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CU-Boulder Undergraduate Time to Degree

Each January, CU-Boulder participates in the AAU Data Exchange Undergraduate Time to Degree Survey. All of the data below comes from this survey.

CU-Boulder awards bachelor's degrees to over 5,000 students each year. Three-quarters of those students entered as new freshmen. How long did it take? The majority took four years to earn their degrees .

4,667 bachelor's degrees were earned in fiscal year 2014 by 4,210 individual students entering as new freshman:

  • The single most common pattern -- with over 1,900 students -- is entry fall 2009, degree awarded spring 2013.
  • The median elapsed time from entry to degree is 3.67 years -- e.g., entry fall 2009, degree awarded spring 2013.
  • 61% earned their degrees in four years or less.
  • The average elapsed time from entry to degree is 4.3 years -- e.g., entry fall 2008, degree awarded fall 2012. The average is longer than the median because some students take a very long time, and that affects the average. For example, 26 students entered as freshmen in the 1990's.

CU-Boulder only data on median and mean time to degree, plus the percentage earning degrees in four years or less. Shows bacelor's degree recipients since fiscal year 2002 that entered as new freshman by fiscal year, graduation college and major and various group categories (see list below)

Peer comparison data. Mean time to degree only; AAUDE Survey does not collect median time to degree. Includes AAU public peers who have submitted data for the AAUDE Survey in at least four of the last five years.


  • The primary measure is time to degree (TTD) in years for degrees received in a fiscal year (FY 2007 = summer 2006, fall 2006 and spring 2007).
  • Time is measured in elapsed time, not enrolled time.
  • Population of students: Bachelor's degree recipients who entered CU-Boulder in the summer/fall as first-time, full-time freshman (full time = 12+ hours, counted at end of the fall term)
  • For all calculations: One elapsed term = 1/3 of year.
  • Examples:
    • Begin fall YYYY and finished spring YYYY + 4 = 11 elapsed terms (3.67 years). CAUTION: Many people think of this as as "4 years." It is not! It's 3.67 years.
    • Begin fall YYYY and finished summer YYYY + 4 = 12 elapsed terms (4.0 years)
    • Begin fall YYYY and finished fall YYYY + 4 = 13 elapsed terms (4.33 years)

Group categories in the CU-Boulder only data

  • All degrees
  • Gender
  • Residency
  • Citizenship
  • Minority
  • URM
  • First generation
  • Athlete
  • Veteran
  • Entry college/major
  • Mult degrees/majors (also shown in the peer comparisons)
  • Teacher licensure
  • ACO (alternate college option)
  • Summer enrollment
  • Study abroad
  • Honors
  • GPA below 2.0
  • MAPS deficienies
  • Foreign lang MAPS
  • PGPA
  • Financial aid


Last revision 10/08/14

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