Time to Degree Visualization

How long do Washington students take to earn their degree?
February, 2017

Video tutorial: How to use the Time to Degree dashboard

Interactive overview of Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) taxonomy


Data Definitions

Academic Year

The academic year starts in September and ends in August. Each cohort includes students that graduated within that academic year, regardless of when they started. Each cohort consists of students who graduated within a given academic year.

Time to Degree

Time to degree for a student is calculated by subtracting the date of most recent undergraduate admission record for that student from date the degree was awarded to that student, expressed in number of months. The number of months is then divided by twelve to represent decimal number of years to degree.


Students were included in the study if enrolled in a 4-year institution directly from high school, were Washington residents, and if they were a full-time student during their first year enrolled. Students who transferred to a 4-year institution from a community or technical college were not included in the study, nor were students who did not enroll directly after high school or who enrolled part time at any point.

Race and Ethnicity

This dashboard uses two racial and ethnic categories: White and Persons of Color. "White" includes students who indicated their race/ethnicity as White with no Hispanic origin, or whose racial/ethnic backgrounds are unknown. "Persons of Color" includes students who indicated any other racial or ethnic category, included Hispanic, Black, White, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native, or multiple racial categories. Due to data confidentiality requirements, we could not present information disaggregated into these smaller categories.

Student Need

A student was categorized as a State Need Grant (SNG) recipient if they received a grant in any term prior to receiving the degree.

STEM/High employer demand

Defined by the Classification of Program (CIP) code. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programs are identified by national groups, such as the National Science Foundation. High employer demand programs are identified by the institutions, in consultation with the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board and the Washington Student Achievement Council, based on the needs of the state.