Dropout and retention of undergraduate students in management: a study at a Brazilian Federal University


  • Francisco José da Costa Universidade Federal da Paraíba
  • Marcelo de Souza Bispo Universidade Federal da Paraíba
  • Rita de Cássia de Faria Pereira Universidade Federal da Paraíba




Higher education, Course management, Dropout, Retention, Graduation


This article analyzes the antecedents of the dropout rate and retention of students in management undergraduate programs. Empirical research was carried out in a management undergraduate program at a Brazilian Federal University, using the data of 1202 freshman students between the years 2004–2009. These students were followed up until the year 2013. In the analysis, we surveyed information regarding the student's time in the program, their graduation or dropout, as well as their socio-demographic information and program characteristics. The statistical technique used was the survival analysis, which allowed us to assess the factors that influence the time of program completion and the evolution of the dropout risk. In the main results, it was found that the number of semesters, student grades, gender, and the existence of failure or dropouts per course, were factors that explained both the time of completion of the course and the risk of dropping out. In addition, variables, such as age, marital status, race and high school background (public or private), showed no influence on these variables (graduation time and dropout rate).


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