Posthumous Degree Policy

A deceased student may be considered a candidate for a posthumous degree when nominated by the academic division chair in which the student was enrolled at or prior to his or her death, and when minimum academic degree requirements have been verified. Posthumous degrees may be awarded at any career level.

Requirements for Nomination

  1. A student must have been in good academic standing with the institution at the time of death. Good standing is defined as not being academically deficient for their classification (academic probation, continued probation, suspension or expulsion).
  2. University requirements for earned credits in residence must have been satisfied.
  3. Student must have been enrolled at time of death (summer excluded), or their continuous enrollment was interrupted by their injury, illness, deployment, etc.
  4. The student must have been within 75% of degree requirements completed to be nominated for a posthumous degree.
  5. The academic division/department in which the student was enrolled recommends the awarding of a posthumous degree.

Nomination/Approval Process

  1. Anybody may identify a candidate for a posthumous degree, but such a suggestion must be made to the chair of the appropriate academic division/department for consideration and to begin the formal process.
  2. The student’s degree shall be audited by the Registrar’s Office to verify program/plan and progress toward degree completion.
  3. The chair of the academic division/department or program director in the case of a BGS or BIS degree in which the student was enrolled will recommend the candidate for a posthumous degree in the form of a formal written request to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA). The request must include the name and ID of the student, the degree/program/plan to be awarded, and the recommended semester for degree conferral.
  4. If supported by the VPAA, the VPAA will submit the recommendation to the University President for formal approval. If approved by the President, the VPAA will notify the registrar to begin the process for degree posting and commencement proceedings, if applicable.
    • The President will inform the immediate family of the university’s decision and desire to recognize their student with this honor (this process should be kept confidential until and unless approved at all levels). If the family desires to represent the student and receive the diploma at a commencement ceremony, this must be relayed to the registrar for planning.

Miscellaneous Details/Considerations

  1. A posthumous degree will be printed in commencement programs within the appropriate degree section. If the family chooses not to participate, this award will still be printed in the commencement program (unless explicitly requested otherwise by the family).
  2. Exceptions to the aforementioned minimum requirements may be considered in special cases, with support of the academic division chair and VPAA and approval of the President.
  3. The statement "awarded posthumously" will be printed on the student’s academic record, but not on the diploma.


APC – 11/18/15, AAC – 12/17/15