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Posthumous Degree Policy

Purpose

This policy is in place to establish standard criteria and procedures under which posthumous degrees may be awarded to undergraduate and graduate students in degree programs. It is in place to recognize the academic achievement of students who were enrolled at Columbia College at the time of their death and to commemorate their achievements.

Scope 

This policy applies to students who were enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs at Columbia College at the time of their death and meet the criteria as determined within the policy.

Policy

Columbia College recognizes the loss when an enrolled student’s life is taken too soon; it honors the lives of its students and recognizes their achievements. As part of this recognition, the College may grant a posthumous degree to undergraduate students:

  • Who were either future or currently enrolled in their last semester (or two sessions) that would have completed their studies at Columbia College;
  • Met at least 15 hours of the Columbia College residency requirement previous to the semester of their passing;
  • Were in good academic standing with a 2.0 GPA or higher; and
  • Were in good financial standing with the College.

The College may grant a posthumous degree to graduate students:

  • Who were enrolled in courses that would have finished their degree had they not passed away;
  • Met at least 18 hours of the Columbia College residency requirement previous to the semester of their passing;
  • Were in good academic standing with a 3.0 GPA or higher; and
  • Were in good financial standing with the College.

In their call to serve their country and defend the rights we hold so dear, enrolled Columbia College students that pass away while on active duty in the United States military will be reviewed on an individual basis.

The posthumous degree will be noted on the student’s diploma and in the student’s permanent College record; the graduation fee will be waived.

Commencement ceremony:

  • Posthumous degree recipients will be named at the commencement ceremony preceding the degree awarding;
  • Immediate family members may receive the degree at the commencement ceremony.

To be considered for a posthumous degree review, recommendations may come from faculty or administrators of Columbia College. These recommendations need to come in the form of a letter of support from the academic department or campus location and a Columbia College transcript showing prior enrolled and currently enrolled courses, and evidence of GPA, residency, and good financial standing. These requests will be reviewed by the Dean of the School the student attended; final approval is decided by the Provost.

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