Graduation Rates

  1. What if my school/program has part-time and full-time students?
  2. How do I count students who take a leave of absence?
  3. How do I count students who change degrees?
  4. How do I count students who leave to accept a residency?
  5. How do I count students who first enrolled in a certificate program and then transitioned to the full MPH degree?
  6. How do I count students who are accepted on a conditional basis (eg, based on GPA, GRE scores, etc.)?
  7. How do I count undergraduate students who declare a major in public health but never take a course or see an advisor?
  8. How do I count undergraduate students who change their major after variable amounts of time as public health majors?
  9. At what point do I start counting undergraduate students who become a public health major after several years of studying other academic fields or having an undeclared major? These students may not receive their degree until they have been in undergraduate training for six or seven years.
  10. How do I count students who are part of a combined degree program at the graduate level (eg, MPH-MD, MPH-JD, MPH-MSN)? What if both programs must be completed before a degree is awarded, but students complete the MPH requirements first?
  11. How do I count students who are part of a combined undergraduate/graduate program (ie, 3 years of undergraduate/2 years of graduate work)?
  12. Is there a completed Template B2-1 I can review as an example?

1. What if my school/program has part-time and full-time students?

Most universities set a maximum time for completion of degrees (eg, 5 or 7 years). Schools and programs should track students over the full period of time allowed. It is not necessary to separate part-time and full-time students, since both have the same maximum allowable time to graduate.

Back to top

2. How do I count students who take a leave of absence?

Most universities have policies related to leaves of absence and the amount of time credits can count toward a degree. If a student takes a leave of absence, you can remove him/her from the original cohort for the purposes of calculating graduation rates. Once the leave is completed, place the student in the appropriate cohort for his/her “new” year for maximum time to graduation.

Back to top

3. How do I count students who change degrees?

Students who transfer to another degree within the school or program should not be counted in the denominator for the original degree. They should be retrospectively added to the entering enrollment number of the degree they transferred into.

Students who transfer to a degree that is not part of the accredited school or program should remain in the denominator and be counted as withdrawn. Schools and programs may choose to track these students separately so that they can document the destination of students who transfer to a degree program outside of the accredited unit, but this is not required.

Back to top

4. How do I count students who leave to accept a residency?

These students should remain in the denominator and be counted as withdrawn. As above, the school or program may wish to track these students as a distinct category among all students who have withdrawn from the school/program, though this is not required.

Back to top

5. How do I count students who first enrolled in a certificate program and then transitioned to the full MPH degree?

Students who enroll in a degree should be added to the entering enrollment number of the degree they transferred into in the year in which they matriculated into the program.

Back to top

6. How do I count students who are accepted on a conditional basis (eg, based on GPA, GRE scores, etc.)?

Begin counting these students when the university classifies them as majors in the school or program. Place these students in the appropriate cohort based on their maximum allowable time to graduate and track these students until they graduate or withdraw. As above, the school or program may wish to track these students as a distinct category among all students who have withdrawn from the school/program, though this is not required.

Back to top

7. How do I count undergraduate students who declare a major in public health but never take a course or see an advisor?

Begin counting these students when they have declared public health to be their major and have completed 75 semester-credit hours of coursework toward their public health degree.

Back to top

8. How do I count undergraduate students who change their major after variable amounts of time as public health majors?

If undergraduate students leave the public health major before earning 75 semester-credit hours toward their degree, do not include them in any calculations. If the change in major is declared after 75 semester-credit hours have been earned, count them as withdrawn.

Back to top

9. At what point do I start counting undergraduate students who become a public health major after several years of studying other academic fields or having an undeclared major? These students may not receive their degree until they have been in undergraduate training for six or seven years.

Begin counting all undergraduate students who enter a public health major when they have completed 75 semester-credit hours of coursework toward their public health degree.

Back to top

10. How do I count students who are part of a combined degree program at the graduate level (eg, MPH-MD, MPH-JD, MPH-MSN)? What if both programs must be completed before a degree is awarded, but students complete the MPH requirements first?

Track these students based on their maximum allowable time to graduate, and count them in the MPH student cohort that aligns with this final year.

For example, if standalone MPH students have a four-year maximum allowable time to graduate and combined degree students have a six-year maximum allowable time to graduate, then you would count combined degree students who entered in 2020-2021 with standalone MPH students who entered in 2022-2023.

Back to top

11. How do I count students who are part of a combined undergraduate/graduate program (ie, 3 years of undergraduate/2 years of graduate work)?

As with other combined degree programs, these students should be tracked according to their maximum allowable time to graduate and then counted with the student cohort that aligns with this final year.

These students should be reported with the highest-level degree earned within the school or program. For example, if students are earning a BSPH/MPH, then count these students in the MPH cohort. If students are earning an MPH/DrPH, then count these students in the DrPH cohort.

Back to top

12. Is there a completed Template B2-1 I can review as an example?

Yes. CEPH has provided a sample (in 2016 data templates in the sheet titled Template B2-1 EXAMPLE) to assist schools and programs in reporting their data.

Back to top