Bellarmine's Carnegie Classification changes, reflecting growth in professional doctoral programs

February 15, 2019


Bellarmine University's Carnegie Classification was recently elevated from "master's large" to "doctoral/professional studies."

The change, part of a realignment in how U.S. universities that grant doctoral degrees are evaluated, reflects recent growth in doctoral degrees that serve professions outside of higher education. It moves Bellarmine from the "master's colleges and universities" to the "doctoral universities" category.

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education is a system that categorizes U.S. colleges and universities according to characteristics that include the student populations they serve and their level of academic research activity. It was developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, an education policy and research center. 

"As more industries are seeking leaders with terminal degrees, universities like Bellarmine have reacted and created doctoral programs designed for professionals in a variety of fields," said Dr. Susan M. Donovan, Bellarmine's president. "This change in Carnegie Classification recognizes the growing importance of these programs at Bellarmine and beyond. We'll continue to develop innovative, high-quality doctoral programs as the marketplace demands them, while maintaining our traditional strength in undergraduate and master's degrees infused with the liberal arts."

Donovan noted that the number of doctoral programs that Bellarmine offers has grown from one to six over the past decade:
There are currently 316 students pursuing doctoral degrees at Bellarmine.

The latest Carnegie Classification, released in December with revisions in January, is based on data from the 2016-17 academic year. The classification's newly named "doctoral/professional universities" category includes institutions offering two or more professional practice doctoral programs with at least 30 doctoral degrees conferred per year.

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