Faculty and Unclassified Staff Handbook
Chapter 1 -- General Policies

Posthumous Degrees

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) may confer posthumous baccalaureate and masters degrees upon students who are deceased prior to but nearing formal completion of all degree requirements of the programs being pursued.


To be eligible for the award of a degree posthumously from FHSU, the student generally must have met the following conditions:

1. At the time of death, the student must have been within 30 credit hours of fulfilling all course requirements for a baccalaureate degree, or within 9 hours of fulfilling all course requirements for a graduate degree.

2. The student, at the time of death, must have been a full-time degree-seeking student (enrolled in at least 12 credit hours of undergraduate work or 6 hours of graduate work) in good academic standing (cumulative G.P.A. of 2.0 or higher) and was successfully progressing toward completion of requirements for the degree to be awarded.


Faculty in the student’s department may nominate a student for a posthumous degree by submitting a request to the department chair. If approved by the chair, the request will be submitted to the dean of the academic college in which the student was pursuing an undergraduate degree or the Dean of the Graduate School if the student was pursuing a graduate degree, and Provost.

The Provost shall then make a recommendation to the President of the University regarding whether to award the posthumous degree.

Upon approval by the President, a degree will be conferred at the next regularly scheduled commencement exercise, giving as much notification to the family of the deceased as is possible prior to the commencement exercise.

The posthumous nature of the award will be indicated on the diploma, the student’s permanent record, and in the commencement program.

Extraordinary Circumstances

Cases that do not meet the above specified criteria may be considered when extraordinary circumstances prevail. In such cases, the appropriate faculty, chair and college dean will be consulted prior to a recommendation being made by the Provost to the President.

Adopted by President’s Cabinet (6/13/2007).

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