What is a Research University?

When searching for a college to attend, you may come across the phrase “research university” as the school’s classification. What does it mean though? And how does it differ from other classifications for colleges and universities? Is it right for your education?

A student in a lab coat performs an experiment at her research university.

What is a Research University?

A research university is a school that focuses on research! Graduates and the professors of these schools will focus on their research and projects, which undergraduates may have the opportunity to participate in. The courses offered focus on the academic side of things and give students a well-rounded understanding of critical thinking and specific aspects within the field they’re studying.

Examples of Research Universities

A few universities that are considered research universities are:

There are plenty more, of course, but these are just some you may have heard of! Check out our picks for the Top 25 Best Research Universities.

What to Note Before Attending a Research University

There are benefits of attending a research university over your other options. It’s not for everyone though and definitely not for every career path, so you’ll want to do your “research” into the pros and cons of attending one.

You May be Able to Take Part in Ongoing Projects

One major benefit of attending a research university is the potential opportunity of taking part in ongoing research projects. Also, attending a research university gives advanced and outgoing undergraduate students a chance to make connections with professors and graduates at the school. These connections could allow you to be invited to participate in projects or experiments. This gives you a chance to forge powerful networks before you even graduate.

These schools tend to have the latest technology, too. You’ll be able to leave school with a thorough understanding of breakthroughs in your field.

They Offer Larger Class Sizes

Would you, perhaps, prefer a larger class size in your courses? One aspect of a research university that should be noted is the large class sizes. This approach won’t work for everyone, as you will get less feedback and interaction from the professor. Class sizes are generally larger during the introductory courses but may become more intimate in later classes, especially if you’re an honor student.

Your School is Likely Well Known

Most of the colleges that fall under “research university” are household names. Many employers find this impressive. Additionally, letters of recommendation can help you stand out even more.

Research universities offer a wide variety of majors to their students, as well as a wide range of opportunities. It can be difficult to stand out in the courses, however, and the large class sizes may not be for everyone. However, if it fits your field, they’re definitely worth consideration, especially if you want to take part in the latest projects and experiments these schools are working on.

Interested in attending a research university? Check out your personalized matches at College Raptor.

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