As a general rule, all coursework must be completed by the end of the semester in which the course is offered. An incomplete grade may be granted to a student, at the discretion of the faculty member, as an accommodation due to unforeseen and extraordinary circumstances. It is a temporary designation issued when required work which can be made up is not completed by the end of the semester. It is the student’s responsibility to work with the faculty member to clear the incomplete grade.
An incomplete grade issued in the Fall or Wintersession term must be completed no later than March 30 of the subsequent Spring semester. An incomplete grade issued in the Spring or Summer term must be completed no later than November 15 of the subsequent Fall semester. Faculty members have the discretion to require outstanding coursework to be submitted earlier than the deadlines stated above.
An incomplete grade not completed within the required period will automatically convert to an ‘F’. A faculty member may, at his or her discretion, extend the completion deadline for a student by notifying the Registrar’s Office in writing. A faculty member cannot extend the deadline beyond one year of the issuance of the incomplete grade without permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Services.
When issuing an incomplete grade, a faculty member is expected to adhere to the following practices:
- Discuss the remaining course requirements with the student prior to the completion of the semester. If a student does not or cannot contact the faculty member prior to the end of the semester, an “F” is the appropriate grade; if warranted, this grade can be changed to an “I” at a later date.
- Follow-up with the student in writing (e-mail, letter, faculty designed form, etc.) detailing the outstanding requirements, the deadline for the completion of the work and any additional information pertinent to the completion of the course.
- In order to avoid issues concerning the nature and scope of the outstanding requirements, the faculty member should keep a copy of the communication detailing the work necessary to complete the course requirements and retain this communication consistent with The Faculty Manual, section 7.1.5, Grade Records.
- There are circumstances in which an incomplete grade is considered inappropriate. For example, an incomplete grade should not be issued in the following situations:
- If the student must attend and repeat most of the course in the next semester.
- If the student stopped attending class and did not contact the faculty member.
- To provide a grade in the system when the final grading of the course has not been completed by the grading deadline. If a faculty member is not able to submit grades by the deadline, he or she should contact the Registrar. When a grade designation is required, the faculty member, Registrar, and department chair will coordinate such designation.
- To allow the student the opportunity to complete additional work or improve upon previously completed requirements after the semester has ended when this opportunity was not available to all students during the semester.
These guidelines are not designed to cover every circumstance. Faculty members are encouraged to seek guidance from their department chair or the Registrar when questions arise.