University Policy And Procedures For Awarding Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees Posthumously

Reviewed By: Administrative Council on February 28, 2005
Approved By: Albert K. Karnig, President on March 10, 2005


The goal of this policy is to extend sympathy and compassion to the families and friends of deceased students near completion of their degrees. Awarding of a degree posthumously recognizes the academic achievement of the deceased student. In addition, the policy acknowledges the loss to the university, family and friends, and extends to them the opportunity to share in the academic success of the deceased student.


To be eligible for a posthumous  degree, the student should be within one term of meeting the requirements of the degree program.


It is appropriate for any interested party to initiate consideration of awarding the degree. The interested party will contact the Dean of the college in which the deceased student's program resided. The Dean (or designee) will initiate with the Director (or Associate Director) of the Office of the Registrar (OTR) a request to conduct a thorough review of the deceased student's progress toward his/her degree objective. A summary of the review will be submitted to the Dean. If the Dean concludes the deceased student should be awarded a degree posthumously, the recommendation will be forwarded to the Provost for concurrence. If the Provost concurs, the recommendation will be submitted to the President for final approval.

Upon prior approval of the family, the name of the deceased student will be announced at Commencement, and the diploma holder will be given to a family member or someone chosen by the family.