The Association of American Universities
) is an organization
An organization is a social group which distributes tasks for a collective goal. The word itself is derived from the Greek word organon, itself derived from the better-known word ergon - as we know `organ` - and it means a compartment for a particular job.There are a variety of legal types of...
of leading research universities
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...
devoted to maintaining a strong system of academic research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...
and education. It consists of 59 universities in the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
(both public and private
Private universities are universities not operated by governments, although many receive public subsidies, especially in the form of tax breaks and public student loans and grants. Depending on their location, private universities may be subject to government regulation. Private universities are...
) and two universities in Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...
The AAU was founded in 1900 by a group of fourteen Ph.D.
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...
-granting universities in the United States to strengthen and standardize American doctoral programs. Today, the primary purpose of the organization is to provide a forum for the development and implementation of institutional and national policies, in order to promote strong programs in academic research and scholarship and undergraduate, graduate, and professional education.
The largest attraction of the AAU for many schools, especially nonmembers, is prestige; for example, in 2010 a spokesman for nonmember University of Connecticut
The admission rate to the University of Connecticut is about 50% and has been steadily decreasing, with about 28,000 prospective students applying for admission to the freshman class in recent years. Approximately 40,000 prospective students tour the main campus in Storrs annually...
called it "perhaps the most elite organization in higher education. You'd probably be hard-pressed to find a major research university that didn't want to be a member of the AAU." Because of the lengthy and difficult entrance process, boards of trustees, state legislators, and donor
A donor in general is a person who donates something voluntarily. Usually used to represent a form of pure altruism but sometimes used when the payment for a service is recognised by all parties as representing less than the value of the donation and that the motivation is altruistic...
s often see membership as evidence of the quality of a university.
The AAU acts as a lobbyist
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...
in its headquarters city of Washington, D.C. for research funding for its members. The association holds two annual meetings. The fall meeting is conducted on a member campus while the spring meeting is held in Washington. Separate meetings are held for university presidents, provost
A provost is the senior academic administrator at many institutions of higher education in the United States, Canada and Australia, the equivalent of a pro-vice-chancellor at some institutions in the United Kingdom and Ireland....
s, and other officials. Because the meetings are private they offer the opportunity for discussion without media coverage, and prominent government officials, businessmen, and others often speak to the groups.
| Executive || Term
| Thomas A. Bartlett
Thomas Alva Bartlett is an American educator who is most notable for having served as President of several universities and university systems.Bartlett was born in Salem, Oregon and graduated from Salem High School in 1947...
| Robert M. Rosenzweig
| Cornelius J. Pings
| Nils Hasselmo
Nils Hasselmo was the thirteenth president of the University of Minnesota, serving from 1988 to 1997. He went on to become the president of the Association of American Universities from 1998 to 2006.-Background:...
| July 1, 1998 – April 2006
| Robert M. Berdahl
Robert M. Berdahl is an American historian, author and university administrator. He was chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley from 1997 to 2004, and became president of the Association of American Universities from May 2006 to June 2011.-External links:*...
| May 2006 – June 2011
| Hunter R. Rawlings III
Hunter Ripley Rawlings III is an American classics scholar and academic administrator. He is best known for serving as the 17th President of the University of Iowa from 1982 until 1995 and as the 10th President of Cornell University from 1995 until 2003. He also served as Cornell's interim...
| July 1, 2011 – present
As of 2004, AAU members accounted for 58% of U.S. universities' research grants and contract income and 52% of all doctorates awarded in the United States. Since 1999, 43% of all Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...
winners and 74% of winners at U.S. institutions have been affiliated with an AAU university. Approximately two-thirds of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs.James Bowdoin, John Adams, and...
2006 Class of Fellows are affiliated with an AAU university. The faculties at AAU universities include 2,993 members of the United States National Academies
The United States National Academies comprises four organizations:* National Academy of Sciences * National Academy of Engineering * Institute of Medicine * National Research Council...
(82% of all members): the National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...
, the National Academy of Engineering
The National Academy of Engineering is a government-created non-profit institution in the United States, that was founded in 1964 under the same congressional act that led to the founding of the National Academy of Sciences...
, and the Institute of Medicine
The Institute of Medicine is a not-for-profit, non-governmental American organization founded in 1970, under the congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences...
