Guidelines on the Use of INC, SDF, & WDR

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A graduate student’s transcript must be an accurate record of earned achievements. This document clarifies and guides in the use of the non-grade notation INC in particular. The two related notations of SDF and WDR are also clarified in these guidelines.

Grade and non-grade notations appear in transcripts and are used on ROSI; they are governed by University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy.


To ensure consistency, the following guidelines should be adopted:

1) In all cases of incomplete course work, instructors should submit to their graduate unit whatever grade has been earned; blanks, NGA, or INC notations should not be accepted.

2) If a student is unable to finish coursework by the deadline for valid (usually documented medical or similar) reasons, graduate units should use the “SDF” mechanism, granting an extension and ensuring the student knows the new deadline for submitting completed coursework


If a coursework extension is not requested, or not granted, graduate units should submit the letter grades obtained as in 1) above.

3) If coursework is completed by the extended deadline, the new final grade should replace the SDF indicator


If the student does not complete the coursework by the extended deadline, and there are no acceptable grounds for further extending the SDF, graduate units should submit the letter grades obtained as in 1) above.

4) If the graduate unit determines that a further extension is warranted, a request for extension should be submitted to SGS as normal.

5) If unusual circumstances beyond the student’s control mean that the student will not be able to complete the coursework given reasonable extensions, graduate units should consider requesting late withdrawal (“WDR”) as opposed to using “INC.”

Adherence to these guidelines should reduce the use of INC to truly “special circumstances”—in the rare event that coursework cannot be completed in reasonable time because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, where a failure or low mark would be clearly unfair, and where late withdrawal is deemed inappropriate. INC should not be used to protect students from the consequences of poor academic performance or poor choices.