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SPH Commencement Information


The Commencement Ceremony for graduating students will take place at the Credit Union 1 Arena on Saturday, May 11, 2019. Commencement will begin promptly at 4:00 p.m. and the ceremony will conclude at approximately 6:00 p.m. All graduates are required to arrive no later than 3:15 p.m. Upon arrival, graduates will check-in to obtain their name card and seat assignment. Graduates must proceed to the event floor and be seated immediately. 

Where: Credit Union 1 Arena, 525 S. Racine. Chicago, Il.
When: Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.

  • Graduate and Guest Arrival: 3:15 p.m. (Arrive around 3:00 pm for parking)

* Graduates - Gate 1
* Guests - Gate 3

  • Faculty Arrival: 3:00 p.m.

* Faculty - Gate 2

What to Expect

Please click here for additional information on parking, check-in process, and security.

Metal Detector and Bag Policies

The Credit Union 1 Arena has strict bag policies as well as mandatory passage through metal detectors for entry to the building. Please be sure to review the policies below prior to the ceremony.


Dr. Ngozi Ezike, MD, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health

On January 31 of this year, Dr. Ngozi Ezike was appointed by Governor JB Pritzker to serve as Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Prior to joining the Department of Public Health, Dr. Ezike worked for over 15 years with Cook County Health promoting the organization's mission of “delivering integrated health services with dignity and respect regardless of a patient’s ability to pay”.

As a board-certified pediatrician and internist, Dr. Ezike delivered inpatient care at Stroger Hospital, formerly known as Cook County Hospital, as well as primary and preventive care in community and school-based clinics. As Medical Director for the Austin Health Center, located on the West-side of Chicago, she saw patients of all ages and engaged with the community through health initiatives involving obesity, diabetes, and breastfeeding.

In her last role with Cook County Health, she served as Medical Director at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, the largest single site juvenile detention facility in the country. She was instrumental in creating and implementing the facility's health policies as the first step of many for coming out of federal receivership and achieving national accreditation for the detention center. Additional achievements included the implementation of universal STI screening for all youths at admission and the establishment of an annual Fall Influenza Vaccine Blitz to educate and promote flu shots for the youths and staff alike. As part of Healthy JTDC 2020, she partnered with profit and non-profit organizations to sponsor the detention center’s first running program which culminated in a 3K/5K run event. Dr. Ezike is a national policy advisor on juvenile correctional health topics and has presented at numerous local and national conferences for both medical professionals and youth audiences. She has also served as a federal court monitor for health-related matters concerning juvenile correctional facilities under consent decree.

Dr. Ezike graduated with honors from Harvard College with a concentration in chemistry. Her medical degree is from University of California at San Diego. She completed her internship and residency at Rush Medical Center where she is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. She also earned a management certificate from Harvard Business School.

RSVP to Participate

All students are required to RSVP for the ceremony, even if they filed an intent to graduate application.

Graduates, who plan to participate in the ceremony, must fill out the Graduate RSVP Form by Tuesday, April 19, 2019.

Faculty, who plan to participate in the ceremony, must fill out the Faculty RSVP Form by Friday, March 18, 2019.


You are eligible to participate if:

  •        you are a spring 2019 graduate who filed an intent to graduate for the spring 2019 term and
  •        RSVP’d for the ceremony.

You are not eligible to participate if:

  •        you graduated prior to the spring 2019 academic term
  •        you are planning to graduate after the spring 2019 term


  • Summer 2018 and Fall 2018 graduates who missed the fall ceremony and now wish to participate in the spring ceremony, may request an exception by contacting: Ms. Linda Johnson, Associate Director of Records and Registration, at
  • Summer 2019 graduates may request an exception to participate. This must be done by March 22, 2019. For more information, please read the Eligibility to Participate in Commencement Policy.


Graduates with special needs must contact the Credit Union 1 Arena at (312) 413-5700 at least 2 days prior to the College Commencement ceremony to arrange for a seat location and assistance to enable them to participate in the ceremony. Guests with special needs or those hearing-impaired may request seating assistance from the staff on duty. A sign language interpreter will be present on the stage for the benefit of students and guests who are hearing impaired. 


The Credit Union 1 Arena is located at 525 S. Racine Ave. (corner of Racine and Harrison). For directions, please visit the UIC commencement website.


Visitor parking is available in one of three University parking lots adjacent to and across the street from the Credit Union 1 Arena, providing convenient parking for over 2,000 cars. You can find full information on parking on the Credit Union 1 Arena website.


3:30 p.m. – All graduates are required to arrive no later than 3:30 p.m. to obtain their name card and seating assignment. Graduates must proceed to their seats immediately after checking in.

4:00 p.m. – Commencement faculty procession begins

4:05 p.m. – Opening remarks by Dean

Reception – Immediately following the ceremony.

Information for Guests: SPH Commencement is not a ticketed event.

For out-of-town guests, a list of hotels is available here. If you have family who cannot attend, they may view the ceremony from home live on the Internet. To access the webcast, please visit the UIC Commencement website at the designated time of the ceremony. Viewers will need to click on the link for the School of Public Health.

Purchase Academic Dress (cap, gown, tassel and hood).

All students participating in Commencement must purchase a cap and gown prior to the ceremony. Students are strongly encouraged to pre-order their regalia online through Jostens now until Thursday, March 21, 2019. To place your order, click here.

 All pre-ordered regalia will be available for pick-up beginning Tuesday, May 1, 2019 at the Alumni Association's Grad Fest in the Illinois Room in Student Center East, 750 South Halsted.  After May 1, caps and gowns will be available at the UIC Bookstore (located in Student Center East). 

If a graduate misses the March 21 deadline, a limited amount of regalia will be available for purchase in the UIC Bookstore starting Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

Please note the following details regarding academic regalia

Prices for regular retainable student caps and gowns are as follows:

  • Bachelors - $47.99
  • Masters - $89.99
  • Doctorate - DNP/EDD/OP/PT/PhD (Excluding Med.)- $89.99

Academic regalia consists of the following:

  • BA: Blue cap, blue gown, red stole, tassel indicative of degree conferred
  • MS: Blue cap, blue gown, tassel and hood indicative of college (SPH: Salmon Color)
  • PhD: Red cap, red gown, gold tassel, and hood lined with red and indigo
  • Doctorate (excluding PhD): Black cap, black gown, tassel and hood indicative of college (SPH: Salmon Color).
  • MPH and MHA: Blue cap, blue gown, tassel and hood indicative of college (SPH: Salmon Color)
  • Order graduation announcements if desired. Graduation announcements can be ordered through: Jostens.

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