Incomplete Work (including Excused Incomplete Work)

If work for a course is not completed by the end of a semester, a student may ask the instructor for an incomplete.

The instructor may decide not to grant an incomplete but rather to assign a grade, taking into account that not all requirements for the course have been met. If the instructor does agree to give the student an incomplete, the student must submit any missing written work to the instructor by a date determined by the instructor but no later than the first day of the succeeding semester. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the instructor receives the work in a timely way. Make-up exams are arranged by the instructor, and should be completed by the end of the first week of classes of the succeeding semester. Once all work has been completed and graded, a final grade preceded by “I” will be recorded on the transcript. If a student does not finish the incomplete work by the deadline, the instructor may either submit a grade or ask the registrar’s office to record a grade of permanent “INC.”


If illness or personal emergency prevents a student from completing course work by the end of the semester, the student may request an incomplete from the instructor of the course and may petition the Academic Review Board through the class dean to have an incomplete excused. If the petition is granted, the incomplete notation will be removed from the record once the work is completed and a final grade is submitted.

To request an excused incomplete in any course, the Academic Review Board requires that the student follow these steps:

1. Discuss the prospect of an incomplete both with the professor and with the class dean to determine that an incomplete is the appropriate course of action. The student should be sure to discuss deadlines for the work that remains to be done. Make-up final exams must be arranged with the professor and should be completed by the end of the first week of next semester. All other work (including term papers and final papers) must be completed and submitted to the professor no later than the first day of next semester. It is the student's responsibility to make sure the work is received by the deadline; the student may want to follow up with the professor to make sure, or copy their class dean on the submission. The student should always keep a personal copy of the work.

2. The student should prepare a petition to the Academic Review Board, using the online form.  The student should include the ID number as well as name, and include the following information about each course for which an excused incomplete is requested:

  • the course name and number;
  • the specific work that remains to be finished (e.g. term paper, final paper, lab report, exam) and when it was originally due;
  • the date by which the student proposes to complete each piece of work (if a student has several pieces of work to do for the same course--or several courses to complete--it may make sense to stagger the deadlines);
  • the specific reason for the request (i.e. why the student was not able to complete work when it was originally due);
  • confirmation of having spoken with the instructor and their agreement with the proposed course of action and timetable.  

3. Obtain supporting documentation. In most cases, excused incompletes are granted for a medical/mental health issue that has significantly disrupted the student's ability to complete work on time, and for which the student has been receiving appropriate clinical support. In these cases, a note from a doctor, counselor, or other clinician to the class dean indicating that the student has been seeking appropriate clinical support during the time when the course was in progress will help the Academic Review Board determine whether to approve the student's request for an excused incomplete.

4. Petitions and all supporting documents should be submitted by the end of exam period. The Academic Review Board reviews petitions for fall semester excused incompletes in January and for spring semester incompletes in June and notifies students and their faculty members of its decision shortly thereafter.