Policies & Regulations

From admission to graduation there are academic regulations to guide you. It is important to be aware of and regularly consult academic regulations. By educating yourself about university regulations you will be aware of your available options, existing restrictions, and university requirements.

Some academic regulations afford you the opportunity to request certain actions be taken. In these instances the university provides structured policies and procedures by which requests can be submitted, reviewed, and decisions rendered.

Regulations

The university has defined Academic Regulations to guide students, faculty, and advisors. Refer to these regulations often. Here we address some of regulations we regularly receive questions about, but this does not address every academic regulation.

Exams, Attendance, Repeated Courses, & more… (for Students) (for Faculty/Staff)

When in doubt, refer to the Academic Regulations to determine if there are existing rules to help guide you.

Grades, Honor Roll, and Academic Standing (for Students) (for Faculty/Staff)

Learn about the OSU grading system, GPA calculation process, and academic standing rules.

Institutional Degree Requirements (for Students) (for Faculty/Staff)

In addition to college and major requirements the university has defined university level requirements that must be met in order for a bacclaureate degree to be awarded.

Registration Regulations (for Students) (for Faculty/Staff)

There are policies and procedures for all registration procedures. Refer to the Registration Regulations section of this site for more information.

Exams, Repeated Courses, & More

Exams

Learn more about the rules governing Finals Week by reading Academic Regulation 16.

Any student that wishes to pursue an exam for credit or waiver should familiarize themselves with the rules. Academic Regulation 23 provides the rules for Special Examination for Credit, while Academic Regulation 24 addresses the Special Examination for Waiver requirements. To request an exam for credit or waiver they must carefully read and follow all instructions to complete the Petition Examination for Credit/Waiver form. The completed petition is returned to the Office of the Registrar.

Repeated Courses

Students who are considering repeating a course for any reason should consult Academic Regulation 20 to learn how their academic record will be effected.  You may also view our Repeated Courses video, which includes examples of how repeat rules are applied in certain common situations.

& more…

Admission for Nondegree Students (Academic Regulation 1)

Credit from an Unaccredited Institution (Undergraduate Students) (Academic Regulation 3)

Classifying Students (Academic Regulation 4)

Transfer from One College to Another (Undergraduate Students) (Academic Regulation 5)

Eligibility (Academic Regulation 10)

Honesty in Academic Work (Academic Regulation 15)

Credit from a Two-Year Institution (Undergraduate Students) (Academic Regulation 2)

Grades, Honor Roll, & Academic Standing

Attendance

Instructors may consider attendance in the calculation of students’ grades. Refer to Academic Regulation 14 for more details.

Grades

Academic Regulations 17—19 describe the OSU grading system. The available grades and their associated point values are explained. Here you can also learn about the alternative grading system and the rules associated with these systems.

Honor Roll

As stated in Academic Regulation 21 each term a list is published containing the names of students that completed at least 12 graded credits hours with a 3.5 or higher GPA .

Academic Standing

Students are expected to maintain the satisfactory academic progress standards set out in Academic Regulation 22. There are four possible academic standing statuses.

  1. Good Standing – Students with a term and cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above.
  2. Academic Warning – Students with a term GPA below 2.0. 
  3. Academic Probation – Students who have attempted1 24 or more credits at OSU and have an OSU cumulative GPA below 2.0 will be placed on Academic Probation. Students who attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better are removed from Academic Probation.
  4. Academic Suspension – Students on Academic Probation who have a subsequent term GPA below 2.0.
    • Suspended students are denied all privileges of the university including living in any university-recognized living groups.
    • Suspended students will be reinstated after 2 years OR after completing 24 transferable quarter credits with a GPA of 2.50 or higher for these credits.
    • The Academic Standing Committee addresses requests for exception to Academic Regulation 22.
  5. Reinstatement to the University: Suspended students will be considered for reinstatement to the university after two years or completion of a minimum of 24 quarter credits of transferable college-level work at an accredited college or university, with a GPA of 2.5 or above.

     

    The Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Standing is charged with the responsibility for enforcement of the above regulations on Satisfactory Academic Standing. Additionally, this committee has discretionary authority to grant exceptions and to develop guidelines for the administration of these regulations.

    1 An attempt comprises a final grade in a course where the grade is: A, A–, B+, B, B–, C+, C, C–, D+, D, D–, F, S, U, P, NP, I/Alternate Grade (where the Alternate Grade is one of these grades), W, or Y.

