Undergraduate Graduation and Retention Rates

The School of Journalism Does Well in Graduating its Majors
Michigan State University's Office of Planning and Budgets tracks for MSU the average number of years students take to graduate ("time to degree") and follows student retention (called "persistence") and counts the time it takes a cohort to graduate ("rate of graduation") for the individual majors. The latest numbers for 2013 are reflected below for Journalism majors.

Time to Degree

Time to Degree is the average of the number of years it takes students to graduate.

The facts: For Journalism majors who graduated in the 2012-2013 academic year, the average time it took them to graduate was 4.2 years.

What this means: This means that some students graduated in fewer than 4 years and others took longer. Some students graduate in fewer than 4 years because they take online courses in the summer (and school year) to progress in their program while being away from campus taking study abroad courses, interning at companies and doing other types of work.

Some students may take a little longer to graduate because they may be away from campus, doing internships across multiple semesters or taking fewer courses each semester. Still others might transfer in from another major or another school and need to catch up on a few courses.


Persistence is the number of students who returned to MSU's Journalism major for a second year.

The facts: Of those students who entered the Journalism major in 2012, almost 90 percent (88.7%) returned to MSU to study Journalism in 2013.

What this means: Most students continue with their Journalism program. However, some students may decide that personal circumstances cause them to sit out a year, or they choose to work full-time and defer their program to a later date (one year or perhaps longer) or they change their major.

Rate of Graduation

Michigan State University tracks the amount of time it takes Journalism majors to graduate.

The facts: Of those students who entered in 2007, most of them graduated in 4 or fewer years and were out by 2011 (57.1%), an additional number graduated in 5 or fewer years and finished in 2012 (75.6%) and still more completed their program in 6 or fewer years by 2013 (77.6).

What this means: Students vary in the number of years it takes them to graduate for different personal reasons. Many of those reasons are noted above in Time to Degree.


Most students who come to MSU to study Journalism are successful in graduating with a degree in Journalism.

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