Student News

Degree planning tool helps students progress more efficiently toward their degree

photo of a student advising appointment.
Priority registration dates are now assigned for undergraduate students based on their degree completion percentage, which is based on completed coursework only, instead of credit hours as it has been in the past. Arden Barnes | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 5, 2023)  University of Kentucky students are now utilizing a new feature in myUK GPS (Graduation Planning System) to help them keep track of their progress in their path toward a degree. Students now see a percentage indicating the total progress they’ve made toward their degree requirements.

The feature gives both students and their advisors the ability to visualize their degree progress more accurately and was designed to help retain students and shorten the time it takes to complete their degree.

Starting this semester, priority registration dates are now assigned for undergraduate students based on their degree completion percentage, which is based on completed coursework only, instead of credit hours as it has been in the past. It is important to note that this will not take the place of early registration windows for such groups as students with disabilities or students in the Lewis Honors College.

Students should begin talking with their advisors about their percentage in preparation for registration for Spring 2024. 

“This tool is one example of how we put our students — and their success — first,” said Kathryn Cardarelli, UK senior associate provost for academic affairs. “It gives our students the opportunity to be more involved in their degree-planning process, giving them more visibility and control in comparing degrees, choosing their degree and planning their path to success.”

For Grace Colella, a senior majoring in communication sciences and disorders, the tool was critical in helping her determine her degree path.

"When I came into UK, I honestly had no idea what I wanted to study," Colella said. "I ended up picking a random major, and I realized quickly that I needed another option. This tool allowed me to 'mix and match' with other degrees and classes, majors and minors, and truly find the degree path that was best for me. Now, as a senior, I am so happy with the choices I have made, and that was largely due to exploring with the myUK degree completion tool!"

Colella also said the tool helps her feel more organized when planning classes. 

"I like to visualize things and seeing my degree and how much progress I have made, or need to make, helps me feel much more organized," she said. "I can take my education into my own hands, but also easily figure out what questions I need to be asking my advisor."

Christopher Crutchfield, the assistant academic advising director in the UK Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, says the functionality has allowed him to work with his students in more efficient ways.

“I have personally found the Degree Completion % functionality tool has already begun to allow my students to better understand how close, or far, they are to completing an undergraduate degree, which in turn has motivated my students to enroll in appropriate courses,” he said.

How to view your degree completion percentage

To view the degree completion percentage, students log in to myUK GPS on the Degree Audit home page in the center column under the Degree Completion heading. There is an icon and percentage representing the student’s completed work. See here.

Students will also see a completion percentage for any “what if” audits they run for other programs which will give students a more accurate view of how their coursework applies to the completion of a different degree. This can help students determine whether another degree program gives them a higher completion percentage and could help them find a major that matches their interests and career goals more closely.

After clicking on View and opening an audit, students and advisors will now see a section at the top showing a breakdown of the student’s degree progress. The audit will show Completed and Registered by default (see here), but the view can be changed to show Completed work only as well as Completed, Registered and Planned, so that students can see how their Planned courses will help them make progress toward 100%. See here.

If a student is interested in learning more about how the percentage is calculated from each of the requirement areas, they can click on the See Progress Details button in the progression box and an information window will open showing more details.

For more information, students should contact their academic advisors, or contact the University Registrar at 859-257-7173.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.