Classification Description

Graduate Instructional Program Classification


As a companion to the Undergraduate Instructional Program classification, this classification examines the nature of graduate education, with a special focus on the mix of graduate programs across fields of study. In this classification, a single graduate-level degree qualifies an institution for inclusion. For more information regarding how this classification is calculated, please see the Graduate Instructional Program Methodology.

The classification is based on the level of graduate degrees awarded (master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees categorized as either research, professional practice, or other doctorate), the number of fields represented by the degrees awarded, and the mix or concentration of degrees by broad disciplinary domain. The classification has two parts: one for institutions that do not award research doctorates, and one for doctoral-level institutions (based on the record of degree conferrals, not program offerings). Within each group, we then classify institutions with respect to the breadth of graduate offerings and the concentration of degrees in certain fields or combinations of fields.

For two categories of doctorate-granting institutions, we distinguish institutions offering medical education (defined as human or veterinary medical education, including allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine). Institutions in other categories may also offer medical education, but the numbers were not large enough to justify subcategories, and we judged it preferable to differentiate with respect to the other graduate fields, rather than with respect to the presence or absence of medical education.

NOTE: Because a single research doctorate degree (as defined in the IPEDS data collection of the National Center for Education Statistics) qualifies an institution for inclusion in the doctoral categories, institutions with large master’s or professional programs and modest doctoral-level programs are currently classified according to their doctoral programs.

The categories are listed below. The term "comprehensive" is used here to denote comprehensiveness of offerings across a range of fields.

S-Postbac/Ed: Single Postbaccalaureate (education)
These institutions awarded master’s degrees in education but not in other fields.

S-Postbac/Bus: Single Postbaccalaureate (business)
These institutions awarded master’s degrees in business but not in other fields.

S-Postbac/Other: Single Postbaccalaureate (other field)
These institutions awarded master’s or professional degrees in a single field other than education or business.

Postbac-Comp: Postbaccalaureate comprehensive
These institutions awarded master’s degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM* fields, as well as degrees in one or more professional fields.

Postbac-A&S: Postbaccalaureate, Arts & Sciences dominant
These institutions awarded master’s degrees in some arts and sciences fields. They may also award master’s or professional degrees in other fields, but in lesser numbers.

Postbac-A&S/Ed: Postbaccalaureate with Arts & Sciences (education dominant)
These institutions awarded master’s degrees in both arts and sciences and professional fields, and the field with the largest number of graduate degrees was education.

Postbac-A&S/Bus: Postbaccalaureate with Arts & Sciences (business dominant)
These institutions awarded master’s degrees in both arts and sciences and professional fields, and the field with the largest number of graduate degrees was business.

Postbac-A&S/Other: Postbaccalaureate with Arts & Sciences (other dominant fields)
These institutions awarded master’s degrees in both arts and sciences and professional fields, and the field with the largest number of graduate degrees was a professional field other than business or education.

Postbac-Prof/Ed: Postbaccalaureate professional (education dominant)
These institutions awarded master’s or professional degrees in professional fields only, and the field with the largest number of graduate degrees was education.

Postbac-Prof/Bus: Postbaccalaureate professional (business dominant)
These institutions awarded master’s or professional degrees in professional fields only, and the field with the largest number of graduate degrees was business.

Postbac-Prof/Other: Postbaccalaureate professional (other dominant fields)
These institutions awarded master’s or professional degrees in professional fields only, and the field with the largest number of graduate degrees was a field other than business or education.

S-Doc/Ed: Single doctoral (education)
These institutions awarded research doctorate degrees in education but not in other fields (they may have more extensive offerings at the master's or professional level).

S-Doc/Other: Single doctoral (other field)
These institutions awarded research doctoratel degrees in a single field other than education (they may have more extensive offerings at the master's or professional level).

CompDoc/MedVet: Comprehensive doctoral with medical/veterinary
These institutions awarded research doctorate degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM* fields, as well as in medicine, dentistry, and/or veterinary medicine. They also offer professional education in other health professions or in fields such as business, education, engineering, law, public policy, or social work.

CompDoc/NMedVet: Comprehensive doctoral (no medical/veterinary)
These institutions awarded research doctorate degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM* fields. They also offer professional education in fields such as business, education, engineering, law, public policy, social work, or health professions other than medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine.

Doc/HSS: Doctoral, humanities/social sciences dominant
These institutions awarded research doctorate degrees in a range of fields, and the largest number of research doctorates were in the humanities or social sciences. They may also offer professional education at the doctoral level or in fields such as law or medicine.

Doc/STEM: Doctoral, STEM dominant
These institutions awarded research doctorate degrees in a range of fields, and the largest number of research doctorates were in the STEM* fields. They may also offer professional education at the doctoral level or in fields such as law or medicine.

Doc/Prof: Doctoral, professions dominant
These institutions awarded research doctorate degrees in a range of fields, and the largest number of research doctorates were in professions other than engineering (such as education, health professions, public policy, or social work). They may also offer professional education in law or medicine.


* STEM: Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Classifications are time-specific snapshots of institutional attributes and behavior based on data from 2008 and 2010. Institutions might be classified differently using a different time frame.

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