MSU has topped the charts yet again as one of the leading American universities in research for 2019. The Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research placed MSU in the nation’s top three percent in the category of doctoral research, distinguishing MSU in the “very high research activity” category. Only MSU and one other university held a “very high undergraduate” enrollment profile in addition to receiving the highest designation from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

“This designation reinforces what we have known at MSU for decades: The discovery of new knowledge and the creation of art have intrinsic value,” declared President Cruzado in response to this award. This classification materialized as a result of the contributions of faculty, students and staff, with their commitment to research excellence and new discovery.

The classification originated in 1970 as a system for institutions to recognize universities and colleges that are comparable in size, monetary expenditure on research and production of research. As explained by the Carnegie Classification website, MSU’s distinction of “very high research activity” is specific to doctoral-granting institutions at the highest level, R1, followed by R2, meaning “high research activity” and D/PU representing “doctoral/professional universities,” respectively. Both R1 and R2 levels are only presented to schools documented for spending at least an annual total of $5 million on research. MSU averages over an impressive $120 million each year. Other qualifications include a minimum number of research/scholarship doctoral degrees given and received throughout the designated year. This isn’t the first time MSU has found itself in the top bracket.

From 2006 to 2015, MSU held the R1 designation until the Carnegie classification was modified in 2016. In response, there was a conscious effort to find direction for improvement. Faculty members, department heads and the deans of students came together to create three main committees that would guide MSU back into the R1 category. The committees worked to improve graduate school admissions and retention rates and reach higher standards for research.

Having proactively accomplished the greatest Carnegie Classification a university of MSU stature can receive, MSU research heads into the new year challenged and charged.