VII. Instructional Policies

VII.A. General Information and Policies

VII.A.1. Class Meetings
VII.A.2. Classrooms
VII.A.3. Release of Student Information
VII.A.4. Records Retention
VII.A.5. Services to Students
VII.A.6. Office Hours
VII.A.7. Course Objectives
VII.A.8. Use of Community Resources for Teaching
VII.A.9. Student Evaluation of Teaching
VII.A.10. Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
VII.A.11. Web and Media Accessibility Policy
VII.A.12. General Information About Student Activities
VII.A.13. Orientation Programs
VII.A.14. Advising Student Organizations
VII.A.15. Sexual Harassment
VII.A.16. Tutoring for Pay
VII.A.17. Academic Honesty Policy

VII.B. Student Attendance Policies

VII.B.1. Religious Holidays - Education Law
VII.B.2. Student Attendance
VII.B.3. Absences by Students from Classes for Participation in Official University Events

VII.C. Grading

VII.C.1. Student Evaluation
VII.C.2. Grading System
VII.C.3. Transferring Courses and Credit Within Binghamton University
VII.C.4. Examinations and Papers
VII.C.5. Final Examinations
VII.C.6. Submission of Grades
VII.C.7. Posting Grades
VII.C.8. NSF and Incomplete Grades
VII.C.9. Missing Grades
VII.C.10. Changing Grades
VII.C.11. Formal Complaints Concerning Grades

VII.A. General Information and Policies

VII.A.1. Class Meetings

Academic departments enter their course offerings online in Banner each semester according to a schedule established by the Office of Course Building and Academic Space Management (CBASM). Refer to the Quick Links section of the CBASM website (http://www2.binghamton.edu/cbasm/) for this schedule. For any class with an expected enrollment over 79, the department must notify the Office of Course Building and Academic Space Management to ensure that a classroom will be available at the time the department plans to offer the class. The due date for this information is listed on the above-mentioned schedule.

Academic departments are expected to schedule class meetings at standard times (see below). No more than 50 percent of a department's sections each semester should be offered during the Tuesday/Thursday daytime meeting times and at least 50 percent of their sections should be offered outside of the prime times of the day, 9:40 a.m. - 2:10 p.m. on Monday/Wednesday/Friday and 10:05 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday/Thursday.

The standard meeting times are as follows (prime times are in bold):

M-W-F Class Days

8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
9:40 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.
10:50 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
1:10 p.m. - 2:10 p.m.

2:20 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
4:40 p.m. - 5:40 p.m.

T-R Class Days

8:30 a.m. - 9:55 a.m.
10:05 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
11:40 a.m. - 1:05 p.m.
1:15 p.m. - 2:40 p.m.
2:50 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

4:25 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.

Evenings: The standard start times for evening courses are 5:50 p.m. for Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes and 6:00 p.m. for Tuesday/Thursday classes.

The standard meeting patterns shown above must be honored for courses meeting in prime time. In cases where courses must be offered at non-standard times during prime time, approvals from the department chair and dean's office are required. The course will be given second-level priority in room scheduling (scheduled after courses adhering to standard meeting patterns) based on room availability.

Courses meeting for three hours during prime time hours requiring a general purpose classroom will be scheduled at the University Downtown Center, after CCPA courses have been scheduled there. The following standard meeting periods will apply:

M-T-W-R-F Class Days - University Downtown Center only

8:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
1:40 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.
5:50 p.m. – 8:50 p.m.

VII.A.2. Classrooms

The Office of Course Building and Academic Space Management (CBASM) assigns meeting places for classes that use general-purpose classrooms. Academic departments do the assignment of classroom space that is not general-purpose (e.g. laboratory classrooms, seminar rooms, recital halls, etc.) To optimize the use of general-purpose classroom space, the Office of Course Building and Academic Space Management tries to closely match the capacity of the rooms to the class enrollments.

During the period when departments are entering their course offerings in Banner, departments must notify the Office of Course Building and Academic Space Management of any courses with expected enrollment over 79 to ensure that classrooms are available. In addition, instructors who have special needs because of disabilities or who need specific classroom technology may make room requests online using the Instructor Classroom Request Form found on the Quick Links section of the CBASM website (http://www2.binghamton.edu/cbasm/). Specially requested classroom assignments made in advance of regular classroom scheduling will remain provided the course enrollment makes optimum use of seating capacity.

For classroom scheduling purposes, courses with a meeting time of "TBA" (to be announced), courses which run for less than the full semester, and courses with non-standard meeting times, will, by necessity, be given a low priority.

