Graduation Rates

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.

Most universities have policies related to leaves of absence and the amount of time credits can count toward a degree. Students who take a leave of absence or receive permission to extend their time in the program should be moved from their original cohort to a more recent cohort based on their updated maximum allowable time to graduation.

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to a degree that is not part of the accredited school or program should remain in the denominator and be counted as withdrawn.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.

These students should remain in the denominator and be counted as withdrawn. As above, the school or program may wish to track these students as a distinct category among all students who have withdrawn from the school/program, though this is not required.

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.

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 As above, the school or program may wish to track these students as a distinct category among all students who have withdrawn from the school/program, though this is not required.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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