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California State University, Long Beach
2013-2014 CSULB University Catalog

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General Policies and Regulations

Graduation Rates

Over two-thirds of students who begin CSULB as freshmen eventually earn baccalaureate degrees and just over 56% do so within six years. Over 80% of CSULB transfer students eventually earn baccalaureate degrees and over 71% do so within four years of transferring.

CSULB’s current graduation rates are higher than most other public, comprehensive universities of similar large size, funding and student mix. CSULB graduation rates have been improving and the campus continues to work toward still more gains.

Graduation Rates for All Freshmen
Starting Fall
Cohort Term
Graduation Percentage
Estimated Eventual
Graduation Percentage
2006 56.6 67.1
2005 53.3 64.7
2004 53.2 64.0
2003 53.5 64.0
2002 54.3 66.4


Graduation Rates for All Transfer Students
Starting Fall
Cohort Term
Graduation Percentage
Estimated Eventual
Graduation Percentage
2008 71.4 81.2
2007 69.1 78.9
2006 67.7 77.7
2005 68.0 77.2
2004 67.0 76.6

Recent graduates who began as freshmen took an average of 5.13 years to complete baccalaureate degrees (for graduates whose degrees were awarded in the college year 2011-12). Among freshmen, time to degree is quicker for students who arrive well prepared academically, especially in math and English.

Recent graduates who began as junior transfers graduated in an average of 3.21 years (for graduates whose degrees were awarded in the college year 2011-12). Average time to degree is significantly longer for engineering. Among transfers, time to degree is quicker for students who have received good advising in a community college and who have completed proper major preparation courses. Some transfers at CSULB having taken more units than the transfer minimum and with courses that cannot be credited toward degrees.

College of Major Average years to degree completion for students coming as freshmen Average years to degree completion for students coming as transfers
Health and Human Services 5.26 3.27
Liberal Arts 4.86 2.74
Business Administration 5.09 3.04
Education 5.44 3.66
Engineering 5.43 3.92
The Arts 5.40 3.67
Natural Sciences and Mathematics 5.45 3.71

Completing a baccalaureate degree in a reasonable period of time is an important goal for students and parents. Baccalaureate degrees typically require 120-132 units (about 40-44 courses). Earning a 120-unit degree within four years requires full time attendance (15 or more units per semester) and is a “full-time job” that requires about 45 hours per week attending class and studying. Degrees in engineering, sciences and the arts generally require more courses and timely completion requires attending winter session, summer session and/or attending longer than four years. CSULB continues to work to reduce time to degree for freshmen and for transfer students.

CSULB has an obligation, under the federal Student Right-To-Know law, to provide information regarding graduation rates to prospective and current students. The “six-year freshman cohort graduation rate” describes the percentage of students who began as freshmen and completed degrees within six years at the same campus. Although important, this measure does not provide complete information, because some students take longer than six years to graduate, some come as transfer students, and some attend several undergraduate institutions before receiving baccalaureate degrees. The tables here show 6-year freshman and 4-year transfer cohort rates and estimated total eventual graduation rates for both freshmen and transfer students. Estimated eventual graduation rates are based on a methodology developed by the California State University system that takes into consideration the number of students still enrolled in good academic standing at the six-year point in time.

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General Policies and Regulations