Incomplete grades for undergraduate students

Policies and procedures for instructors:


As noted in the Student Code, the I grade means temporarily excused. It's an approved extension of time to complete the final examination or other requirements of the course.

The LAS Student Handbook further identifies the I grade as the appropriate remedy when a student must delay completion of a final requirement. An I grade extends to the student the formal right to complete specific missed work, generally confined to the final assignments of the course, by midterm of the subsequent semester. It is the student's responsibility to communicate with the instructor in the course regarding the schedule and expectations for outstanding work. If a student fails to complete this work as expected, and no grounds exist for consideration by the college of a retroactive drop of the class, the I grade automatically converts to an F grade in one year's time.


According to university policy, only the dean of the student's academic college may authorize an I for our undergraduate students. In LAS, this authority is delegated to the associate dean, assistant deans, and advisors of LAS Student Academic Affairs.

Ordinarily the college's criteria for granting such extensions include documented medical emergency or other extraordinary circumstances beyond a student's control. In situations that do not represent medical or other documented emergencies, the college does not generally issue an I without prior consultation with the faculty member instructing the course.

The online grade sheet does not offer faculty the option of assigning an I grade to undergraduate students. This is consistent with long-standing university policy.

Alternatives to the college-authorized I

  1. A student who fails to sit for the final without excuse may be graded ABS by the instructor; an ABS grade converts immediately on the student's grade report to an F.
  2. At his or her discretion, an instructor might also privately agree to a student's request for late submission of required work; typically, this results in the instructor submitting a missing grade or a temporary grade on the grade report, with a change of grade submitted later. The college discourages such private arrangements:
    • Missing and temporary grades interfere with timely and accurate review of a student's academic progress each semester during the college grade audit at the end of term.
    • Changes of grade based on work submitted after the final examination in the class may obscure a pattern of student underperformance and chronic difficulties, which should be addressed by students in conversations with college and/or departmental advisors.
    • Private arrangements between instructors and students pose potential problems of equity.

Let us assist you in negotiating student requests for extensions

Please refer any student requesting an I in your class to the LAS Student Academic Affairs Office in 2002 Lincoln Hall, or the Access and Achievement Office, also in 2002 Lincoln Hall, in the case of Educational Opportunities Program or President’s Award Program students.

If you wish to support the student in this request, contact the LAS Student Academic Affairs Office providing the following information: student name, course name and number, specific assignment(s) for which extension is sought, estimated grade at present, and some indication of why you support an extension.

If consultation is necessary, a dean or advisor will contact you.

If an I cannot be granted by college rules, we will initiate a conversation with you regarding possible alternatives. This way, any special arrangements agreed upon between instructor and college may be noted in the student's academic folder.