UIndy’s Carnegie Classification ranking changes to nationally recognized university

The University of Indianapolis has recently moved from a regionally recognized university to a nationally ranked university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The Carnegie Classification is a way to group institutions based on various factors including the type of institution they are and the kinds of degrees offered and awarded. UIndy Associate Provost for Administration and Deputy to the Provost Mary Beth Baggs said. 

Prior to this academic year, UIndy was considered a Master’s Large institution, according to Baggs. Universities in this category, also known as the M1 category on the Carnegie Classifications website, award at least 50 master’s degrees, and less than 20 doctoral degrees. The M1 category is a regional category and includes schools such as Butler University and the University of Saint Francis, according to the Carnegie Classifications website.

UIndy now has been classified as a Doctoral/Professional University. The category is the third and newest category  and was created as the result of an update to the classification system in 2018, according to Carnegie Classifications website.

According to Baggs, there are three types of doctoral classifications under Carnegie. First, is the R1 category, which awards doctoral degrees to universities that not only have an extensive amount of research happening, but also confer degrees known as PhD’s. R1’s include schools such as Harvard University. Second, there are the R2’s, which conduct similar amounts of research as R1’s, but on a smaller scale.

One of the criteria that had to be met for the doctoral classification was the number of degrees and types of doctorates that were conferred within a year. There had to be at least two of those types of doctorate degrees, and more than 30 of the doctorate degrees had to be conferred within a year, according to Baggs.

“In terms of where you fall in the Carnegie Classification, it’s really about the types of degrees,” Baggs said. “It also, in the doctoral institutions, has to do with the level of sponsored research that happens.”

Doctoral universities are classified as universities who awarded at least 20 research or scholarship doctoral degrees during the 2017-18 year. Universities who awarded less than 20 research or scholarship doctoral degrees, but awarded at least 30 professional practice doctorates for at least two programs also are considered a doctoral university, according to carnegieclassifications.iu.edu.

Currently, UIndy offers five doctoral degrees: a Doctorate of Health Science, a Doctorate of Nursing Practice, a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy, a Doctorate of Physical Therapy and a Doctorate of Psychology. Last year, 132 doctorate degrees were awarded, according to Baggs.

University President Robert Manuel said that he has witnessed the university grow significantly during his eight years as president. That growth has been demonstrated in academics, relationships with students and faculty and providing students with more opportunities to continue their education in graduate and doctoral programs. 

“The research and the work we do in the creation of intellectual property area has grown tremendously,” Manuel said. “The engagement between faculty and students has produced students that are going off to all kinds of areas has grown, both in their depth and their breadth over time.”

Only 10 percent of the 4,324 universities who are ranked within the Carnegie Classification are considered doctoral universities. UIndy is one of eight Indiana universities on the elite national list, according to a UIndy press release. UIndy also ranked nationally for the first time in the social mobility category, according to the press release. The social mobility category recognizes institution’s commitment to students with an economic disadvantage and also first generation students. This category is also looked at by US News and World Report, according to Baggs.

“UIndy has a long history of enrolling first-generation students and those with economic and other factors that could impact their persistence in college,” Baggs said. “The support systems here help to bridge those gaps. This is part of UIndy’s mission and speaks to our university’s motto of ‘Education for Service.’”

For the US News and World Report ranking, UIndy fills out a survey which asks questions such as how many students the university has, how many degree programs the university offers, the capacity of residence halls, and over three hundred more questions that the administration completes every academic year, according to Baggs.

“First, I’m proud that the university has focused its talents in the areas of making educational program that’s relevant for our society,” Manuel said. “Second, I’m proud that we’ve been able to fund and produce experiences that are meaningful for students. Third, I’m proud that we’ve been able to lead our mission and use our mission as the source of growth for everything we’ve been doing, and as a result of all that, I’m happy that we’ve been kind of recognized for this to be pushed into a national ranking, national categories. It’s the byproduct, it’s not the goal.”

UIndy is currently tied in rankings with West Virginia University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, according to Manuel.

“The goal wasn’t to become a nationally ranked university, the goal wasn’t to become a doctoral or applied doctoral Carnegie group, right?” Manuel said. “The goal was to figure out for us what the right path forward for our education was. It’s nice to be recognized, but we really, in all of the strategic planning work we did, we never said we’re doing this because we want to get a better classification. We did it because it was right for us to do, tied to our mission and consistent with the needs of our students and the expertise of our faculty.”