Boston University’s Death Degrees


COVID-19 has impacted most educational institutions, forcing them to implement rules and regulations to ensure the safety of their students. But Boston University has taken it one step further.

Boston University, a leading private research institution located in the heart of Boston, has implemented a hybrid system for the fall semester. This system allows students to choose wether to come back to campus or virtually attend class from anywhere in the world.

But that’s not all.

Many are aware that COVID-19 is responsible for many deaths and should not be taken lightly.

Boston University is aware that some students may be affected this fall and has created a new policy that will grant any student studying at Boston University who dies before graduation a posthumous degree. 

This new policy wasn’t implemented as a response to the deaths of COVID-19. Students from Boston University have been dying from suicide and accidents before the coronavirus. 

B.U. spokesperson Colin Riley confirmed that the new policy was being discussed in January and officially instituted in June.

This policy states that students who have unfortunately passed away can receive a posthumous degree if they finished all of their academic work, although their thesis or dissertation can simply be “near completion.” 

Other requirements for this posthumous degree are that the student has to be in good academic standing and be within one semester of finishing their course. 

“The student’s committee must have determined the scholarship to be substantial work and worthy of the degree,” the policy reads. 

The criteria regarding the policy adds that students have to have been considered “likely” to pass in order to receive the degree.

If a student dies before the final semester at Boston University, though, they can still receive a Certificate of Academic Achievement if they “made some progress” toward their degree. 


Joselyn Lin

Joselyn Lin is a rising junior at Boston University, majoring in Economics and Health Science. She is very passionate about econometrics and health economics. She believes that health economics is crucial to health outcomes in a healthcare setting. She is currently part of Boston University's Undergraduate Economics Association where she is exposed to various topics in economics as she is able to participate in discussions with her classmates. In her spare time, she loves to practice tennis and read articles on international economics.