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AFIT earns new research classification ranking

  • Published
  • By Katie Scott
  • Air Force Institute of Technology
The Air University’s Air Force Institute of Technology entered the category of High Research Activity for a doctoral university from the 2018 update of the Carnegie classification. AFIT is the only Department of Defense academic institution to hold this specific categorization.

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education was developed in the 1970s by the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University as a taxonomy to classify colleges and universities in the U.S. to enable a more accurate comparison of institutions. Classifications are determined based on the institution’s level of research activity as measured by expenditures, number of doctorates awarded and number of faculty.

To qualify for the doctoral university High Research Activity classification, an institution must award at least 20 research-based doctoral degrees per year and report at least $5 million in total research expenditures. For the academic year 2016-17, High Research Activity institutions had a mean research expenditure of $43 million and a mean number of science, technology, engineering and math doctorate conferrals of 28 per year.

In fiscal year 2018, AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering Management executed $24 million of sponsored research funding, for a total of $33 million in expenditures including cost share and equipment purchases. AFIT has granted more than 865 doctor of philosophy degrees since 1972 when the doctoral program received full accreditation.

“AFIT’s research programs are integral to its graduate degree programs, allowing students to develop enhanced understanding of their disciplines’ fundamental principles,” said Dr. Todd Stewart, AFIT director and chancellor. “The research our students and faculty conduct also get after the most pressing unanswered questions related to current or anticipated Air Force and Department of Defense needs.”

AFIT is committed to providing innovative, defense-focused graduate education and related research and operationally-relevant professional continuing education, to sustain the technological supremacy of America’s air, space, and cyber forces. For more information about AFIT and its programs, please visit