Student Achievement

The University of Texas at Austin places strong emphasis on continually enhancing the student experience and student learning. Administrators, faculty, and staff gather many types of data in order to document, analyze, report on, and improve student success and achievement.

Undergraduate Education

The university has set goals for undergraduate student achievement in several key, interdependent areas:

  1. Percentage of students with cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) below 2.0 in freshman year
  2. Progress toward degree in freshman year
  3. Second-year retention rate
  4. Four-year graduation rate
  5. Number of bachelor’s degrees conferred


Freshmen (FTIC) grade point average

UT Austin expects no more than 5% of students to earn a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) during each semester of their freshman year. For the past three semesters, the university has achieved historic lows (since 1996) in the number of students earning GPAs lower than 2.0.

Fall 2013 cohort

Fall 2013: 5.3%

Spring 2014: 5.8%

Fall 2014 cohort

Fall 2014: 3.7%

Spring 2015: 4.7%

Freshmen (FTIC) progress toward degree

To achieve a four-year degree, first-time-in-college (FTIC) students need to complete 12.5% of their degree requirements by the end of their first semester. Having 75% of freshmen achieve a progress toward degree (PTD) of 13% or greater during their first semester keeps students on pace for a cohort four-year graduation rate of 70%.

2014 cohort

69% of FTICs had PTD of 13% or higher

2015 cohort

70% of FTICs had PTD of 13% or higher

Second-year retention rate

UT Austin aspires to have a second-year retention rate of 90% or higher. A consistently strong second-year retention rate helps maintain a high four-year graduation rate. The typical retention rate among other four-year public institutions with similar percentages of applications accepted is approximately 85%.[1]

2010 cohort 2011 cohort 2012 cohort 2013 cohort 2014 cohort
91.8% 93.2% 93.6% 94.5% 95.5%

Four-year graduation rate

The university has been working toward a longer-term goal of increasing the four-year graduation rate to 70% by spring 2017; its more immediate standard of performance is 57%.

2007 cohort 2008 cohort 2009 cohort 2010 cohort 2011 cohort
50.9% 52.2% 52% 55.1% 57.8%

Number of bachelor’s degrees conferred

The university expects to increase the number of bachelor’s degrees conferred to 9,500. The university is committed to continuing to increase success in this area while recognizing that sustained, disproportionate growth in this measure will become more difficult as undergraduate enrollment increases.

AY 2009-2010 AY 2010-2011 AY 2011-2012 AY 2012-2013 AY 2013-2014 AY 2014-2015


8,860 9,207 9,482 9,358


Graduate Education

Number of graduate degrees conferred

For graduate student achievement, UT Austin tracks the number of degrees awarded. The university strives to award graduate degrees to approximately 2,900-3,000 master’s candidates and 800-900 doctoral candidates annually. These goals have been established with careful attention to balancing competitive financial aid packages against cohort size.

  AY 2010-2011 AY 2011-2012 AY 2012-2013 AY 2013-2014 AY 2014-2015 5-year average


2939 3080 2969 3098 3128 3043


853 847 895 885 920 880

Licensure examination pass rates

The Graduate School also has set goals for licensure examination rates that relate to graduate (as opposed to professional) programs. The pass rates are evaluated through statewide comparisons. The expected level of achievement is that UT Austin student scores will fall at or above statewide levels. This standard reflects the university's competitive status compared to its state peers. The university's students consistently score above statewide averages.


AY 2009-2010 AY 2010-2011 AY 2011-2012 AY 2012-2013 AY 2013-2014 AY 2014-2015


96.60% 95.48% 91.45% 86.00% 89.00% 90.05%


89.41% 91.16% 87.78% 93.10% 91.30% 93.36%


89.72% 91.67% 93.40% 92.60% 93.30% 93.33%


93.17% 94.09% 91.88% 95.50% 91.80% 94.25%


100% 98.35% 99.16% 99.20% 99.20% 97.71%

In summary, these nine undergraduate and graduate student achievement measures allow UT Austin to evaluate success consistent with its mission.