2019 School of Public Health Commencement

Monday, May 20, 2019
Northrop Auditorium
84 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN

No tickets are required.

View a recording of the 2018 ceremony.

Details about the 2019 Commencement Ceremony will be updated this coming winter.

For Graduate Students

All eligible graduating students (review eligibility criteria below) are invited to participate in the annual Commencement ceremony on Monday, May 14, 2018.

All graduating students must review and complete the below checklist no later than April 15 to participate in Commencement or have their names listed in the Commencement Program.

2018 Commencement Checklist

Commencement Registration Form  The deadline has now passed to have your name included in the printed program for Commencement. Please email Sara Pennebecker at to request your name is included in the program. We cannot grantee that we will be able to accommodate your request. If you are unsure as to whether you are eligible to participate, please review the guidelines or contact your program coordinator.


Order your Cap & Gown Commencement regalia for masters or doctorate students can be rented or purchased through the University of Minnesota Bookstore either in-person or online. Click here for masters’ graduates, and click here for PhD graduates (please note that PhD candidates must place orders by March 22 to guarantee delivery). Students are also invited to attend Grad Fest ’18 to order regalia in-person and save 20% on your rental.
Grad Fest ’18: Coffman Memorial Union Great Hall, March 21 & 22

Hood & tassel colors:
MPH & MHA students should receive a salmon hood.
MS students should receive a yellow hood.
PhD students should receive a bright blue hood.
MS, MHA, & PhD students should receive a black tassel.
MPH students should receive a salmon (pink) tassel.Career SurveyComplete and submit the online Career Survey before being cleared for your degree. Update any changes in name, address, employment, etc.Get Connected | Get Involved | Get InformedVisit the SPH Alumni Community at to learn more about how to stay connected after you graduate. All graduates receive a FREE membership in the SPH Alumni Society following graduation.Application for Degree FormIf you have not done so already, you must complete an application for degree via MyU to be considered as a candidate for graduate degree or certificate. This form also verifies your permanent home address to ensure receipt of your diploma.Letter of support for international family visa applicationsContact Kate Hanson,, as early as possible to request a letter of support.

Masters level students
Students enrolled in MPH, MHA or MS programs are eligible to participate in the May 2018 Commencement ceremony if on-track to complete course credit requirements by August 31, 2018, or have completed the necessary course credit requirements the previous Summer ’17 or Fall ’17 semester.
Exceptions may be granted on an individual basis per review by the program coordinator and program director. To seek an exception, contact your program coordinator no later than April 1.

PhD students
Students enrolled in PhD programs are eligible to participate in the May 2018 Commencement ceremony if they have participated in an oral defense, or plan to participate in an oral defense, prior to August 31, 2018.
Exceptions are granted on an individual basis per the student’s faculty advisor and committee. To seek an exception, contact your program coordinator no later than April 1.

Certificate Students
Students receiving a Public Health Certificate are invited to participate in the ceremony. If you are interested in participating, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at to discuss options no later than April 1.

Masters and PhD students will be listed in the Commencement program only if the degree has been completed and awarded prior to the ceremony or is on task to be awarded by August 31, 2018. Otherwise, names of those students will appear in the commencement program of the academic year in which the degree is formally granted.

For Graduating Students

Do I need to purchase tickets for my family to attend the ceremony?
No. This event is free and open to the public.

If my family can’t attend the ceremony, can they watch it online?
The ceremony will be livestreamed online. Click here to view.

Who gets hooded and how does it work?
PhD students, only, get hooded at the School’s Commencement ceremony. PhD students should speak with their advisors about the hooding process and ensure his/her participation in the ceremony.

For Faculty

All faculty are invited to participate in the SPH Commencement ceremony.

Faculty Registration
Please contact Barb Cook at if you would like to participate in Commencement.

PhD candidates are the only students eligible for the hooding ceremony.

Faculty advisors should speak with PhD candidates to confirm their participation in the ceremony. More details will be sent to those individuals participating as noted in the registration form.

Keynote Speaker: Nicole Lurie, M.D., M.S.P.H.

Nicole Lurie, M.D., M.S.P.H. is currently the Strategic Advisor to the CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiatives (CEPI), as well as an advisor to the World Bank and the World Health Organization. She is appointed to the research faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital and is an honorary fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. She recently completed an 8-year term as Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the US Department of Health and Human Services. In that role she led the HHS response to numerous public health emergencies, ranging from infectious disease to natural and man-made disasters and is responsible for many innovations in emergency preparedness and response. She also chaired the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise, a government wide organization ultimately responsible for the development of medical countermeasures, including vaccines against pandemics and emerging threats. Following that, she served as Senior Advisor to the Director of the Indian Health Service, where she worked on issues related to quality of care. Prior to federal service, she was the Paul O’Neill Professor of Policy Analysis at RAND, where she started and led the public health preparedness program and RAND’s Center for Population Health and Health Disparities. She has also had leadership roles in academia, as Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Minnesota, as Medical Advisor to the Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Health, and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Lurie received her BA and MD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her residency and public health training at UCLA. Her research has focused on access to and quality of care, health system redesign, equity, mental health, public health and preparedness. She is recipient of numerous awards and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. She continues to practice clinical medicine in a community clinic in Washington DC.

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