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Four Year Graduation Plan


Want to graduate in four years? To help you meet that goal, The University of Iowa has developed the Four-Year Graduation Plan. There is no pressure to participate in this program, but this year, more than 70% of the incoming class signed up for it.

Advantages of Graduating in Four Years

It gets you out of school and into your career as soon as possible. If you're planning on graduate or professional school, it gets you there sooner. It shows future employers or graduate programs your dedication and drive. And it keeps the cost of college to a minimum.

Summary of the Plan

It's a contract - an agreement you enter into with the University. You pledge to satisfy certain conditions, and the University pledges to get you through in four years. In brief, you agree to map out a realistic four-year plan of study that includes certain checkpoints along the way. With the help of your academic adviser, you stick to those checkpoints. And the University ensures that the courses you need will be available to you. This is only a summary, for information purposes. Read the complete text of the most recent agreement below.

How to Participate

When you meet your academic adviser at orientation, you'll have your first opportunity to join the plan. You can still do it up to the end of your second semester. Once you've joined, you'll meet regularly with your adviser to make sure you're on track.

Is There a Penalty for Dropping the Plan?

No. We recognize that needs and plans change. If for any reason you decide not to graduate in four years, you simply fill out a form at the Office of the Registrar, then continue your studies at your own pace.

Do All Degrees and Majors Qualify?

Although most of our degrees and majors participate in the Four-Year Graduation Plan, a few do not. Some departments have determined that they cannot absolutely guarantee that the major can be completed in four years due to specialized course sequencing or when the major is declared. A list of non-participating programs is available here.


Sample Four Year Graduation Plan Contract

There are many reasons students may want to complete their degrees in four years: some want to enter the full-time work force as soon as possible, others are planning to continue their education and do not want to prolong undergraduate study, and most want to save money.

Students who decide to participate in this plan will work closely with their advisers to make sure they know the requirements that must be met and the appropriate sequences in which to take courses. Students who elect to participate in this plan can be assured that they will be able to enroll in courses allowing graduation in four years.

The actual Four-Year Graduation Plan Agreement is a contract that will be signed by you and the Provost of the University. Here are the components of the agreement.

Student Responsibility

By signing the agreement, I agree to participate in the Four-Year Graduation Plan.
To remain eligible for the benefits of the plan, I will satisfy the following conditions:

1. Begin at the University as an entering first-year student and sign this agreement by the end of my second semester.

2. Choose a major that qualifies for the Four-Year Plan.

3. Have the preparation to begin a four-year plan in my major by the time I enroll at the University.

4. Stay on track by earning a minimum of one quarter of the necessary credits per year.

5. Meet with my adviser at least once each semester to discuss progress toward graduation and identify courses needed in the following semester.

6. Register during the early registration period.

7. Enroll in and successfully complete the courses needed for my program of study, considering that any specific course may not be available at the time or in the semester when I would prefer to take it.

8. Accept responsibility for monitoring my own progress so that I stay on track for graduating in four years.

9. Be admitted to a major (or change majors) in time to meet the sequence of required courses referred to as checkpoints in advising materials.

10. Not be admitted or placed on academic probation.

11. Accept responsibility for timely annual application for all necessary financial assistance.

12. If graduation may be delayed due to the unavailability of a course, I will notify in writing the executive officer of the department offering the course in question. This must be done prior to the end of classes in the fall or spring semester preceding the semester in which the course is needed.

The University's Commitment


The University assures Four-Year Graduation Plan participants that they will be able to enroll in courses that permit graduation with a single major in four years. The plan does not apply to second majors, minors, or certificates. The University will ensure that graduation in four years will not be delayed by the unavailability of courses.

In the event the University does not satisfy the commitments made herein, and you would be unable to graduate due to the unavailability of a course (or courses), the Department and College offering the major will choose one of the following procedures, which shall constitute the exclusive remedy for the Four-Year Graduation Plan Agreement:


1. Allow you to graduate in four years by substituting a different course (or courses) or independent study assignment, as determined by the Department and College offering your major, for the unavailable course(s).

2. Allow you to graduate in four years by waiving the requirement to be met by the unavailable course(s), as determined by the Department and College offering your major.

3. Allow the unavailability of a course (or courses) to delay you from graduating in four years, in which case, the University will pay the tuition and fees for you to take the unavailable course(s) at The University of Iowa in a later term.

Note: This is not the actual contract, but rather an example for your information.