An Incomplete (I) may be reported for a student who has been enrolled in a course with a passing grade until near the end of the semester/term and then, due to illness or some other unusual and substantiated cause beyond the student's control, has been unable to take or complete the final examination (or to complete some limited amount of term work). An Incomplete is not given to a student who stays away from a final examination unless the student proves to the instructor that he or she was prevented from attending as indicated above. In the absence of such proof the grade reported will be an F. Even when a student can provide verifiable documentation, a student may still earn a grade of F if his/her work convinces the instructor that the student cannot successfully pass the course.

Any subject taken by an L&S undergraduate student marked Incomplete must be completed by the end of the fourth week of classes of the student's next semester of residence at the University (exclusive of summer sessions) or it will lapse into a Failure. If an instructor grants an extended incomplete, a grade change will need to be filed by the instructor, approved by the chairperson of the department, and forwarded to L&S Undergraduate Academic Deans' Services in 110 Ingraham Hall. In such cases the grade of I is replaced with the grade of extended incomplete (EI).

Incompletes incurred in the last semester in residence at UW-Madison may not be removed after five years of absence from the University without special advance permission from L&S Undergraduate Academic Deans' Services. Such Incompletes must remain on the record with grades of permanent incomplete (PI) and do not lapse into failures.

If a student enrolls with an Incomplete grade from a previous semester and is dropped later in the semester because the Incomplete has lapsed to an F or has been changed to a low grade, the student will be withdrawn with an effective date within the refund period closest to the time of the student's actual withdrawal if the student has not been granted permission to continue by an L&S academic dean.

For more information about incompletes, please refer to what does it mean when I receive a grade of Incomplete and what is the deadline for turning in work if I received a grade of incomplete. Also see Incompletes in the Undergraduate Catalog.