RIT said the school’s Carnegie classification has been changed from its previous designation as a “master’s-comprehensive university.”
The change occurs when a university graduates more than 20 Ph.D. degrees per year, a figure RIT has exceeded in recent years.
In May 2015, the school awarded 33 doctoral degrees in seven Ph.D. programs.
In addition, the Carnegie classification is widely used in higher education, and has been the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education for the past 46 years, RIT officials stated.
“We have been expecting this change, and it reflects the rapid upward momentum of RIT over the last several decades,” RIT President Bill Destler stated. “The movement of RIT into the ranks of the nation’s finest colleges and universities is a remarkable story.”
RIT began its first doctoral program in 1990 in imaging science, then added added six more programs in the 2000s. Several of its interdisciplinary doctoral programs are also in the planning stages, officials said.
The classification change also means the school will likely soon be ranked among the “National Universities” by U.S. News & World Report, rather than among the top “Regional Universities – North” as has been the case since the magazine began its annual rankings in 1983.