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The Class of 2021 succeeds against all odds

By Srila Nayak

Congratulations to the Oregon State College of Science Class of 2021! This class faced enormous challenges due to the pandemic. On the spur of the moment, the class of 2021 transitioned to remote learning, virtual interaction with professors, mentors, peers, friends and experiential learning in online formats. They have also faced increased financial burdens and other stressors. Our students have persevered, showing admirable determination, resilience and fortitude that will serve them well in their lives and careers.

Succeeding against odds while making history, College of Science graduates have found ways during this pandemic to participate and make an impact on state-wide public health endeavors through the TRACE-CVOID-19 project. They have gained enduring skills and done outstanding work in adapted science labs and with science communication in the virtual domain. Our seniors have been instrumental in helping Oregon State succeed at remote teaching in their roles as peer learning assistants and tutors.

Science graduates have led the way by dint of their academic achievements, selfless service and committed leadership. Supported by awards, scholarships and dedicated advisors, our seniors have collaborated with faculty mentors to create new knowledge and achieve major scientific breakthroughs.

Check out our Commencement page to celebrate our graduates. Read their compelling stories below containing reflections on undergraduate experiences at Oregon State and their dreams for the future.

This year’s graduates include Fulbright and Ford Foundation Fellows, Gilman International Scholars, NOAA Scholars, published scientific authors, future doctors, scientists, entrepreneurs, community leaders, teachers and informed, engaged world citizens. We are exceptionally proud of our students and all they have achieved during their career as undergraduates in the College of Science at Oregon State.

By the numbers

The College graduated 670 undergraduate students with baccalaureate degrees in 2020-21, including 68 Honors graduates. More than 80% (538) of our graduates were in the life sciences, with Biology having the most graduates at 199. BioHealth Sciences came in second with 152 graduates; biochemistry and molecular biology had 71 graduates; Zoology 63; Mathematics 56; Microbiology 43; Chemistry 42; Physics 34, and; Biochemistry and Biophysics graduated 10 students.

Of the total baccalaureate graduates, 11% are underrepresented minorities and 26% are first-generation students. In addition, 10 of the 2021 baccalaureate graduates are military veterans.

The College will also award 52 doctoral degrees, 66 master’s degrees and seven certificates in online Data Analytics.

Of the 52 doctoral degrees, Chemistry had 16 Ph.D. students, followed by Integrative Biology at 11; Mathematics 9; Physics 6; Microbiology 5; Statistics 4, and; Biochemistry and Biophysics graduated one doctoral student. 

The Department of Statistics awarded 15 master's degrees in statistics and 19 M.S. degrees in data analytics. Chemistry and Mathematics awarded 10 master's degrees each. Physics had 6 master's degree recipients; Microbiology three; Biochemistry and Biophysics two, and; Integrative Biology awarded one master's degree this year.

Celebrating the Class of 2021

We invite you to read the profiles of our seniors. These outstanding graduates represent an inclusive and diverse learning community in the College of Science. Here they share their inspiring and unique journeys as science majors.