  6. Academic Fresh Start Policy

    Students may petition once with the Registrar to exclude OSU courses from the calculation of institutional requirements, credits, and grade point average, under the conditions defined in Academic Regulation 31 (Academic Fresh Start Policy).

Institutional Degree Requirements

To receive a degree you must meet institutional, college, and departmental requirements for a baccalaureate degree.

How do I track my progress to my degree?

Maintaining regular contact with your academic advisor is key to ensuring you are making progress towards earning your degree. The university also provides online tools for students to track their degree requirements. Login to MyOSU and under My Student Stuff choose the MyDegrees link to check your degree progress.


Institutional Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees (Academic Regulation 25)

The institutional requirements for baccalaureate degrees are described in Academic Regulation 25. In addition to institutional requirements students must meet college and departmental requirements for a baccalaureate degree.

Substitutions

Requests for substitutions should be submitted to the appropriate authority as stated in Academic Regulation 28

Commencement

As stated in Academic Regulation 29 attendance at graduation exercises is optional and attending students are responsible for declaring whether or not they will attend commencement. For further details visit the Graduation section of this site.

Concurrent/Subsequent Baccalaureate Degrees or Credentials

Academic regulations 26 and 27 govern the requirements for the awarding of additional baccalaureate degrees or credentials.

Registration Regulations

There are academic regulations to help guide students considering making changes to their registration. You may also consult the student registration section of this website for detailed procedural information.

Change in Credits Scheduled (Academic Regulation 6)

Maximum and Minimum Registration (Academic Regulation 7)

Late Registration (Academic Regulation 8)

Admission to Class (Academic Regulation 9)

Adding or Dropping Courses (Academic Regulation 11)

Withdrawal from Individual Courses (Academic Regulation 12)

Withdrawal from the University (Academic Regulation 13)

Auditing Courses (Academic Regulation 30)

Petition an Academic Regulation

Petition for a Late Change of Registration

All registration transactions are subject to the dates & deadlines established in the academic calendar. A request for late change of registration should only be made if circumstances fall within the stated guidelines. Requests for transactions after required deadlines are subject to the review of the Academic Requirements Committee.

The Academic Requirements Committee is a Faculty Senate committee that reviews student petitions for exceptions to Academic Regulations. Students are responsible for knowing and complying with the Academic Regulations and deadlines as published in the academic calendar. Students are responsible for reviewing and acknowledging Academic Requirement Committee petition guidelines for student petitions.

Visit the Late Registration page for detailed instructions for completing and submitting a petition request for a late change of registration.

Late Registration Petition Restrictions

Students who are academically suspended are denied all privileges of the institution and any organization in any way connected to it until they are reinstated to the university. Therefore, suspended students may not petition the ARC.

Students whose reason to seek an exception to a regulation is solely to alleviate a financial situation may wish to contact the OSU Business Affairs, 541-737-3775. Academic petitions are not approved to resolve financial concerns.

Request Reinstatement from Academic Suspension

Requests for reinstatement by exception are reviewed by the Academic Standing Committee. Students requesting reinstatement by exception must present all required materials to the Office of the Registrar by the stated filing deadline for the ASC meeting during which their request will be reviewed.

Requests for reinstatement under the conditions of Academic Regulation 22d are reviewed by the Office of the Registrar.

For detailed information on the reinstatement process visit the Request Reinstatement page.

Request Reinstatement

Academically suspended students are not eligible to utilize any of the services of the university unless they are academically reinstated.

The Academic Standing Committee

The Academic Standing Committee addresses requests for exception to Academic Regulation 22. Suspended students who are considering filing a Petition for Exception to the Reinstatement Regulations form (provided by the Registrar's Office) should meet with the head advisor of their college to discuss their options. The preparation process generally requires several days; students should allow sufficient time before the ASC meeting to gather and prepare all materials. Students with specific questions should contact their college head advisor, or the Registrar's Office.

