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Montclair State University Earns R2 Designation from Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education

New Jersey’s second-largest institution now deemed a high research activity university by national classification

Posted in: Press Releases, Research, University

Student performing research in lab near glass lab equipment.

Montclair State University has achieved yet another milestone in its ascension to the ranks of the nation’s top public universities.

The institution has earned the designation of R2 – Doctoral University – High Research Activity – in the latest reclassification of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Seen as the national standard for college and university classifications, the Carnegie Classification has been the leading framework for recognizing and describing higher education institutional diversity since 1970.

The accomplishment comes just three years after Montclair State earned an initial Research Doctoral University (R3) designation, and signifies a continued expansion of the University’s research portfolio and doctoral program offerings.

“Our new designation as a Carnegie R2 institution is a well-deserved validation of what we have already known – that we are a dynamic research university with faculty and students who are producing cutting-edge research,” says Vice Provost for Research and Dean of The Graduate School Scott Herness.

Since its initial R3 designation in 2016, the University has not only added new doctoral-level programs such as its PhD in Clinical Psychology, but it has also increased the breadth of funding for its research, creating a diverse portfolio on topics ranging from youth character development to promoting representation of underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions.

Montclair State has been awarded an increased amount of federal, state and private funds in support of both basic and applied research, headlined by a $6.5 million grant to assess and define practices that promote youth character development and a $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how an unusual protein with tumor suppression activities in normal cells is eliminated or misplaced in cancer cells. The State of New Jersey recognized the institution’s increase in research efforts in 2017, when it formally declared Montclair State a Public Research University, making it one of four in the state.

The new R2 designation is the latest achievement in Montclair State University’s tremendous growth under the leadership of President Susan A. Cole. Nearly doubling enrollment over the past 20 years, the institution has expanded its academic offerings to include eight doctoral programs in addition to founding the John J. Cali School of Music (2006), School of Communication and Media (2012), and School of Nursing (2016). State-of-the-art facilities have joined the new educational programs as part of a $650 million campus master plan (which began in 2010), with buildings for the Feliciano School of Business; School of Communication and Media; School of Nursing; and Centers for Environmental and Life Sciences, and Computing and Information Science completed since 2015.

“Montclair State’s new status as a Carnegie R2 institution confirms the continuous growth of the University, and will further enhance its capability to attract the highest caliber students, faculty and staff,” says University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Willard Gingerich. “As one of the Public Research Universities in the State of New Jersey, this designation recognizes the impact we are making in the state, and is a testament to the years of hard work by so many members of the Montclair State community.”

For more information on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, visit