- Undergraduate students: 1,044,759; 7% nationally
- Undergraduate degrees awarded: 235,328; 17% nationally
- Graduate students: 418,066; 20% nationally
- Master’s awarded: 106,971; 19% nationally
- Professional Degrees: 20,859; 25% nationally
- Doctorates awarded: 22,747; 52% nationally
- Postdoctoral Fellows: 30,430; 67% nationally
- Students Studying Abroad: 57,205
- National Merit/Achievement Scholars (2004): 5,434; 63% nationally
- Faculty: approximately 72,000
AAU membership is by invitation only, which requires an affirmative vote of three-fourths of current members. Invitations are considered periodically, based in part on an assessment of the breadth and quality of university programs of research and graduate education, as well as undergraduate education. The association ranks its members using four criteria: Research spending, the percentage of faculty who are members of the National Academies, faculty awards, and citation
Broadly, a citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source . More precisely, a citation is an abbreviated alphanumeric expression Broadly, a citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source (not always the original source). More precisely, a citation is an abbreviated...
s. Two thirds of members can vote to revoke membership for poor rankings. annual dues are $80,500.
Founding members are bolded
, and year of admission is shown in parentheses.
- University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The University of Arizona was the first university in the state of Arizona, founded in 1885...
- University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, also commonly known as the University at Buffalo or UB, is a public research university and a "University Center" in the State University of New York system. The university was founded by Millard Fillmore in 1846. UB has multiple campuses...
- University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...
- University of California, Davis
The University of California, Davis is a public teaching and research university established in 1905 and located in Davis, California, USA. Spanning over , the campus is the largest within the University of California system and third largest by enrollment...
- University of California, Irvine
The University of California, Irvine , founded in 1965, is one of the ten campuses of the University of California, located in Irvine, California, USA...
- University of California, Los Angeles
The University of California, Los Angeles is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, USA. It was founded in 1919 as the "Southern Branch" of the University of California and is the second oldest of the ten campuses...
- University of California, San Diego
The University of California, San Diego, commonly known as UCSD or UC San Diego, is a public research university located in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California, United States...
- University of California, Santa Barbara
The University of California, Santa Barbara, commonly known as UCSB or UC Santa Barbara, is a public research university and one of the 10 general campuses of the University of California system. The main campus is located on a site in Goleta, California, from Santa Barbara and northwest of Los...
- University of Colorado at Boulder
The University of Colorado Boulder is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado...
- University of Florida
The University of Florida is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university located on a campus in Gainesville, Florida. The university traces its historical origins to 1853, and has operated continuously on its present Gainesville campus since September 1906...
- Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology is a public research university in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States...
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a large public research-intensive university in the state of Illinois, United States. It is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system...
- Indiana University Bloomington
Indiana University Bloomington is a public research university located in Bloomington, Indiana, in the United States. IU Bloomington is the flagship campus of the Indiana University system. Being the flagship campus, IU Bloomington is often referred to simply as IU or Indiana...
- University of Iowa
The University of Iowa is a public state-supported research university located in Iowa City, Iowa, United States. It is the oldest public university in the state. The university is organized into eleven colleges granting undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees...
- Iowa State University of Science and Technology (1958)
- University of Kansas
The University of Kansas is a public research university and the largest university in the state of Kansas. KU campuses are located in Lawrence, Wichita, Overland Park, and Kansas City, Kansas with the main campus being located in Lawrence on Mount Oread, the highest point in Lawrence. The...
- University of Maryland, College Park
The University of Maryland, College Park is a top-ranked public research university located in the city of College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C...
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1900)
Michigan State University
Michigan State University is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan, USA. Founded in 1855, it was the pioneer land-grant institution and served as a model for future land-grant colleges in the United States under the 1862 Morrill Act.MSU pioneered the studies of packaging,...
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...
University of Missouri
The University of Missouri System is a state university system providing centralized administration for four universities, a health care system, an extension program, five research and technology parks, and a publishing press. More than 64,000 students are currently enrolled at its four campuses...
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey , is the largest institution for higher education in New Jersey, United States. It was originally chartered as Queen's College in 1766. It is the eighth-oldest college in the United States and one of the nine Colonial colleges founded before the American...
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States...
Ohio State University
The Ohio State University, commonly referred to as Ohio State, is a public research university located in Columbus, Ohio. It was originally founded in 1870 as a land-grant university and is currently the third largest university campus in the United States...
University of Oregon
-Colleges and schools:The University of Oregon is organized into eight schools and colleges—six professional schools and colleges, an Arts and Sciences College and an Honors College.- School of Architecture and Allied Arts :...
Pennsylvania State University
The Pennsylvania State University, commonly referred to as Penn State or PSU, is a public research university with campuses and facilities throughout the state of Pennsylvania, United States. Founded in 1855, the university has a threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service...
