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 an instructor give an incomplete grade for a course that has not been completed if:

  • the reasons for the incomplete are acceptable to the instructor;
  • the student is passing the course at the time of the request.

It is highly recommended that when an agreement is made to issue an incomplete grade that the instructor and student complete a Contract for Completion of I Grade to define the terms under which the course work will be completed. A copy of this form should be returned to the Office of the Registrar.

The incomplete/alternate grade

The incomplete grade 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 “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 course work to be completed 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.


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.


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 instructor will submit the appropriate grade the student earned.

    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, two items must be completed and submitted to the Office of the Registrar:

    1. the Petition Extension of Time to Remove Incomplete Grade form – instructor and departmental approval is required.
    2. a completed Contract for Completion of I Grade.

    An extension of a single term will be granted if:

    • all documents are provided to the Office of the Registrar, fully completed and signed;
    • both the instructor and department approve;
    • the student is eligible.

    To request an additional term extension, the process must be repeated.