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UCI Commencement & Receptions - June 12, 2021

Section 1

March 16, 2021

I write to provide an update on our plans for Commencement this June. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer a traditional Commencement ceremony due to the health and safety concerns still presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the associated State and County restrictions. However, we are finalizing plans to provide our graduating students with a Commencement stage experience and photo opportunity, to be paired with a virtual ceremony and receptions.

Like many of you, I am disappointed that we are again unable to celebrate our graduating students’ accomplishments in person, but public health and safety must continue to take precedence. Though circumstances may improve by June, it takes months of planning to prepare for our usual festivities, which draw over 70,000 visitors from around the world. While vaccines are becoming more available, we are unable to predict the state of our public health and immunity in June. 

The following plan reflects careful consideration that allows us to celebrate our graduating students in a way that is meaningful, but reflects the uncertainty that the pandemic continues to present us.

  • Virtual campuswide Commencement — June 12, 2021 at 9 a.m. PDT. 
    All graduating students will be invited to join a campuswide virtual ceremony that will include speeches and the conferring of degrees. Graduates will also be able to share this occasion with family and friends.
  • Virtual school/college receptions* — Each school and college will have individual virtual receptions on June 12, 2021 immediately following the virtual campuswide Commencement. These receptions will offer the personalized recognition our graduates deserve and the ability to remotely share this moment with their family and friends.
  • In-person, student-only Stage Moment (pending local health guidelines and conditions) — We know that crossing the stage is an important part of graduation and we plan to hold an in-person, student-only Stage Moment opportunity after the virtual ceremony and receptions. The dates are yet to be determined, and no family members or other guests will be allowed to accompany graduates. However, the Stage Moment will be live-streamed and recorded for guests to safely view at home. We will know more as we approach June whether the Stage Moment opportunity can occur and will communicate at the earliest opportunity.

More detailed planning is still underway, and we will share more information directly with our graduates as they are confirmed. For general Commencement questions, please contact the Commencement Office.

*Graduates in the Paul Merage School of Business, the School of Law, and the School of Medicine will receive specific information about Commencement plans from their respective school(s).


Willie L. Banks Jr., Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs
University of California, Irvine