Average Credits/Time to Degree


One of the driving factors in the Hawaii Graduation Initiative (HGI) is to minimize the amount of time it takes for students to earn a degree or certificate. Currently, there are two metrics to track this, Graduation Rates, which tracks incoming student cohorts; the other is to track exiting cohorts (i.e. graduating students) and track backwards to calculate how long they took to graduate.

Credit/Time to degree populations for analysis typically fall into 3 groups with the same criteria.

  • Group:
    • Entered as First-Time Freshmen
    • Entered as a Transfer from another UH institution
    • Entered as a Transfer from an external, non UH, institution (e.g. mainland colleges, Hawaii Pacific University, etc.)
  • Criteria:
    • Undergraduate student
    • Not a second-bachelor student.
    • Only the first degree earned counts in the criteria if the the student earned more than one degree in a fiscal year.
    • Student must not have stopped out (student did not register) for more than 5 years.
    • For 4-year campuses
      • Student must have earned a Bachelors
    • For UH Community College campuses
      • ?????


Time to Degree – The length of time a  student takes to complete a degree or certificate. Time to degree is calculated by based on the difference, in months, between the start of the entering term and the end of the graduation term; it is then converted to years to obtain a time to degree.

  • Number of months between Graduation Date and Entering Date divided by 12. The starting and ending dates are standardized to the same date for every year.
    • Graduation Date = XXXX = Graduation Year
      • Spring  = 04/30/XXXX, Summer = 08/30/XXXX , Fall = 12/30/XXXX
    • Entering Date = YYYY  = Entering Year
      • Spring  = 01/01/YYYY  , Summer = 05/01/YYYY  , Fall = 09/01/YYYY
  • Example Calculation:
    • Student A entered as a First Time Freshman in Fall 2005 and graduated in Fall 2009
      • Step 1 standardize start and ending dates
        • Graduation Date = 12/30/2009
        • Entering Date = 09/01/2005
      • Step 2: Calculate months between start and end dates
        • Months between 09/01/2005 and 12/30/2009 = 52 months
      • Step 3: Divide by 12 to get time to degree in years
        • 52 months /12 = 4.3 years.
    • Student A took 4.3 years to graduate.

Credits to Degree – The total number of credits a student earned at the time of graduation.

Credits must meet the following criteria:

  • Credits earned at the campus
  • Accepted as a transfer credits by the campus from either other UH campuses or external campuses.
    • includes Early Admit, AP/CLEP credits, credit by exams, etc.


  • Indicates all credits earned not just credits applicable to the degree being earned
  • Does not include credits for bachelor level degrees earned from a graduate level program
    • BS in Nursing at Manoa
    • BA in Pharmacy Studies at Hilo