UW News

June 11, 2020

UW’s 145th commencement to be held virtually on Saturday

UW News

For the first time in the University of Washington’s 159-year history, two commencement ceremonies are planned for this year’s graduates. The first ceremony, broadcast worldwide on the internet, is scheduled for Saturday with the opening procession planned for 1:30 p.m. The second ceremony is planned for spring 2021 at Husky Stadium.

Saturday’s online ceremony unites all three UW campuses to celebrate the class of 2020. People from 40 countries across the globe are expected to participate and translation services will be available in nine languages. This year around 18,000 degrees will be awarded across all three campuses.

“The Class of 2020 will be an historic class, having completed their degrees during a period of profound disruption and national reflection,” UW President Ana Mari Cauce said. “We are so proud of what they have accomplished and can’t wait to see the impact they will make on our world, which urgently needs their talent, passion and commitment.”

[Update: Watch a video recapping some highlights from the virtual commencement on Saturday]


Cauce will deliver the keynote address to all UW graduates and degrees will be conferred, after which the Bothell and Tacoma campuses will break off to their own online ceremonies.

There’s much to celebrate:

  • For work completed at the Seattle campus, students will receive around 13,900 degrees, specifically 8,145 bachelor’s degrees, 4,302 master’s degrees, 825 doctoral degrees, 591 professional degrees and 10 educational specialist degrees.
  • At UW Bothell, students will receive about 2,100 degrees, including 1,908 bachelor’s degrees and 182 master’s degrees. Each registered UW Bothell graduate received a celebration box that, among other gifts, includes a free, one-year membership to the UW Alumni Association.
  • And at UW Tacoma, students will receive 2,006 degrees, which includes 1,921 undergraduate and master’s-level students who have graduated or formally applied to graduate in spring/summer 2020. Another 85 master’s graduates are anticipated for summer 2020. Tacoma’s class, the largest in the campus’s history, includes the first cohort of a bachelor of science degree in urban design from the School of Urban Studies.

The commencement ceremony will be streamed live online starting at noon. The “Purple Carpet” commentary begins at 12:30 p.m. The procession of graduates begins at 1:30 p.m. and the commencement ceremony begins around 2 p.m.

Degrees are awarded to those who have completed academic requirements during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Members of the Board of Regents, deans and other representatives of the university’s 16 colleges and schools will participate in the ceremony. Many colleges and schools also have separate graduation programs and investiture ceremonies.