University Earns Research Doctoral Designation

A significant milestone achieved for the growing University

The national Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, which is the widely recognized classification of U.S. institutions of higher education, has, for the first time, recognized Montclair State University as a Research Doctoral University. This change recognizes the substantial growth at Montclair State in doctoral-level education and research activity.  

Montclair State University was previously recognized as a Master’s 1 University (Larger Programs), but in the new classification issued on February 1, 2016, it was elevated to the Doctoral classification. The Carnegie Classification is produced, approximately every five years, at the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University.

Doctoral universities are ranked at three levels: Research 1, which have the highest research activity; Research 2, which have higher research activity; and Research 3, which have moderate research activity. Among the public universities in New Jersey, only Rutgers-New Brunswick is a Research 1 university; NJIT and Rutgers-Newark are Research 2 universities; and only Montclair State University is a Research 3 university.  

“Montclair State University has been successfully expanding its research activities in important fields,” said Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole. “This new designation reflects the efforts of the University’s distinguished faculty and the programs they have created that both challenge students and address the issues facing society.”
Central to Montclair State University’s change in rankings were the number of doctoral students produced in research fields, as well as its growing ability to attract federal funds for research from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, the U.S. Department of Education, and other federal agencies.

Examples of important faculty research initiatives at the University include projects to: develop medical countermeasures for botulinum neurotoxin; better evaluate drugs that inhibit, and find the causative agents of, Parkinson’s Disease; study the catastrophic collapse of ice shelves in the Antarctic; solve the challenges of positioning vehicles in the ocean; understand how urban students can come to think of themselves as mathematicians; understand the sociodemographic factors contributing to racial and ethnic disparities in cancer prevention; study the psychological effects on victims of natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy; evaluate the effectiveness of the portfolio management model being utilized in urban elementary schools; and to understand the unpredictable dynamics of disease spread. 

These contributions to knowledge and the offering of advanced higher education programs are reflective of Montclair State University’s historic contributions to New Jersey. Established in 1908, Montclair State was the first of the state colleges to offer graduate programs in 1932. 

“For much of the late 20th century, Montclair State was constrained in its development,” said Cole, “but, in the past 15 years, the University has worked strategically and aggressively to grow enrollment, faculty and facilities, and that growth has enabled the University to expand its educational programs and research initiatives in service to the state and the nation.”  

The Carnegie Classification
The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education has been the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education since its original publication in 1973. The system has been widely used in the study of higher education, both as a way to represent and control for institutional differences, and also in the design of research studies to ensure adequate representation of sampled institutions, students or faculty.