Posthumous Degree Policy (AE 1) - Nevada State College

Posthumous Degree Policy (AE 1)

  • category:
    Admissions and Enrollment
  • Policy Id#:
    AE 1
  • Effective Date:
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A deceased student who at the time of death was duly enrolled and pursuing a degree at NSC may be awarded a posthumous degree provided the following conditions are met:

A. The student was in Good Standing, both academic and disciplinary;

B. The student completed 75% of all Degree Requirements;

C. The student completed at least 50% of the College Residency Requirement;

D. The dean of the School associated with the deceased student’s primary major recommends the awarding of a posthumous degree.

In some cases the College, if appropriate, may wish to recognize the attendance and/or contributions of a deceased student who did not meet the above conditions by awarding a posthumous certificate. This may be a certificate of attendance, participation, or completion of some core element of the student’s program.

The reason for the policy is to extend sympathy and compassion to the families of students who pass away close to the completion of their degrees and to recognize the academic achievement of students who would have fulfilled the requirements of the degree, while still maintaining the academic integrity of the program of study and the College.


Degree Requirements: All courses required to complete the degree (core curriculum courses, major courses, and required elective courses/credits).

Good Standing: A student is in good standing when they are not on academic warning, probation, or suspension and has not been required to withdraw, dismissed, or expelled from the college for either academic or disciplinary reasons.

Residency Requirement: Minimum upper division credits taken at the college.


A. A formal request may be initiated by any of the following: a family member, a faculty member, or another student. If the request is not made by a family member, the family may only be informed if the nomination has been approved. This process should be kept confidential until and unless approved at all levels. The request must be submitted to:

      1. Faculty member/Department Chair (if submitted by a family member or student);
      2. Department Chair (if submitted by a faculty member).

B. The Dean of the appropriate School will be held responsible for reviewing the student’s academic record, confirming with the Registrar whether the criteria are met, and forwarding the request to the Office of the Provost.

C. If the Provost supports the request, the Provost will submit a recommendation to the College President for formal approval.

D. If the recommendation is approved by the President:

      1. The Provost will notify the Registrar to begin the process for degree posting and commencement proceedings, if applicable.
      2. The President will inform the immediate family of the College’s decision and desire to recognize the student with this honor. If the family desires to represent the student and receive the diploma at a commencement ceremony, this must be relayed to the Registrar for planning.

E. Degrees awarded posthumously will be parenthetically noted “Posthumous” on the commencement program. The statement “awarded posthumously” will be printed on the diploma or certificate. The transcript will note that it is a posthumous degree. If the commencement program as been sent to print prior to the approval of a posthumous degree award, the name of the student will be printed on the following year’s commencement program.

F. If the family chooses not to participate in commencement, this award may still be read during the ceremony, unless explicitly requested otherwise by the family. The student’s diploma or certificate will be released or mailed to the person legally authorized to manage the deceased student’s affairs.

G. Any fees associated with the administration of the posthumous degree or certificate of attendance shall be waived.


Route for Approval: Department Chair →Dean → Registrar → Provost → President


First Policy Draft (October 2014)
Second policy Draft (February 23, 2015)


Approved by Faculty Senate Chair Dr. Joanna Shearer, April 28, 2015.
Approved by Provost Dr. Erika Beck, May 5, 2015.
Approved by President Bart Patterson, May 12, 2015.

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