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. Four-year graduation rate
  2. Percentage of first-time-in-college (FTIC) students with cumulative grade point averages below 2.0 in freshman year
  3. FTIC student progress toward degree (PTD) in freshman year
  4. FTIC student second-year retention rate
  5. Number of bachelor’s degrees conferred

Four-year graduation rate

Academic Year Four-Year Graduation Rate
2017-2018 69.8%
2018-2019 69.9%
2019-2020 72.2%
2020-2021 72.8%

Disaggregated four-year graduation rate, 2020-2021

Demographic Four-Year Graduation Rate
Black/African-American Students 64.1%
Hispanic Students 67.1%
First Generation Students 64.3%
Pell Eligible Students 66.2%

FTIC freshman grade point average

In order to continue meeting its goal of a 70% four-year graduation rate, UT Austin needs to ensure that no more than 5% of FTIC freshmen earn less than a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) during each semester of their first year. The figures in the table below mark the percentages of FTIC freshman students who achieved a GPA of less than 2.0 in each semester.

Freshman Cohort Year Fall Achievement Spring Achievement
2016 2016: 3.6% 2017: 4.4%
2017 2017: 3.3% 2018: 3.9%
2018 2018: 3.4% 2019: 2.3%
2019 2019: 3.3% 2020: 1.0%
2020 2020: 2.7% 2021: 1.8%


FTIC freshman progress toward degree

Freshman progress toward degree (PTD) is obtained by calculating the number of semester credit hours successfully completed by FTIC students in their first year and dividing it by the number of semester credit hours that most baccalaureate degrees require (120). To increase the likelihood that they will graduate in four years, FTIC students need to complete 12.5% of their degree requirements by the end of their first year. In order to meet its goal of a 70% four-year graduation rate, the University needs to ensure that 75% of freshmen achieve a PTD of 13% or greater during their first semester in order to keep the cohort on pace for timely graduation.

Freshman Cohort Year FTIC Freshmen with PTD of 13%
2016 80.1%
2017 79.0%
2018 76.1%
2019 78.5%
2020 78.7%


Second-year retention rate

The transition from the second to third year of college has traditionally seen the second highest attrition rates (after that from the first to second year). A consistently strong second-year retention rate helps maintain a high four-year graduation rate. UT Austin aspires to have a second-year retention rate among FTIC students of 90% or higher.

Freshman Cohort Year FTIC Second-Year Retention Rate
2016 91.5%
2017 92.4%
2018 not available
2019 not available
2020 93.4%
2021 93.5%


Number of bachelor’s degrees conferred

The Texas Higher Education Strategic Plan for 2015-2030, 60x30TX, set a goal that 60% of Texans would have a postsecondary degree by 2030. In order to achieve that goal, the plan calls for colleges and universities in Texas to increase enrollment and confer more degrees. As the state’s flagship University, UT Austin has an obligation to respond to that call, while maintaining an appropriate balance between increasing capacity and enhancing excellence. Thus, the University seeks to maximize enrollment within the upper limits of the campus’ physical space and instructional resources. To that end, UT Austin has set a goal of 9,500 bachelor’s degrees conferred annually.

Academic Year Number of Bachelor’s Degrees Conferred    
2016-2017 9,897    
2017-2018 9,882    
2018-2019 10,114    
2019-2020 10,874    
2020-2021 10,331    


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.

  2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 5-year average
Master's 2,934 3,087 2,969 3,118 3,049 3,031
Doctoral 843 879 855 813 745 827


Licensure examination pass rates

The Graduate School also has set goals for licensure examination rates that relate to graduate and 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.

  2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
Education 94.7% 91.9% 90.8% 89.2% 88.1%
Engineering 89.39% 90.6% 92.1% 91.5% 93.5%
Law 92.65% 90.0% 92.1% 91.8% 91.8%
Nursing 97.67% 94.9% 96.5% 96.2% 91.0%
Pharmacy 96.32% 97.4% 93.5% 91.6% 88.2%



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

Contact Strategic Academic Initiatives