Degree and certificate completion at Oklahoma state system institutions rose in the last academic year, according to the latest Degrees Conferred in Oklahoma Higher Education report from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

During the 2018-19 academic year, students from Oklahoma public colleges and universities earned 36,702 degrees and certificates. This represents a 2.2% increase in degrees conferred from 2017-18 and a 3.24% increase over the last five years.

“We are pleased to see Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities produced more college graduates last year, and that graduation rates have increased over the last five years,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “This positive trend reflects the state system of higher education’s ongoing commitment to initiatives that strengthen college readiness and student persistence. Strong growth in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) degrees and the health professions will expand scientific and technical expertise for Oklahoma’s workforce and meet current and future workforce demands in the health care sector in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.”

STEM degree completion continues to grow, with an increase of more than 54% over the last nine years. The number of health professions degrees conferred increased by 4.2% over the previous academic year. STEM and health professions combined accounted for 35% of all degrees conferred in 2018-19, followed by business degrees, which comprised 20%.

Bachelor’s degrees accounted for 48% of all degrees conferred in the last academic year, followed by certificates and associate degrees, which accounted for 33%.