Elon University moves to doctoral category in new Carnegie Classification

Elon joins a group of Doctoral/Professional Universities from across the country in the latest Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.  

Elon University is now classified as a Doctoral/Professional University, a new category created by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The category of 151 schools was finalized in February, the result of the 2018 update produced by Carnegie. Elon was previously classified as a master’s university. This new classification recognizes Elon’s continuing advancement in graduate program offerings and associates the university with many other leading universities across the country.

The Carnegie Classification has been the leading framework for recognizing, describing and studying institutions in U.S. higher education for the past 46 years. The categories are used to form the basis for some college rankings, including those by U.S. News & World Report.

The Doctoral/Professional category includes many of the nation’s finest universities, including schools that gain recognition in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings. Three of the four #1-ranked 2019 Regional Universities are included – Elon (South), Creighton University (Midwest) and Santa Clara University (West). Also included are Pepperdine University (#46 National University), Drake University (#3 Regional University – Midwest), Gonzaga University (#4 Regional University – West), Valparaiso University (#5 Regional University – Midwest), Samford University (#4 Regional University – South) and Seattle University (#8 Regional University – West).

“Elon University is proud to be included in the new Doctoral/Professional Universities group,” said Connie Ledoux Book, Elon’s president. “These are universities that are national in scope and positioned to lead. We feature strong professional degrees while remaining laser-focused on what matters most – students. Distinct from the doctoral universities with high research activity, schools in this group focus on excellent teaching and mentorship, innovation and the powerful synergy of undergraduate majors and professional graduate programs.”

In this year’s update, Carnegie reshaped the doctoral university classification to better accommodate schools that offer first professional degrees at the graduate level. Elon’s doctoral programs include the JD degree (law) and DPT (physical therapy).

Carnegie’s doctoral classification now includes the “very high research activity” and “high research activity” doctoral institutions along with the new Doctoral/professional category, which includes schools with less than $5 million in annual research expenditures or fewer than 20 research/scholarship doctorates awarded annually.

The Doctoral/Professional Universities category includes 123 private schools and 28 public schools with a total enrollment of nearly 1.46 million students. The average enrollment at these institutions is about 9,700.