Commencement Update – 2021 Graduates

Dear graduate students,

Welcome back. We are writing to share information with those of you who are planning to apply to graduate this spring.

We know that many of you are eager to know the university’s plans for graduation. We have been working closely with our campus health partners to determine how to offer a safe and memorable commencement experience for all graduates. Following their recommendations, we are excited to share the university’s commencement plan for the Class of 2021.

It is important to note that the health and safety of you and your family will be our top priority. Our plans are to offer an in-person experience, but plans may need to move to an online-only format if public health conditions require it.  We are committed to promptly communicating any potential changes to the schedule below so you can plan accordingly.

University-wide Celebration

The university-wide Commencement for the Class of 2021 will be held on campus on May 22, 2021 at 8 p.m. in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (DKR). Based on current capacity and social distancing guidelines, each graduate will receive a limited number of seats for a guest or guests. Tickets will be required for graduates and guests. Should those guidelines change, additional tickets may become available. Details about tickets and logistics will be shared when those plans are finalized.

The ceremony will include the traditional Tower lighting and fireworks display, and it will be streamed live and recorded so additional family members and friends will be able to watch if they are not able to attend.

College and School Activities

Each college and school will host ceremonial moments of personal recognition for each undergraduate degree candidate on May 20-22, 2021.

The Graduate School will host similar ceremonial moments of personal recognition for those receiving advanced degrees. Some colleges and schools may also include graduate students. The format may vary for each college and school, and some may be online only. You can expect information from the Graduate School, and as appropriate, your college or school once those plans are ready to share. All personal recognition ceremonies will be streamed live and recorded.

Next Steps

Our goal is to provide an exciting and memorable experience that celebrates your accomplishments and contributions. The safety of our students, visitors and the staff who produce these events is imperative, and please know that we will take every step to conduct these events in a way that is safe and responsible.

We will evaluate our plans and make any necessary adjustments based on health conditions on three dates: March 15, April 15 and May 10. You can expect an update shortly after each date.  You may want to consider these dates when making financial commitments to attend. Our goal is to hold in-person activities, but if public health conditions do not allow us to do so, we may need to hold activities in online-only formats.

We hope providing these dates will allow you and your family time to begin planning.


Dan Jaffe

Messages from the Provost