News & Announcements
The official 2015 Update was released on Feb. 1, 2016
The 2015 Classification update is now official! As with all such systems, it is still subject to modest changes going forward. The changes that can happen include:
- Institution name changes
- Consolidations and mergers that occur within the first year after release
- Clear data errors or misclassifications and application of exception rules, within the first year of release
Individuals with questions about specific institutional classifications, or more generally about the classifications should contact the staff at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Further staff contact information is provided here, but the classification email address is the preferred mode of contact, so we can more readily track and ensure timely responses to all questions. If you would like to be on the CCIHE mailing list, to receive early information about reports and other future developments, send an email to email@example.com with the subject: "Join email list".
The 2015 Update
The 2015 Classification update retains the same structure of six parallel classifications initially adopted in 2005. They are as follows: Basic (the traditional Carnegie Classification framework), Undergraduate and Graduate Instructional Program, Enrollment Profile and Undergraduate Profile, and Size & Setting. These classifications provide different lenses through which to view U.S. colleges and universities, offering researchers greater analytic flexibility. The 2015 classification employs the most recent available data from the source federal agencies (National Center for Education Statistics and National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics) and non-profit agency (The College Board). These data represent the time period of 2013-14. Further details about the data sources are available in the Definitions section.
Changes between the 2015 and 2010 Editions
A significant change was made to the Basic classification. Specifically, the 2015 update includes new Associate's Colleges categories, based on program mix and student mix, with "Special Focus" two-year colleges placed in separate categories, parallel to how four-year special focus institutions are designated.
Other notable changes include new category labels for Doctoral Universities and some changes to the way the classifications and categories are listed. For example, the most frequently used Basic classification was moved to the top of listings, and, within the Basic classification, the categories are listed starting with the highest degree level.
The most notable change within the other classifications is that they were applied to Special Focus institutions and Tribal Colleges instead of leaving those institutions as "unclassified."
About the Carnegie ClassificationTM
The Carnegie ClassificationTM 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, and 2015 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.
Elective Community Engagement Classification
The Elective Classification on Community Engagement is under the stewardship of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education. Click here to access the website.
Using the Site
The menus at the top (in full screen mode) or through the menu icon above right (smaller views) provide access to extensive documentation as well as tools for looking up specific institutions, listing all institutions in a particular classification category, aggregating categories within a classification, and examining points of intersection across two or more classifications.
Frequently Asked Questions (coming soon)
Recommended Citation (APA Format)
Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research (n.d.). The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, 2015 edition, Bloomington, IN: Author.
The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (n.d.). About Carnegie Classification. Retrieved (date optional) from http://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/.