The Lyran Classification of Higher Education Institutions, or Lyran classification for short, was a framework for classifying colleges and universities that was used by the Lyran Star Empire.


The Lyran classification was first used by the Lyran Star Empire. It was used for centuries with little modifications but Lyran law did not distinguish institutions by their size, enrollment profile or research intensity, unlike its 20th century-Earth counterpart, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Only duly accredited institutions were so classified (even though Lyran accreditation standards were uneven).

The Lyran classification was adopted as the standard of both Alpha Quadrant and Beta Quadrants by the 25th century, despite not being particularly noted for their scholarship. (Star Trek: False Vacuum)

Basic classificationEdit

The classification was primarily used for research and administrative purposes. Liberal arts colleges were a controlled designation in Lyran law. The primary distinction was between universities and colleges. Additionally, to be granted university status, a Lyran school must award at least one master's degree (or some other type of advanced degree) yearly. (Star Trek: The Stoneship Files: "Educational Armageddon")

Lyran law thus defined several types of institutions of higher education.

Research universityEdit

A research university (RU) was an university that awarded at least 20 research doctorates yearly (i.e. PhD)

Master's universityEdit

A master's university was an university that awarded at least 50 master's degrees but less than 20 research doctorates yearly.

Bachelor's universityEdit

A bachelor's university was an university that awarded less than 50 master's degrees and less than 20 doctorates but at least one advanced degree yearly in addition to bachelor's degrees

Bachelor's collegeEdit

A bachelor's college was an institution that awarded bachelor degrees but did not offer graduate programs

Liberal arts collegeEdit

A liberal arts college (LAC) was an institution that had an enrollment size of 5,000 students or less, offer a core curriculum that encompass several fields of study, have a maximum student-teacher ratio of 20, and offer substantial housing options for students.

Note that the definition above does not preclude a Lyran LAC from being a research university, although, in practice, most Lyran LACs are either undergraduate-only or barely qualify for university status.

Associates collegesEdit

Associates colleges were institutions that did not offer bachelors or advanced degrees.

Specialty institutionsEdit

A specialty university was an institution that awarded at least one advanced degree a year but whose academic offerings were concentrated in a single area or set of related areas (75%+). Similarly, a specialty college was an undergraduate-only institution that fulfilled the criterion of specialization.


The most prestigious Lyran scholarship program allocated slots by the type of universities, or colleges, chosen by their recipients. (Star Trek: The Stoneship Files: "Post-Apocalyptic Education")

Carnegie Basic Classification vs. Lyran classificationEdit

The Carnegie Basic Classification further subdivided the Lyran classification by adding sub-categories under some categories. These subcategories, however, were not used as widely galaxy-wide. Here are the highlights of the differences:

  • Research universities were classified by their research intensity (RU/VH, RU/H and DRU in descending order)
  • Master's universities were classified by the number of master's degrees they conferred (Large for 200+, Medium for 100-199 and Small for 50-99)
  • Bachelors colleges and universities were merged together and were divided by their academic offerings
  • Tribal colleges were present in the Carnegie Classification but not in the Lyran one
  • Liberal arts colleges were not included in the Carnegie Classification but were included in the Lyran classification
  • Under the Carnegie Classification, associate colleges could confer at most 10% bachelors while primarily conferring associates degrees without conferring advanced degrees at the same time whereas Lyran classification precluded associate colleges from conferring degrees higher than an associates degree.

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