MaconCatalog : Academic Information : Posthumous Degrees and Degrees in Memoriam
 
Posthumous Degrees and Degrees in Memoriam
In an effort to recognize the academic achievements of students who pass away near their degree completion, Mercer University may confer the Posthumous Degree or Degree in Memoriam upon students if, at the time of death, they had not completed degree requirements, but the conditions specified below are satisfied. This policy does not apply to honorary degrees which may be awarded under applicable criteria and procedures.
Posthumous Degrees
A Posthumous Degree is a degree that is conferred by the University to a deceased student. The degree is included as part of the University’s official count of degrees.
For undergraduate degrees: Any student who at the time of death was in good standing and had successfully completed at least 75% of the degree requirements shall, upon the recommendation by the faculty, be awarded the degree posthumously. The remaining credits would have completed all degree requirements, and the cumulative and major GPA requirements must be met.
For graduate degrees: Any student who at the time of death was in good standing and had successfully completed a substantial portion of the program shall, upon the recommendation by the faculty, be awarded the degree posthumously. For a master’s degree program without a thesis requirement, the deceased student had successfully completed 75% of the degree requirements. For a master’s degree program with a thesis requirement, the student must have successfully completed 75% of the coursework and a substantial draft of the thesis that has been reviewed and recommended by the advisory committee as warranting conferral of the master’s degree posthumously. For a doctoral degree, the deceased student must have advanced to candidacy and completed a substantial draft of the dissertation that has been reviewed and recommended by the dissertation committee as warranting conferral of the doctoral degree posthumously. The remaining credits would have completed all degree requirements, and the cumulative and program GPA requirements must be met. Students enrolled in an Ed.S. program at the time of death will follow the eligibility requirements for the master’s degree regarding the conferring of a Posthumous Degree.
Degrees in Memoriam
A Degree in Memoriam is a recognition provided to honor a deceased student’s progress toward the degree. Any student who was in good standing at the University at the time of his or her death and had successfully completed at least 30% of the degree requirements may be awarded a Degree in Memoriam.  The Degree in Memoriam is not included in the University’s official count of degrees.
The student’s family member or designee must initiate the request by contacting the respective college/school dean. If approved by the dean, the recommendation is sent to the Office of the Registrar for records verification. The University Registrar will forward the recommendation to the Provost. If the Provost endorses, the recommendation will be sent to the President for final approval. If approved by the President, the diploma with a letter from the President will be delivered to the family.
The diploma and any other record of the degree’s conferral will include the notation that the degree was given in Memoriam.
Extraordinary Circumstances
Requests for consideration that do not meet the above criteria may also be considered when extraordinary circumstances, such as outstanding service to the University, prevail. In these situations, a request for award of the degree must be reviewed and favorably recommended by the appropriate dean and approved by the Provost and the President.