Las Vegas – Today, Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce leaders are applauding the news that UNLV has earned the Carnegie Classification status of R1: Doctoral Univeristy with very high research activity. The Carnegie Classification® has been the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in United States higher education for the past four and a half decades. UNLV is the first university in Nevada to reach R1 designation.

Since 2012, the Metro Chamber has been pushing for UNLV to take the steps necessary to gain this status. Most recently, 2019 Chairman Terry Shirey listed this designation as one of the Chamber’s top priorities in his address to Chamber members at the organization’s Installation luncheon last week.

“UNLV achieving Carnegie R1 status is a big deal for the university and our community,” said Shirey. “UNLV is now among schools such as Harvard, Princeton, and UCLA with R1 status that are driving innovation in their communities.”

“UNLV achieving Carnegie R1 Status has been one of the Las Vegas Chamber’s top priorities because of the positive benefits it would bring to Southern Nevada and the entire state. R1 status will help drive economic development, particularly for high tech companies that seek a top-level university research partner. This is great news for the business community and job creation,” said Mary Beth Sewald, president and CEO of the Chamber.

R1 status will also help UNLV compete for more research grants that can help improve quality of life, as well as attract top level research faculty and graduate students.
Below is information about the criteria that is used in selecting institutions for this designation.
The Doctoral Universities categories have been reshaped to better accommodate “Doctor’s degree – professional practice” within their methodology. These degrees, formerly referred to as “first professional degrees” and including such degrees as the MD, JD, Pharm.D., D.Div, etc., have previously not been considered as part of the Basic Classification methodology. The specific changes are as follows:

• The expanded criteria for entering into the doctoral categories. In addition to the former threshold (conferring 20 or more “research/scholarship” doctoral degrees), institutions that conferred 30 or more “professional practice” doctoral degrees in two or more programs were also included.

• The first two doctoral university categories include institutions that conferred at least 20 research/scholarship doctorates and reported a minimum of $5 million dollars of total research expenditures through the NSF HERD survey. The research activity index was then used to determine a cutoff between the “very high research activity” (R1) institutions, and “high research activity” (R2) institutions. (Note that this represents a return to the labels used for those categories in 2005 and 2010).

• The remaining institutions that either had less than $5 million in research expenditures or did not report research expenditures through the HERD survey, were placed into the third, newly named “category” Doctoral/Professional Universities.

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. Starting in 1970, the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education developed a classification of colleges and universities to support its program of research and policy analysis. Derived from empirical data on colleges and universities, the Carnegie Classification was originally published in 1973, and subsequently updated in 1976, 1987, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2018 to reflect changes among colleges and universities. This framework 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.

[SC_Blue_Button href=”” target=”blank” title=”List of Institutions”]Link to list of institutions[/SC_Blue_Button]


About the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce:
The Las Vegas Metro Chamber is the largest business organization in Nevada. Founded in 1911, the Metro Chamber is focused on advocacy and public policy at all levels of government, developing partnerships to improve the community, and providing resources to help businesses grow, thrive and create jobs. More information about the Metro Chamber can be found at