Undergraduate students

Grades of In-Progress or Incomplete, Undergraduate

Policy Number: 100404

Current Policy

Category: Academic » Grading



In-Progress Grade (“IP”)

Northern Arizona University uses the "IP" grade for courses that, by their content and requirements, normally require more time than the term or session for which a student has enrolled. 

A grade of "IP" is most often used for graduate courses. For undergraduates, work that isn’t finished at the end of a term (such as research or an internship), is more often given a grade of incomplete ("I"). (See section, below, about incompletes.) Occasionally, though, an undergraduate student may be assigned a grade of “IP.” 

Students must request that an “In-Progress” grade be given. Forms should be available in the departmental office. Students must be making satisfactory progress in a course in order to receive a grade of "IP." 

Undergraduates must complete the work for an "IP" grade within two calendar years from the end of the term in which the course was taken. If the work is not completed by that time, the "IP" grade becomes permanent and may not be changed. 

Incomplete Grade (“I”)

A student, who, for reasons beyond the student's control, is unable to complete course requirements during the instructional period, may make a request or submit a petition (depending on the department’s process and/or policy) to the instructor for a grade of Incomplete (“I”). The student must be passing the course and must have completed a majority of the course. Non-attendance, poor performance, or intentions to repeat the course do not justify issuance of an “I” grade. Instructors cannot assign an “I” grade unless the terms to resolve the Incomplete are finalized and an Incomplete Contract is completed before the course ends. 

If the instructor approves the request or petition to give an Incomplete grade, the student and the instructor must complete a written agreement using the Incomplete Contract, Undergraduate form, located on the Registrar’s Office website. This form will specify course work to be completed by the student and due dates, in order for the Incomplete grade to be replaced with a grade for the completed course. The form must include the course requirements to be completed and the due dates. Due dates may not extend further than 12 months from the end of the term in which the student was enrolled in the course. 

The original form must be signed by the instructor and the student, after which a copy is filed in the office of the unit that offered the course. Both the instructor and student should retain copies of the approved agreement.  Once the specified due date in the contract has passed, the instructor will grade the work submitted by the student and submit a grade change to the Registrar's Office. 

For undergraduates, after one calendar year, any grade of Incomplete will automatically be converted to a grade of Fail (“F”). Fulfilling the requirements of the Incomplete Contract does not guarantee that student will receive maximum credit for the assignment(s) or the course. Failure to fulfill the requirements of the Incomplete Contract without any “re-negotiation” or approval from the instructor will result in the student’s “I” grade changing to the grade earned in the course with the missing assignments factored into the final grade. 

In order to earn credit for courses with Fail grades, students must re-enroll and repeat the course. NAU does not use Incomplete grades in calculating grade point averages. 

General Procedure

Depending on the situation:

Complete a Request for "IP" Grade form, usually available in the departmental office.


Complete a “Generic Incomplete” form, available on the Registrar’s Office site or from the departmental office.

Meet with your instructor to map out the contract, which must state expectations and a definite start/due date. Obtain other appropriate departmental approvals (if applicable). Complete the required work and submit it to the instructor. Once the contract work is successfully completed, the instructor will submit the appropriate grade change to the Registrar and your record will be revised.

Students can petition for exception

Students may petition the instructor for a one-year extension which must also be approved by the chair of the unit that offered the class.

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