A&S and the AAU

Truman the TigerMU is a member of the Association of American Universities based on quality of teaching, research, and scholarship.

As the largest college in the university, the College of Arts and Science plays a crucial role in upholding MU’s standing in the AAU and strengthening the brand behind an MU degree. The college has a wide variety of liberal arts programs, pioneering research initiatives, and outstanding graduate programs. In addition, the college is responsible for teaching most of the core courses required of all undergraduate students on campus.

What is the AAU?
The AAU was founded in 1900 to advance the international standing of America’s research universities. Membership in the AAU is by invitation only, and MU was asked to join in 1908. The AAU uses two sets of indicators to assess how well its current members—and potential new members—are doing their jobs. Phase 1 indicators are used as primary metrics of institutional breadth and quality in research and education, and Phase 2 indicators are used to provide important gauges of an institution’s research and educational programs.

What are the indicators?
AAU Phase 1 Indicators:

  • The amount of competitively funded federal research dollars spent annually
  • The number of faculty in the National Academies
  • The number of faculty awards, fellowships, and elected memberships in learned societies
  • The number of scholarly citations earned by faculty

AAU Phase 2 Indicators:

  • The amount of competitive research funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state departments, and industry
  • The number of doctorates awarded annually
  • The number of postdoctoral students
  • The strength of undergraduate education

Why does it matter?
Being a part of the top 2 percent of American universities has significant advantages. AAU universities are key players that set the higher-education and research agendas for the nation. MU’s membership enables the state of Missouri to compete at high and impactful levels, with a strong voice in Washington. In addition, membership encourages faculty and administrative interaction among peers worldwide that will further the university’s teaching and research mission.

AAU status attracts accomplished faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students to MU. It also adds value to all MU degrees. When an MU graduate applies for admission to or for a job at another university, that school understands that the student had a rigorous course load taught by the best professors.