2019 Commencement Ceremony
UTHealth School of Public Health holds its annual commencement ceremony at the end of each spring semester. All students who are awarded their degree during summer 2018, fall 2018, and spring 2019 from all campuses are encouraged to participate in the commencement ceremony.
Please note: UTHealth School of Public Health has a graduates-only participation policy. Only graduates from the semesters mentioned above are eligible to join the ceremony.
View photos from the 2018 ceremony on our Flickr site.
Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019
Time: Ceremony 2:00pm-4:00pm
Graduates arrive by 12:30pm
Faculty arrive by 1:00pm
Location: NRG Center, One NRG Park, Houston,Texas 77054 (Please enter at Hall B, east side of the building, and take the elevator/escalator to the second floor)
Public health and policy leader to deliver commencement address
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health will welcome Courtney N. Phillips, PhD, executive commissioner for the Texas Health and Human Services system, as the commencement speaker of the graduating class of 2019.
Commissioner Phillips oversees two agencies, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of State Health Services. The agencies directly serve millions of Texans each year and are focused on improving the lives of all citizens of the Lone Star State.
In her previous role, Phillips served as chief executive officer for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. As the head of the largest department in Nebraska’s government, she was responsible for the divisions of Behavioral Health, Children and Family Services, Developmental Disabilities, Medicaid and Long-Term Care, and Public Health, as well as agency operations. She has also served as the deputy secretary for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
Phillips holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a Master of Public Administration from Louisiana State University, and a PhD in public policy from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Wenyaw Chan, Ph.D.
Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Data Science
2019 Pre-Commencement Reception
UTHealth School of Public Health hosts an annual pre-commencement reception on the day prior to commencement. All students who are awarded their degree during summer 2018, fall 2018, and spring 2019 from all campuses are welcome to attend the reception.
Event details will be posted as they become available over the coming months.
View photos from the 2018 reception on our Flickr site.
Date: Friday, May 17, 2019
Location: Reuel A. Stallones Building (RAS) First Floor Lobby, 1200 Pressler Street, Houston, TX 77030
Note: Parking in front of the building is limited. The most convenient visitor parking lots are Garage 2 on Bertner, and the TMC South Extension Visitor Lot where you can take the free TMC white shuttle directly to the building. View parking directions and rates here, and download the TMC Visitor Parking guide here.
Information Sessions Presentation
All graduates participating in commencement are required to wear regalia ordered from our vendor.
- If you need assistance with your order, contact Balfour at 1-844-711-6100, Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:30pm CST.
- Clothes underneath and shoes should be business casual.
- No decorations are allowed on regalia
- Extra regalia WILL NOT be available at the ceremony.
- Call in order deadline: Friday, May 10, 2019, $25.00 additional express shipping fee
- Contact Balfour customer service at 1-844-711-6100, Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:30pm CST
Delivery and Return
- All regalia will be shipped directly to participants.
- No refunds after the regalia ships.
- Regalia must be returned to the onsite Balfour representative immediately after the ceremony.
View detailed rental instructions here.
Regalia Pieces and Colors
Cap/tam and Robe
(burnt orange and white lining)
Master of Public Health (MPH)
Black cap w/tassel
Basic black robe
Master of Science (MS)
Black cap w/tassel
Basic black robe
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Black tam w/salmon trim and tassel
Black robe w/salmon velvet strips
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Black tam w/dark blue trim and tassel
Black robe w/dark blue velvet stripes
Dark blue velvet
- The dress for graduates (under regalia and shoes) and guests is business casual.
- Certain apparel appearing outside of the regalia (i.e. pants, long dresses or skirts, socks, shoes) should be neutral or dark in color.
- Due to the warm weather conditions that are typical during May, lightweight clothing is recommended for apparel worn under the regalia.
- Necklaces should be tucked inside of the regalia.
- No props (i.e. feather boas, glow-in-the-dark or lighted items, bells, etc.) should be worn with the regalia.
- DO NOT add decorations to the regalia.
UTHealth School of Public Health reserves the right to require you to remove any embellishment deemed inappropriate by authorized university officials before you are permitted to participate in the ceremony.
Tassels are worn on the left before and during the ceremony and switched to the right at the end of the ceremony.
Order official School of Public Health announcements through Herff Jones here.
Information Sessions Presentation
View the commencement information sessions slides for topics discussed and a quick overview of information available on our website. The presentation is available here.
Graduates and guests attending the commencement ceremony may utilize the complimentary shuttle service to and from NRG Center. The shuttle bus will pick up guests in the circular driveway (in front of the MD Anderson skybridge) at the School of Public Health,1200 Pressler Street, Houston, Texas 77030. Service will begin at 11:15 a.m. and will run approximately every 20 minutes until 5 p.m. Please note that schedules are subject to traffic conditions. All shuttle buses are wheelchair-accessible.