The Office of Course Building and Academic Space Management also schedules classroom space for academic-related events (review sessions, exams, lectures, etc.). Requests can be made online using the Academic Event Reservation Form found on the Quick Links section of the CBASM website (http://www2.binghamton.edu/cbasm/). 

VII.A.3. Release of Student Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)--commonly known as the Buckley Amendment--provides for students' access to their education records and assures them of the confidentiality of those records. That act places strictures on the information about a student that may be released without a signed and dated consent from that student. Faculty and staff should consult with the Student Records Office regarding any such requests for student information. More information regarding FERPA is available at http://registrar.binghamton.edu/FERPAmain.htm.

VII.A.4. Records Retention

It is University policy that the Office of Student Records will maintain a student file (scanned/digitized images) and computerized academic record for a student for six years from the date of last attendance. The scanned/digitized file contains high school transcripts, transfer transcripts, academic petitions, degree certification information, and academic action information. After the six-year period, the scanned/digitized file may be purged. The Office of Student Records maintains original grade submissions from faculty permanently.

VII.A.5. Services to Students

Faculty and staff should refer a student to any of the University's specialized services as necessary or appropriate. Academic advising offices in each school provide general information about academic programs to undergraduate students. The Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT) offers free peer tutoring in a wide range of subject areas. University Health Services concerns itself with students who have medical or health problems. The University Counseling Center attends to students who show evidence of emotional or psychological programs. Students needing part-time work or information about financial aid should consult the Office of Student Financial Aid and Employment. The Career Development Center provides programming, information and counseling regarding career opportunities and graduate programs, including the coordination of the on-campus interviewing program. The mission of the Services for Students with Disabilities office is to facilitate the educational and personal development of Binghamton University students with disabilities and enhance the architectural and attitudinal accessibility of the campus environment. The Dean of Students Office encompasses the Student of Concern Committee, Off Campus Services, Campus Activities, Multicultural Resource Center, Fraternity and Sorority Life, the Office of Student Conduct, and Parent Relations, as well as serving as a general referral and assistance office for any student in any division.  Other offices providing services to students include the Student Records Office, TRIO/Veteran's Programs, International Student and Scholar Services, Residential Life, Educational Opportunity Program, Campus Recreational Services, and the Discovery Program.

VII.A.6. Office Hours

All faculty are expected to maintain a regular schedule of office hours for consultation with students. The number of hours and the particular schedule are determined by the faculty member, but with the condition that they are sufficient and convenient enough to assure accessibility to students.

VII.A.7. Course Objectives

Faculty should state clearly in writing at the beginning of each semester the instructional objectives of each course they teach.

VII.A.8. Use of Community Resources for Teaching

Faculty who assign projects to students that may involve contacts with private, voluntary, or governmental agencies are expected first to establish with the administration of the given agency the feasibility and acceptability of the contacts.

VII.A.9. Student Evaluation of Teaching

The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment administers a Student Opinion of Teaching (SOOT) questionnaire for courses upon request from instructors. SOOTs are only one of many possible approaches to student evaluation of teaching, and are themselves voluntary. However, the executive vice president for academic affairs and provost does require evidence of student input on the quality of a faculty member's teaching over time when that faculty member is being considered for promotion and/or tenure.

VII.A.10. Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

http://www2.binghamton.edu/ssd/faculty_info/index.html

VII.A.11. Web and Media Accessibility Policy

State and federal laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Sections 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and New York State Technology Policy 99-3, require Binghamton University web-based content to meet specified accessibility standards established by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C). These standards apply to web pages and content developed by or for a college, department, program, or unit of the University, including faculty websites used for instructional purposes.

Binghamton University is committed to ensuring accessibility of its websites, web content, web applications and all related media. University websites that provide information about the University to external audiences or that provide information for employees or students must be accessible as defined by the W3C standards as amended from time to time.

Websites that contain information used in instruction must be accessible to all students in the class. This includes information posted on Blackboard and Internet/intranet web pages. All students should have the opportunity to join class related experiences including interactive electronic experiences such as chat rooms. Accessibility must be considered when purchasing and licensing software, videos and related media.

Each person posting a University or instructional website, as well as information on Blackboard, is responsible for ensuring that it is designed to be accessible. Departments within divisions have responsibility to monitor continued accessibility compliance of their web pages. The Media Access Committee will develop and disseminate guidelines for meeting applicable web accessibility standards and update those guidelines as necessary. Web accessibility problems related to a specific student’s disability-related needs should be directed to the Services for Students with Disabilities Office.

