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Northwestern University


You are expected to complete all work in each of your Weinberg College courses by the appropriate deadline. You will not be granted permission to make up a final examination or complete other assigned course work after the end of a quarter except in unforeseen circumstances clearly beyond your control, such as incapacitating illness or family emergency.

Incomplete grades will generally be given only to students who have already completed most of the assignments for the course and who have a reasonable chance of passing by making up the missed work.  Incompletes are not a way to get extra time to improve performance, nor are they appropriate for a student who has abandoned a course (stopped attending and turning in work). To ensure fairness, all requests for incomplete grades must be approved by both the professor and the Assistant Dean for Academic Standing. You will be asked to provide documentation of your circumstances. Because incompletes are not always an optimal solution to academic difficulties, you may want to consider withdrawing from the course, if that deadline has not yet passed. Consult your College Adviser if you have concerns.

Policies for incompletes

Incomplete petition process

 In order to request an incomplete grade for a course, a student must:

  1. Complete the student portion of the Petition for an Incomplete
  2. Communicate with your professor about the request 
  3. If they agree that an incomplete may be appropriate, the professor must complete the faculty portion of the Petition for an Incomplete
  4. Obtain documentation to verify the unforeseen circumstances
  5. Discuss the incomplete with your academic adviser and obtain their signature on the form.
  6. Submit the completed petition and supporting documentation to where it will be evaluated by the Assistant Dean for Academic Standing. Final approval of an incomplete grade rests with the Assistant Dean.

Documentation to support a Petition for an Incomplete

Students must submit documentation to support their petition for an incomplete.

Northwestern Medicine can provide documentation if students are seen at Health Services for physical ailments. Students who are seen elsewhere should provide a note from their treating physician/clinician.  The letter from a treating physician should contain information on how the medical issue impacts your engagement in your studies and a timeline of the issue and impact You do not have to submit detailed medical records.  You should NEVER submit medical records for someone other than yourself; a doctor’s note including the patient name and date of impact will suffice if the medical issue relates to a third party.

Verifiable documentation must be provided for all types of other emergencies with the Petition for an Incomplete

All supporting documentation should be submitted as pdf files that are attached to the email that includes the completed Petition for an Incomplete.  Please do not submit screen shots or links.


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