The Committee on Academic Standing will consider requests for exceptions to the Reinstatement Rules only in those rare situations in which all four of the following conditions are met:

  1. The poor academic performance was the result of extraordinary circumstances that have been demonstrably corrected or substantially addressed, and should no longer adversely influence the student's academic performance. Documentation of these circumstances should be provided (i.e. medical records, obituaries or death certificates, etc.)
  2. The head advisor of the student's college, or the student's academic advisor, in consultation with the head advisor, is willing and able to argue convincingly that the student has a strong probability of completing the degree program to which the student would be reinstated.
  3. In addition to the poor academic performance, there is also evidence in the academic record of an ability to succeed academically and make timely progress toward completion of a degree program.
  4. The student provides a proposed schedule for the next three terms and a detailed plan to foster academic improvement, which have been reviewed and endorsed by the head advisor, or academic advisor, in consultation with the head advisor. Required Learning Contract.

The committee recognizes that there may be cases which require review and merit exception. Exceptions are imaginable where the term or terms of poor performance are somewhat isolated, and clearly linked to an extraordinary occurrence (such as a health problem) that has been ameliorated, or to unusually challenging circumstances whose impact on the student has been substantially relieved. It must be made clear, however, that exceptions will be granted only rarely. To warrant exception, the academic record should contain evidence that, in the absence of the problem asserted by the student as responsible for the poor performance, the student can succeed; more simply, there should be on record at least one term in which the student performed successfully in courses that contribute to progress toward a degree. Furthermore, the student must present a clear plan of action, endorsed by the head advisor, which includes a program of contact with recognized academic support staff. Finally, advocacy, and not mere "approval," by a head advisor, or by an academic advisor in consultation with the head advisor, is a crucial necessary condition for an exception. Students also may submit evidence of support from other representatives of recognized university support services in addition to, but not in lieu of, letters from departmental and college advisors.

Sept. 26, 2003

ASC Meeting Schedule

Meetings are held in the Registrar’s Conference Room, B102 Kerr Administration Building, unless otherwise noted.

The Academic Standing Committee will meet with all students who initiate their appeal by submitting their Petition for Exception to the Reinstatement Regulations form (provided by the Registrar's Office) to the Registrar's Office by the appropriate deadline to initiate an appeal indicated below. Students also must submit a complete packet of materials by the deadline specified for each meeting. Students may request an appointment with the ASC only when they have submitted a complete packet of documents (the packet includes the Petition, the student's letter, the advisor's letter, three terms of projected schedule, the learning contract, and any supplementary documentation).

See the ASC Meeting Schedule for available meeting times. Students must choose the term for which they intend to request reinstatement and view the the meeting dates and filing deadlines. If they initiate an appeal after this deadline, and if all of the meeting dockets are filled, they must wait for a meeting later in the term. Students must file a complete packet by the deadline indicated for each meeting.

Policies

OSU has defined a number of policies to govern the operation of the university. They are published by the administering offices for easy reference.


General University Policies

OSU’s President and the President’s Cabinet have established general university policies to apply to faculty, staff, and students at Oregon State University. Be aware of these policies and where they reside should you find need to refer to them during the course of your career at OSU.

Computing Resources

Policies regulating use of computing resources

OSU has defined an Acceptable Use of University Computing Resources policy to ensure that computing resources are used in a manner befitting the standards of the OSU community. Educate yourself regarding the policy and use resources responsibly.

Examination Policies

The examination policies regulating group exams, final exams, exam conflict resolution, and petitions to change the time of an exam are provided in the catalog. Final and group exam schedules for current and near future terms are also available at this link.

Guidelines for Release of Email Addresses

The following guidelines, defined by the vice provost for information services and the university registrar, apply to the release of email addresses in compliance with FERPA and OSU’s policy, Acceptable Use of University Computing Facilities, which states, "The electronic mail system shall not be used for "broadcasting" of unsolicited mail (unless authorized by the department chair or unit head) or for sending chain letters. (Definition of Broadcast: More than one person as recipient & Definition of Unsolicited: Without authorization.)

The communication system shall not be used for sending of material that reasonably would be considered obscene, offensive, or threatening by the recipient or another viewer of the material." See Acceptable Use of University Computing Resources.

Authorizing Agents:

  • Unit heads can authorize unsolicited broadcast e-mails to recipients within the unit.
  • The special assistant to the provost can authorize unsolicited broadcast emails to faculty and staff.
  • The Registrar's Office can authorize unsolicited broadcast requests to the entire student body or to smaller numbers of students.

