Incomplete grades and what they mean

This message to all students, faculty and staff has been approved by Dr. Sally McRorie, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

An incomplete grade (“I”) may be awarded if a student has completed most of the work in a course and is otherwise passing but is unable to complete the course for reasons beyond the student’s control.  Students who feel they are experiencing extenuating circumstances may contact their instructor to request an “I” grade, which can be issued at the instructor’s discretion.  An instructor may ask for documentation to support their request and may ask the student to complete an Incomplete Grade Agreement. The Incomplete Grade Agreement form outlines the coursework that needs to be completed, when it needs to be completed by and what the default grade is if no additional work is completed.

If an incomplete grade is awarded, it will be posted on the student’s transcript until a final grade is posted.  At the time that the “I” grade is submitted by the instructor, they will also be required to provide a default grade and identify when the “I” grade expires (or when the incomplete work must be completed). The default grade is the grade the student would have earned if they did not complete any more work in the course.  If the student does not complete the work by the term the “I” grade expires, the default grade will be posted as the final grade to their academic record/transcript.

Students will need to work with their current instructor to get any material that is needed to complete the missing work. It is against university policy for students to “sit in” or audit courses for which they are not registered. As such, you should not “sit in” on or plan to do any work (e.g., take an exam) in another section of the course, including the those offered by the same instructor, in a later semester in order to satisfy the incomplete.

Students should note that incomplete grades are not granted as a means to give students more time to complete additional coursework to improve their grade. Students who receive federal financial aid (e.g., Pell Grant, Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans) may lose their eligibility to receive future aid if they receive all “I” grades or a combination of “I” grades with other non-passing grades (“U” or “F”).