Chemistry Cited as Best Major to Finish in Four

Based on data from the UM Office of Institutional Research & Assessment.  From

Based on data from the UM Office of Institutional Research & Assessment. From

Chemistry was recently cited as the best Ole Miss major to finish in four years.

Graduating from college in four years with a degree in hand is something that many parents want their children to accomplish.  So, what big programs at Ole Miss do the best job of getting students to finish in four?  According to, the top three majors are chemistry, social work, and exercise science.

“It is a team effort. Graduation rates are rising for a number of reasons. For example, our successful students rise to the challenge of the major and do not accept setbacks easily as a reason to give up or change to another major.   They network with each other to create a strong support system,” said Associate Director of Forensic Chemistry Kerri Scott.

Social work is also one of the Top 3 and has been for the last three years.  Remy Dargin is a senior, majoring in social work. She not only expects to graduate at the end of four years and feels that getting a job in social work may be quite easy.  “There are constantly increasing social problems and poverty rates are consistently increasing, and there is always a need for people to be helping out other people,” said Dargin.

Nearly 62 percent of social work majors who entered the program in August 2010 had graduated by May 2014 – a percentage that’s been increasing every year for the past three. However, the No. 1 major for four-year graduation rates in programs with more than 500 majors is chemistry. For the class that entered in 2008, 62.1 percent graduated in four years, by 2010, fully three quarters, 75 percent, got their degree in May 2014 “on time,” as some describe it.

Rounding out the Top 3 is exercise science, which ranks third when it comes to graduating the largest percentage of students in the four year time span. For this program, too, the percentage has increased every year for the past three, for freshmen who entered in 2010, 62.5 percent left campus with their degrees in 2014.

“I planned to graduate in four years because I dedicated my time doing internships and gaining experience in and out of the classroom to assure I graduated within four years,” exercise science graduate Jason Anderson.

The less time it takes to graduate, the better, for obvious reasons. Students who finish in four years typically spend less money and take out fewer loans than students on the five or even six-year plan. Plus, they get into the working world faster and start earning money.

“Working as a trainer is not something I was unprepared for. I feel I did my best as a student at Ole Miss to make a promising future for myself in my field,” said Anderson.

The four-year graduation rate for Ole Miss as a whole is 33.9 percent, which means it was tied at the 78th spot in the nation among public universities.