Kennesaw State elevated to doctoral research institution in Carnegie Classification

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New status reflects University’s growing doctoral programs   KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb. 8,…

Georgia (Feb 8, 2016) —  

New status reflects University’s growing doctoral programs
KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb. 8, 2016) — Kennesaw State University has been elevated to a doctoral research institution with moderate research activity — designated “R3” — in The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Learning 2015 update. The University was previously classified among larger Master’s Colleges and Universities or “M1” institutions.
Under the Carnegie classifications, doctoral research institutions are those that awarded at least 20 research/scholarship doctoral degrees during the upgrade year. In FY 2015, Kennesaw State awarded 40 doctoral degrees, including the Ph.D. in International Conflict Management and doctorates in education, business administration and nursing science.
“The upgrade in the Carnegie Classification signals exciting prospects for the advancement of research and scholarship at Kennesaw State,” said University President Daniel S. Papp. “It opens the door for more faculty research grants, greater support for students pursuing doctoral degrees and further development of our doctoral programs. It is a very significant milestone.”
Papp also noted that the R3 classification is consistent with the Board of Regents’ designation of Kennesaw State as a comprehensive university, and with goals he recently outlined for the University.
“The Carnegie designation as a doctoral university is one indication that Kennesaw State is moving along the path to become a world-class university, which is what the Board of Regents requires and demands of us as a comprehensive university,” Papp said. “While we will remain focused primarily on undergraduate education, our emphasis on master’s degrees and doctoral programs — including Ph.D. programs — will continue to expand.
Kennesaw State has rapidly increased the quality of its graduate instructional program and the level of faculty and student research, scholarly and creative activities, according to Charles Amlaner, the University’s vice president for research. 
“Being elevated to an R3 classification reflects the work of a lot of people over a number of years,” Amlaner said, noting that Kennesaw State launched five doctoral programs in six years beginning in 2006, and added a Ph.D. program in analytics and data science in fall 2015.“The Carnegie upgrade means we’re starting to reap the harvest of what we sowed just seven years ago when we started along this path.”
The Carnegie Classification has been the leading framework for recognizing and describing diversity among U.S. higher education institutions since 1970, when the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education developed the method of classifying colleges and universities to support its program of research and policy analysis. The classifications, derived from empirical data on colleges and universities, reflect changes among institutions and are used in the study of higher education. Originally published in 1973, the classifications have been updated periodically, most recently on Feb. 1.
The upgrade for Kennesaw State reflects changes the Carnegie Classification made in its “Basic Classification” between the 2010 and 2015 updates, including new category labels for doctoral universities that are now classified as R1, R2 and R3 for highest, higher and moderate levels of research activity.
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering nearly 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 33,000 students from over 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit