Incomplete Grades, Improperly Recorded Grades and Student Complaints

Process for Changing an Incomplete to a Letter Grade

At the time an "I" grade is awarded, the instructor completes a form stating (1) the reason for awarding the incomplete, (2) what work has to be performed by the student to complete the course, (3) the deadline for completing the work, and (4) the alternate grade to be awarded in the event the deadline is not met. One copy of this form is retained by the instructor, one copy is forwarded to the Records Office and one copy is mailed or given to the student by the instructor. If an instructor fails to indicate an alternate grade, the incomplete will automatically revert to an "F" at expiration of the deadline. The maximum time that can be given to complete an "I" grade is one year.

Students can request a duplicate copy of the Incomplete Grade Form from the department in which the course was taken. The student is responsible for obtaining all information regarding the completion of the course, including deadlines, from the instructor or the instructor's department head. Students can check to see if their grade has been changed at

Procedure for Changing Improperly Recorded Grades

If a student believes that a clerical error has been made in awarding the final grade for a course, the student should meet with the instructor to determine if there has been an error made. A change of grade is normally allowed only for a clerical error. In order to change a grade, the course instructor must fill out a Change of Grade form. The grade change form must be signed by the instructor, the department head and the college dean prior to submitting to the Registrar's Office. Grade change forms must be received by the Registrar no later than the fifteenth working day of the following semester (exclusive of the summer session). Students can check to see if their grade has been changed at

Student Complaints Concerning Grades

Student's who believe that they have been unfairly graded in a course should follow the appeals procedure outlined in the NMU Student Handbook. An excerpt from the Student Handbook follows:

Students who feel they have reason to believe that the grades which they have received are incorrect or unfair should first consult with the instructor for the courses in question, seeking satisfactory explanations and/or resolutions. If, after talking with the instructor, the student feels that the complaint has not been resolved, the student shall ask the appropriate department head to review the matter. The department head shall discuss the matter with the instructor involved, seeking resolution of the complaint. If, in the opinion of the student, the complaint remains unresolved after this discussion, the student may submit a formal request in writing to the department head that the complaint be submitted to adjudication through an appeals system involving two appellate levels: a departmental appeals committee and a college appeals committee. The instructor may make a written response to this request and provide that response to the department head who will share it with the departmental and college appeals committees, as appropriate, and make it a matter of record.

Reasons for Appeals

The reasons for appeal will be restricted to the following:

  1. The grade is allegedly based on a score that is arithmetically erroneous, or is allegedly based on a factual error.
  2. The rules established for assigning grades as outlined in the course syllabus allegedly have been violated.
  3. The instructor has allegedly violated academic freedom by grading on some basis other that academic performance in the course.
  4. Extenuating circumstances such as illness, incapacity, or absences, or absences of the instructor generate uncertainty regarding the appropriateness of the grade assigned.
  5. The student is appealing a finding of academic dishonesty by the instructor as outlined in Section 1.2.3.

Burden of Proof

The complainant shall carry the burden of proof that the grade is incorrect or unjustified. For the purposes of these appeal proceedings, the burden of proof shall be understood to mean clear and convincing evidence of at least one of the four reason for appeal stated in Section

For further details, please contact the Dean of Students Office and ask for a copy of the Northern Michigan University Student Handbook. Further details about the due process of grade appeals can be found there or on the web at the below links:

Dean of Students Office
Student Handbook