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Congratulations to the College of Natural Sciences Class of 2021!

Graduate Recognition Moments & virtual convocation ceremony

Friday, May 21 & Saturday, May 22 | Gearing Hall

In recognition of graduates’ achievements, the college will hold livestreamed ceremonial moments of recognition for each graduate, with scheduling determined by major. Graduates will have the option to participate either in person or 100% online during the scheduled time, provided all of the required deadlines are met. Those interested in participating in person will cross a small outdoor stage in the Gearing Courtyard with the UT Tower in the background and accompaniment of two guests who may watch the stage crossing moment (weather permitting); those interested in being recognized virtually will have their names announced while a personalized slide is shown during the same event. All Graduate Recognition Moments will be streamed live to allow the moment to be shared with extended family and friends.  On Saturday afternoon, following graduate moments, Dean David Vanden Bout will host an online community celebration, which will feature inspiring speeches, and special content especially for 2021 graduates, including videos from our Natural Sciences community.

Important Dates & Deadlines (subject to change)

Participants must meet the deadlines in bold to participate 

April 5

Deadline to apply to graduate or walk in May

Mid April Email with registration form for Graduate Recognition Moments sent to all seniors who applied or were approved to graduate by April 5
April 30

Deadline to register for CNS Graduate Recognition Moments

Deadline to purchase regalia from the University Co-Op

May 8 Deadline for remote grads to submit slide content

Deadline to submit a song request for the graduate playlist
May 13 - 17 Email with final schedule and logistics sent to graduates who registered by the April 30 deadline
May 16 - 20 Remote grads to receive packages by mail
May 21 & 22 CNS Graduate Recognition Moments at Gearing Hall Courtyard (and via livestream)
May 22 CNS Virtual Ceremony and University Ceremony at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium
July 16 Deadline to apply to graduate in August if you were approved to walk in May


Reference our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to many common questions.



Two separate forms must be submitted by their respective deadlines for anyone who plans to participate in 2021 CNS graduation. All students who meet the April 5th application deadline to walk or graduate this spring, or who were already approved to graduate in December 2020, will receive further instruction and details regarding the Graduate Recognition Moments. All those who meet the April 30 registration deadline for graduate recognition moments will be able to participate live or virtually in these moments. Due to the nature of scheduling and maintaining safety protocols, late applicants will not be able to participate. May and August 2020 grads will be invited back to a university-wide event in September.



Scheduling is based on major, in one-hour increments. Each graduate will be assigned a specific hour to attend. The schedule below is tentative and subject to change until registration for Graduate Recognition Moments closes.  A final schedule will be shared in early May. 

Friday, May 21, before noon: Human Development & Family Science, Human Ecology, Medical Laboratory Science, Nutritional Sciences, Public Health, Textiles & Apparel

Friday, May 21, after noon: Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics

Saturday, May 22, before noon: Biochemistry, Biology, Environmental Science

Saturday, May 22, after noon: Biology, Neuroscience


The CNS Virtual Ceremony will be scheduled late Saturday afternoon, a few hours before the 8 p.m. University ceremony so that there are no conflicts to participate in both.


Safety Protocols

All plans for Commencement are being guided by the University's COVID Investigating Committee and based on current public health guidelines, have been developed to celebrate the class of 2021 safely and responsibly.  While Commencement plans for May 2021 are within the current health guidelines, they will be evaluated monthly by the COVID Investigating Committee and are subject to change at any time based on changing conditions.

Due to COVID-19, during in-person Graduate Recognition Moments, social distance will be maintained and face masks (that follow University guidance, covering both nose and mouth) are required for all attendees.

If you are feeling unwell or showing symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home, even if you are scheduled to attend a Graduate Recognition Moment.

All Texas adults are eligible for vaccination against COVID-19. Graduates who are not already vaccinated are strongly encouraged to take advantage of UT’s Proactive Community Testing Program in the days leading up to commencement. Guests who are not already vaccinated are strongly encouraged to take advantage of testing through their primary care physician or a community clinic before arriving on campus.

For more details about safety protocols in place, please visit our FAQ.