Posthumous Baccalaureate Degree

SF STATE Policy on the Granting of Posthumous Baccalaureate Degree


The purpose of this policy is to recognize the academic achievement of the deceased student, and to extend to the university community, family, and friends an opportunity to share in the student’s academic success at San Francisco State University.

This policy is adapted for use with permission from CSU Monterey Bay.

1.0 Eligibility

1.1 To be eligible for the award of a San Francisco State University baccalaureate degree posthumously, the student must generally have met the following conditions:

  • The student must have fewer than 30 units remaining to complete their degree.
  • The student must have completed at least 24 units in residence at SF State.
  • The students must have successfully completed more than half of the courses required for completion of their major.
  • The student must be in good academic standing (minimum 2.0 GPA for all units used in calculating the student’s grade point average) and was successfully progressing toward completion of requirements for the baccalaureate degree.

1.2 For deceased students who may not have reached this level of completion of their academic work, the department and school/college may also award a Certificate of Achievement to those students, as well other tributes based on the student’s academic accomplishments to date. On rare occasions, exceptions may be made for special circumstances that merit awarding the degree.

2.0 Recommendation

Generally, the recommendation for the award of a posthumous degree will come from faculty in the major program in which the student was studying. Family or friends of the deceased may make a request to a member of the faculty or staff of the college to initiate the process. The faculty or staff member will submit a recommendation for the awarding of the posthumous degree to the dean of the college in which the major program resides. The recommendation can be by letter or email and must include the full name of the student, dates of attendance, SF STATE ID number, and any other information about the student's academic or extracurricular activities on campus.

3.0 Approval Process

The college dean, upon receipt of a recommendation, shall initiate a review of the deceased student’s progress toward the degree program, and then submit a request to the senior associate vice president for Enrollment Management to conduct a thorough review to confirm their findings.

A summary of the completed review will be submitted to the college dean. If the college dean concludes that the eligibility requirements outlined in the previous section of this policy have been satisfied, the dean may submit a formal recommendation to the provost/ vice president for Academic Affairs for review.

If the provost concurs, the recommendation will be submitted to the president, or designee, for final review and approval.

If it has been determined that the deceased student is not eligible for a posthumous baccalaureate degree, the University shall consider sending a letter of acknowledgment and/or a certificate of substantial completion to the requesting party.

4.0 Award of Posthumous Degree

Upon presidential approval of a posthumous baccalaureate degree, the requesting party will be notified by the provost/ vice president for Academic Affairs. The semester for which the degree is awarded will be based on the last semester that the student was enrolled in good academic standing.

5.0 Continuous Renewal

The Academic Senate will review this policy in ten years from the date of presidential concurrence to determine its effectiveness. This policy may be reviewed before that time as necessary.