Graduate 2019-2020

Posthumous Degrees

(1) The request to award a posthumous degree may be initiated by the decedent’s family, major department/school, or college, as well as by the Dean of Students.

(2) The Dean of Students, in consultation with the Registrar and, when appropriate, the Dean of the Graduate School and/or the decedent’s department/school or college, shall determine whether the following two conditions have been met:

(a) The student would have been eligible to graduate at the end of the semester or term, assuming satisfactory completion of enrolled course work and any additional degree requirements.  Academic performance during the semester or term, however, will not be scrutinized or evaluated.

(b) At the time of death, there were no outstanding criminal charges or violations of the Student Code of Conduct against the student, nor did the student die in the commission of a criminal act or violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

(c) If the parties named in the first sentence of (2) above determine that there are extenuating circumstances, then the student shall be considered eligible for a posthumous degree. 

(3) Upon determination that the student is eligible for a posthumous degree, the Dean of Students shall contact the decedent’s family to determine whether the family approves of the posthumous degree award.

(4) Upon approval from the family, the Dean of Students shall communicate approval to the Registrar, who will withdraw the student from all registered course work, order the appropriate diploma, and arrange for the decedent’s listing in the commencement program.  If by this point it is no longer possible for the Registrar to execute these tasks in time for the forthcoming commencement, the posthumous degree shall be awarded at the next commencement.

(5) The Registrar shall send notice of the posthumous degree award to the President, the Provost, and the decedent’s major department/school and college.

(6) The President shall write a letter to the decedent’s family announcing the posthumous degree award and the date of the commencement ceremony at which the degree will be granted.