Taking an “Incomplete”

The policy regarding taking an “Incomplete” can be found in the Bulletin.

When you take an “Incomplete,” you extend the amount of time you have to complete the course for a regular letter grade.

If you are thinking about requesting an Incomplete, here are a couple of things to consider:

  • Do you need to earn the credits for the course at the end of the term, for a financial aid, immigration status, or academic standing reason? If so, talk with your advisor about whether it might be better to accept a lower grade rather than take an Incomplete.
  • Can you reasonably complete the work you have left to do? And can you do so without impeding your academic success in the next term? If not, talk with your advisor about whether an Incomplete makes sense.
  • Will the strain of having the Incomplete hanging over your head interfere with your mental health or happiness? If you think it might, talk with your advisor about what your best option might be. 

Taking an Incomplete is not always an option.

Only your faculty member can grant you an Incomplete, and the two of you must complete the Incomplete Grade Form that lays out the conditions for completion.

Usually an Incomplete is granted only if most of the work for the semester has been completed, and something happens toward the end of the semester that prevents you from finishing the final work for the course. Perhaps you get mono, or you have a family emergency.

If the faculty member thinks you can reasonably complete the course successfully after the semester has ended, they may—with your agreement—grant you an “I” grade. If you take an I grade, you do not earn credits for the course until you complete it.

You and the faculty member will agree on the work that remains to be done and the deadline for completing it. If you successfully complete the work within the time allotted, your grade will be converted to a regular letter grade and you will earn the credits for the course.

If you do not successfully complete the work on time, your grade will be converted either to an “F,” or to the grade you would have earned at the end of the semester, depending on your school’s policy. (See your school’s Bulletin to learn how Incompletes are converted in your school.)

Incompletes must be resolved by the agreed-upon date, or by the time allotted by the school, or within one year, whichever comes first.