Concerns with the University website should be addressed to the web director at web@binghamton.edu. Other concerns should be addressed to the campus department or individual maintaining the website in question.

VII.A.12. General Information About Student Activities

Faculty and staff may obtain information concerning student organizations from the Office of Campus Activities (http://www.binghamton.edu/campus-activities/). For information concerning Student Affairs, contact the Office of the Dean of Students.

VII.A.13. Orientation Programs

Several orientation sessions for new undergraduate students are scheduled during the summer months. Both freshmen and transfer students are offered the opportunity to attend one of these sessions in order for them to receive academic advising, register for classes, and become familiar with the many services of the University. In addition, an orientation session is offered for both freshmen and transfer students prior to the start of the academic year in August. An orientation program is also offered for students admitted for the spring semester. Orientation of new graduate students is carried out by the Office of the Graduate School and by the constituent schools and departments of the Graduate School. Faculty are called upon to participate in various phases of these programs. The Office of International Student and Scholar Services provides an orientation program for new international students prior to the start of the fall and spring semesters.

VII.A.14. Advising Student Organizations

Students may ask members of the faculty to be advisers to approved student groups. Faculty members should discuss proposed advisory responsibilities with department chairs (or deans/directors when appropriate) before accepting any invitations. Faculty are invited to discuss matters relating to their advising functions with the Dean of Students Office.

As an adviser, the faculty member is responsible for informing the organization of University policy and of the policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University.

VII.A.15. Sexual Harassment

It is the policy of the University that students be secure from any sexual harassment by faculty, staff, and administrators. (Refer to the Faculty Statement of Professional Standards in Section IV.)

VII.A.16. Tutoring for Pay

Tutoring of University students for pay by University faculty is prohibited.

VII.A.17. Academic Honesty

See the Academic Honesty policy in the "Academic Policies and Procedures for All Students" section of the University Bulletin.

VII.B. Student Attendance Policies

VII.B.1. Religious Holidays - Education Law

Section 224- a. Students unable because of religious beliefs to attend classes on certain days. (as amended by Laws of 1992, chapter 278)

  1. No person shall be expelled from or be refused admission as a student to an institution of higher education for the reason that he or she is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to register or attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirements on a particular day or days.
  2. Any student in an institution of higher education who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall, because of such absence on the particular day or days, be excused from any examination or any study or work requirements.
  3. It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to make available to each student who is absent from school, because of his or her religious beliefs, an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such equivalent opportunity.
  4. If registration, classes, examinations, study or work requirements are held on Friday after four o'clock post meridian or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, study or work requirements or opportunity to register shall be made available on other days, where it is possible and practicable to do so. No special fees shall be charged to the student for these classes, examinations, study or work requirements or registration held on other days.
  5. In effectuating the provisions of this section, it shall be the duty of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to exercise the fullest measure of good faith. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his or her availing himself or herself of the provisions of this section.
  6. Any student who is aggrieved by the alleged failure of any faculty or administrative officials to comply in good faith with the provisions of this section shall be entitled to maintain an action or proceeding in the supreme court of the county in which such institution of higher education is located for the enforcement of his or her rights under this section.

VII.B.2. Student Attendance

Reporting Absences

“Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes, laboratories and discussions. Instructors may establish their own attendance criteria for a course. They may establish both the number of unexcused absences permitted to receive credit for the course and the number of such absences after which the final grade may be adjusted downward. In such cases it is expected that the instructor stipulate such requirements in the syllabus and that the syllabus be made available to students at or near the beginning of classes. In the absence of such statements, instructors have the right to deny a student the privilege of taking the final examination or of receiving credit for the course, or may prescribe other academic penalties if the student misses more than 25 percent of the total class sessions. Excessive tardiness may count as absence.” (Binghamton University Bulletin)

Faculty noting an excessive number of absences by a student are urged to report this fact to Academic Advising or the appropriate dean's office so that the student's whereabouts and circumstances may be ascertained.

Faculty should be sure to note the provisions of the Education Law relating to student attendance and religious holidays appearing in the entry immediately preceding.

