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Awarding a Posthumous Degree

Type: Definitions
Effective Date: 3/14/2015

A degree/diploma or certificate of achievement may be awarded for a deceased student upon timely recommendation and review.  Recommendations for undergraduate students should be made via the academic college Dean to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. For graduate students, requests should be made via the Dean of the Graduate College. Recommendations should be made to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs for undergraduate-level students and to the Dean of the Graduate College for graduate-level students. The University Registrar will verify that requirements outlined in this policy have been met.

To be eligible for a posthumous In Memoriam degree, degree-seeking students, whether at the undergraduate or graduate-level, must have: 

  • been enrolled at Northern Arizona University at the time of death (or have died or been diagnosed with a terminal illness within 12 months of the last registration),
  • been in good academic and disciplinary standing,
  • completed at least 75% of the coursework required for their respective degrees. Completion of work for a graduate degree will be determined by the appropriate academic department in consultation with the Dean of the Graduate College.

Students having completed less than 75% of their required coursework will be eligible for a Certificate of Achievement. These degrees/certificates will not be included in NAU’s official graduation counts or files.

Final approval of the request rests with the Provost of the university.

Once such a request is approved, a diploma or certificate ordered. The Dean of Student Life will communicate with the family to determine how the diploma/certificate should be delivered.

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