Institutional Research


WSU's Peer Institutions

Washington State University strives for excellence as a land-grant, research university with the highest research activity (see the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education [] for 2015, released Feb. 1st, 2016) and compares itself to four groups of peer institutions.

The Institutional Effectiveness Council steering committee examined a broad list of public, land-grant institutions with categorizations related to AAU, Medical or Veterinary Medicine, Carnegie classifications, and a host of metrics that could be sorted for review. The steering committee developed a final set for peer benchmark comparison on the Strategic Plan 2014-19 to represent Public Land Grant institutions that were Carnegie Very High Research Institutions (under the 2005 Basic Classification), have a veterinary school, may or may not have a medical school, may or may not be AAU members, are within 50% above or below WSU’s enrollment size, and are within 100% above or below WSU’s research and development expenditures. This list includes the following schools (all are “Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity,” except Mississippi State, which is now classified as “Higher Research Activity”):

 WSU also compares itself to members of the Association of American Universities (AAU), a nonprofit organization of 61 public and private, prestigious, and influential research universities in both the United States and Canada. Four of these are land-grant, research universities with veterinary medicine programs and without medical schools. WSU considers these institutions to be aspirational peers: Iowa State University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Purdue University, and Texas A&M University.

Created and used by the Washington State Legislature, WSU's Legislative Peer set consists of twenty-two public, land-grant, research universities with a veterinary medicine program.

In addition to the legislative peers, WSU has seven Global Challenge State Peers as recommended by the Washington Learns Steering Committee Final Report in 2006 as commissioned by Governor Gregoire to study Washington's education system. These peers are land-grant, research universities in Global Challenge States which are the top eight performers in the new economy -- California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington.

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