Student and Classroom Discipline

Minor infractions of conduct are ordinarily handled at the time by the instructor. Any disciplinary problems should be reported immediately to the Office of Student Conduct. Instructors who discover cases of theft, vandalism, or other serious offenses by students should report them to the Office of Student Conduct. In any instance wherein an instructor would like to report inappropriate behavior or difficulty confronting a student, the dean of students can offer consultation as needed. The Students of Concern Committee, via the dean of students, will also help the instructor develop a plan of action for the more difficult classroom situations.  For specific guidance and a list of resources, please see http://www2.binghamton.edu/dean-of-students/faculty.html and http://www2.binghamton.edu/counseling/faculty/faculty-guide.html.

Any instructor may exclude from attendance any student who, in the instructor's judgment, has seriously impaired the class's ability to achieve the objectives of the course. The student may appeal the instructor's action to the department or school using the established grievance procedure. If the student is not satisfied with the ruling or recommendation emerging from the grievance hearings, an appeal may be brought to the appropriate dean.

VII.B.3. Absences by Students from Classes for Participation in Official University Events

Students at Binghamton University have the opportunity to participate in many kinds of activities beyond the classroom, including intercollegiate athletics, that either contribute to the quality of their undergraduate experience or promote their postgraduate careers. At times, students' participation in competitions requires them to be absent from regularly scheduled classes. Students are responsible for all work missed. At the same time, faculty members are expected to accommodate students' participation in such activities. If this is a University-sanctioned activity, the sponsoring organization has a similar responsibility to accommodate students' needs to meet their class obligations. Each student is responsible for notifying the appropriate instructor(s) of a potential absence at the beginning of the term for events already scheduled, and not less than a week before those scheduled once a term begins. Faculty should be flexible in providing opportunities for students to make up tests and other work missed.

VII.C. Grading

VII.C.1. Student Evaluation

Members of the academic staff must state clearly in writing the methods to be employed and the weighted value of each criterion used in determining a final course grade. They must inform students of any differential expectations and criteria, such as those between graduate and undergraduate students in the same class. If the course has been structured differently for students selecting a given grading option (e.g. Pass/Fail), the difference in structure must be clearly explained.

Grades should reflect levels of student achievements on learning outcomes and standards presented to students at the beginning of a course in a syllabus. Students should receive timely, formative feedback as soon as possible during a course so they can gauge their progress and have an opportunity to improve their performance before receiving a final grade.

VII.C.2. Grading System

The grading system used by each academic unit is stated in detail in the appropriate sections of the Bulletin. For overall information on the grading system used for undergraduate or graduate students, please see the following sections of the University Bulletin:

VII.C.3. Transferring Courses and Credit Within Binghamton University

For the purposes of the procedures following, the term "schools" refers to Harpur College, the Decker School of Nursing, the School of Management, the Graduate School of Education, the College of Community and Public Affairs, the Watson School, and the Graduate School. As defined by the Graduate School Bylaws, the Graduate School consists of the graduate components of all schools within Binghamton University.

  1. The specific grading system used in any school at Binghamton University shall be the responsibility of the governing body charged with supervising the academic program of the school. If a school elects to use a grading system such as Pass/Fail, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, or some similar alternative, the performance level equivalent to Pass, Satisfactory, etc., shall be that level of achievement required for a degree from that school. However, any school that permits only a limited number of courses to be taken on a Pass/Fail or similar basis may specify that the performance level for Pass, etc. can be lower than the overall level of achievement required for a degree from that school.
  2. A certain degree of "cross-fertilization" among Binghamton's schools and free use of elective courses within them is to be encouraged. However, a school may set a limit to the number of courses from any other school, either in to or from any particular school, that its students may take for credit toward its degree. A school may also impose restrictions with respect to the taking for credit of courses in other schools that are essentially duplicative of courses offered in the home school. The home school should ensure that other schools are informed when restrictions of the latter kind are imposed. If an individual student, a group of students, a faculty member, a department, or a school feels that a particular school is being overly restrictive in this regard, an appeal may be made to the Educational Policies and Priorities Committee of the Faculty Senate.
  3. Students from any school who register in courses offered by another school will be graded in accordance with the policies of the school that offers the course and not by the policies of the school in which the student is enrolled. However, in instances where the grading systems of the two schools are not consonant, course instructors may consider petitions received from students by the deadline date for adding new courses to have their course performance evaluated in a manner consistent with the grading policies established by the school in which they are enrolled.
  4. If a school accepts a course taken in another school for credit toward its degree, it must also accept and record the grade assigned by the course instructor. The term "grade" indicates whatever acceptable symbol was submitted by the instructor as an evaluation of performance. However, if the grading system of the home school permits a Pass/Fail, Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory, or some similar alternative, the school may allow its students to direct the registrar at the time of registration to convert the grade earned in a course accepted from another school to the appropriate P/F, S/U, etc. formula. This conversion procedure shall apply only to the Official Transcript (external); the Institutional Record (internal) and the Grade Report shall record the grade as assigned by the course instructor.
  5. Questions relating to a student's academic standing or rate of progress shall be resolved according to the policies of the home school. As a matter of general policy a school may choose to accept courses from other schools for credit toward its degree only at certain specified levels of performance (e.g., with earned grades of C or better). Moreover, a school may use whatever data are obtainable from other schools (e.g., final course registration lists in addition to or in lieu of grades) in determining rate of progress and academic standing for its own students.
  6. A school may refuse to award credit for certain courses taken in another school if these are the kinds of courses for which credit would not be transferred from extramural institutions. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain approval as required by the policies of the home school before taking courses in another school. Schools will publicize their practices in this regard as clearly as possible.

