Written by Dean Forbes
May 20, 2019
Seattle University Library and Learning Commons
Seattle University’s academic profile got a significant boost recently with the elevation by the Carnegie Foundation Basic Classification of Institutions of Higher Education from its “Master’s Colleges and Universities: Larger Programs” category to “Doctoral/Professional University.” Carnegie recognizes only 151 universities in the U.S. in this grouping. One reason the classification is important is because the Carnegie categories are used by many college searches and guides.
“The decision by Carnegie to place Seattle University into the higher category reflects our growing stature as a national university and recognizes our commitment to professional and doctoral degree programs,” said Provost Shane P. Martin.
Seattle U has multiple doctoral programs and confers more than 30 doctoral degrees. In the 2017-18 academic year, the university awarded 21 Doctor of Education Leadership degrees, nine Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees, 195 JD Law Juris Doctor degrees and five Doctor of Ministry degrees.
The Carnegie Classification has been the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education for the past four-and-a-half decades.
SU was in the Master’s Colleges and Universities Carnegie Classification for several years. US News & World Report used the classification to determine its annual “Best Colleges” rankings. For 18 years straight, US News ranked Seattle U as among the top 10 universities in the West in its regional universities category.
Seattle U offers 34 accredited graduate degree programs and 27 certificate options across seven different schools and colleges. The university awarded 818 masters degrees during the 2017-2018 academic year.
Carnegie updated its Doctoral/Professional University category in 2018, which included institutions that confer 30 or more professional practice doctoral degrees, per year, across two or more programs, while conferring fewer than 20 research/scholarship doctorates. Professional practice doctorates include juris doctorates, or JDs, as well as DNP, DMin and EDD degrees in nursing, theology and ministry and education, respectively.
This year, Carnegie revised the Doctoral Universities categories to better accommodate Doctor’s Degree—Professional Practice within its methodology. These degrees were formerly referred to as “first professional degrees” and include MD, JD, pharmaceutical doctorate, divinity doctorate and more. Previously they were considered as part of the Basic Classification methodology. In addition to the former threshold, institutions that conferred 30 or more “professional practice” doctoral degrees across two or more programs were also included.
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