Classification places WSU in highest research category

The latest version of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education ranks WSU as one of 94 public and private research institutions nationwide with very high research activity. (Photo: James Petersen, vice provost for research.)

Washington State, the University of Washington and Montana State University are the only three universities in the six-state region – Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Alaska – that are ranked in the highest research category by Carnegie.

“I am very pleased that the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching continues to recognize WSU as one of a select group of institutions with very high research activities,” said James Petersen, WSU’s vice provost for research.

“This recognition reemphasizes the importance of continued attention to our research and Ph.D. educational programs. WSU research and graduate education programs not only help advance the economy of the state, but they also help us offer an outstanding education in a face-to-face fashion to our undergraduate students. At WSU, the laboratory is truly the classroom for life,” he said.

The new version of the Carnegie classifications ranks 4,321 colleges and universities overall. For a complete list of colleges, see

The system places colleges and universities in a variety of classifications based on research output, selectivity, size, location and course offerings. In the undergraduate area, Carnegie characterizes WSU’s Pullman campus as a selective, residential campus offering a balanced array of offerings in the arts and sciences and in professional fields.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the foundation’s method of classifying colleges has undergone four previous revisions, but none as comprehensive as this one. The Chronicle said that Carnegie officials believe the extra categories, which will be easier to analyze with Web-based tools the foundation has created, could generate interest in the classification system outside academe.

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