Graphics courtesy UTEP

UTEP Celebrates 2021, 2020 Graduates in Commencement Ceremonies at Sun Bowl Stadium

The University of Texas at El Paso will celebrate the accomplishments of all graduates of the Class of 2020, and spring and summer candidates from the Class of 2021 – more than 7,800 individuals – in a pair of  commencement ceremonies May 14-15, 2021, at Sun Bowl Stadium.

The ceremonies — which mark the first time UTEP has hosted in-person Commencement festivities since December 2019 and the first time graduates will receive their diplomas in Sun Bowl Stadium since the University’s Centennial Commencement in 2014 — will each begin at 7 p.m. Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15. Doors will open at 5 p.m. each day.

Friday’s ceremony will recognize bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral graduates and candidates in the colleges of Business Administration, Education and Liberal Arts. Saturday’s ceremony will honor graduates and candidates in the colleges of Engineering, Health Sciences and Science, and the schools of Nursing and Pharmacy.

All graduates will have their names read as they cross the stage and have their photo taken, but there will be no physical contact between the graduates and the stage party. Graduate and guest seating at the Sun Bowl will be assigned.

The ceremonies will be livestreamed and available to view at

The First Class

UTEP will award its first Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degrees to 40 students during the May 15 Commencement ceremony at Sun Bowl Stadium.

The School of Pharmacy will celebrate its first class of graduates with an inaugural hooding ceremony from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Magoffin Auditorium on the UTEP campus.

In 2015, The University of Texas System Board of Regents approved the creation of UTEP’s new School of Pharmacy. The school welcomed its first cohort of students in August 2017.

The ceremony will be livestreamed for the public via this link.

Doctoral Hooding Ceremony

A doctoral hooding ceremony honoring the colleges of Liberal Arts, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, Science and Nursing will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday, May 14, 2021, at the Don Haskins Center. Members of the media are invited to attend.

The ceremony will be livestreamed for the public at

Graduating students who RSVP’d by the deadline are each allocated up to eight free tickets to invite guests to attend the ceremonies.

  • Social distancing between family groups will be in place and face masks will be required.
  • Only clear bags will be permitted and will be checked at the door.
  • No strollers, large bags or outside food will be permitted.
  • Small umbrellas, diaper bags and one sealed plastic water bottle per person will be allowed.
  • Concessions will be open. Hand-sanitizing stations will be set up, and stadium seating capacity will not exceed 50%.
  • Shuttles will not be available. Carpooling with the graduate is recommended.
  • A designated safe drop-off zone will be located in Miner Alley behind the Sun Bowl Parking Garage.

Guest parking is located in the perimeter lots of Sun Bowl Drive and ADA parking is located near the north and south stadium entrances. A complete list of recommended parking sites can be found here.

A fireworks display is expected to take place at the conclusion of each ceremony. Due to safety concerns, guests will be asked to remain in their seats during the fireworks display. Guests will be dismissed by section. Graduates will enter and exit through the tunnel.

‘Mining Minds’ Special Lighting

The “Mining Minds” pickaxe sculpture located at the Sun Bowl-University Roundabout will be illuminated in blue and orange from Wednesday evening, May 12, through Sunday evening, May 16, to commemorate UTEP’s classes of 2020 and 2021.

“Mining Minds” is an iconic piece of public art installed in 2010 to enhance the UTEP campus. At night, orange lights brighten the steel structure while light from LEDs emanate from the perforated “ones” and “zeroes” at each end of the pick. The University illuminates the pick in blue and orange on special occasions such as historic dates, major annual milestones and celebrations of special accomplishments.

Learn more about “Mining Minds” via this link. For the latest Commencement updates, click here.