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Procedure for Awarding a Posthumous Degree

A Posthumous degree may be awarded for a deceased student with the approval of the dean of the college in which the student was enrolled/majoring. A family member of the deceased may contact the appropriate dean to begin the process of requesting a posthumous degree.

A student who passes away while enrolled and pursuing a degree may be considered for a posthumous degree based on the following criteria:

Undergraduate students who have completed 80 hours or two-thirds of their degree requirements may qualify for a posthumous degree. The hours completed by the student do not have to apply towards the degree and may include transfer courses.

Graduate and specialist students who have completed two-thirds of their degree requirements may qualify for a posthumous degree. Doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy may qualify for a posthumous degree.

The Process

The College Dean or Graduate Dean:

1. Receives word of student death and request for posthumous degree from a family member or University representative.
2. Notifies Dean of Students Office of student death to ensure student record has been updated.
3. Verifies that the student has met the requirements.
4. Contacts the University Registrar to process a diploma and notation on the student's transcript.

The Office of the University Registrar:

1. Receives email request from College Dean or Graduate Dean.
2. Posts a notation to the student’s transcript.
3. Ensures Dean of Students Office has submitted death notification and student record has been updated.
4. Prints the posthumous diploma and notifies the Dean’s Office to pick up the diploma and diploma cover.

On the diploma, the words “awarded posthumously” will appear. On the transcript, a notation will be added to indicate a posthumous degree. The College Dean or Graduate Dean will contact the student’s family to invite them to a private diploma presentation ceremony or offer to mail the diploma directly to the family.