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What is an Incomplete?
An "Incomplete" (denoted on the transcript by the symbol "I") may be reported only if the amount of unfinished work is small, the work is unfinished for reasons acceptable to the instructor, and the student's standing in the course is at least "C-". An "I" grade not finished by the incomplete deadline or an approved extended deadline lapses to "ILE".
What Happens if I Request an Incomplete?
Students who find themselves unable to finish all of the assignments for a course before the end of the term may request a grade of Incomplete from the instructor. The instructor is under no obligation to grant this request, and can only grant it if:
- the student has already finished about 70% of the work;
- the student’s current grade in the course is at least "C-".
If the instructor agrees to give an incomplete, the student will have up to the end of the 4th week of the next Fall or Winter term of registration to complete the work. If the instructor has not submitted a grade for the student by 10 days past the deadline, the incomplete will lapse to an "ILE".
The "I" grade itself does not affect the term or cumulative grade point averages. Students may finish the work for Incompletes while not in residence even if the Board has dismissed them from the College for reasons of unsatisfactory academic performance.
If the student does complete the work within the allowed period, the Registrar will post the final grade on the transcript; however, the "I" will remain next to the grade on the transcript.
Students who are not able to finish the work within the allowed period may apply to the Honors Academic Board member for an extension of the incomplete deadline. In order to qualify for an extension, the student must present documented unexpected circumstances that prevented completion of the course within the allotted time period.
Unfinished "I" grades will lapse to "ILE" grades beyond the regular or extended incomplete deadline. In such cases, the student will earn no degree credit and lower his/her term and overall GPAs. Unfinished courses elected on a non-graded pattern (Pass/Fail, Credit/No Credit) lapse to "Fail” or "No Credit" but do not affect the term or cumulative grade point averages.
Time Extension for Incomplete - Use this form if you have an Incomplete and need an extension beyond the deadline.
Instructor-Student Agreement for Finishing an Incomplete Course (PDF) - Use this form if you (student or instructor) are making arrangements for an Incomplete.
Does the 'I' grade on my transcript go away when I finish the work?
No. The 'I' remains on your transcript, alongside the new grade. The new grade counts normally towards your GPA, however.
I want to sit in on the class during the following term. Can my instructor extend the allotted time to finish the incomplete work beyond 4 weeks?
No. Your instructor does not have the authority to do this. Only the Honors Academic Board can approve extensions of the deadline. You must file a Time Extension Request (see form above). Since an 'I' grade is not intended to allow you to "retake" the course, such requests are unlikely to be approved.
My professor refuses to give me an Incomplete because I'm failing the course up to now. Can she do that?
Yes. In fact, the LSA grading guidelines specifically state that an 'I' is only allowed if you have already completed "most" of the work in the course with a grade of 'C-' or better.
Does an 'I' on my transcript look really bad if I am applying to graduate schools?
One or even two completed 'I's probably won't make much of a difference. If you have a large number, however, your record does start to look troublesome. Graduate schools, like employers, like to know that you can meet deadlines, and finish what you take on in a timely manner.