L&S Incomplete (I) Grade Information
The following section explains what it means to earn a grade of I (incomplete) for an L&S undergraduate student.
Qualifications for receiving an Incomplete (I) grade
An instructor may choose to give a student a grade of Incomplete (I) if the student:
- was passing the class up to that point and
- was unable to complete the class by the end of the semester because of unforeseeable circumstances and
- can reasonably complete the remaining work in a timely fashion and
- has only a small amount of missing graded work (e.g., a single paper or test). An instructor should never grant a student an incomplete if the student has more than 3/4th of the work to complete for the particular course.
Instructor responsibilitiesThe following are instructor responsibilities when granting an Incomplete grade:
- Ensure that the student meets the qualifications above
- Consult with the student and determine what they must do to complete the course and have the Incomplete from their record, and by when. Work must be completed by the end of the fourth (4th) week of classes of the student's next semester in residence, although the instructor may assign an earlier deadline.
- Assign the Incomplete grade in SIS (if appropriate)
- Assign the final grade once the student has completed the work.
The following are student responsibilities with Incomplete grades:
- Reach out to the instructor to discuss options if you believe you cannot complete a course by the end of the semester, and if you meet the qualifications above.
- Discuss with the instructor what you must do to complete the course and have the Incomplete grade removed from your record, and by when. Work must be completed by the end of the fourth (4th) week of classes of the student's next semester in residence, although the instructor may assign an earlier deadline.
- Complete the work, as per your agreement with the instructor, by the deadline to have the grade of Incomplete removed.
It is not appropriate to require a student to retake the course to satisfy an incomplete.
The Incomplete (I) grade is temporary. If work for the course has not
been complete by the deadline:
- the Incomplete (I) grade will lapse into a Failure (F), unless the
time limit has been extended via the eForm by the course instructor before the end of the
fourth (4th) week of classes. See extended incomplete request in L&S for more details.
- If a student has been awarded an Extended Incomplete (EI), the
student must complete the work and have the final grade reported to the
Registrar's Office before the last day of classes. If the EI has not
been removed by the last day of classes, it will lapse into a Failure
- A grade of permanent incomplete (PI) will replace an Incomplete if it was received the last time a student was registered and has not been removed/resolved within five years. In other words, a permanent incomplete will replace an I if the student received it at least five years ago when the student was last enrolled at UW-Madison and it has not been resolved within the 5-year period. For more information, see grades and GPA.
Additional information can be found in the Guide under Incompletes.
Resources for Questions:
L&S Student Academic Affairs: (608) 262-0617, firstname.lastname@example.org
L&S Academic Advising: (608) 262-5858, email@example.com