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Policy TitlePosthumous Degree Policy
Document Type
  •  Policy
  •  Procedure
  •  Guidelines
  •  Form
Office/UnitProvost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Policy OwnerProvost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Contact Information

Office Name Phone Email

Approval Date

Approved by
Effective Date

Review Date/Schedule
Revision History


PurposeSUNY Fredonia reserves the awarding of academic degrees to persons who have met all requirements for the completion of those degrees, except in the instances of Honorary Degrees that are awarded solely upon the authority of the Board of Trustees of the University.
Applies To
Policy Statement

It may be requested of the University that academic recognition be bestowed posthumously to a deceased student who did not complete degree requirements and who did not meet the prescribed criteria for an honorary degree. To initiate the process, the deceased student’s family, spouse, significant other, or a SUNY Fredonia faculty or staff member, with agreement from the student’s family, may request this recognition through the student’s Academic Department Chairperson. In such a circumstance, the Academic Department Chairperson will review the request, make a recommendation, and forward it on to the appropriate Dean, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and President for approval. If approved and provided the deceased student had met the requirements as set forth below, SUNY Fredonia will confer a degree.

BACCALAUREATE DEGREE STUDENT: To be eligible for this University recognition, a deceased student who, at the time of termination of study, was pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree, shall normally have completed a minimum of 60 credits with a 2.0 cumulative average or higher.

MASTER'S DEGREE STUDENT: To be eligible for this University recognition, a deceased student who, at the time of termination of study, was pursuing a Master's Degree, shall normally have completed a minimum of 20 graduate credits with a 3.0 or higher.

If the request for degree is approved, the academic department or appropriate contact person will contact the deceased student’s family, confirm their attendance at the commencement ceremony with the students expected class, and arrange to meet them at the commencement program. VIP seating will be arranged for the family through the President’s Office, and a department representative will escort the family representative to the stage to accept the degree at the appropriate time. The President’s Office will instruct the Registrar to order the appropriate diploma.

The commencement program and diploma will note that the degree was awarded posthumously.

The degree candidate’s parents, spouse or significant other will be invited to attend the commencement ceremony and will be called on stage to accept the diploma cover. The commencement program print deadline is normally about 60 days prior to commencement. The academic record will be marked “Degree conferred posthumously.” A copy of the academic record will be released, if requested, to an attorney representing the estate of the deceased student or the parents of the student. It will be the responsibility of the Registrar to handle the ordering of the Diploma and the release of information to the family.

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Related LinksAwarding of Honorary Degrees Policy (SUNY)



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