Graduate students

Grades of In-Progress or Incomplete, Graduate

Policy Number: 100406

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. NAU recognizes the following graduate courses as appropriate for the "IP" grade: final project (689), thesis (699), dissertation (799), field work experience, and internship. 

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." Graduate students may complete "IP" grades until the time limit on their academic plan expires. 

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 to (depending on the department’s process and/or policy) 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, Graduate 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. 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 with a copy to the Graduate College. 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 form to the Registrar's Office. 

For graduate students, any grade of Incomplete becomes a permanent “I” on their transcript if a grade is not assigned within one regular semester following the due date listed in the Incomplete Contract. 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. 

Students eligible for graduation may elect to graduate with Incomplete grades as a part of their permanent academic record, if those courses are not required for graduation. Following degree conferral, Incomplete grades may not be changed. 

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

Students can appeal

Graduate students may petition for an exception to any academic, non-grade-related, graduate regulation for which no specific appeal or petition process exists. Petitions should be submitted, in writing, to the Associate Dean of the Graduate College. When applicable, the student’s advisor and department chair may endorse the petition letter. In some specific instances, utilizing the Graduate Academic Appeal Policy and UGCHP is more appropriate.

Students should contact the Associate Dean of the Graduate College for clarification on which process to initiate.

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