Criteria for Authorization of Student Email Messages:

  • The purpose of the email must be related to the university's educational mission with specific relationship to the students being contacted.
  • The email must be memo style, not promotional, and must not appear to be advertising.
  • Parameters used for selecting the student recipients should be so defined that only students who possibly might be interested will be contacted.
  • Student surveys may be approved if the survey will provide data that will improve the unit's services or offerings to students.

Prohibited Messages:

  • Sales of any kind.
  • Anything for profit.
  • Anything viewed as advertising, even for academic or university business, even if there is no fee.

If a request is denied, the requestor will be encouraged to use postal mail.

OSU Discrimination and Harassment Policies

OSU is committed to fostering a welcoming and diverse community environment. The OSU Discrimination and Harassment policy defines the behavioral expectations of members of the OSU community.

OSU Policy of Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability

OSU is committed to providing equal opportunities for all of our students. This policy defines the university's commitment to providing equal opportunity and support to disabled students as well as faculty and staff. The offices of Equity and Inclusion and Disability Access Services are available to assist individuals with requests for access.

Prerequisite Policy

Prerequisites are established by Category II approval. No prerequisites or corequisites may be deleted from or added to a course or section without an approved Cat II. Prerequisites for a section must be in place before registration for a term begins.

Record Retention (OAR ‘s)

What records do we retain? How long do we keep them? Refer to the Oregon Administrative Rules to find out. Division 20 governs the maintenance of Student Records.

Student Bereavement

Academic Advising Council
Guidelines for Students, Faculty and Professional Staff Regarding Student Bereavement

Oregon State University (OSU) recognizes students may experience times of grief and bereavement due to the loss of someone close. The development of the Student Bereavement Guidelines was a collaborative effort of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Academic Advising Council, Academic Affairs and the Office of the Dean of Student Life. The guidelines are intended to help students and faculty navigate a difficult situation while supporting academic success.

Students: In the unfortunate event that you experience the loss of a parent, guardian, sibling, spouse, roommate, or other person close to you, please notify or have a friend or family member notify your instructor(s) and academic advisor(s) if an absence is needed. Should you need to be absent from classes, please remember that you are responsible for providing documentation of the death or funeral services attended to your academic advisor(s). Documentation may include, but is not limited to a Memorial Service program or newspaper/website obituary notice.

If you are absent, upon your return to OSU please arrange to meet with your instructor(s) and advisor(s) to discuss options and strategies for catching up with missed academic work and for completing the term successfully, if possible. Consideration for academic assistance and the opportunity to complete the course are at the discretion of your instructor(s) and dependent on the nature of the course. Your advisor(s) can also help you access support resources in the OSU community, such as Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Religious Life at OSU staff. OSU recognizes that in the immediate aftermath of a tragic loss, the farthest thing from your mind may be your academic situation. However, when you are ready and able to resume your studies or to take appropriate steps affecting your academic future, we in the OSU community are available to help you.

For additional information regarding absences from classes or Academic Regulations, please refer to the Dean of Student Life FAQs page: http://oregonstate.edu/deanofstudents/faculty/absences

Faculty: The student is responsible for providing academic advisor(s) with documentation of the death or funeral service attended. The advisor(s) will notify instructors of the receipt of documentation. Documentation may include, but is not limited to, a Memorial Service program or newspaper/website obituary notice. Given proper documentation, the instructor may choose to excuse the student from class absences and provide the opportunity to earn equivalent credit and to demonstrate evidence of meeting the learning outcomes for missed assignments or assessments. Consideration for academic assistance and the opportunity to complete the course through alternate arrangements are at the discretion of the instructor and dependent on the nature of the course.

In support of these guidelines, it is hoped that OSU instructors will not penalize students who have provided verification of their bereavement needs. Additionally, OSU instructors are asked to offer reasonable compensatory experiences if appropriate, to ensure that students’ academic progress in the course will not be unduly compromised. These might include extending deadlines, allowing make-up exams, recalculating the weighting of scores from other course assignments or exams, or offering an Incomplete, to name a few. The Center for Teaching and Learning is available to consult with instructors about options for designing compensatory experiences (541-737-2804; ctl@oregonstate.edu). It is up to the instructor to determine what constitutes a reasonable compensatory experience in a given course.

Student Conduct and Community Standards

Students at OSU are expected to behave in a manner consistent with the code of Student Conduct and Community Standards, which stresses abiding by the law and treating one another with dignity and respect. Please familiarize yourself with the established standards and conduct yourself in a manner that will maintain and grow the special community that exists at OSU.

