Posthumous PhD Degrees

Procedures for recommending that a PhD degree be awarded posthumously:

  1. The Chair or Graduate Coordinator of the relevant graduate unit submits a letter to SGS (addressed to the Manager, Front-Line Student Academic Services) outlining the circumstances and presenting the recommendation. The following conditions must be satisfied:
    • ​There must be a body of work that constitutes a thesis, that is, a body of work that could be submitted for publication as a thesis. Though the supervisor might do some editorial work, the thesis should be mostly the work of the candidate.
    • The graduate unit must recommend that the thesis be accepted as fulfilling the PhD degree requirements.

  2. The graduate unit will obtain an appraisal of the thesis from the supervisor or another member of the supervisory committee.​​​

  3. On the recommendation of the graduate unit, the Vice-Dean, Programs, appoints an appraiser external to the University to provide an appraisal of the thesis. The graduate unit will certify that the appraiser has an arm’s length relation with the supervisor and had such a relation with the candidate. (Arrangements with the external appraiser will be the responsibility of the graduate unit.)

  4. If both appraisals are positive, the graduate unit’s recommendation for awarding the degree will be sent to the Admissions and Programs Committee. If approved by the Admissions and Programs Committee, it will be submitted to the Academic Board of Governing Council.

  5. ​If the recommendation is approved by the Academic Board, SGS will inform the graduate unit and the Dean will write a letter to the family reporting the positive decision of the Academic Board.​

These procedures reflect the Divisional procedures outlined in the U of T Policy on Posthumous Award of Degrees (1976).

For procedures regarding the recommendation of a posthumous master’s degree, please contact the School of Graduate Studies.