Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)


Mathematical Sciences

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Michele Joyner

Committee Members

Robert Gardner, Christina N. Lewis


Discrete-time Markov chain models can be used to make future predictions in many important fields including education. Government and educational institutions today are concerned about college enrollment and what impacts the number of students enrolling. One challenge is how to make an accurate prediction about student enrollment so institutions can plan appropriately. In this thesis, we model student enrollment at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) with a discrete-time Markov chain model developed using ETSU student data from Fall 2008 to Spring 2017. In this thesis, we focus on the progression from one level to another within the university system including graduation and dropout probabilities as indicated by the data. We further include the probability that a student will leave school for a limited period of time and then return to the institution. We conclude with a simulation of the model and a comparison to the trends seen in the data.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


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