UCI News

UCI to host virtual commencement June 12, with chance to walk stage over next 5 days

Nearly half of 10,204 undergraduates receiving degrees are first-generation students

June 8, 2021
UCI to host virtual commencement June 12, with chance to walk stage over next 5 days
Newly minted doctors celebrate during the UCI School of Medicine graduation on Saturday, June 5. Steve Zylius / UCI

Irvine, Calif., June 8, 2021 — Nearly 7,500 graduates and their families will participate in the University of California, Irvine’s remote commencement ceremonies on Saturday, June 12. At least 6,801 students have also registered for in-person “graduate stage moments,” available between June 13 and 17, and about 200 of those who’ve earned advanced degrees will be hooded during their in-person stage moments.

“Every graduating class leaves a distinct and unique imprint on the university,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “The class of 2021 will long be remembered for the resilience and fortitude with which it met and overcame the effects of the pandemic. It has truly been an inspiration for all of us.”

A schedule of graduation activities is available on the UCI commencement website. All graduating students are invited to participate in a recorded commencement event at 9 a.m. June 12, followed by individual school receptions and celebrations.

Newly added to the virtual commencement this year is an in-person stage walk in UCI’s Bren Events Center; students who register for this are allowed to bring up to two guests to watch and cheer them on. Hooding of eligible graduate students will be in person as well, allowing faculty to hood students onstage.

“Walking across the stage is so important to our graduates,” said Willie L. Banks Jr., Ph.D., vice chancellor for student affairs. “The students have worked so hard this year, and we are thrilled that public health conditions have allowed for this in-person component.”

The degree breakdown for the 2020-21 academic year is:

  • Students receiving bachelor’s degrees: 10,204, with social sciences accounting for more than 27 percent
  • Master’s degrees: 845
  • Doctoral degrees: 289
  • Law degrees: 220 (conferred May 8)
  • Medical degrees: 105 (conferred June 5)
  • Community college transfer students earning bachelor’s degrees: 3,125
  • Federal Pell Grant recipients earning bachelor’s degrees: 4,418

In a testament to the campus’s dedication to access and affordability, 47 percent of undergraduates receiving bachelor’s degrees are 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.”

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 2,514 Latinos, a number that has steadily increased for the past decade.

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

About UCI’s Brilliant Future campaign: Publicly launched on Oct. 4, 2019, the Brilliant Future campaign aims to raise awareness and support for UCI. By engaging 75,000 alumni and garnering $2 billion in philanthropic investment, UCI seeks to reach new heights of excellence in student success, health and wellness, research and more. Learn more by visiting brilliantfuture.uci.edu.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. 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 224 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 $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. 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.