A newly released report by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education for the first time categorizes the University of North Florida in the top tier of national universities — those that grant doctoral degrees. Until this year, UNF has historically been categorized as a “Master’s University,” but the growth of professional doctorate programs at UNF, combined with a change to the Carnegie Classification methodology to explicitly recognize these degrees, led to UNF joining 163 other elite institutions in a new “Doctoral/Professional University” category.
“This is a huge step forward for UNF as an institution of national distinction,” said Dr. David M. Szymanski, president of UNF. “The prestige associated with a higher-level Carnegie status helps attract faculty and students who seek excellence. This classification also elevates the value of a UNF degree in the eyes of prospective employers.”
The Carnegie Classification, which is updated every three years, is intended as a framework for describing the diversity of the 4,425 colleges and universities in the U.S., and placement in higher tiers is seen as prestigious. A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education notes that universities categorized higher in the Carnegie Classification enjoy advantages in securing external research grants, recruiting high-quality faculty and attracting the interest of industry partners. Other ranking systems, such as the U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges, also rely on the Carnegie Classification for their methodologies.
In the 2017-18 school year, UNF awarded a total of 117 doctoral degrees including 109 professional doctorates and eight research doctorates.
Doctoral programs offered through the Brooks College of Health at UNF include Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition, BSN-DNP in Family Nurse Practitioner, BSN-DNP in Nurse Anesthetist, Post-MSN Doctor of Nursing Practice, Post-MSN Doctor of Nursing Practice in Psych-Mental Health and Doctor of Physical Therapy. The College of Education and Human Services offers doctoral degrees in Specialist in Educational Leadership and Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership.
The Graduate School at UNF aims to cultivate a learning environment that supports intellectual curiosity, academic achievement and personal growth; recruit and support a diverse community of students, faculty and staff who will contribute to and benefit from the University’s mission; support and recognize research and creative endeavor as essential University functions as well as affirm the University’s public responsibility through civic engagement, community-based learning and research.