We describe methods for obtaining a quantitative description of RNA processing at high resolution in budding yeast. As a model gene expression system, we constructed tetON (for induction studies) and tetOFF (for repression, derepression, and RNA degradation studies) yeast strains with a series of reporter genes integrated in the genome under the control of a tetO7 promoter. Reverse transcription and quantitative real-time-PCR (RT-qPCR) methods were adapted to allow the determination of mRNA abundance as the average number of copies per cell in a population. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) measurements of transcript numbers in individual cells validated the RT-qPCR approach for the average copy-number determination despite the broad distribution of transcript levels within a population of cells. In addition, RT-qPCR was used to distinguish the products of the different steps in splicing of the reporter transcripts, and methods were developed to map and quantify 3'-end cleavage and polyadenylation. This system permits pre-mRNA production, splicing, 3'-end maturation and degradation to be quantitatively monitored with unprecedented kinetic detail, suitable for mathematical modeling. Using this approach, we demonstrate that reporter transcripts are spliced prior to their 3'-end cleavage and polyadenylation, that is, cotranscriptionally.