A student studies in a library

What Is a Research Institution?

Academic research institutions equip their students with the skills and knowledge they’ll need to make significant contributions in fields such as public health, education and information security. Research institution graduates fight against infectious diseases, apply social-emotional learning strategies to classroom curricula, and combat the latest cybersecurity threats like social engineering attacks and ransomware.

For individuals passionate about investigating ways to help our society thrive, pursuing an advanced degree from a research institution is what opens doors to cutting-edge academic study and meaningful career opportunities. 

What a Research Institution Is Known For

Research universities, whether public or private, uphold a core mission of promoting social advancement through intensive research conducted by professors and graduate students. To that end, state-of-the-art research capabilities, generous research funding and world-class faculty are what a research institution can deliver to its students.

At public research universities, students and faculty collaborate on research focused on pressing issues and discover groundbreaking solutions. These institutions are incubators of positive change, applying knowledge through action.

According to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), “Public research universities initiate the fundamental research that drives scientific and technological discovery. They educate and train the skilled workforce of tomorrow. They prepare schoolteachers and faculty for the classroom.”

Benefits of Attending a Research Institution

Students seeking an advanced education to support their goals to become innovators and leaders in their fields can benefit from attending a research university in a host of ways. Opportunities include:

  • Learning directly from research leaders who are experts in their fields
  • Present research findings at regional or national conferences
  • Contributing to the advancement of knowledge in vital areas
  • Collaborating with expert colleagues across disciplines
  • Making connections with the wider research community
  • Obtaining internships and academic appointments

What Augusta University Online Students Gain

Augusta University, one of just four public research universities in Georgia, exemplifies what a research institution is meant to be. It offers students access to a close-knit and student-friendly academic culture, the chance to build collegial relationships with responsive world-class faculty, and research funding and resource capabilities comparable to that of a larger public institution.

At AU, students stand to gain a rigorous, research-focused education with practical real-world applications. Augusta University Online offers the following three master’s programs, which present research opportunities that can turn academic dedication into influential expertise that’s applicable to a variety of roles.

Master of Public Health

Augusta University Online’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program’s mission is to investigate challenges in contemporary public health. The program aims to prepare professionals to apply the knowledge and skills they have gained to important public health issues — such as improved access to quality care, disease prevention education, scientific research and health promotion in diverse communities.

Offering a concentration in health management, the MPH program attracts professionals with clinical backgrounds, such as in medicine and nursing, and nonclinical backgrounds, such as in finance and information systems. 

Graduates with an MPH have the educational foundation needed to qualify for leadership roles in health care facilities, public health organizations, pharmaceutical companies and research institutions.

Master of Science in Information Security Management

From phishing and email impersonation to cryptocurrency-related attacks and third-party breaches, the AU Online Master of Science in Information Security Management (MSISM) program’s mission is to safeguard government agencies, businesses and individuals against cybercrime.

Students in the MSISM program gain master’s level exposure to the knowledge and skills required to protect an organization’s information assets. The MSISM gives professionals a thorough grounding in information security, information technology governance and risk management.

In accordance with recommendations for the certified information systems security professional (CISSP) credential, Augusta’s MSISM program includes the following core courses:

  • Security Policy Development
  • Managing Risk
  • Legal Issues in Information Security
  • Human Factors in Information Security
  • In addition, graduates with an MSISM have the educational foundation needed to qualify for leadership roles in work settings that include businesses, government agencies and technology startups.

Master of Education in Instruction

The Master of Education (MEd) in Instruction program at AU Online is dedicated to integrating education theory, research and classroom data into advanced teaching strategies for the classroom. 

Whether they are teaching students with autism, managing behavioral disorders in the classroom, leading with compassion or applying new pedagogical trends to their curricula, Augusta’s MEd in Instruction graduates help all students learn.

The MEd in Instruction program’s focus on the practical application of new research in pedagogy attracts professionals who already hold a teaching certificate and are seeking an advanced graduate degree. The program speaks to individuals interested in gaining practical knowledge they can use in areas such as curriculum development, teaching modalities, educational leadership and more.

Graduates with an MEd in Instruction have the educational foundation needed to qualify for leadership roles at public elementary, middle and high schools; private schools; and charter schools.

Research to Discover a Brighter Future

Augusta University believes that its research makes the world stronger and that its dedication to innovation and inquiry can make our collective future brighter. With the advantages of a tight-knit community and a host of research opportunities, Augusta represents what a research institution is today: a stimulating gathering of minds where discovery and practical applications converge and spark meaningful change in the world.

Learn more about how Augusta University Online can prepare you to shape a brilliant future through actionable research that can change lives.


American Academy of Arts and Sciences, “Public Research Universities: Why They Matter”

American Public Health Association, Topics & Issues

Embroker, “Top 10 Cybersecurity Threats in 2022”

Forbes, “The Role of Research at Universities: Why It Matters”

Science Daily, K-12 Education News

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