Student Jury Duty Service

Guidelines for Faculty and Professional Staff Regarding Student Jury Duty Service

Oregon State University supports students’ civic and legal responsibilities if called to serve on a jury while enrolled at OSU. Within this context, students who are called to serve on a jury should consult with their faculty and academic advisors about the impact of their jury service on their academic progress. In appropriate cases, students may ask the court to defer their service to a later term. In the event a student serves on a jury, the student is responsible for reporting her/his service and expected absences to instructors as soon as possible.

In support of this service, OSU faculty should not penalize students who have provided verification of their jury duty assignment under course attendance policies. Additionally, OSU faculty are expected to offer reasonable compensatory experiences to ensure that students’ academic progress in the course will not be unduly compromised. These might include extending deadlines, allowing make-up exams, or recalculating the weighting of scores from other course assignments or exams, to name a few. The Center for Teaching and Learning is available to consult with faculty about options for designing compensatory experiences, 541-737-2804; ctl@oregonstate.edu). It is up to the instructor to determine what constitutes a reasonable compensatory experience in a given course.

If a student is forced to withdraw from a course or a term due to a prolonged term of service on a jury, the University will work with the student to mitigate any potential institutional academic and/or financial hardship. Under these guidelines, university offices may consider jury duty among the legitimate reasons to consider granting an exception to policies regarding student financial obligations.  Again, it will be up to the student to initiate changes in her/his enrollment in consultation with academic advisors, the Office of the Registrar, Business Affairs, Housing and Dining Services, and the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Faculty may contact Susie Brubaker-Cole, Associate Provost for Academic Success and Engagement, with questions, 541-737-6164.

Students Called to Active Military Duty

The university has developed a policy to provide options to those students being deployed to active military duty. The deployment policy addresses registration, academic, and financial concerns.

Unauthorized Peer-to-Peer File Sharing and Other Copyright Infringement

The University takes copyright infringement seriously. As set forth in the Acceptable Use of University Computing Resources Policy, all students must abide by federal and state copyright laws when using University computing or network resources. The unauthorized publishing or use of copyrighted material on the University computer network is strictly prohibited and users are personally liable for the consequences of such unauthorized use. This specifically applies to Peer-to-Peer or P2P file-sharing of copyrighted music and movies. Students should be aware that by engaging in unauthorized sharing of copyrighted material, they not only violate university policy, but they may also be held criminally and civilly liable by federal and/or state authorities.

Under current copyright law, criminal cases of copyright violation carry a penalty of up to five (5) years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Civil penalties for copyright infringement include a minimum fine of $750 for each work. Oregon State University will subject students who violate this policy to discipline as appropriate. For a first-time violation of this copyright policy, students are required to pass a copyright quiz within 72-hours or else their network access is disabled. Repeated infringement is subject to disciplinary action by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, up to and including expulsion from the University.

The policy regarding Unauthorized Peer-to-Peer (P2P) File Sharing and Other Copyright Infringement is available in its entirety for review.

Undergraduate Planned Educational Leave Program

The Undergraduate Planned Educational Leave Program is designed to allow a student to pursue other activities that will assist them in clarifying their educational goals, such as job opportunities and experiences away from campus, military deployment, time to resolve personal or medical problems, or other similar pursuits. The PELP allows an undergraduate student to temporarily suspend their academic work for a period of time (in accordance with AR 13a, 13b, and 13c), and resume their studies with minimal procedural difficulties. Utilization of PELP reserves the student’s right to keep their original academic catalog active during their absence. PELP should be used if the student will be absent for four or more terms.

The PELP is available to students who meet the following conditions:

  • Must be an undergraduate student
  • PELP may only be requested one time in the course of a student's academic career (Military deployments are an exception to this limitation. All military personnel who are deployed for military service may submit a voluntary leave request for each deployment.)
  • PELP petitions must be file before the end of the next regular academic term (Fall, Winter, & Spring) after the last term attended
  • Students who have been suspended from OSU for academic and/or conduct reasons are not eligible for PELP

Important Things to Know about PELP:

