Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs


Caleb Morse

Publication Date



Universities have long been analyzing student cohorts in an attempt to understand the factors influencing whether a student continues in their major, switches to another major (often referred to as swirl), or drops out entirely. A visual representation of how students flow between majors and colleges can aid in this understanding. This thesis will study how a student cohort can be represented in a Sankey Diagram. In this analysis, a student cohort is represented as a weighted, directed, graph, where a vertex represents a distinct class status for a semester and each weighted edge represents the number of students moving between class statuses. To ease understanding, this graph is represented visually as a Sankey Diagram, a special kind of flow diagram. The purpose of this tool is to give university administration a visual representation of the flow of a student cohort between majors and colleges on a semester by semester basis. This representation can be viewed at three levels of granularity: that of an entire university, college, or a single major.


Sankey, Student Data, Visualization

Document Type




Degree Name

Computer Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Abdallah, Chaouki

Second Committee Member

Lamb, Christopher

Third Committee Member

Turner, Terence