Current Students


students graduating at northrop auditorium

2021 School of Public Health Commencement

The School of Public Health will be hosting a virtual ceremony for Spring 2021 Commencement. The SPH community, along with families, friends and guests across the country and world, are welcome to join in celebrating our graduates!

Watch the recording

The live program will run approximately 5:00 – 6:15 p.m. The ceremony will feature:

  • Welcome Remarks
  • Keynote Address
  • Class of 2021 Remarks
  • SPH Alumni Society Welcome
  • Public Health Professionals Pledge
  • Conferral of Degrees
  • Closing Remarks
  • Presentation of Candidates for Degrees (slideshow)

View the SPH Commencement program (PDF)

Save the Date!

Monday, May 16, 2022
Northrop Auditorium
5:00 p.m. CDT
*Date and time subject to change

Loyce PaceKeynote Speaker – Loyce Pace, MPH

Director, Office of Global Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Ms. Loyce Pace, MPH, is an outspoken advocate for global health equity, promoting policies and programs from AIDS to Zika. Having lived and worked on the ground in more than 15 countries across 3 continents, her efforts are rooted in experience partnering with a wide range of government and grassroots stakeholders.

She most recently served as President & Executive Director of Global Health Council (GHC) and was also a member of the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.  In her role at GHC, she advocated strongly for increased investments in global health in the face of budget cuts to agencies, like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and United States Agency for International Development. From 2006 to 2011, Loyce worked as Director of Regional Programs for the American Cancer Society. She then became the Executive Advisor for Programs and Policy at the Livestrong Foundation. Loyce holds a bachelor’s degree with Honors in Human Biology from Stanford University and a Master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Join the SPH Student Senate and Alumni Society on May 14 as they virtually send off the Class of 2021 and welcome them as alumni. Join us for an afternoon of networking, socializing, and fun! This event is organized by the SPH Student Senate and Alumni Society Engagement Committee. Learn more.

For Graduate Students

All graduating students must review and complete the below checklist below.

2021 Commencement Checklist

Career Survey
Complete and submit the online SPH Career Outcomes Survey before your planned graduation date as a requirement for degree clearance. This survey is not required for students enrolled in Certificate Programs.

Application for Degree Form
If 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.

Register for SPH Commencement
Registration for SPH Commencement to have your name printed in the SPH Commencement program and receive a special mailing that will include a University diploma cover, maroon and gold tassel and printed SPH Commencement program was due April 15 and is now closed. Questions related to this step can be directed to

Order your Cap & Gown (Optional)
Commencement regalia for master or doctorate students can be rented or purchased through the University of Minnesota Bookstores either in-person or online.

Additional Reminders

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.

Your SPH Alumni Community
Stay connected after you graduate. All graduates receive a FREE membership in the SPH Alumni Society following graduation.

Masters level students
Students enrolled in MPH, MHA or MS programs are eligible to participate in the May 2021 Commencement ceremony if on-track to complete course credit requirements by August 31, 2021, or have completed the necessary course credit requirements the previous Summer ’20 or Fall ’20 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 2021 Commencement ceremony if they have participated in an oral defense, or plan to participate in an oral defense, prior to August 31, 2021. 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 Student Services Center 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, 2021. Otherwise, names of those students will appear in the commencement program of the academic year in which the degree is formally granted.

Why did SPH choose to do a virtual ceremony?

  • Hosting Commencement online means there’s no auditorium seat limit and everyone can attend the ceremony.
  • Guests won’t need to travel to attend Commencement — people who live far away or are unable to travel can still watch you graduate.
  • Many students are currently living outside of the Twin Cities and abroad. A virtual Commencement ceremony ensures everyone can still participate.
  • Holding a virtual Commencement ceremony demonstrates safe, effective public health practices, such as social distancing, during the pandemic.
  • A virtual event can highlight how Public health students graduating this year are needed more than ever as the state, nation, and world works to halt the pandemic.
  • A virtual Commencement ceremony offers graduates an opportunity to show friends and family how public health practices can be used to respond to a real-world crisis.
  • A virtual Commencement ceremony ensures the event will happen as planned with no need to change or cancel it in response to changes in the pandemic.

Will there be additional receptions for graduates in my academic program?

Programs have the options for hosting their own receptions. Information will be made available as those plans are confirmed.

Do I need to purchase tickets for my family to attend the commencement ceremony?

No. This event is free and open to the public.

If my family cannot attend the ceremony, can they watch it online afterwards?

Yes, the ceremony will be livestreamed online and recorded. The link will be posted to the SPH Commencement website shortly after the event takes place.

Delta Omega Nominations

The Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health was founded in 1924 at Johns Hopkins University. There are now more than 70 chapters throughout the United States and abroad. The University of Minnesota’s Pi Chapter was founded in 1985 and has more than 800 members.

Membership in Delta Omega reflects the dedication of an individual to increasing the quality of the field, as well as to the protection and advancement of the health of all people. Members are inducted to each chapter by a selective process that considers their outstanding performance and devotion to the field.

Students: Chapters may induct up to 10 percent of the graduating student body. All student inductees must be in the upper 25 percent in class standing and must have demonstrated real or potential qualities of leadership in public health.

Faculty: Chapters may induct 3 percent of the full-time faculty. Adjunct faculty may not be appointed as faculty members. Faculty will be selected based on outstanding public health performance in scholarship, teaching, research, and the quality of publications.

Alumni: Chapters may induct graduates of the school or program of public health whose work in the practice of public health would serve as a model for future graduates. Chapters may induct graduate alumni members in an amount not to exceed half of the number of graduate student inductees.

Nominations for 2021 have closed.

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