University of Arkansas receives top classification from Carnegie Foundation

Scoot over a little bit, all of you elite colleges and universities in America. The University of Arkansas has earned a seat at the head of the class.

Chancellor G. David Gearhart announced today that The University of Arkansas has been elevated to the highest possible classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Out of the nation’s 4,633 universities and colleges, the UA is one of only 108 schools to receive the top classification. It is one of seven schools in the Southeastern conference to receive the distinction.

The Carnegie classifications are widely accepted as the standard categorization of accredited U.S. universities and colleges. The most recent reclassification, published in January of this year, is only the sixth in the foundation’s 34 year history.

Gearhart said that the upgrade reflects the UA’s transformation into a world-class institution.

“It documents our advancement as a nationally and internationally influential research university,” he said. “We have reached this top status as a result of the innovation, productivity and successful collaboration of our university’s faculty, students and staff.”

The University of Arkansas’ new category is RU/VH, defined as a doctoral-granting, research university with very high levels of research activity. Previously, the university was categorized as RU/H (the second-highest of the Carnegie Foundation’s 33 categories).

According to a release issued by the UA today, the elevation to the highest classification was primarily a result of sustained increases in the number and diversity of doctoral degrees awarded and in research grants and contracts received.