Undergraduate Graduation and Retention Rates

MSU Journalism Students Graduate on Time

The Michigan State University Office of Planning and Budgets tracks for MSU the average number of years that 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 2014 are reflected below for Journalism majors. We continue to improve on retention and graduation rates with each new entering class.


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

The facts: Of those first-time undergraduate students who entered the Journalism major in 2013, almost 93 percent (92.7%) returned to MSU to study Journalism in 2014. This is an increase of 3 percent from the prior year.

In addition, 100 percent of the transfer students who came to MSU to study Journalism in 2013 returned the next year and the next. This statistic has held for several years.

What this means: Most students complete their Journalism program at Michigan State University. 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: Most of the students who entered in 2010 graduated in 4 years, by 2014 (60.6%). The most recent five- and six-year graduation rates are for students who entered in 2008: 76 percent graduated in 5 years and almost 80 percent (78.8%) graduated in 6 years.

What this means: This means that most students graduated in 4 years or fewer years and others took longer. Some students graduate in fewer than 4 years because they take more than 15 credits a semester or 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 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. These numbers also include those few students who left MSU for various reasons.

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: Most students graduate in 4 years. Students vary in the number of years it takes them to graduate for different personal reasons. Many of those reasons are noted above in Rate of Graduation.


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

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