Classification Descriptions

All accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States represented in the National Center for Education Statistics IPEDS system are eligible for inclusion in the Carnegie Classifications (as of the year a classification is issued, and subject to the availability of required data). Accreditation status is based on information provided by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education. For more information on accreditation, see

The classifications and categories are documented in this section. For a detailed explanation of how the categories were defined and the data used, refer to the Methodology.


These classifications include all eligible institutions, subject to data availability. They are derived from national data on institutional characteristics and activities from sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Science Foundation, and the College Board.

Classifications are time-specific snapshots of institutional attributes and behavior based on data from 2008 to 2010. Institutions might be classified differently using a different time frame.

News & Announcements

INTERIM SITE – Please note that this site is being made available while in the process of transitioning to its new home at the IU Center for Postsecondary Research. For questions, please contact

Articles related to the move of the Classifications to the IU Center for Postsecondary Research

New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) has released the 2015 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. A total of 240 institutions were selected to receive this voluntary designation, joining 121 institutions that were so designated in 2010.