Grades and Incompletes

Grade Requirements

  • Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in graduate courses taken in the degree program.
  • Grades of D+ or lower for graduate courses are not accepted for graduate credit but are computed in the GPA. A grade of N (no pass) is not accepted for graduate credit.
  • A grade of pass (P) must represent work equal to or better than a B-.
  • A GPA below 3.0 at any time during a graduate student's studies or the accumulation of more than five credits of N or F grades—regardless of the GPA—is considered unsatisfactory.
  • Effective Fall 2020: The accumulation of more than 7 credits of Incomplete (I) grades is considered unsatisfactory. 

Note: these are minimum university requirements. Departments/Programs may have higher/more stringent requirements. 

If found to be making unsatisfactory progress, the student may be placed on academic warning or probation, or may be dismissed from the program. See Satisfactory Progress for more information. 


Graduate students need to be aware that there are two sets of policies regarding incompletes on the student record: (1) Departmental and (2) Division of Graduate Studies. Graduate students should become familiar with both sets of policies.

Division of Graduate Studies Policy for Incompletes Assigned Fall 2022 or Later

Effective Fall 2022, the following policies apply to both undergraduate and graduate courses: 

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; and
  • is able to independently complete the remaining requirements without attending additional classes beyond the term or receiving additional instruction;
  • 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);
  • 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. 

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

  • Incompletes are initiated by the student.
  • Student contacts instructor and requests Incomplete by 5:00 pm on the last day of finals week.
  • If the instructor agrees that the student meets the criteria, the instructor and the student complete and file 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.
  • 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 of "I" in Duckweb that indicates an Incomplete has been agreed to. 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.

Division of Graduate Studies Policy for Incompletes Assigned Prior to Fall 2022

For Incompletes assigned in graduate courses prior to Fall 2022, Division of Graduate Studies policy requires that graduate students must convert a graduate course grade of Incomplete ("I") into a passing grade within one calendar year of the term the course was taken.

After one year, the student must petition the Division of Graduate Studies for the removal of an incomplete.

A petition to remove an incomplete must meet all the following criteria to be eligible for Division of Graduate Studies approval:

  1. The incomplete must be no more than seven years old.
  2. The student must have the approval of the instructor to complete the outstanding course requirements.
  3. The student must not have completed a terminal graduate degree since the term of enrollment in the course.

Incompletes that remain on the academic record after a degree has been awarded may not be removed.

All coursework documented on the transcript at the time of the awarding of a degree stands as a permanent record and it is not permissible to revise the record.

An incomplete, "I", assigned to Research (601) or Terminal Project (609, AAAP 611, ARCH 619, BA 740, CRES 611, IARC 611, LA 699, LT 611) does not require a petition.

Thesis (503) and Dissertation (603) credits should be assigned a grade of "P" for students making satisfactory progress. An "I" grade should only be assigned for students who did work of acceptable quality during the term, but some component of the work was not completed within the timeframe expected. 

Research and Terminal Project credits are converted after the instructor submits a Supplementary Grade Report to the Office of the Registrar.

This policy applies to the level of the course not to the level of the student. An undergraduate in a graduate level course will be evaluated under Division of Graduate Studies policy. A graduate student in an undergraduate level course will follow policies in effect for undergraduate students.