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North Texas Now Has Three Carnegie Research 1 Institutions

It has been a long-standing ambition for North Texas to be home to a world-renowned comprehensive research university. Our internationally recognized medical school with its six Nobel Prize winners passed this threshold years ago; but our traditional universities have struggled to reach national prominence in the face of intense competition from other national and state universities.

“We moved up in the Carnegie classifications by staying true to our roots as an institution focused on creativity as expressed through our research, scholarship, and educational activities,” says UNT President Neal Smatresk.

With the release of the most recent list of Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, North Texas is now proudly home to three universities (UNT, UTA, UTD) belonging to the elite group of R-1: Doctoral Universities (Research 1 Universities). These 115 institutions, which include MIT, Stanford, Harvard, and Yale, are the most productive research institutions in the nation. This increase in the rankings shows just how much progress in research our local institutions have made over the past few years.

According to the The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the data collected and analyzed included research and development (R&D) expenditures in both science and engineering as well as non-science and engineering fields; numbers of science and engineering research staff (postdoctoral appointees and other non-faculty research staff with doctorates); numbers of doctoral degrees conferred in humanities fields, in social science fields, in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, and in other fields (e.g., business, education, public policy, social work). The complex data analysis algorithms employed in the classification system ensure that larger institutions do not have an inherent advantage over smaller universities.

“Being ranked as a Research 1 University places us truly among the best of the best,” says UTA President Vistasp M. Karbhara.

“We moved up in the Carnegie classifications by staying true to our roots as an institution focused on creativity as expressed through our research, scholarship, and educational activities,” says UNT President Neal Smatresk. “All along, we’ve paid attention to what matters most, providing our students a great education and helping to build tomorrow’s workforce and the next generation of globally relevant scholars.”

“This is a tremendous validation of UTA’s emergence as a preeminent university on the national stage. Being ranked as a Research 1 University places us truly among the best of the best,” says UTA President Vistasp M. Karbhari. “Thriving research universities foster economic development by infusing their regions with technology, knowledge, and talent. I couldn’t be prouder of the work that our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters are doing to ensure that UTA is second to none and is serving North Texas to the fullest extent.”

After decades of hard work, North Texas can now boast as being home to three Carnegie 1 Research institutions.  With continued strong academic leadership and a clear vision, we can expect even greater prominence as UNT, UTA, UTD, and SMU and TCU continue to improve in their research activities.


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Geoffrey Orsak, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Texas Research Alliance. Previously, he was the Dean of the Lyle School of Engineering.

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