Academic Programs Catalog

General Information, Policies, Procedures and Regulations

Postponement of Grading

When special or unusual circumstances occur, the instructor may postpone assignment of the student's final grade in a course by use of an I-Incomplete, a DF-Deferred, or an ET-Extension marker.



The I-Incomplete may be given only when: the student (a) has completed at least 6/7 of the term of instruction, but is unable to complete the class work and/or take the final examination because of illness or other compelling reason; and (b) has done satisfactory work in the course; and (c) in the instructor's judgment can complete the required work without repeating the course.

Provided these conditions are met, the instructor electing to give an I-Incomplete files an Agreement for Completion of (I) Incomplete at the time course grades are due. This agreement specifies what the student must do, and when. The department or school office gives a copy to the student, and retains a copy for at least one year.

The required work must be completed, and a grade must be reported to the Office of the Registrar, no later than the middle of the student's next semester in attendance (summer session excluded) if that semester is within one calendar year following receipt of the I-Incomplete. Exception to this deadline:  An instructor may submit an Administrative Action stating that course structure necessitates delay of make-up grading until the end of the student's next semester in attendance. The I-Incomplete, does not remain on the student’s academic record and only the grade reported appears.

Failure to complete the required work by the due date will result in a grade of 0.0, NC or N, depending on the grading system under which the student was enrolled. (A student who does not register for Michigan State University courses subsequent to receipt of an I-Incomplete has one calendar year to complete the required work; after that, the I-Incomplete will become U-Unfinished and will be changed to U on the student's academic record, and the course may be completed only by re-enrollment).

An extension of time for completion of the required work may be approved by the college offering the course only by means of an Administrative Action documenting physician-certified illness or other extraordinary circumstances.

An Extension of Time is a formal agreement between the instructor and the student. After an Extension of Time has been filed, the work must be done by the deadline determined by the instructor or the I-Incomplete will be changed to 0.0, NC, or N depending on the grading system under which the student was enrolled.


The DF-Deferred applies to the numerical, the CR-NC, and P-N grading systems.

Given only to graduate students who are doing satisfactory work but cannot complete the course work because of reasons acceptable to the instructor.

The required work must be completed and a grade reported within six months (190 calendar days from the last class day of the term of instruction), with the option of a single six-month extension (190 calendar days). If the required work is not completed within the time limit, the DF-Deferred will become U-Unfinished and will be changed to U. This rule does not apply to graduate thesis or dissertation work.


The ET-Extension applies to the numerical, the CR-NC, and P-N systems.

Given to undergraduate, graduate, and graduate-professional students only in courses specifically approved by the University Committee on Curriculum. Approval requires specification of the time period within which work must be completed. Courses that involve field experience or thesis work and courses in which work normally extends beyond one semester are the types of courses normally considered.

A final grade must be reported upon completion of the final course in the sequence or in the time approved for the completion of the work. If a final grade is not reported in these periods, the ET will be changed to 0.0, NC or N, depending on the grading system under which the student was enrolled.