Facts about Fall

Boy riding a bike on campus

Photo credit: Nora Lewis

The University of Rhode Island began its 2021-2022 academic year on Sept. 8 with what is expected to be a “near normal” fall semester that will include mostly in-person classes, and scheduled, in-person athletic, academic, and cultural events, though some COVID-19-related policies will be in place to protect the health of the University community.

The 3,280 students making up the Class of 2025 were selected from a record-setting 25,107 applications received. The first-year students joined approximately 500 transfer students, more than 2,000 graduate students, a number of “Finish What You Started” students, thousands of returning URI students, and hundreds of students concurrently enrolled in high school and at URI, to comprise a student body of approximately 17,000. Official enrollment numbers are expected in October.

About our students

  • Nearly 5,700 students will live in 27 on-campus residences this fall, including 17 Living and Learning Communities. In addition, approximately 650 students will reside in 15 fraternity/sorority houses on campus, and another 75 will live in designated International Engineering Program housing.
  • New first-year students come to URI this year from 24 countries, including Korea, China, Indonesia, India, and Canada.
  • After Rhode Island, the top states represented in the first-year class are Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, respectively.
  • The University’s oldest student is a graduate student born in 1943, while its youngest, is an undergraduate student born in 2005.
  • There are 22 sets of twins entering URI as first-year students.
  • Just over 20% of our graduate students enrolled in URI’s oceanography, engineering, and pharmacy programs are international, hailing from countries including Canada, Mexico, Romania, Korea,  among others.

On the calendar

  • URI’s annual Honors Colloquium will this year focus on scientific initiatives needed to ensure sustainable use of ocean resources and long-term ocean health, as outlined in the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Entitled, “Sustaining our Shores,” the colloquium will feature free, open-to-the-public, weekly academic discussions and guest speakers from September through December. 
  • The 2021 Christiane Amanpour Lecture, set to take place Nov. 10, will feature Abby Phillip, CNN anchor and senior political correspondent. The annual lecture was established through an endowment that URI alumna and CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour established at URI to bring respected journalists to campus each year.
  • More than a dozen international experts in the growing field of quantum information science will participate in a URI-hosted Frontiers in Quantum Computing conference Oct. 18–20 on the Kingston Campus. United States Senator Jack Reed and more than a dozen experts are scheduled to speak.
  • URI’s STEEP (Sources, Transport, Exposure, and Effects of PFAS) Program will host an international conference dedicated to sharing the latest science on PFAS, “silent” and dangerous chemicals often present in common household goods. FLOUROS Global 2021 will take place Oct. 3–7 at the WaterFire Fine Arts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.

Other notable happenings

  • URI WaterFire, a public event sponsored by the University of Rhode Island together with URI Foundation & Alumni Engagement will take place Friday, Sept. 24 at 6:30 p.m., along the riverfront in Providence, Rhode Island. Alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, and friends are invited to join together to celebrate URI and enjoy the beauty of WaterFire.
  • Alumni and Family Weekend will take place Oct. 1–3 on the Kingston Campus. URI football will take on Stony Brook, and various other events are scheduled over the weekend for alumni and URI students and their families. 
  • Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2020 will take place on Friday, Oct. 1 at the Ryan Center. Undergraduate and graduate students will each be permitted two guests as they cross the stage to mark the completion of their academic studies at URI, an event delayed due to COVID-19. This is a ticketed event and pre-registration is required.
  • The URI Theatre Season kicks off Oct. 14 with its first performance of the year. Silent Sky, by Lauren Gunderson, is the first of four plays this year, also including Clue: On Stage, Twelfth Night, and The Wizard of Oz, scheduled for the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • The URI Music Department offers a robust 2021-2022 schedule of performances that runs throughout the academic year.
  • URI’s 15th annual Distinguished Achievement Awards originally scheduled for the fall of 2020, has been rescheduled for Oct. 23 at the Newport Marriott. The awards honor alumni, corporations, and friends who excel in professional achievement, leadership contributions, community service, and philanthropic endeavors.