About the Carnegie Classifications System

In 1970, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching developed a classification of colleges and universities to support its internal program of research and policy analysis. Derived from empirical data on colleges and universities, the Carnegie Classification was first published for use by other researchers in 1973. Since then, the Carnegie Classification has been the leading framework for describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education. It 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. 

 Updates to the classification scheme were made in 1976, 1987, 1994, 2000, 2005 and, most recently, in 2010. Under the current scheme, there is no single classification given to any institution; rather, each institution is classified in six ways, according to six different criteria:

  • Undergraduate Instructional Program
  • Graduation Instructional Program
  • Enrollment Profile
  • Undergraduate Profile
  • Size & Setting
  • Basic Classification

These multiple classifications provide different lenses through which to view U.S. colleges and universities, offering researchers greater analytic flexibility. Each institution can now be described far more comprehensively, and more appropriately, considering the scope of institutional diversity represented throughout American higher education.

NOTE: Starting January 1, 2015, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching discontinued its work on institutional classifications, and transferred responsibility for the ongoing project to the Center for Postsecondary Research in the School of Education at Indiana University (Bloomington). To preserve continuity, the Center for Postsecondary Research will retain the name "Carnegie Classifications" for the classification scheme it will administer going forward.
Adapted from Bucknell University: http://www.bucknell.edu/institutional-research-and-planning/about-the-office-of-ir-and-planning/bucknell-university-carnegie-classification.html



SLU's Current Carnegie Classifications
From the most recent (2010) update of the Carnegie Classification system

Carnegie Classifications SLU's Statuses
Undergraduate Instructional Program
Prof+A&S/HGC: Professions plus arts & sciences, high graduate coexistence
Graduate Instructional Program
CompDoc/MedVet: Comprehensive doctoral with medical/veterinary
Enrollment Profile
MU: Majority undergraduate
Undergraduate Profile
FT4/I: Full-time four-year, inclusive
Size and Setting
L4/HR: Large four-year, highly residential
RU/H: Research Universities (high research activity)




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