Student Life Office

FAQs on Requesting Incompletes

What is an Incomplete (INC)?

An incomplete indicates that not all the work of a course has been completed by the time of grade submission at the end of the semester. It is a temporary grade that will be replaced by a final grade.

Who is eligible to request an Incomplete?

An incomplete is permitted in a course where the level of work done up to the point the student requests an Incomplete is considered passing. An incomplete is permitted under the Faculty Code "for reasons of illness or extreme emergency, and for no other reason.”

How do you request an Incomplete?

Students should speak directly with the instructor(s) in each course in which they are requesting an Incomplete. 

Do I need documentation from HCC?

Not necessarily, but often. Faculty determine what verifying information (if any) is needed on a case-by-case basis. When documentation is requested by faculty to support a request for an Incomplete, both the HCC and the Student Life Office can assist with communication to faculty.

What if I do not qualify for an Incomplete?

If a student does not qualify for an Incomplete because they are not doing passing work, they may fail that class. Failing a class typically results in a student being placed on academic probation. When a student who is already on academic probation fails a class, they are typically denied registration for the following semester. Failing a class may also impact timelines for graduation and/or financial aid status.

If you do not qualify for an Incomplete because your situation does not meet the standard of "illness or extreme emergency," you will need to do your best to complete the course on time. Students are encouraged to use academic support resources and are welcome to meet with a Student Life dean to discuss academic strategy. 

Students are permitted to retake a course for a better grade (if that course is offered again.) When a student retakes a course, the better grade replaces the failing one.

What if I am not granted an Incomplete? Can I appeal?

The decision whether or not to grant an Incomplete in a course is within the purview of the faculty for that course, and there is no appeal.

If a student believes that they cannot complete the semester for a health/mental health reason, the student may want to explore a medical leave of absence. We recognize this option may not be ideal for all students; students are encouraged to consult with a dean in Student Life, Financial Aid, Business Office and the Health and Counseling Center.

When is deadline to complete the work?

Deadlines for completing required work are determined by the instructor, but in no case may the date for completion be later than 10 days prior to the first day of classes for the subsequent semester. See Reed's academic calendar for specific dates.

If the student has not completed all of the work for the course at the time incomplete work is due, the instructor will assign a grade based on the work received.

Extensions of the deadline for making up incomplete work may be granted by the Administration Committee only in cases where circumstances are compelling and are beyond the control of the student. Students must petition the Administration Committee for such exceptions and should do so before the deadline.

What grade will show up until I complete the work?

The grade "INC" will appear until the work is turned in or the deadline has passed. Faculty also provide a "placeholder grade" that indicates what the grade will be if a student does no additional work or misses the deadline to submit work.

How does an Incomplete work if I am on an emergency absence?

Students on emergency absence should communicate directly with their faculty about the plan for completing the course, either on-time, or with an Incomplete.

How does an Incomplete work if I am on academic probation?

If the placeholder grade is satisfactory, a decision about a student's academic standing can be made prior to the resolution of the Incomplete.

If the placeholder grade is unsatisfactory, the decision about the student's academic standing (i.e., whether or not they will be denied registration) must wait until the final grade is recorded.


Community members are invited to contact the Registrar's Office or Student Life Office for questions or consultation about requesting Incompletes, or other academic options.