Rowan University Keeps Pushing to Reach R1 Status

As Rowan University continues to develop and expand, the push to become an R1 university continues. -Photo via

As shown in their recent efforts, Rowan University is moving to become an R1 ranked university, marking it as a doctoral school with a very high level of research activity.

Awarded by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, there are three levels of R-level schools: R3 which indicates moderate research activity, R2 to indicate high research activity and R1 to label a school with very high research activity. According to this system, R1 schools are the highest tier for doctoral universities.  

Rowan became a research university in 2013 and only became a recognized R-level school in 2017.  Since then, Rowan has worked its way up the ladder and is now pushing to reach the highest status.  

Because of the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Rowan University is considered a high research institution and is currently standing at the R2 level. As Rowan continues to expand their portfolio with new programs and schools, the effort to become an R1 university comes with lots of excitement and enthusiasm. 

In order to be classified nationally as an R1 school, Rowan must meet prestigious standards which will cost the university greatly. These tasks include expanding research and increasing grants for research programs throughout the university’s different institutions.

The Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Anthony Lowman, understands that the move will be expensive but well worth the tremendous efforts. 

“The number one thing the university invests in, to grow and become [an R1 school], is the faculty. That’s the most expensive part of the investment. What comes with faculty comes with research labs, facilities and infrastructures,” Lowman said.  

The Carnegie Classification only awards the most prominent schools the title of R1. 

According to The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s website, “The Carnegie Classification® has been the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education for the past four and a half decades.”  

There are seven different levels of recognized classifications according to The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Rowan’s goal to become an R1 school is of the highest of achievements. 

A higher ranking by the Carnegie Classification means a higher status, making Rowan a nationally more competitive school.

“It [Rowan University] has a ranking. With ranking, it means it’s a special institution. It makes the school an attractive institution. It increases our competitiveness. It opens the door for our employers,” Lowman said.  

As Rowan University continues to develop and expand, the push to become an R1 university continues. 

“This area deserves a Research 1 university. We’re a large area without one. And by doing that, we can really help drive the economy, give more access to students— high quality, affordable education and we can have economic impact on our region,” Lowman said.

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