All About Incompletes
At some point, most instructors will be asked by a student for an “incomplete” in their course. In making a decision whether or not to grant an incomplete (I) or in-progress (IP) grade it is important to know the policy. This article begins with an overview of the NAU in-progress and incomplete grade policy, followed by some issues to consider and tips for instructors when I/IP issues arise.
Overview of Policies
Normally, a grade of IP is used only for graduate courses. The IP grade is used for courses that, by their content and requirements, normally require more time than the term or session for which the student has enrolled. For example, thesis (699), dissertation (799), and independent study (697) courses may be appropriate for an IP grade.
Graduate students may complete IP grades until the time limit on their academic plan expires. Undergraduate students must complete the work for an IP grade within two calendar years from the end of the term in which they took the course. If the student does not complete the work by that time, the IP grade becomes permanent and may not be changed.
Students who are unable to complete coursework in a scheduled course within the term in which they are enrolled may petition the instructor to receive a grade of incomplete. If the instructor agrees to allow the student to take an incomplete, the student and the instructor must complete a written agreement, a copy of which is held in the departmental file, indicating the exact work the student needs to do to finish the course. The written agreement must also indicate the date by which the student must complete the work, and that date cannot be longer than one calendar year from the end of the term in which the student was enrolled in the course. For undergraduates, after one calendar year, any grade of incomplete will automatically be converted to a grade of F. For graduate students, any grade of incomplete becomes a permanent incomplete after one calendar year.
Faculty members should record the “I” at the time the final grades for a course are submitted. When the student completes the coursework, the instructor submits a final grade to the Registrar’s Office using the Change of Grade form. After the time for making up the incomplete has elapsed, students must re-enroll in the course to receive credit. When a student becomes eligible for graduation, if he or she has a grade of I in any courses that aren’t required for graduation, the student may elect to graduate with these I grades as a part of his or her permanent academic record. In such cases, the I grades cannot be changed after graduation by completing the course requirements, nor will the Is revert to F grades. Incomplete grades are not used in calculating students’ grade point averages.
The full I/IP grade policy is available at:
Tips for Instructors
— Gypsy Denzine, Associate Dean, College of Education