Elapsed Time to Degree for Master's and Doctoral Degrees
How long does it take?
The Office of Planning, Budget, and Analysis examined the elapsed time to degree for master's and doctoral degree recipients from summer 2000 to spring 2003. Master's degree recipients average two and a half years to complete their degree while doctoral degree recipients average a little over six years.
There is a wide variance in the results by discipline college and degree program, especially at the doctoral level.
Initial population is all master's and doctoral degree recipients from Summer 2000 to Spring 2003, with two categories excluded:
We checked back to fall 1988 for the earliest term enrolled as a degree-seeking graduate student. Under 0.5% of the population were enrolled in the fall 1988 term. Some may have started before fall 1988; we used fall 1988 as the entry term for these students as a proxy.
The time to degree for doctoral level students includes ALL of the time from entry as a master's student or as a doctoral student. This is not the time from completion of a the master's degree to the doctoral degree, but from the entry at the graduate level to the doctoral degree.
Some students may have done graduate level work before their first term at CU-Boulder in a master's or doctoral program at another insitution, as a non-degree seeking student at CU-Boulder, or as an undergraduate student.
In counting elapsed time, three terms (fall, spring, summer) is counted as one year.
Square = Median, Circle = Mean
Last revision 01/03/05
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