Grades - Incompletes (policy)

What is an Incomplete and When is it Appropriate?

A grade of "I" (Incomplete) represents an agreement between an instructor and a student to extend the deadline for coursework completion. Incompletes shall be granted when the instructor determines that the student meets all the following criteria. The student:

  • has been making satisfactory progress on coursework as determined by the criteria in the syllabus;
  • has been active in the course;
  • is unable to complete a portion of the course requirements due to extenuating circumstances beyond their control that occurred after the last day to drop a class (End of Week 7 of Fall/Winter/Spring terms; variable dates for summer courses);
  • is able to independently complete the remaining requirements without attending additional classes beyond the term or receiving additional instruction; and
  • requests an Incomplete by the published deadline

If additional class attendance or instruction is required to complete course requirements, the instructor shall not issue an Incomplete.

Lack of engagement, poor performance, or a desire to repeat the course are unacceptable reasons for issuance of the “I” mark.

Instructors shall provide to the student access to course materials necessary to complete the missing work. Access to the Canvas site for the course can be requested here (click option to “Grant student access for Incomplete”) if needed.

Incomplete grades can only be granted by instructors and instructors are under no obligation to grant students an incomplete grade if in their judgment the criteria stated above are not met.

An Incomplete shall not be recorded by the instructor unless a contract between the instructor and student has been completed and filed appropriately.

General Process for Incompletes (operational details to be determined in coordination between the Office of the Provost and the University Registrar)

  • Incompletes are initiated by the student
  • Student contacts instructor and requests Incomplete by 5pm on the last day of finals week.
  • If the instructor agrees that the student meets the criteria, the instructor and the student complete a contract outlining how the Incomplete can be resolved, the deadline for resolving the incomplete, and the default grade should the student not complete the agreed upon work. The default grade is the grade the student would receive according to the syllabus grade guidelines with no credit for the missing work.
  • This form is filed.
  • The missing work indicated on the form must be completed by the earlier of:
    • Grading deadline of the term the student applied to graduate, or
    • Deadline stated on the Incomplete Request Form *can be extended at the discretion of the instructor, or
    • The day grades are due one academic year later

For students with Incomplete contracts, the instructor will record the “grade” in Duckweb that indicates an Incomplete has been agreed to. Currently, that is an “I”. The instructor will also record, in Duckweb and/or the contract form, the grade the student would have received in the course if they received no credit for the missing work. This becomes the default grade that replaces the incomplete mark should the student not complete the work outlined in the contract by the appropriate deadline (either the grading deadline of the term the student applied to graduate or the day grades are due one academic year later).

If the student completes the work defined in the contract by the agreed upon date, the instructor calculates and updates the grade via the grade change process.

This policy applies to all undergraduate and graduate courses.

Approved By: University Senate        Date: 04/15/2022

Motion Number: US21/22-22

Revision History: Revision approved 04/15/2022. Previous policy approval date is unknown.

Original Source:

Previous Version: See archived policy

Resources: Registrar – Incomplete Policy