LMU Newsroom

Loyola Marymount University has broken into the upper echelon of American universities, gaining recognition for its high level of research expenditures and advanced degree offerings.

In the latest update to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, LMU moved into the Doctoral University: High Research Activity category, a substantive change which recognizes the university’s commitment to high-level research and its growth in doctoral degrees offered to students.

The Carnegie framework is a tool used by college ranking groups and higher education researchers to group similar institutions of higher education, based on the number of advanced doctoral degrees awarded and total research expenditures. Before moving into the R2 category, LMU was classified as a master’s university.

“This change to our classification, the first since 1994, is a recognition of the quality of the education LMU provides and the scholarly work our faculty and students engage in, and more accurately reflects LMU’s standing among institutions of higher education,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas Poon. “While no category of university is ‘better’ than another, we are excited by this acknowledgement, which shifts LMU’s profile from that of a regional university to a new peer group of national universities.”

LMU offers an education doctorate degree in educational leadership for social justice, and recently inaugurated a doctorate in juridical science degree at Loyola Law School. Poon also cited LMU faculty’s success in attracting external research funding, from sources that include the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, California Department of Public Health, Lilly Endowment, Inc., U.S. Department of Education, Fletcher Jones Foundation, USDA, Sobrato Family Foundation, and many others.

“Our new classification among national universities will have a positive impact on how prospective students discover and perceive LMU,” said Maureen Weatherall, vice provost for enrollment management. “Students across the country and around the world will now better understand the quality of an LMU education, the outstanding opportunities that await them, and that they are seeking enrollment at a globally recognized institution.”

The classification framework was first developed by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education and published for the first time in 1973. Subsequent updates have followed through the years, and administration of the classifications was transferred to the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University in 2014.