NRG Park is located within the Inner Loop of the southern portion of Interstate Loop 610 between Kirby Street and Fannin
Street. If you choose to park at NRG Center, please enter through the Holly Hall or Naomi entrances on Fannin Street or the Westridge or McNee entrances on Kirby Drive. The orange lot is the designated lot for the UTHealth School of Public Health commencement ceremony. Parking is $12 per vehicle, cash only.
- Guests will park in the Orange Lot and enter from Gate 3 at Holly Hall and Fannin.
- Gate 10 will also be available, but guests should expect higher traffic due to use by another event.
- Download the NRG Park's map here.
Accessible Parking: Parking spaces for ADA guests are available and located throughout NRG Park on a first-come, first-served basis. View the accessibility guide here.
ADA Accommodations Drop Off: Participants and guests who need wheelchair access into the venue can enter through Gate 10 and drive up to the designated area marked on the map here. UTHealth and NRG staff will be available to monitor access into the drop-off area.
Graduates are required to arrive at NRG Center at 12:30 p.m. Once you arrive, please enter at Hall B, east side of the building, and take the elevator/escalator to the second floor. There will be School of Public Health volunteers stationed at strategic locations throughout the venue to direct graduates and their guests to the proper location.
Check-in tables separated by degree and name will be located on the second floor. Please bring a government issued photo ID with you to check-in. After you check-in, you will receive a name card for announcement of your name as you cross the stage.
Seating for guests will be available on an unreserved first-come first-served basis. Please note that saving seats is not permitted and large groups may want to arrive early to find seats together. Late arrivals will be seated where space is available.
If you, a family member or guest have a disability that requires special accommodations, please complete the accommodations section on the commencement RSVP form. For questions or assistance, contact the commencement team at SPHcommencement@uth.tmc.edu.
Commencement is a joyous time and we ask that everyone remain pleasant and respectful throughout the event. To help maintain a welcoming atmosphere at the ceremony, graduates and guests are expected to abide by the following code of conduct:
- Silence cell phones and other electronic devices.
- Horns or other noise making devices are prohibited.
- Helium balloons are not allowed per NRG park rules.
- Refrain from bringing props or other potentially distracting items.
- No food is allowed inside the ceremony area.
- Alcoholic beverages, tobacco, vaping products and other controlled substances are not allowed at the ceremony.
- Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
- The only pets allowed are service animals for the disabled, which must remain leashed and accompany the owner or their party throughout the venue.
- Guests can take pictures and record the ceremony, but must do so from their seats.
- Gifts should be presented before or after the ceremony, not during the processional, ceremony or recessional.
The event will not be live streamed, but a recording of ceremony will be available 2-3 weeks after the ceremony. The link to the recording will be included in post-commencement communications sent to participants.
J&C Digital Photography will be taking pictures onsite before and after the commencement ceremony. Beat the crowd and get your individual picture taken from 11:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m. A group picture will be taken at 1:15 p.m. Photos with family members will be taken after the ceremony. All pictures will be ready the same day. View the flyer here or pricing and package information. Payment is due at the time of service.
Diplomas are not delivered at the ceremony. Diplomas are available approximately four months after the degree conferral date. Summer and fall graduates receive their diplomas before commencement through pick up from the Houston campus or by mail. Spring graduates will receive their diplomas in September.
Diploma Frames: UTHealth School of Public Health diploma frames will be available for order online through the USA Diploma Frames website and at the ceremony. Shipping is free. Tips for ordering frames online from USA Diploma Frames:
- Select the "Single Horizontal Document" layout. Our diplomas, like most, are landscape oriented.
- No need to enter the diploma size, our diploma size is on file with the vendor.
- If you choose embossing, the UTHealth School of Public Health logo will be placed at the bottom center of the matting.
- Enter promotional code UTH to receive 20% off of your order.
Diploma Size: Diplomas are 12" x 16" in size. If you order from another vendor, make sure you indicate the diploma's dimensions.
Lost Diplomas: If you lose your diploma or wish to order a duplicate, submit a request for a duplicate diploma with the Office of the Registrar or contact them at email@example.com or 713-500-3361.
Name Changes: Alumni who need a name change on their diploma must submit a name change request form and contact the Office of the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-500-3361 to request a reprint.
For questions or assistance with orders, please email email@example.com.
Local Graduation Ceremonies
- All recent summer, fall and spring graduates from the Austin, Brownsville, Dallas, El Paso and San Antonio campuses are welcome to attend both the local and Houston ceremonies.
View general event information on local ceremonies below.
- Contact your campus coordinator(s) for details on the local ceremony.
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Texas Medical Association Building
Monday, May 6, 2019
UTHealth Brownsville RAHC Building Flexible Room
Thursday, May 9, 2019
T. Boone Pickens Biomedical Building UTSW Med Center, 14th floor
Thursday, May 16, 2019
DoubleTree El Paso Downtown
Thursday, April 25, 2019
UTHealth San Antonio, Holly Auditorium