Contract for Completion of Incomplete Grades

Policy and Reasons to Request/Grant an Incomplete

University of Minnesota policy states that the “assignment of an I requires a written agreement between the instructor and student specifying the time and manner in which the student will complete the course requirements.”

Incompletes should only be negotiated for extenuating circumstances that are:

  • Beyond the student’s control and/or
  • Could not have been anticipated early enough in the semester to warrant a withdrawal.

Examples of acceptable reasons to request/grant an Incomplete:

  • Significant and unexpected illness of self or close family member
  • Death in the family.

Incompletes should not be requested or granted for:

  • Personal convenience
  • Student attended only a few or no class sessions
  • Student is busy with requirements for other courses
  • Student believes they can get a better grade with additional time

Establishing Deadlines for Completion

  • It is the course instructor's right and responsibility, in collaboration with the student, to determine deadlines for completion of all work listed on the contract.
  • The University allows up to one year for completion of the incomplete. The instructor may grant an extension of one day to one year. Exception: students called to active military duty are allowed up to one calendar year following their discharge from active duty to complete their incomplete grade (section D-8 of the University Grading and Transcripts Policy).
  • If the student does not meet the instructor's requirements for completing the course by the established time limit and fails to renegotiate the agreement, the instructor will issue a grade based on the coursework already completed. Instructors are under no obligation to grant additional time, or to serve as instructor beyond the specified date. If the student does not complete the course by the deadline, the student will be required to pay tuition if the course is retaken.
  • Important note: In order to complete the I grade, students are not allowed to "sit in" on future offerings of the same course number without registering again. If the student cannot complete the contract work without attending further classes, the student may re-take the course by registering a second time for the class and permanently carry the grade of I (from the first registration) on the transcript. University policy requires that students must register every semester (excluding summer) to maintain active status.


  • The student must contact the instructor before the last day of class.
  • If the instructor deems that circumstances warrant an I, the instructor and student will discuss specific guidelines, conditions, and/or time limits for course completion, and the consequences of failure to complete outstanding coursework.
  • This understanding will be documented through the use of the "Contract for Completion of Incomplete Grades".
  • The student and instructor should each retain a signed copy, and a third signed copy must be submitted to the Humphrey Student Office of Career and Student Success for the student's file.
  • The student is responsible for making and distributing copies of the signed agreement to the course instructor and to the Humphrey Career and Student Success Office.
  • Download and complete “Contract for Completion of Incomplete Grades”.