APS #1039


Degree Revocation

Brief Description

Affirms the right of the Board of Regents to revoke a previously awarded degree due to subsequent discovery of academic misconduct or administrative error and outlines procedures for degree revocation.

Reason for Policy

This policy affirms the right of the Board of Regents to revoke a previously awarded degree due to subsequent discovery of academic misconduct or administrative error, as stated in Regent Law, Article 4, Part B.  It outlines the procedures that must be followed for degree revocation, as required by Regent Policy 4.B.6.

Policy Profile

APS Policy Title: 
Degree Revocation
APS Number: 
Effective Date: 
March 27, 2019
Approved By: 
President Bruce D. Benson
Responsible University Officer: 
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Responsible Office: 
Office of Academic Affairs
Policy Contact: 
Office of Academic Affairs
Degree Revocation, January 1, 2018
Last Reviewed/Updated date: 
March 27, 2019
Applies to: 
All campuses

I. Introduction

A degree is evidence of student achievement.  It certifies that a student has satisfied the academic requirements of a degree program.  In order to preserve the integrity of academic standards and the degrees granted by the University of Colorado, the right to revoke degrees previously granted may be exercised by the Board of Regents.

II. Policy Statement

The university reserves the right to revoke a degree in cases of material academic misconduct discovered after the degree was awarded.  The university also reserves the right to revoke a degree if an administrative error resulted in a degree being awarded without the degree recipient fulfilling all graduation requirements.

Because the Board of Regents has the authority to award degrees, only the Board of Regents has the authority to revoke degrees.  Such actions will be taken only after the campus forwarding the request has conducted a thorough investigation of circumstances leading to the recommendation and, if applicable, an appeals process has been completed.

III. Justification for Degree Revocation

A degree may be revoked for any of the following reasons:

  1. Academic Misconduct

    The degree was awarded based, in whole or in part, upon the degree recipient’s satisfying the academic requirements of the degree through actions which:
    1. constitute academic dishonesty; or
    2. involve falsification, misrepresentation, fabrication or other mischaracterization of the nature of or number of credit hours or degrees earned at the University of Colorado or at other institutions of higher education for which the university has given credit; or
    3. involve falsification, misrepresentation, fabrication or other mischaracterization of the reasons for a waiver of academic requirements or the approval of a waiver of academic requirements; or
    4. involves research misconduct; and
    5. would have resulted in a failure to meet graduation requirements if discovered prior to awarding the degree.
  2. Administrative Error

    The degree was awarded despite the degree recipient’s failure to satisfy the applicable academic requirements, and the erroneous award of the degree was not due to the degree recipient’s conduct.
    1. Administrative errors may be corrected at the campus level without pursuing degree revocation.  Degree revocation is only required if the issue cannot be resolved by the administration or the proposed solution is contested by the degree recipient.

IV. Procedures

  1. Action Required for Degree Revocation

    A recommendation to revoke a degree shall be forwarded by the campus chancellor to the university president with documentation to support the recommendation. The review by the president shall be limited to a determination of compliance with applicable campus process and procedures and adequacy of supporting materials.
    1. If the president determines that campus policies and procedures have not been followed, or additional evidence or explanation is needed, he/she may remand the matter to the campus for further action.
    2. If the president finds that the revocation of the degree is warranted, he/she shall make a recommendation to the Board of Regents to revoke the degree. Notice shall be sent to the degree recipient and his/her legal representative. The degree recipient or his/her legal representative shall also be notified of the date of the board meeting at which the matter will be considered as well as any evidentiary or procedural protocols.
  2. Time Limits

    If the failure to satisfy degree requirements was due to any of the reasons identified in section III.A of this policy, the right to revoke a degree may be exercised at any time upon discovery.

    If administrative error resulted in the awarding of a degree despite the failure to satisfy degree requirements, as identified in section III.B of this policy, the right to revoke a degree may only be exercised within two years of granting the degree.
  3. Student Records

    The date of degree revocation will appear on the official transcript and the individual will be asked to return the diploma.

    If a degree is revoked due to administrative error and a corrected degree is awarded, the corrected degree will be mailed to the degree recipient and the transcript will be corrected.

    When possible, a corrected transcript will be forwarded to all individuals and entities who were sent an official transcript after the degree was initially posted to the transcript.

V. Definitions

  1. Academic Misconduct is any action, intentional or not, that gives a student unearned or unfair advantage in academic work over other students. It includes actions such as cheating, plagiarism, falsification of academic records or application information, research misconduct, theft of intellectual property, and alteration of university documents.
  2. Administrative error, in the context of this policy, is a process error that results in the awarding of a degree to a student who did not fulfill all graduation requirements.

VI. Related Policies

VII. History

  • Approved: January 1, 2018.
  • Revised: March 27, 2019.
  • Last Reviewed: March 27, 2019.