The instructor gives a grade of “I” (Incomplete) to a student who for a valid reason is unable to complete work by the end of the course. The determination of a “valid reason” rests with the instructor, but examples of valid reasons include a serious health, family, or personal problem arising late in the semester. Incompletes are not designed for cases where students have not turned in work throughout the semester and are a last resort in the face of extenuating circumstances. Incompletes may be assigned for the fall semester of two-semester courses like humanities or an honors thesis, where both grades are submitted at the same time in the spring.

Process for Student

The student should communicate to the College (e.g. instructor or Student of Concern form) as soon as possible if a serious health, family, or personal problem arises late in the semester. If an incomplete is granted by the instructor, the student should complete the outstanding work outlined by the instructor by the stated deadline. If the instructor does not agree to allow the student to submit late work and the student feels their situation meets the criteria for an incomplete, the student may immediately start the Grade Appeal process.

Special Circumstances

If the serious health, family, or personal problem arising late in the semester persists and both student and instructor would like to extend the incomplete past the College deadline, the student should appeal to the Curriculum Requirements Committee. Approval of the Department Chair/Program Director is required. Incompletes lasting past the College deadline may impact Financial Aid’s ability to award financial aid. Students receiving financial aid must get approval of Financial Aid for an incomplete extension.

Process for Instructor

When the instructor is first notified of a student’s serious health, family, or personal problem arising late in the semester, the instructor should:

  1. If the notification did not come from the Dean of Students Office, submit a Student of Concern Form.
  2. If the instructor, in consultation with the Department Chair/Program Director or Dean of Students Office if needed, determines that an incomplete is warranted, the instructor must e-mail the student (cc Department Chair/Program Director and registrar@davidson.edu) to explain exactly what work needs to be completed, when the work is due, and what the final grade in the course will be without submission of any additional work.

Faculty must submit grades by these dates:

  • Fall – End of first week of spring classes
  • Spring – June 15th
  • Summer- September 1st

Student deadlines are determined by individual faculty members.

After the College deadline, the grade of “I” shall administratively be changed to the grade indicated on the initial e-mail from the faculty. If no e-mail was submitted, a grade of F will be assigned.

In order for a senior to graduate at the May commencement, all of a student’s incomplete grades must be removed by the senior final grading deadline.