VII.C.4. Examinations and Papers

Examinations, papers, and other projects should be graded within a reasonable time and should be returned or made available to students who wish to review them. It is also expected that comments and corrections will be explained to students who seek explanations. To allow a means of evaluating the work of students who ask that a grade be reviewed, instructor's grade records, test scores, syllabi, and all other records pertaining to the course should be kept for two years, and graded work not returned to students should be kept for one year after course completion, in accordance with the SUNY specific record retention policy (http://bingdev.binghamton.edu/administration/procedures/200series/206.htm).

VII.C.5. Final Examinations

It is the University's policy that all faculty members administer their final or end-of-course examinations during the official Examination Period, as scheduled by the Office of Course Building and Academic Space Management. Any alternative scheduling within the official Examination Period must be done in advance through that office. Faculty who wish to administer final or end-of-course examinations outside the official Examination Period must have permission of the deans of their schools. Faculty should refer to the specific policies regarding final examinations in their respective schools, including policies regarding the number of exams students can be expected to take in a given time period.

VII.C.6. Submission of Grades

Submitting grades on time prevents delays students will experience related to transcript requests, conferral of degrees, eligibility for financial aid, degree verifications by employers and mailing of diplomas.

Faculty must turn in all grades by the date they are due according to University policy. All full-length fall and spring semester final grades must be submitted electronically via BU Brain no later than five business days after the end of the examination period. All Winter Session and Summer Session final grades must be submitted electronically via the BU Brian no later than three business days after the end of the examination period. The Student Records Office processes course grades on a rolling basis and releases them to students following this process.

Faculty who miss the deadline or need to change grades after they are processed and viewable by students in BU BRAIN must go to their departments or Student Records, located in Student Wing, Room 119, to obtain a change of grade form.  A change of grade form must be submitted in person by the faculty or a department staff member directly to Student Records.

When the instructor of record is not available to assign grades in a reasonable time frame, the department chair will assign another qualified and discipline-specific faculty member to do so.

Should a student wish to know a grade for any reason before official notification, and the faculty member has had a reasonable time to calculate that grade, the faculty member is expected to supply it. For purposes of demonstration of accomplishment to an outside agency, the faculty member's note on appropriate departmental stationery may be authenticated in the Student Records Office with the University Seal. (See also Faculty Responsibilities and Leave Status in Section IV.)

VII.C.7. Posting Grades

Information about students, including but not limited to social security numbers, birth dates, class schedules, grades, and grade point averages are protected by the federal Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 and its amendments. Employees of the University, therefore, must not release student information to any outside parties and must not post grade information on walls, doors, web sites, or any other public place.

Student can check their official final course grades via the BU Brain. In addition, the Blackboard course management system offers a way for instructors to post preliminary unofficial final grades for student viewing in a secure environment.

Faculty are expected to remain available for personal consultation with candidates for graduation for three working days after grades have been posted. Faculty members should leave in department, division, or deans' offices contact information where they may be reached by students.

VII.C.8. NSF and Incomplete Grades

NSF Grade

Students who have registered for but did not attend or stopped attending without completing the formal withdrawal process must be assigned a grade of NSF (Did Not Attend).  The grade will appear as an F on the student's transcript, but this enables the University to distinguish between students who stopped participating in courses and those who did participate.

Faculty are urged to report early on students not in attendance to Academic Advising or the appropriate dean's office so that the student's whereabouts and circumstances may be ascertained.

Undergraduate

A notation of Incomplete, rather than a grade, may be reported by the instructor when a student has not been able to complete a course for what, in the instructor's judgment, is a compelling reason. The submission of an Incomplete means that a student has made a substantial commitment to the course, but some remainder of the work must still be accomplished before an evaluation may be made.

Students must determine with the instructor what work is necessary for completion of the course and when the work must be submitted.

Ordinarily all Incomplete notations must be replaced with grades by the end of the next semester, whether or not the student is in college. Incomplete notations change to an F grade at the end of the next semester unless an official extension has been filed with the Student Records Office. It is the student's responsibility to initiate a request for an extension, having reached agreement with the instructor for an alternate completion date. The appropriate form, Request for Extension of Incomplete Grade in an Undergraduate Course, may be obtained from the academic advising office of the college or school in which the student is enrolled.

Graduate

An instructor may assign an Incomplete (I) when a student has done most of the coursework and satisfactorily but, due to unforeseen circumstances, has not completed the coursework. The Incomplete is not for the purpose of converting a failing grade, or unsatisfactory work, to a passing grade. The student must request the Incomplete option from the instructor, but it is the instructor's decision as to whether or not it is appropriate. Graduate students who are given a grade of I are given six months from the last day of classes to make up the incomplete work. This is the maximum allowed. However, the instructor and student should have a written contract that indicates the timeline and requirements for completion. The instructor may set a deadline sooner than the University maximum, reflecting the instructor's availability to extend his or her commitment beyond the course, but the instructor may not extend the University period of six months. It is expected that, upon submission of the remaining work, faculty will take no longer than one month to file a final letter grade for the course. Students must, therefore, submit the remaining work at least one month before the agreed-upon deadline or the University six-month deadline, whichever comes first. Unless the student completes the coursework and the instructor submits a final letter grade within six months, a grade of I changes to a grade of Withdrawn (W). Once an I has changed to a W, the student has no further opportunity to complete the course, and the course will appear on the final transcript as Withdrawn.

Under exceptional circumstances only, the six-month grace period for Incomplete grades may be extended for another six months. Requests for extensions of Incomplete grades require the approval of the course instructor and the dean of the Graduate School or designee. Requests must be made at least one month before the six-month deadline.

The Incomplete policy has specific implications for students receiving tuition scholarships and other kinds of financial aid and for international students holding visas, as indicated below.

  • Tuition Scholarships: When a student receives a tuition scholarship, the University pays tuition for the courses taken by that student. In a case in which an I converts to a W, the University has paid for tuition for a course that was not completed. Furthermore, when the student drops below the required number of registered courses, the student has violated the conditions outlined in the Terms and Conditions of the Tuition Scholarship (which is signed by the student). Students receiving tuition scholarships should be aware that the University will seek repayment of tuition that was paid for Incomplete courses that turn into Withdrawn.
  • Financial Aid: See the Graduate Academic Progress Charts in the Bulletin/Catalog for information on the required number of completed credits per graduate level per semester.
  • International Students: Student visas require that students be registered as full time, so Withdrawn courses usually signal registration that fell below full-time status.

All courses taken by graduate students are subject to the above policy. Incomplete and missing grades must be resolved before students may receive a graduate degree.

Some departments and programs may have more restrictive policies regarding Incomplete grades, and students should make it a point to learn about their department's rules and expectations.

VII.C.9. Missing Grades

Any grades not submitted by faculty members by the end of the semester will be treated as missing grades and assigned the mark of Missing Grade (MG). Please note that a missing grade is likely to jeopardize a student's financial aid, degree conferral and or mailing of diplomas.

VII.C.10. Changing Grades

No change may be made in a grade unless one of the following situations occurs: (1) cheating is discovered; or (2) the instructor testifies that a mechanical error has been made; or (3) where applicable, the instructor may change a grade to Incomplete if satisfactory evidence shows that events beyond control prevented the submission of a student's required work. Normally, grade changes for the Fall semester should be completed by the end of the second week of classes in the Spring semester, and changes for the Spring semester should be completed by four weeks after Commencement. Additionally, there is an absolute limit of 18 months from the end of the semester during which the course was taken to make changes in grades in Harpur College courses.

For more information on how academic honesty violations may affect a student's grade, please see the University Bulletin section on the Student Academic Honesty Code.

VII.C.11. Formal Complaints Concerning Grades

If a student has a complaint about a grade or other academic grievance, the first step is to talk to the instructor involved. If the matter is not settled satisfactorily, the student should contact the department chair or division director about the complaint and submit the complaint through the formal grievance procedure established by the department. The department decision may, if the student still feels aggrieved, be appealed to the appropriate dean.

Last Updated: 7/23/14