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Indiana University Bloomington

Graduate Program

Policy on Incompletes

The following regulations were passed by the faculty and are effective beginning in the Spring term 2008.

REGULATION # 1:  3-Week Restriction on the Duration of Incompletes

In the event that an instructor assigns a grade of I to a student in a graduate course in Philosophy, all required work for the course must be completed within three weeks from the last day of final exams for the term in which the course is given.  Exceptions to this restriction will be made only for the following situation: the student would suffer such hardship as would render it unjust to hold the student to the three week limit. Incompletes permitted under this exception must be made up within one year of the last day of class for the term in which the course was given.

Comments on Regulation #1:

  1. This regulation does not give students a right to take an incomplete in any graduate course in Philosophy. Rather, the regulation restricts the length of time the student has to complete an incomplete if an instructor chooses to give the student an incomplete in a course.
  2. Under this regulation, if a student fails to complete the work within the required three-week period, the instructor will change the grade from I to an appropriate grade.  Which grade is appropriate at this time is determined by the instructor, consistent with the grading policy of the course.
  3. The regulation imposes a three-week restriction so that the instructor will have in hand the student’s completed work before the first day of class of the following semester. 
  4. Under the regulation, an instructor is allowed to set a date for the completion of an incomplete prior to three weeks from the last day of the term.
  5. If a student is given an incomplete under an exception to the three-week restriction, the instructor is allowed to set a date for completion prior to one year from the last day of classes.  The regulation does not require giving the student a whole year to complete the incomplete.
  6. The regulation governs all students in graduate philosophy courses, including undergraduates and graduate students from other departments that take these courses.  It does not govern incompletes given in undergraduate courses.


In the annual review of graduate students, the DGS will indicate those students who are carrying two or more incompletes at the time of the review.  In the annual letter reporting the review, the DGS will indicate that a student has two or more incompletes.  In the letter, the DGS will instruct the student to meet with the instructor of each course for which he or she has a long-term incomplete and work out a plan for finishing the incomplete, and then to write a short paragraph detailing the plan, to be submitted to the instructor and the DGS.


Faculty members are to turn in the change of grade for an incomplete within one month of the date the student has completed the work for the incomplete.