  • PELP can be applied to as many as six consecutive regular academic terms (not including the summer terms).
  • Submitting a petition for PELP does not withdraw a student from their courses for the current or future terms.
  • There is a $25 non-refundable application fee.
  • PELP began with the 2011–2012 academic year (Summer 2011). Any former OSU students who attended OSU prior to the 2011–2012 academic year and have been absent for four or more consecutive regular academic terms will be held to OSU’s prior policy that resets the academic catalog to the catalog in effect at the time they return to OSU.
  • A notation of the dates of any approved leave will be indicated on each student’s official transcript.
  • Students receiving financial aid need to contact the Financial Aid Office.
  • International students and student athletes should work with their respective advisors prior to filing for PELP.
  • Any student who utilizes PELP and does not return by the specified term will be inactivated and required to file for readmission, resulting in the appropriate adjustment to their catalog term in effect at the time they return to OSU. This will change their baccalaureate core, degree, and major requirements.

To apply for PELP:

  • Complete the PELP form.
  • Obtain all required approvals.
  • Return the completed form to the Office of the Registrar (B102 Kerr Administration Bldg.) for review.

Grades & Your GPA

The OSU grading system & GPA Calculation

Academic Regulations 17–19 describe the OSU grading system.  The available grades and their associated point values are explained. Here you can also learn about the alternative grading system and the rules associated with these systems.

Academic Regulation 19 describes the process by which GPA’s are calculated at OSU. Each grade is assigned a point value which is used in the calculation of the student’s GPA. A GPA calculator is also available online for the convenience of students.

Incomplete Grades

As stated in Academic Regulation 17 if circumstances exist which are acceptable to the instructor and the rest of the academic work is passing an incomplete grade may be assigned and additional time granted for completion of course work. The additional time granted shall not exceed one year. At the time the incomplete is submitted an alternate grade, that represents the grade the student would receive in the course if no further course work is completed, will also be submitted. If the incomplete is not removed within the one year deadline the alternate grade will become the grade of record.

Do not enroll in the course again for a future term if you have received an incomplete in the course.

OSU Grading System

The OSU grading system is described by 3 academic regulations.

  1. Academic Regulation 17 Lists grades in the OSU grading system.
  2. Academic Regulation 18 Describes the alternative grading system. Knowing how alternative grading is applied will help you make informed decisions regarding your academic record. 
  3. Academic Regulation 19 describes the point system and provides an example of how to perform the calculation. Knowledge is power, so understand how your GPA is calculated.

GPA Calculation

Incomplete Grades

The “incomplete” grade policy as stated here is effective for incompletes assigned Fall 2007 forward.  To reference the incomplete policy for prior years consult archived copies of the general catalog. Refer to Academic Regulation 17 for more information.

Requesting an Incomplete

A student may request that an incomplete (for a course that has not been completed) be granted by an instructor, if the reasons for the incomplete are acceptable to the instructor, and so long as the student is passing the course at the time the request was made. It is recommended that at the time an agreement is made to issue an incomplete that the instructor and student complete a Contract for Completion of I Grade to define the terms under which the incomplete will be completed.

The incomplete/alternate grade

The incomplete that is filed by the instructor at the end of the term must include an alternate/default grade to which the incomplete grade defaults, if the student does not make an effort to resolve the incomplete course work within one year of recording the incomplete. Examples of the new incomplete grades are (I/A, I/A-, I/B+, I/B, I/B-, I/C+, I/C, I/C-, I/D+, I/D, I/D-, I/F, I/P, and I/N). Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grade options are converted after the submission of the “I/Alternate Grade” is determined by the instructor. For example, if the student has requested an incomplete and has opted for an S/U grade, the instructor will submit an “I/Normal Grade” (e.g., I/B+) at the end of the term. The Office of the Registrar will subsequently convert the “I/Normal Grade” to an “I/S” or “I/U” in accordance with the grading option chosen by the student.

Calculating the alternate grade

The calculation of the Alternate/Default Grade is determined by the work to be completed for the course over the entire term. For example, while a student may be passing at the time the incomplete request is granted, the Alternate/Default Grade is NOT what the student has earned up to the point of the incomplete request. The Alternate/Default Grade is what grade the student would have earned if the instructor includes what was completed and if the student did no more work from the point of the incomplete request to the end of the term.

    Example

    A student has earned a “B” through the eighth week of the term, but requests an incomplete for the rest of the term. The remaining work would comprise 50% of the final grade. Without completing the remaining work the earned grade would have been an “F”. The student, consequently, would have an “I/F” filed by the faculty/instructor at the end of the term when grades are reported to the Office of the Registrar.

