Conferral of Posthumous Diplomas

Policy Number: #200

Responsible Executive(s):

  • Provost

Responsible Office(s):

  • Academic Affairs

Date Adopted: 02-02-2023

Date Revised: 02-02-2023

A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to recognize the achievement of students who have passed away before the completion of their degree or credential, and to establish the criteria and procedure by which a posthumous degree can be granted.

B. Scope

The policy applies to all undergraduate, graduate and certificate seeking students at Regis University.

C. The Policy

Regis University may grant certificates, undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional diplomas posthumously. If the Dean of the respective school in which the deceased student was enrolled determines that the student had completed sufficient coursework to earn a diploma or certificate, the Dean makes a recommendation to the Provost who then makes the recommendation to the President to grant the appropriate credential posthumously. Once the criteria is met, the Provost informs the family that the degree will be conferred posthumously at commencement, and the deceased student’s name will be presented with the living students for the president to confer the degree—with the inclusion of the language “awarded posthumously”.

  • 1. The student must have been enrolled at the time of death and be in good standing academically.
  • 2. Undergraduate diplomas: The deceased student will have attained senior status and/or be within 30 credit hours of diploma completion.
  • 3. Graduate diplomas: The deceased student will have made progress toward significant completion (i.e. 75% or greater) of the diploma requirements.
  • 4. Certificates: The deceased student will have made progress towards significant completion (i.e. 75% or greater) of the certificate requirements.
  • 5. The completion requirements noted in C.2 and C.3 above may be reconsidered in extenuating or unusual circumstances by the Provost and Chief Academic Officer.

D. Procedure

  • 1. Initiation of request to grant diploma or certificate: the request to grant a posthumous diploma or certificate can originate from the family, the department chair, any faculty member, or the Dean from the school in which the student was enrolled. If requested by anyone other than the Dean, the request is directed to the Dean. The request must be in writing, either via print letter or email.
  • 2. Determination re: meeting academic criteria: this determination is a collaborative determination between the Dean and the Registrar. The Department Chair and/or faculty may be used as resources.
  • 3. Determination re: granting the posthumous diploma or certificate: this determination is made by the Provost. Approval by the Faculty Senate or Board of Trustees is not needed. The decision on granting the diploma or certificate will be communicated to the Registrar, Dean and the family by the Provost or his/her designee.
  • 4. Presentation of the diploma or certificate: the diploma or certificate may be delivered by a Regis University representative identified by the Provost if the family member resides within the Denver Metropolitan Area. If outside the metro area or per the family member’s request, the diploma will be mailed by the Registrar to the family.
  • 5. Documentation of posthumous diploma or certificate: the words “Awarded Posthumously” must appear on the diploma or certificate. No notation will be made of this award on the deceased student’s permanent record in the Registrar’s office.
  • 6. Timetable of procedure: No more than 2 months will elapse from initiation of request to award the diploma or certificate to the Provost decision and notification of family if the posthumous diploma or certificate will be granted.

E. Definitions

    • 1. Enrolled: The student was attending classes or the student was registered for the next available term within their program. The student may be considered enrolled if they were enrolled prior to any medical conditions related to the eventual death of the student.
    • 2. In Good Standing: The student is considered to be in good standing in accordance with the specific criteria within their department, college and with regards to student affairs.

F. Related Policies, Procedures, Forms and Other Resources (Optional)


End Notes