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General Information

This page displays doctoral time-to-degree by summarizing data for the prior ten academic years. Multiyear data are required for stable measures because the number of doctoral degrees completed every year is small.

Time-to-degree is measured as elapsed time regardless of whether the degree recipient was enrolled in every term during the period. The enrollment history of each student who received a doctoral degree within that ten-year period is searched to locate:

  • The first term of graduate enrollment at NYU  
  • The first term of doctoral enrollment at NYU
  • The first term of graduate enrollment in the degree department
  • The first term of doctoral enrollment in the degree department

Time-to-degree is calculated as the number of years elapsed between the first day of the starting term and the last day of the term in which the degree was conferred. A student who starts in the fall and completes his/her degree in the spring after four years has a time-to-degree of 3.7 years.

This methodology—including the four alternative starting points—was developed by the AAU Date Exchange (AAUDE) and chosen for NYU's Departmental Metrics Dashboard to permit the future addition of comparative data.

Technical note: Graduate time-to-degree in degree department is calculated as the elapsed time in the degree Academic Organization Code. Doctoral time-to-degree in degree department is calculated as elapsed time in the degree Academic Plan Code. 

Please note due to the data conversion of the Polytechnic School of Engineering into Campus Solutions, prior elapsed time is not included in calculating time to degree. 

Data and Definitions

Data source: Degree data are drawn from PeopleSoft Campus Solutions student information system (SIS). The data are current at the time the dashboard source tables are loaded.

Update frequency: Degree data are updated nightly.

Reporting Year: This page references academic years. An Academic Year consists of a Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer term, which includes two calendar years. An Academic Year is named for the starting calendar year. For example, the period September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016 is Academic Year 2016.

Ten-year period: In academic year 2015-2016 the dashboard shows data from 2005-2006 through 2014-2015.

Doctoral degrees: The dashboard includes all degrees classified as Doctoral in SIS. This includes, for example, the Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Education, but excludes the MD, DDS, and JD which are classified as “professional”.

Metrics: Most of the dashboard shows median times-to-degree. The AAUDE methodology uses median rather than mean (average) to control the distortion of summary measures by a few exceptional cases. Outliers are excluded, defined as elapsed years greater than 30. Outlier cases are often caused by source-data issues.

Degrees conferred: Degree metrics count the number of degrees conferred, classified by their conferral date. Degrees are occasionally revoked; revoked degrees are excluded. Occasionally the exclusion of time-to-degree outliers in one of the metrics results in reporting different numbers of degrees conferred for the different metrics.

Conferral date: Degrees are classified by the academic year of the conferral date which is the date recorded in the student’s record and diploma. The conferral date may be substantially prior to the date a degree is processed. For example a student may not immediately file for a degree for which he/she has completed the requirements. 


Dashboard Selections

Metric: By default the dashboard shows the time-to-degree from the first term of doctoral enrollment in the degree department. The alternative measures may be selected. For most NYU students the four time periods are the same, except in programs such as nursing and social work where a significant number of students complete a master’s program before the doctorate.

Students: By default the time-to-degree analysis excludes students who have enrolled in a professional degree as well as a doctoral degree because their enrollment pattern is altered by professional enrollment. SIS classifies the MD, DDS, and JD as “professional” degrees. Many of these students are in the MD/PhD program.  They can be displayed separately or added into the time-to-degree calculation.

Plan: By default the dashboard aggregates a department’s doctoral programs, but a specific program or programs can be selected.


While most of the dashboard shows median time-to-degree the average is also listed. By default the Doctoral TTD in Degree Department is displayed;

Distribution of Degrees Conferred by Years-to-Degree

This graph shows the distribution of the ten-year degree sample by the number of years each took. All degrees taking more than 10 years are grouped together.

Link to Detail

The link at the top of the page provides access to the student detail behind the summary displayed in the Distribution of Degrees Conferred by Elapsed Years-to-Degree graph. The School, Department and Plan selections on the main page pass, but a different selection may be made on the detail page. A specific degree-length category or all students may be selected. Note that the listing includes degree recipients in the Doctoral with Professional category who are by default excluded from the main page selection. Drill-to-detail to document the degrees conferred in a specific year is provided on the Ten-Year-Trend table and graph as described below.

Ten-Year Trend

This table shows the degrees granted by year. Drilling on the counts in blue links to a list of the students included and their four time-to-degree metrics.

Median Years-to-Degree and Degrees Conferred

This graph plots by year the number of degrees conferred—as bars with the scale on the left axis and the median years-to-degree—as a line with the scale on the right axis. Drilling on the bars links to the same list of students as the Ten-year Trend table drill.




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