Academic Policy  1506.00

Policy, Procedures, and Implementation for Awarding Posthumous Degrees

Please note that the awarding of honorary posthumous degrees is covered in Academic Policy Series 1505.30.

A deceased student who was nearing completion of the degree requirements may be eligible to have the degree conferred posthumously, subject to the following conditions:

  • The student must have been enrolled in a degree program offered by the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and actively pursuing and making progress towards a degree.
  • An undergraduate student must have completed a minimum of 75 percent of the course work required for the degree, with a 2.0 cumulative grade point average, and a minimum of 30 credit hours completed at the University of Arkansas;
  • A master’s student must have completed all course requirements for the degree within the previous six years prior to the death;
  • A doctoral student must have completed all requirements for the degree (course work and candidacy exam) except for the dissertation within the previous seven years prior to the death;
  • Graduate students must have met the grade point average requirement of their degree program and the Graduate School;
  • The student must not have been dismissed or suspended from the degree program or the University at the time of death;
  • The student must not have died in connection with committing a crime or other serious misconduct.

Procedures for Awarding Posthumous Degrees

  • On an annual basis, the Office of the Registrar will compile a list of students whose deaths occurred during the preceding year and who may be eligible for conferral of their degrees posthumously. The Office of the Registrar will then forward the list to the dean of the academic college or Graduate School, as appropriate, and to the department head/chair of the respective department/program, for approval. 

Implementation of Awards of Posthumous Degrees

  • Recipients of all posthumous degrees will be recognized at the appropriate commencement as part of the graduating class.
  • The diploma for the posthumous degree will be sent or presented to the recipient’s immediate family.
  • The posthumous degree will be entered on the student’s permanent academic record.
  • Names of posthumous degree recipients will be included on Senior Walk, consistent with the policy and format for other students’ names.