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Posthumous Degree Awards Policy

In the tragic event that a student passes away without completing all degree requirements, family members or program leadership may request the awarding of a posthumous degree. These requests should be submitted to the Office of the Provost for review and final approval by the Provost. Following the awarding of a posthumous degree, transcripts will include the notation “posthumous honorary degree awarded.”

These conditions must be met for consideration of a posthumous degree, whether undergraduate or graduate: 

  • The student must have completed at least 75% of their degree program
  • The student must have been in good academic standing at the time of death
  • The student must have been enrolled in any term within one year of the nearest graduation date following the student’s death.

The Provost has the discretion to approve or reject requests for posthumous degrees, and the Provost’s decision will be final.

Procedures
  1. A department chair, dean, or immediate family member of the deceased student (typically via the vice president for student affairs) may initiate the request for conferral of a posthumous degree by submitting the request in writing to the Provost.
  2. Upon approval by the Provost, the Registrar will prepare a transcript showing the student’s completed course work with a special notation indicating posthumous conferral of the degree the student had pursued.
  3. The Registrar will also prepare a diploma indicating conferral of the degree, with the graduation date noted as the nearest official graduation date following the student’s death.
  4. At the discretion of the student’s family, the conferral of a posthumous degree may be noted in the next Commencement program, properly annotated as awarded posthumously.

Approved: February 12, 2019