OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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.