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University of California

Improving Graduation Rates

UC campuses have instituted a wide range of programs to promote the long-term academic success of their undergraduates, especially low-income and underrepresented minority students. These include academic preparation programs and individual student counseling and mentorship opportunities that assist students in pursuing their studies, achieving academic success and graduating in a timely fashion. By traditional graduation rate measures, UC’s undergraduates are highly successful.

UC’s four-year graduation rates for freshmen have risen significantly over the past 15 years — from 46 percent for the 1997 entering cohort to 64 percent for the 2012 cohort. The most recent six-year graduation rate, for the 2010 entering cohort, is 85 percent, which increases to 87 percent when including students who transfer to non-UC institutions and still graduate within six years. In addition, time to degree has steadily improved, with freshman entrants now taking 4.1 years, on average, to graduate.

Undergraduate Outcomes

The number of undergraduate degrees awarded by UC over the past 15 years has grown by 55 percent, from about 32,700 degrees in 1999–2000 to 50,800 degrees in 2015–16. Increases in the size of the entering freshman class and improving graduation rates have contributed to this growth. More than one-third of the undergraduate degrees awarded by UC in 2015–16 were in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Four years after graduation, more than one-quarter of bachelor’s degree recipients have enrolled in graduate or professional programs.

Analysis of wage data reported for UC alumni working in California may show differences in earnings depending on the student’s major. But the earning capacity of UC alumni across majors increases rapidly; ten years after graduation, alumni have doubled what they were earning at two years post-graduation. Success in the California labor workforce is seen across all socioeconomic groups, including students whose families qualified for federal Pell Grants. Within five years of graduation, the majority of Pell Grant recipients earn an average income higher than their parents’ combined incomes during the time those students attended UC (approximately $50,000).

University of California

School  Location
UC Berkeley Berkeley, CA
UC Davis Davis, CA
UC Irvine Irvine, CA
UC Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
UC Merced Merced, CA
UC Riverside Riverside, CA
UC San Diego La Jolla, CA
UC San Francisco San Francisco, CA
UC Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
UC Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA