University Policy And Procedures For Awarding Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees Posthumously and to Terminally Ill Students

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


Awarding of a degree posthumously or, in special circumstances, to a terminally ill student recognizes the academic achievement of the deceased student or a student who has a terminal illness. 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 or terminally ill student.


Undergraduate Students

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

Graduate Students

To be eligible for a graduate degree, the student must have advanced to candidacy, have been in good academic standing, and have completed adequate research or advanced level coursework as determined by the program/department.
For students who have completed one term of the graduate studies coursework and have been in good academic standing but are not eligible for a posthumous graduate degree, the California State University San Bernardino Office of Graduate Studies will offer a Certificate of Attendance.

All exceptions to this policy will require approval of the Dean of the Graduate Studies.


Undergraduate Students

It is appropriate for any interested party (i.e., college, academic department, family, club or organization) to initiate consideration of awarding the degree. The interested party will contact the Dean of the college in which the deceased or terminally ill student's program resided. The Dean (or designee) in consultation with the Undergraduate Studies Dean 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 or terminally ill 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 or terminally ill student should be awarded a degree posthumously or near his/her end of life, 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 or terminally ill student will be announced at Commencement, and the diploma holder will be given to a family member or someone chosen by the family. If the family does not participate in Commencement, the diploma is mailed.

Graduate Students

1. A formal request may be initiated by any of the following: a family member, a faculty member, a dean, or a fellow student. If a family member does not make the request, the family should be contacted for their support of the possible award.

2. The Graduate Program Coordinator/Director will review the student’s academic record, and forward a recommendation for awarding of a degree or certificate to the appropriate College Dean who will make the final decision and then instruct either the Registrar to issue the designated degree or the Office of Graduate Studies to issue the certificate.