    Outcomes:

    A. If the student does not complete the assigned work within one year’s time or within the time allotted by the faculty/instructor, the instructor can change the grade to an “F” or the grade would default to an “F” after a year.

    B. If the student completes the work, the faculty would replace the incomplete with whatever grade the student earned as part of the incomplete.

Impact on Degree Conferrals:

Another aspect of the revised Incomplete Policy in Academic Regulation 17 affects the degree audit completed for students who have applied to graduate from Oregon State University. Beginning Fall 2007, all pending applications for graduation will include a review of any incomplete grades with an alternate/default grade. If an “I/Alternate Grade” is currently outstanding at the time a pending graduate’s file is being reviewed for graduation (which happens after grades are processed for the term in which the student is graduating), that review will take into account the automatic default of the incomplete to the Alternate/Default Grade. This automatic default may impact a student’s ability to graduate, if by its inclusion, the student’s GPA (major GPA or institutional GPA) or other major/institutional requirements are altered. This encourages the student to ensure that all “I/Alternate Grades” are resolved with their instructor prior to the last day of Dead Week for the term in which they are graduating. Note: Academic Regulation 17 specifically states: “Under no circumstances shall a student who earns an A-F grade or an N or U grade have their grade changed retroactively to an I grade.”

Extension of Time to Remove Incomplete Grade

A student may petition via the Office of the Registrar for an extension of the one calendar year deadline with the concurrence of the faculty. An approved petition will grant an extension of a single additional term, with a maximum of three total extensions being possible. An approved petition for an extension of time to remove an incomplete will be voided at the time of degree conferral. The petition must be submitted before the one year deadline is reached.

To request an extension complete the Petition Extension of Time to Remove Incomplete Grade form. Instructor and departmental approval is required. Submit the completed petition and a completed Contract for Completion of I Grade to the Office of the Registrar. If all documents are provided, the instructor and department approve, and the student is eligible, an extension of a single term will be granted. To request an additional terms extension the process must be repeated.

Incomplete Grade FAQ's

Q: When is the last point at which an incomplete grade can be resolved by the student?

A: Typically, it is within a time period established by the instructor. If the instructor has not established a deadline, then the student has until the last day of Dead Week before finals begin, to submit the required work to the faculty a year after the term in which the student received the incomplete. For example, if a student received an “I/Alternate Grade” in the Fall 2007 without any specified deadline by an instructor, they have until the last day of Dead Week of Fall 2008 to turn in the completed work to the instructor to complete the “Incomplete”. The instructor has until the last day for turning in grades in that term to submit the removal of an incomplete to whatever grade the student earned to the Office of the Registrar.

Q: What happens if the instructor is no longer at the institution a year after the “I/Alternate Grade” was recorded?

A: The student should meet with the Department Chair who offered the course to reinstate the expectations of what would need to be completed (and by when it needs to be completed) for the incomplete to reflect the earned grade for that course.

Q: What if the student requests an “I/Alternate Grade” but also intends on graduating that very same term?

A: The student should know whether the Alternate/Default Grade will impact their ability to graduate that same term. If it does, the student should withdraw the request to graduate at the Office of the Registrar before the last day of final exams for that term, until the incomplete has been resolved at some future date/term and an earned grade has been recorded. Subsequent to the earned grade replacing the incomplete, the student can then re-file to graduate.

Q: What if the student has applied to graduate, final grades have been processed for the term the student wished to graduate; and the “I/Alternate Grade” defaults to a grade that does affect their graduation status. Can the student request the Alternate Grade revert back to an incomplete?

A: No. Academic Regulation 17 specifically states: “Under no circumstances shall a student who earns an A-F grade or an N or U grade have their grade changed retroactively to an I grade.” Students need to pay careful attention to “I/Alternate Grades” that are clearly displayed on all unofficial (and official) transcripts and the “Grade Term Report” via the Student On-Line Services web site where a student’s grades can be accessed by the student. If the student suspects or is informed by their academic advisor or the Office of the Registrar that the “I/Alternate Grade” will negatively impact their ability to graduate, they should go to the Office of the Registrar to withdraw their application to graduate. This request to withdraw the application to graduate must be made before all grades are processed for the term in which the student wishes to graduate.

