2018 Fall Trimester

Awarding a Posthumous Degree


To recognize the academic achievement of students who have died, and to award degrees posthumously where the student has completed enough of the planned degree program.


Applies to all students enrolled at the University.


The University may grant undergraduate, graduate and doctor of chiropractic degrees posthumously. If the University determines that a deceased student has completed sufficient coursework to be awarded a degree, the University has the authority to grant the degree posthumously.

Revised: na / Effective: May 1 2018


Requirements for Nomination:

  1. A student must have been in good standing with the University at the time of death. Good standing is defined as not having any of the following statuses: academic probation, academic dismissal, disciplinary suspension or expulsion.
  2. The student must have been enrolled at the time of death or their continuous enrollment was interrupted by their injury, illness, deployment, or other extenuating circumstances.
  3. An undergraduate student must have earned 90 undergraduate credits (at the University or through transfer).
  4. A graduate or doctor of chiropractic student must be within 75% of degree completion.
  5. The program in which the student was enrolled recommends the awarding of a posthumous degree with support from the department chair or program director and the dean.

Nomination/Approval Process:

  1. Any university student, faculty, or staff member can suggest a candidate be considered for a posthumous degree. This request must be made to the Provost.
  2. The student’s degree audit file will be obtained from Registrar’s Office to verify the program/plan and progress toward degree completion. The Provost will notify the department chair/program director and dean of the college in which the student was enrolled of the student’s eligibility for the posthumous degree.
  3. The department chair or program director and dean of the program in which the student was enrolled makes the formal recommendation of the candidate for a posthumous degree in the form of a written request to the Provost. The request must include the name of the student, the degree/program to be awarded, and the recommended trimester for degree conferral.
  4. If approved by the Provost:
    1. The Provost will notify appropriate university personnel (e.g., registrar, student affairs)
    2. The Provost or Dean of Students Affairs will inform the immediate family of the university’s decision and desire to recognize the student (This process will 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 commencement coordinator for planning purposes. If the family does not wish to attend the commencement ceremony, the diploma will be mailed to the requested address.
    3. A posthumous degree will be printed in the commencement program. If the family chooses not to participate, this award may still be read during the ceremony (unless explicitly requested otherwise by the family). Example: Jane M. Doe – Awarded Posthumously