UCI News

UCI to host historic virtual graduation ceremonies on June 13

Nearly half of 9,907 undergraduates receiving degrees are first-generation students

June 3, 2020
UCI to host historic virtual graduation ceremonies on June 13
Chancellor Howard Gillman tapes his address for UCI’s virtual commencement on June 13. More than 11,000 students will graduate this year, with over 7,400 participating in remote ceremonies. Steve Zylius / UCI

Irvine, Calif., June 3, 2020 – More than 7,400 students and their families will participate in the University of California, Irvine’s first remote commencement ceremonies on Saturday, June 13.

UCI will grant degrees to 9,907 undergraduates this academic year. And in a testament to the school’s dedication to access and affordability, 47 percent of those bachelor’s degrees will go to first-generation college students. This large percentage of traditionally underserved students is one reason why UCI has twice earned the No. 1 spot in a New York Times ranking of universities “doing the most for the American dream.”

“The class of 2020 has shown tremendous resilience and character in responding to the COVID-19 emergency and the need to learn remotely,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “We are very proud of all they accomplished during their time with us, and we look forward to all they will achieve as they take their places as empowered and educated members of our society.”

The high percentage of first-generation and traditionally underserved students is one factor behind UCI’s growing collection of national accolades. The university been named the No. 1 college in the U.S. by Money magazine, and Forbes magazine ranked it first in the country among public universities for delivering the best value. UCI is also one of the nation’s top 10 public universities according to U.S. News & World Report and is first on Sierra magazine’s list of the country’s most sustainable “Cool Schools.”

In addition, graduation data validates UCI’s continued status as a Hispanic-serving institution, a federal designation awarded to universities where at least 25 percent of undergraduates identify as Latino and at least half of all students receive financial aid. This year, UCI will grant bachelor’s degrees to 2,383 Latinos, a number that has steadily increased for the past decade.

A schedule of graduation activities is available on the UCI commencement website. All graduating students will participate in a recorded commencement event at 10 a.m., followed by individual school receptions and celebrations at 10:30 a.m.

The degree breakdown is:

  • Bachelor’s degrees: 9,907, with social sciences accounting for more than 27.4 percent
  • Master’s degrees: 886
  • Doctoral degrees: 299
  • Law degrees: 193 (conferred May 9)
  • Medical degrees: 92 (conferred May 30)
  • Community college transfer students earning bachelor’s degrees: 2,916
  • Federal Pell Grant recipients earning bachelor’s degrees: 3,505

Stories of outstanding UCI graduates are available at the #IamUCI special report site: https://specialreports.news.uci.edu/iamuci.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UCI news, visit news.uci.edu. Additional resources for journalists may be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.