University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh, commonly referred to as Pitt, is a state-related research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Founded as Pittsburgh Academy in 1787 on what was then the American frontier, Pitt is one of the oldest continuously chartered institutions of...
Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., is the flagship university of the six-campus Purdue University system. Purdue was founded on May 6, 1869, as a land-grant university when the Indiana General Assembly, taking advantage of the Morrill Act, accepted a donation of land and...
Stony Brook University (2001)
University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately from the Texas State Capitol in Austin...
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University is a coeducational public research university located in College Station, Texas . It is the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. The sixth-largest university in the United States, A&M's enrollment for Fall 2011 was over 50,000 for the first time in school...
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...
University of Washington
University of Washington is a public research university, founded in 1861 in Seattle, Washington, United States. The UW is the largest university in the Northwest and the oldest public university on the West Coast. The university has three campuses, with its largest campus in the University...
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...
- Brandeis University
Brandeis University is an American private research university with a liberal arts focus. It is located in the southwestern corner of Waltham, Massachusetts, nine miles west of Boston. The University has an enrollment of approximately 3,200 undergraduate and 2,100 graduate students. In 2011, it...
- Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...
- California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, United States. Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering...
- Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States....
- Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University is a private research university located in Cleveland, Ohio, USA...
- University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...
- Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...
- Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...
- Duke University
Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco industrialist James B...
- Emory University
Emory University is a private research university in metropolitan Atlanta, located in the Druid Hills section of unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The university was founded as Emory College in 1836 in Oxford, Georgia by a small group of Methodists and was named in honor of...
- Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...
- Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....
William Marsh Rice University, commonly referred to as Rice University or Rice, is a private research university located on a heavily wooded campus in Houston, Texas, United States...
University of Rochester
The University of Rochester is a private, nonsectarian, research university in Rochester, New York, United States. The university grants undergraduate and graduate degrees, including doctoral and professional degrees. The university has six schools and various interdisciplinary programs.The...
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. USC was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university...
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...
Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States...
Vanderbilt University is a private research university located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 1873, the university is named for shipping and rail magnate "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, who provided Vanderbilt its initial $1 million endowment despite having never been to the...
Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university located in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853, and named for George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all fifty U.S. states and more than 110 nations...
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...
- The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America is a private university located in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It is a pontifical university of the Catholic Church in the United States and the only institution of higher education founded by the U.S. Catholic bishops...
- Departed as a result of "institutional emphases and energies" that differed from the other AAU members.
- Clark University
Clark University is a private research university and liberal arts college in Worcester, Massachusetts.Founded in 1887, it is the oldest educational institution founded as an all-graduate university. Clark now also educates undergraduates...
- Departed because its "goals diverged from the strong research orientation of other AAU institutions".
- University of Nebraska–Lincoln
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is a public research university located in the city of Lincoln in the U.S. state of Nebraska...
- Removed from the AAU. Chancellor Harvey Perlman claimed that the lack of an on-campus medical school (the Medical Center
The University of Nebraska Medical Center is a public academic health sciences center located on 42nd and Emile Streets in Midtown Omaha, Nebraska. UNMC is the only public academic health science center in Nebraska.-Academics and rankings:...
is a separate campus of the University of Nebraska system
The University of Nebraska system is the public university system in the state of Nebraska, USA. Founded in 1869 with one campus in Lincoln, the system now has four universities and an agricultural college....
), and the AAU's disregarding of USDA
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...
-funded agricultural research in its metrics, hurt the university's performance in the association's internal ranking system. In 2010 Perlman stated that had Nebraska not been part of the AAU, the Big Ten would likely not have invited it to become the athletic conference's 12th member.
- Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private research university located in Syracuse, New York, United States. Its roots can be traced back to Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1832, which also later founded Genesee College...
- Because of a dispute over how to count non-Federal grants, Syracuse voluntarily withdrew from the AAU in 2011. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that after "...it became clear that Syracuse wouldn't meet the association's revised membership criteria, university officials decided that they would leave the organization voluntarily, rather than face a vote like Nebraska's, and notified the leadership of their intentions."
- Russell Group
The Russell Group is a collaboration of twenty UK universities that together receive two-thirds of research grant and contract funding in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1994 to represent their interests to the government, parliament and other similar bodies...
– A group of equivalent, research based universities in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
- Group of Eight (Australian universities)
The Group of Eight is a coalition of leading Australian tertiary institutions, intensive in research and comprehensive in general and professional education...
- An equivalent group of leading Australian tertiary institutions, intensive in research and comprehensive in general and professional education.