2020-2021 Graduate Bulletin

Incomplete Grades

An Incomplete (I) is a temporary grade which may be given at the instructor’s discretion to a student when illness, necessary absence, or other reasons beyond the control of the student prevent completion of course requirements by the end of the academic term.

Incomplete grades may be given only in the following circumstances:

  • The student's work to date is passing; and
  • attendance has been satisfactory through at least 60% of the term; and
  • an illness or other extenuating circumstance legitimately prevents completion of required work by the due date; and
  • required work may reasonably be completed in an agreed-upon time frame; and
  • the Incomplete is not given as a substitute for a failing grade; and
  • the Incomplete is not based solely on a student's failure to complete work or as a means of raising the student's grade by doing additional work after the grade report time; and
  • the student initiates the request for an Incomplete grade before the end of the academic term

Appropriate grades must be assigned in other circumstances. A failing grade and last date of attendance should be recorded for students who cease attending class without authorization. Students who are unable to complete a course and who do not meet these circumstances should consider dropping the course.

The instructor will place an Incomplete (I) grade into PioneerWeb along with the rest of their end-of-term grades.  It is recommended that the student and instructor lay out the terms of the Incomplete -- what work is to be completed, what the time-frame is, etc. -- in writing, either in an email or in a written document.  There is no required documentation that must be submitted to the Registrar's Office.

Once the coursework is completed and graded, the instructor must submit the grade using the University’s grade change process. It is in the student’s best interest that incomplete grades are made up by the end of the following academic term. Incomplete grades must be made up and final grades submitted within one calendar year. Only under the most extenuating circumstances may an Incomplete be made up more than one calendar year from the date it is recorded and only with approval of the dean of the unit in which the course was taken. The coursework may be completed while the student is not enrolled.

Incomplete grades will expire on the date selected by the professor when the grade of incomplete is entered. This date will be no more than one academic year from the last day of classes of the quarter in which the incomplete was incurred. If no specific date is entered by the instructor, the date will default to the end of the same term of the next academic year (eg: an Incomplete grade assigned in Winter Quarter of 2019 will have an expiry date of the end of Winter Quarter 2020).  Incomplete grades that are not updated by the expiration date will automatically turn into an F.  Instructors may still use the PioneerWeb grade change system to change an expired Incomplete grade, but the change will require the approval of the Dean of the academic unit.

Incomplete grades appear on the transcript for up to one year and they do not affect the grade point average.  Students must resolve all Incomplete grades by graduation, either by having the grade changed by the instructor or by requesting that an F be taken for the class. (This policy affects incomplete grades given in fall 1995 and thereafter. Prior to 1995, unchanged incomplete grades remain on the permanent record as part of hours attempted and are calculated as a failing (F) grade in the GPA.) Notation of the original incomplete status of the grade remains on the student’s transcript along with the final grade.

An Incomplete grade may not be considered passing for purposes of determining academic standing, federal financial aid eligibility, athletic eligibility, or other purposes.

An Incomplete should not be assigned when it is necessary for the student to attend additional class meetings to complete the course requirements. Students who receive an incomplete grade in a course must not re-register for the course in order to remove the (I). An Incomplete should not be assigned where the normal practice requires extension of course requirements beyond the close of a term, e.g., thesis or project type courses.

Note: Some graduate units may have more restrictive policies.

Markers of Withdrawal, Incomplete or Failing grades on a student’s transcript may impact their satisfactory academic progress for determining federal aid eligibility. Contact the Financial Aid office for further information.

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