrollment profile, undergraduate profile, and size/setting—were released by the foundation. Work on a set of "elective" classifications, in which institutions will participate on a voluntary basis, is ongoing and will continue into 2006.