2021 CSE Commencement Message from the Dean - March 16, 2021

Dear CSE bachelor’s degree graduates,

Every year, I look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our College of Science and Engineering graduates. Over my 45+ years in the college, it is always my favorite event of the year.

Last year when COVID-19 disrupted our 2020 Commencement Ceremony, the University of Minnesota stepped in to create a systemwide virtual Commencement. This year, however, the University has decided that each college should return to hosting their own Commencement in ways that best suit their populations while following safety guidelines.

After extensive consultation with members of the CSE and UMN communitiesI have decided that a virtual celebration is the safest and most inclusive way to recognize our 2021 CSE graduates at the college level.

While vaccinations are ramping up throughout the state, we know that it is unlikely that everyone will have completed their vaccinations by mid-May and virus variants still present a formidable risk. It would be very difficult for a large college like CSE to host such a sizable ceremony while adhering to distancing and other safety precautions. In a typical year, about 2,000 CSE undergraduate and graduate students receive a degree, and the ceremonies attract more than 10,000 guests. In CSE, we scientists and engineers pride ourselves on following science. While we will miss our big ceremonies, we know this is the best course of action for our entire community.

A virtual Commencement will also provide some certainty in a time of great uncertainty. Our virtual celebration will happen as planned with no need to change or cancel it in response to changes during the pandemic. In addition, we know that many of our students are currently living outside of the Twin Cities and abroad. A virtual celebration ensures everyone can still participate.

Our CSE Virtual Commencement website for undergraduate students will go live on Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 1 p.m. Central Time.

  • The website will include individual slides recognizing each graduate, video addresses, well wishes, and much more!
  • Our CSE virtual commencement will continue even if smaller celebrations at the department level become possible as supplemental in-person events. 

Over the coming days, each graduating student will receive an invitation from csecommencement@umn.edu. The email invitation will detail how to register for the May 15, 2021 Commencement though our vendor MarchingOrder. Only those students who register will be included in the celebration so please watch for the invitation.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during these challenging times. Stay safe and be well.


Mos Kaveh, Dean
College of Science and Engineering
University of Minnesota