I don't really get the whole R1, R2, etc. thing. I know back in 1994 Carnegie Foundation put out a list of Research I, but are these not dated? Is the R1 and R2 thing just used more loosely today? When people talk on this website about a school being a R1 or R2, how/where are they getting this classification? Is there such thing as an R3 university? I was recently offered a position at a University that US News and Wolrd report considers a Tier 2 school… is that similar to being an R2 and Tier 1 would be an R1? I am confused! Final question: Is it hard to go from a R2/Tier 2 university to a R1/Tier 1 university several years down the road?
Date: 18 Dec 2010 18:21
Number of posts: 2
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Yes, the R1 vs. R2 distinction is now antiquated, but it still is used as an unoffical organizing tool. The Carnegie foundation updated the list so that it now reflects a greater number of distinctions. See a description here: http://classifications.carnegiefoundation.org/descriptions/basic.php
The closest is now the "Research Universities" which are sorted into "high" and "very high" reserach activity. You'd have to compare to the old R1/R2 lists to see how it shakes out, but I think the Very high is roughly R1 and high is roughly R2.
In terms of moving up from say a high to very high, I think its definitely possible but really depends on what you're doing and where you're doing it. Some of the less research heavy institutions might not give you the time or resources to develop the high-powered research program you'd need for a truly "R1" place. But the variability within each group is such that individual psychology departments and programs within an "R2" might actually be stronger than an "R1" so don't get caught up in it too much.
Find a place that makes you happy personally and professionally and go with it.