Journalism Graduation Rate

Journalism Students Graduate on Time

The Michigan State University Office of Planning and Budgets tracks the average number of years that students take to graduate ("time to degree") and follows student retention (called "persistence") and counts the time it takes a cohort to graduate ("rate of graduation") for the individual majors. As you see below, Journalism majors have a great record that has sustained over the years.

Time to Degree

Time to Degree is the average of the number of years it takes students to graduate.

The facts: For Journalism majors who graduated in the 2019-2020 academic year, the average time it took them to graduate was 4.05 years, even with an internship.

What this means: This means that most students - fully 95 percent - graduated in 4 years and a few others took longer. Some students graduate in four or fewer years because they take online courses in the summer (and school year) to progress in their program while being away from campus taking study abroad courses, interning at companies and doing other types of work.

Some students may take a little longer to graduate because they may be away from campus, doing internships across multiple semesters or taking fewer courses each semester. Still others might transfer in from another major or another school and need to catch up on a few courses.

Retention/Persistence Rate

Retention, or persistence rate, is the number of students who returned to MSU the next year.

The facts: The persistence rate of first-time undergraduate students who entered the MSU Journalism major in fall 2019 and returned in fall 2020 (last year) was 90 percent. Based on recent averages, 82 percent of students who enroll as journalism majors complete a journalism degree within six years.

What this means: Students enjoy their first year and returned to MSU to continue their studies. However, some students may decide that personal circumstances cause them to sit out a year, or they choose to work full-time and defer their program to a later date; or they change to another university or major. Fully 84 percent of students who enter MSU as journalism majors complete a degree at the University.


Journalism students overall are happy with their experience and return to study at MSU. And, students are successful in graduating with a degree in Journalism in about 4 years.