Undergraduate Time-to-Degree and Peer Comparison Data

Last Updated

Includes time-to-degree, measured in elapsed calendar years, for bachelors degree recipients by major and by several demographic categories. Time-to-degree for similar majors at public peer institutions is also provided.

Report URL
Data Cookbook URL (requires authorization)
Data Domain(s)
Student Record
Access Restrictions
Publicly Available
Data Source Information
Data View Information
Retention Awards Main, Retention Awards Plan, Retention Semester History, Student Ethnic Reporting
Update Schedule
Data will be updated annually, sometime after October 1st when the previous year's degrees are finalized.
Responsible Office
Academic Planning and Institutional Research
Important Notes

Reporting of time-to-degree follows conventions established by UW-Madison and its peers. Time-to-degree is reported for bachelors degree recipients who 1) started at UW-Madison as new freshmen, 2) enrolled full time in their first semester, and 3) graduated within 20 years. When students earn multiple degrees, time-to-degree is only counted for their first bachelor's degree.

Time-to-degree is measured in elapsed calendar years - the time from the start date of the student's first term at UW-Madison to the degree conferral date of the student's bachelor's degree. Elapsed calendar years continue to accrue, regardless of a student's enrollment status. On-time graduation for a four-year degree based on this metric is 3.72 years.

Time-to-degree for students who graduated with multiple majors is included in the average for each major. The overall time-to-degree calculation counts each graduate only once.

Peer comparisons are based on the federal Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) codes, a standard taxonomy for classifying instructional programs. Every degree major at every U.S university is assigned a CIP code based on its curriculum. These codes can then be used as a basis for comparability across institutions. CIP codes are better indicators of curricular similarity than relying on the names of majors which may differ between institutions. For example, the Zoology major at UW-Madison may be called Animal Biology at another institution.


Name Functional Definition Data Domains
Academic Level

Indicates whether a student is an undergraduate, graduate or professional, or special student. For undergraduates, students are freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior based on accumulated credits, not the duration of time at the University.

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Academic Year

An academic year consists of sequential summer, fall, spring terms. For example, the 2011-12 academic years includes summer 2011, fall 2011, and spring 2012.

Academic Planning
Department of Major

The department that has ownership of the major, or pre-major. In cases where no major is declared, "School/College of Student" is displayed.

University of Wisconsin - Madison

A binary "Male" or "Female" gender, based on what the individual has reported to the University.

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Degree Level of Major

Indicates, for degree-seeking students, whether the student's course of study leads to a bachelor's degree, master's degree, research doctorate, or clinical doctorate.

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Minority Students

Domestic (not international) students who have identified a race/ethnicity other than solely White.

University of Wisconsin - Madison
School/College of Major

Indicates the school/college that has ownership of the major.

Academic Planning, Student Record
School/College of Student

The student's primary school/college. Some students have a second major or pursue a certificate in another school/college.

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Targeted Minority Students

Domestic (not international) students who have identified a race/ethnicity of Black, Hispanic, American Indian and/or Southeast Asian (of Laotian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, or Hmong heritage).

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Tuition Residency

The residency status of a student for tuition purposes. Some non-resident students from Minnesota ("Minnesota Compact" students) pay tuition based on a legal agreement between the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota.

University of Wisconsin - Madison