Incomplete Policy & Process


Incomplete Policy:

At the option of the instructor, the symbol of I (Incomplete) may be recorded if a student, for reasons beyond their control, is unable to complete the work of the course and if the instructor is informed of and approves such reasons before the date when grades must be reported. The symbol I may be recorded only if the student’s prior performance and class attendance in the course have been satisfactory. Any course in which a student fails to complete the work of the course and does not provide the instructor with a satisfactory explanation before the date when grades must be turned in will be graded F. Although the I may remain on the record for a maximum of one year, the instructor should normally set a much briefer period within which the uncompleted work must be made up. The I cannot be removed by the student’s re-registering for the course at GW or taking its equivalent elsewhere. An Incomplete that is not removed within one calendar year or at the time of the student’s graduation, whichever occurs first, is automatically changed to an F. As of fall 2014, when the I is changed to a letter grade, the I will be replaced by the letter grade on the transcript. Engineering Management and Systems Engineering students with two or more outstanding Incompletes are barred from further course enrollment; see Incompletes under University Regulations regarding continuous enrollment.

Process for students and faculty:

A student who wishes to request a grade of Incomplete (“I”) must submit an official request to the faculty member of the course via email providing a detailed reason for the request, at least a few days prior to the final exam. In many cases, supporting documentation (ex: medical, military orders, etc.) that verifies the reason for the request should be included in the email. The faculty member will review the request and the documentation. If the request is denied, the faculty member will notify the student within one day, providing the student enough time to appear for the final exam. If the request is granted, the faculty member will submit an "I" grade for the course in GWEB.


If the Incomplete request is granted, the student must follow these steps: 

  1. Complete the Student Information Section of the Contract for Incomplete Course Grade and submit to the faculty member
  2. The faculty member will complete the remaining sections of the Contract for Incomplete Course Grade, sign it, and return it to the student for signature. The student will submit the completed and signed form to the faculty member and the SEAS Graduate Advising and Student Services Office at [email protected].
  3. The work completed date should be prior to the last day of class of the 2nd semester after the incomplete is granted, but can not exceed one year.
  4. Failure for the student to submit the completed and signed Contract for Incomplete Course Grade to [email protected] will result in a hold placed on their account until the form is submitted.
  5. The student is responsible for working with the faculty member to complete the coursework in accordance with the established deadline.
  6. Upon completion of the required coursework, or the expiration of the agreed upon time frame in the Contract, the faculty member will change the student’s grade in GWEB. 
  7. If the terms of the Contract are met, the faculty member will convert the “I” grade to the appropriate grade. 
  8. If the terms are not met, the faculty member will convert the “I” grade to an “F” grade.
  9. Faculty will have 15 days after the deadline of the Contract to convert these grades in GWEB.