Posthumous Degrees

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A degree may be awarded to a student who dies prior to the completion of degree requirements if the following guidelines have been met:

  1. Request is made by a family member(s);
  2. Student was within two quarters of graduating;
  3. The dean or director of the school or department attended by the student approves the awarding of the degree.

To Make a Request

The family must submit a formal request (the posthumous degree form) to the student’s academic department. The department will then review the student’s record and a graduation degree audit will be given to the dean or director of the student’s department for a final determination.

If approved, the formal request will be returned to the Office of the University Registrar for action (degree posted and diploma ordered) and the Office of the University Registrar will notify the family. If it is denied, the dean or director of the student's department will notify the family and include a letter of explanation.

At the UW (Tacoma), deans and directors have full authority over the awarding of a posthumous degree within the department they represent.