Skip to Main Content

Student Achievement

Student Achievement at the University of Dallas

The University of Dallas measures student achievement and evaluates achievement data to support student success.  As part of the insitutitons accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, we have an obligation to set thresholds, goals, and monitor progress toward those goals.


Attrition and graduation rate dashboards reflect criteria supported by federal compliance reporting standards under the Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System (IPEDS) which falls under the purview of the Department of Education. 

IPEDS collects a variety of data related to student, human resources, and finance.  IPEDS provides a publicly available data source via the IPEDS Data Center, the College Navigator, and the College Affordability and Transparency Act.

As part of the Higher Education Act of 2008, institutions are required to report certain measures. These dashboards reflect retention and graduation rates as reported to IPEDS. The level of detail may differ slightly such as not reporting gender and race and ethnicity for retention.


Attrition (the opposite of retention) represents the number of full-time, first-time students in a fall cohort who did not return the following fall. Two groups are the focus in these cohorts: first-time freshmen and transfer students.  

For this outcome, the University of Dallas' threshold of acceptability is 77%; this threshold has been met 100% of the time since 2008.  

Graduation Rates

Graduation rates represent the number of first-time students in a fall cohort who graduate in either 4, 5, or 6 years from entry. Two groups represented again are first-time freshmen and transfer students. 

For graduation rates, the threshold of acceptability for six-year graduation rates is 65% for the full cohort and 52% for students in the cohort who are Pell grant recipients; this goal has been met 100% of the time since 2008. The threshold of success for this outcome is 75% for the full cohort and 62% for students receiving Pell grants.

Average Time to Degree

The third dashboard, “Average time to degree for masters level students” does NOT reflect compliance reporting as institutions do not report this data. Working with our Student Achievement committee, we identified this measure as an area of improvement. This measure is created using a “lookback” technique that takes students graduating in a given time period and tracks them back to entry (admit date). Then a time to degree is computed for each student. Data is presented in aggregate form based upon program.  

For this outcome, the threshold of acceptability is an average time to completion of less than 3.5 years for each program; with one exception, all programs met that threshold.  Due to the varying nature of graduate students, it is difficult to quantify a threshold of success.  Many of these students are enrolled part-time; as such, a lower average time to completion is unattainable for many of these programs.


Pursuing Her Vocation, Ministry Alumna Found UD

Debra Ricard, MPM ’20, already had a master’s degree when she decided to enter the master’s program at UD. With a B.A. in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s in architecture from the Catholic University of America, Ricard still did not feel she had found her vocation.

+ Read More

University Community Remembers Joyful Sister, Alumna

Sister Mary Brian Bole, BA ’67, was joyful. Her joy and enthusiasm permeated everything she did, from teaching and administrating at numerous Catholic schools (including Bishop Dunne, the Highlands School and Nolan Catholic in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as well as schools in Louisiana and Mississippi), to working in the Office of Undergraduate Admission at UD, to delivering a paper at a political science convention in Hungary just a few years ago.

+ Read More