Awarding Posthumous Degrees

The University may grant undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees posthumously. If an Academic Unit determines that a deceased student was academically eligible, as determined by the criteria listed below, at the time of the student’s passing the Unit may recommend the awarding of a posthumous degree.


  • Student had completed at least 80% of their declared degree program(s)
  • Student had completed at least 12 hours of coursework in residence at UMKC
  • Student’s cumulative GPA meets the minimum GPA requirement for their declared degree program
  • Student had been an active student within the last two calendar years

Students who completed all Degree Requirements

The diploma for the degree that the student was pursuing will be prepared in the same manner as if the student had graduated. This diploma may be presented to the family of the deceased in a special ceremony, at Commencement or in whatever manner is deemed appropriate.1

Student Did Not Yet Complete Degree Requirements

If the student had not satisfied the degree completion criteria listed above but was making satisfactory progress at the time of death, a dean’s certificate honoring the student may be provided by the appropriate academic unit(s). These certificates may be designed and presented in a manner that is fitting to the circumstances.1