Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

After thoughtful deliberation and input from health experts, we have decided that the University of Houston will hold a series of in-person commencement ceremonies to honor our May 2021 graduates. Each ceremony will be available via live stream for those who do not feel comfortable attending in person. I know how important the ritual of walking across the stage is for our graduates and we are eager to make this happen - but in the safest possible manner.

Some of our 2020 graduates have requested an opportunity to walk as well. A separate ceremony for May 2020 and December 2020 graduates will be planned later in the year to recognize their achievements during an unprecedented challenging year.

As we plan our commencement ceremonies please know the following:

  1. All University protocols regarding COVID-19 safety will be in effect during the ceremonies. To keep everyone involved safe, the most current CDC guidelines will be strictly followed.
  2. To minimize the risk of exposure, the events will be planned to take place in outdoor venues.
  3. Given the pandemic, the University will limit the number of guests attending the ceremonies; however, no decision on the allowable number has yet been made. Our experts will carefully monitor the situation and will make a determination 30 days prior to the event.
  4. Our decision to hold an in-person graduation assumes that the health situation in Houston will be positive and manageable. The UH COVID-19 committee receives input from various local, state, and national sources, and if it determines that a gathering of this nature poses a threat to our graduates, we will cancel the event and offer a virtual alternative.

As much as we want to share this joyous occasion together, I am mindful of the fact that we are still in the middle of the pandemic and your health remains our top priority. Please visit the commencement webpage for timely updates. Meanwhile, please follow the CDC guidelines and stay safe.


Paula Myrick Short
Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UH System
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, UH
Distinguished Professor of Education | 832.842.0550

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