Skip to Content

University of Denver Joins List of Highest Level of Research Institutions in the United States

Back to News Listing


Jon Stone

Media Relations Manager

Jon Stone

DU is the only private institution in the Rocky Mountain Region to be included

News  •
R1 Campus Image

The University of Denver has joined a prestigious list of universities to now be classified as one of the top research institutions in the country. DU is the fourth university in Colorado and the only private institution in the Rocky Mountain Region to achieve Research 1 (R1) classification. DU Joins 136 prestigious institutions of higher education classified as R1 universities in the United States.

“Achieving R1 status is an incredible accomplishment. It is a prominent recognition of the significant contributions the University of Denver makes to improve human welfare through the discovery of new knowledge,” says Chancellor Jeremy Haefner. “The entire DU community takes tremendous pride in knowing how this institution is contributing to the public good by graduating scholars who, like our faculty, bring forth answers to the grand challenges we face in our communities, our state, our nation and the world. This is a great day for DU!”

Thousands of universities from across the country are considered for the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. They are then judged based upon the number of research and scholarship doctorates, master’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees awarded, and their total amount spent on research.

“We are incredibly proud of our faculty and our entire community for reaching this milestone, this distinction,” says Mary Clark, provost and executive vice chancellor. “We have achieved ‘R1RWay’ — through our steadfast commitment to the teacher-scholar ideal, valuing teaching, learning, and research for all of our students and faculty.”

Several factors contribute to the University of Denver making the jump to R1 status. Since 2013, DU has made a strong commitment to increasing the level of research taking place on campus. Funding that has been generated for research efforts has doubled in the past 8 years providing more opportunities to faculty and greater access for graduate and undergraduate students. DU has also invested in increasing the size of the faculty. This allows for more research to be conducted, smaller class sizes and greater access for all students.

“Every academic unit at DU contributed to achieving this milestone,” says Corinne Lengsfeld, senior vice provost for research and graduate education. “This accomplishment speaks to the passion and dreams of our faculty and students to pursue the research and scholarship that motivates them to serve the public good.”

The University of Denver is one of only nine universities to join the list of the highest level of research institutions in 2021. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching developed the classification system over 50 years ago.