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Incomplete Grade Policy (Student) FAQs


How are incomplete grades handled?


Beginning with the Fall 2008 semester, when an instructor determines that a student is eligible for an incomplete (‘I’) grade, he or she also specifies an 'incomplete final grade' which is a default grade the student would receive if the student does not complete the remaining coursework within the specified deadline. Incomplete grades are reflected on the official transcript as simply an ‘I’ until they are changed to a final grade.


Incomplete grades that are not changed by the instructor within one year will revert to the incomplete final grade that was determined by the instructor at the time the original incomplete grade was assigned. Prior to the Fall 2008 semester, incomplete (‘I’) grades that were not changed within one year after the date the original 'I' grade was granted remained as permanent 'I' grades on the transcript, and they had no effect on the student's GPA.

What is the reasoning behind the incomplete grade policy?


The policy provides timely information about the consequences of failing to complete assigned coursework, and is intended to encourage you to complete missing work in a timely manner. If you do not complete the missing work within one year (or a shorter time period specified by the instructor) after the original ‘I’ grade was assigned, your final grade for the course will reflect only the work completed. On the other hand, if you do complete the work within the specified time period, your grade will reflect all your work.

Can I receive an 'I' grade if I have performed less than half of the work for a course?


No. According to current policy, a student must satisfactorily complete the majority of course work, and average 'D' or better on work to date, but has been "unavoidably prevented from completing the remaining work of the course," in order to receive an 'I' grade. 

Can I request an 'I' grade if I am currently failing a course?


No. According to current policy, a student must “have averaged ‘D’ or better” in the work to date to be eligible for an incomplete grade.

If I get an 'I' grade, can I repeat the same course next semester and use the grade from that class to replace the 'I'?


No. Under the policy, a student may neither be required nor allowed to repeat the course to remove an 'I' grade.

Can my instructor require a time period shorter than one year for completion of missing work?


Yes. In such cases, your instructor will inform you of the deadline for completing missing work. If the work is completed within the time period specified, your instructor will submit a change of grade form to reflect the new grade. If the remaining coursework is not completed within the allotted time, your instructor will submit a change of grade form that reflects the incomplete final grade. If no change of grade form is submitted, the grade will automatically be changed to the incomplete final grade after one year.

How will my instructor determine the 'incomplete final grade' to go with the 'I'?


To calculate the default grade, your instructor will award a zero grade for the work that was not completed and compute the final grade accordingly. The example below reflects a course with 4 gradable components, and assumes a 90-80-70-60 grading scale.



Example 1

Example 2

Course Component

Percentage of Grade

Assignment Grade

Contribution to Grade Total

Assignment Grade

Contribution to Grade Total

Part 1






Part 2






Part 3






Part 4


















Default Grade






In Example 1, you would receive an incomplete final grade of ‘F’ because the missing work (worth 40% of the total grade) received zero credit when calculating the total grade. If the missing work is not completed within the one-year time period (or shorter period specified by the instructor), then the grade for the course will automatically become an ‘F’ and will be treated as such in all GPA calculations.


In Example 2, the missing work is worth only 10% of the grade and so, even with a zero assigned for that assignment, the resulting total grade (83%) is still sufficient to warrant an incomplete final grade of ‘B’. If you complete the missing assignment with a grade of at least 70, this will be enough to raise your final course grade to 90, or an ‘A’. However, should you fail to complete this missing assignment within the one-year time period (or the shorter period specified by the instructor), your final grade for the course will become a ‘B’.

What incomplete final grades are allowed? Can I get an incomplete final grade of 'A'?


Appropriate incomplete final grades (depending on the grading system for the course) are ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘F’, ‘F!’, ‘NP’, and ‘U’. A default grade of ‘A’ is inappropriate, since you would already complete enough work to earn an ‘A’ and should be awarded an ‘A’ grade.

What grade will show on my transcript?


On any official transcript that you may request, the grade shown will simply be an 'I'; no incomplete final grade will show while the incomplete grade is still active.


After the final grade has been assigned


After the 'I' grade has been replaced by the incomplete final grade (either by a change of grade form submitted by your instructor, or by default after one year), the official transcript will show only the final grade; there will be no record that it was once an incomplete.

How do I see my incomplete grade and the incomplete final grade?


You can view incomplete grades and incomplete final grades as soon as they are submitted by instructors using the View Grades link under Student Records in Self-Service. See the View Grades webpage for details. A few days after the term is over, you may also see incomplete grades and the incomplete final grades using the Final Grades link under Student Records. The Academic Transcript section of Student Records shows the incomplete, but incomplete final grades are not visible there until after they have defaulted.

What happens to my GPA when the 'I' grade reverts to the incomplete final grade?


Your GPA will be recalculated based on the incomplete final grade, which will appear in the term in which the original 'I' grade was earned. It should be noted that this may have a significant impact on your academic standing, eligibility for scholarships, and the like. OSU strongly encourages all students to remedy 'I' grades in a timely manner in order to avoid undesirable consequences that may be associated with not completing the coursework.

What happens if I receive an incomplete final grade of 'F!'?


In the event an academic integrity incident is not resolved at the time grade reports are due to the Registrar, the instructor will assign an 'I' grade that reflects the proposed sanction. The incomplete final grade will be "F!" or a grade calculated to reflect a "zero" or "F" for the assignment(s) or examination(s) that are under review for violating academic integrity. You have five school days (defined as a regular class day during the fall or spring semester unless you are enrolled in a class during summer school) to appeal the violation. The incomplete final grade becomes final if you do not submit documentation for the appeal by the five-day deadline. Contact your instructor or the Office of Academic Affairs at 405-744-5627 or visit for additional information.

Will anyone send me warnings that I have 'I' grades that are scheduled to revert to the incomplete final grade?


Students with outstanding 'I' grades on their transcripts will be sent an e-mail reminder at the beginning of the semester during which their 'I' will default provided OSU has a valid email address for the student. 

Will an 'I' grade prevent me from graduating?


If the course is part of your degree requirements, yes. You should either complete the missing work prior to graduation or, as a last resort, request that the incomplete final grade be assigned by the instructor (using a change of grade form) prior to graduation. In the latter case, the incomplete final grade will become the permanent grade for the course and will be used to determine your eligibility to graduate and any honors for which you may be eligible.


If the course is not part of your degree completion requirements, an 'I' grade has no effect on your eligibility to graduate.

Can I complete missing work after I graduate?


Yes, if the course was not part of your degree requirements. Such grade changes may affect your GPA.

I graduated with unresolved 'I' grades on my transcript. Will these 'I' grades be changed to incomplete final grades after graduation? What happens to my GPA in such cases?


Yes. Unless you complete the work, 'I' grades will be changed to their incomplete final grades after one year. This may affect your GPA.

Which office can I contact if I have other questions?


Contact the Registrar’s Office at or call 405-744-6876.

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