Incomplete Grade Policy

CLAS Incomplete Grade Policy and Resolution Procedures


The grade of I, Incomplete, indicates that a student was doing satisfactory work, but due to nonacademic reasons beyond the student's control, the student was unable to complete the remaining requirements of the course. A student cannot graduate with an Incomplete on their record. The grade of Incomplete is only appropriate when all the following conditions are met: (a) the student is doing satisfactory work in the course and the unfinished requirements can be clearly delineated, (b) the unfinished requirements constitute a relatively small part of the course, and the Incomplete is requested in the last 20 percent of the semester, (c) the student has justifiable reason(s) why the work cannot be completed by the end of the semester.

An Incomplete grade form must be submitted to the CLAS Dean's Office. A student is expected to complete course requirements according to the following schedule: fall semester Incomplete, end of winter semester; winter and spring/summer Incomplete, end of fall semester. Instructors are required to file a change of grade form or request an extension of the I grade at the end of each semester. An extension may be granted by the instructor under exceptional circumstances, such as illness or call to military service.

If the instructor assigning an Incomplete grade will not be teaching at GVSU during the subsequent semester, arrangements must be made with the unit head to ensure that the student’s work can be evaluated and a final grade assigned.  The records provided to the unit head should include the course syllabus, a listing of the work the student has completed and the grades it received, descriptions of the remaining assignments, and a description of how course grades were assigned to the students completing the semester normally. 

For the sake of both the instructor and the student, the terms for such an agreement must be spelled out in writing, clearly and in detail, on the online Incomplete Grade Form ( at the time that the Incomplete grade is awarded. The instructor must include a default grade should the incomplete work not be completed by the specified deadline as outlined in the 2020-2021 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog Academic Policies and Regulations.  The instructor must also enter a letter grade of "I" in Banner by the grade submission deadline.  


PLEASE NOTE—a copy of the completed form will be automatically emailed to the instructor, the student, department head, and the CLAS Dean’s Office, which is why we ask for those emails in the online form.


Additional points for faculty:

1.    Students with an Incomplete do not register for the course again. If they are expected to attend class sessions, they should attend without registering for that course again. Faculty members may not tell the student to retake the entire course.

2.    It is possible to grant additional extensions for students. Please do so in writing to the CLAS Dean's office before the deadline for a new grade.

3.    It is not possible to assign a grade of W (withdraw).  Withdrawal is a separate process for students (form on registrar's page) that is reviewed by the Academic Review Committee and not the CLAS Dean's Office.

4.    The incomplete grade list will be distributed by Records, via the academic deans, twice per academic year.

5.    Incomplete grades are coded as "in progress". This allows students to register for courses where the incomplete course might be a prerequisite.

6.    Incomplete grades are not calculated in the GPA which may impact secondary admit programs.

7.    Students may not graduate with incomplete grades on their records.



GVSU Grade Change Procedure for Resolution of Incomplete Grades

When the student completes the missing work, the instructor will need to assign a grade and enter the new grade using the Registrar’s Grade Change Form. The instructor will forward the form to the CLAS Dean's office for processing. ([email protected]).


The Grade Change Form can be downloaded from the Registrar’s website.


The Registrar's Office will notify the student, the instructor, and the CLAS Dean’s office six weeks prior to deadline for a grade change. A list of Incomplete grades will be forwarded to the appropriate unit and the assigned instructors will be contacted by their unit.

If the instructor is not available during the process for resolving the Incomplete, the unit head shall decide on how to proceed.

If the student does not complete the work specified in the agreement in the time that was agreed to, the CLAS Dean's office will request that the instructor or unit head assign the default grade previously entered on the Incomplete Grade Form by using the Registrar’s Grade Change Form.

Page last modified July 26, 2021