Completion Rates and Time to Degree Completion

Completion rates and Time to Degree AY2019

Completion rates AY2018

Completion rates AY2017

UAMS calculates a completion rate, not a graduation rate.  The phrase “graduation rate” should only be used for calculations that complies or closely complies with IPEDS methodology.  As noted below, this UAMS calculation does not comply with IPEDS, therefore, UAMS refers to this calculation as an “Annual Completion Rate.” Completion rates of 100%, 150%, and 200% standard time are calculated based on a standard definition for all programs. Please note: these calculations may differ from program accreditation calculations based on the methodology UAMS has defined below.

Definition: Completion is defined as the cumulative number of students graduating (out of a defined cohort group of students) at UAMS from a specified time period to a specified time period in a specified academic plan.

Cohort: This is the same cohort as used in annual retention shown above.  The cohort consists of all students that were admitted during a specified academic year (AY), i.e., students having an “admit term” of any term during the academic year.  For example, a cohort for academic year 2018 (2017-2018) would consist of any and all students that had an admit term in fall 2017, spring 2018, or summer 2018.

Time Frame: Since the cohort considers any and all students that were admitted in a specified academic year, the time frame for completion will be whether or not the student actually graduated during the successive academic years – graduating anytime during the specified academic year.  This calculation is a cumulative count of graduates for each academic year.  Each academic year is defined as July 1 through June 30.

Comparison to IPEDS: This UAMS completion rate calculation does not compare with the IPEDS graduation rate methodology.  (a) IPEDS uses a cohort of first-time entering, full-time, degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students only.  UAMS has no first-time entering college students and the undergraduate degree/certificate-seeking students make up a minority of the student body.  (b) IPEDS uses a fall-only cohort.  UAMS uses an annual cohort which is a more comprehensive approach.  This comprehensive approach is more informative to academic officials.  (c) IPEDS does not utilize program or academic plan calculations but has a graduation rate calculation of all degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students.  The UAMS approach allows for calculations for all academic plans, including graduate and professional practice programs.

Program Length: The program length is the number of academic years in which a full-time student should be able to complete the program, as determined by college/program officials.  The program lengths are specified in the report.

Calculation: The number of students in the cohort is the denominator whereas the cumulative number of students graduating in a given academic year is the numerator.  Division creates the rate.

Cumulative Number of Students Graduating / Number of Students in Cohort = Completion Rate


Updated 12-20-19