Q: What if an instructor does not turn in their grades on time, will the instructor still be able to submit an “I/Alternate Grade for the student?

A: Yes. While 99.7% of all grades are turned in by the required deadline for each term, if the instructor misses the cutoff for turning in grades the Office of the Registrar will be able to process these late grades (including the “I/Alternate Grade”) and ensure they are correctly attributed to the students affected.

Q: Will other incomplete (“I”) grades from terms prior to Fall 2007 also default to an alternate grade (i.e., an “F”) after a year or when a student applies to graduate?

A: No. The revised Academic Regulation 17 goes into effect for Fall 2007 and all future terms. It is not retroactive to previous terms. Incompletes for all terms prior to Fall 2007 are at the discretion of the instructor and can either be changed to an earned grade or remain as an incomplete indefinitely. These grades are clearly identified by the lack of an alternate grade. For example, an “I” denotes the incomplete was assigned by the instructor prior to Fall 2007. All incompletes from Fall 2007 on would be reflected as an “I/Alternate Grade” (I/A, I/A-…I/F, I/P, I/N, etc.).

Q: Does Academic Regulation 17 apply only to undergraduate students, or are other student populations similarly affected?

A: All students are held to the same grading systems. Academic Regulation 17 will apply equally to undergraduates, post-baccalaureates, graduate, non-degree seeking students, etc.

Q: What will we see on our unofficial and official transcripts?

A: Students will see the incomplete and the alternate grade (i.e., I/A, I/A-…I/F, I/P, I/N, etc) in the grade field. However, until the incomplete is resolved, it will retain all of the same characteristics of an incomplete grade. In other words, the incomplete will not count in credits earned or a student’s institutional GPA. This will ensure that a student will not have an incomplete grade count in their credit totals or have it affect their GPA until the incomplete is resolved or defaults to the Alternate Grade.

Q: If a student selected a grading option of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U), will the instructor assign an “I/S” or “I/U” during the submittal of the grades for that term the incomplete was requested?

A: No. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grade options are converted after the submission of the “I/Alternate Grade” is determined by the instructor. For example, if the student has requested an incomplete and has opted for an S/U grade, the instructor will submit an “I/Normal Grade” (i.e., I/B+) at the end of the term. The Office of the Registrar will subsequently convert the “I/Normal Grade” to an “I/S” or “I/U” in accordance with the grading option chosen by the student.

Q: What happens if a course had received an “I/Alternate Grade” the first time the course was taken, but the student retakes the course for a grade?

A: According to Academic Regulation 20 (Repeated Courses), both courses would appear on the student’s academic record (transcript), but only the second grade would be counted in the cumulative GPA and toward graduation requirements. Even if the “I/Alternate Grade” were to subsequently default to the Alternate Grade, the second taking of the course would be the one that counts.

Q: What happens if a student’s academic progress in a given term is interrupted by an emergency situation (serious illness, accident, or death of a family member)? Can the student request incompletes for all his/her courses?

A: Yes. Subsequent to the revision to Academic Regulation 17, the Faculty Senate also approved a revision to Academic Regulation 13c that allows the student to withdraw within the last four weeks of the term with incompletes in all subjects. The student (or family member), however, must submit evidence of the emergency situation to the Registrar for consideration. The Office of the Registrar is then charged with contacting each instructor and recording the individual “I/Alternate Grade” for each course the student is still enrolled for that term.

Q: Can a student petition for an extension to resolve the incomplete in excess of the one year?

A: Possibly. The instructor must be willing to provide an extension. However, if the instructor does not agree to extend the timeline, it is unlikely anyone else would supersede that decision. If the instructor is willing to extend the timeline, the student can get a copy of the OSU Petition for Approval and fill in the Incomplete section for the extension. This document can be obtained at the Office of the Registrar. It will require the signature of the instructor who taught the course, the Department Chair for the course, and potentially the approval of the Academic Requirements Committee to gain approval of the extension.

Q: Who can the student talk with if there are specific questions regarding the changes to Academic Regulation 17?

A: The students are encouraged to ask questions of their departmental or college advisors and/or to contact staff in the Office of the Registrar. Students are encouraged to call by phone (541-737-4331), utilize e-mail (registrars@oregonstate.edu), or visit in-person 102 Kerr Administration Building with questions.