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Visual Studies Ph.D. Incomplete Policy

The Visual Studies Department strongly discourages incompletes in any of its courses. We also recommend that graduate students in Visual Studies not request incomplete grades for courses taken outside the Department.

We understand that an incomplete may be appropriate in some instances, particularly in cases of serious medical and personal emergencies. In such cases, the Department strongly urges all graduate students to submit the required coursework to the instructor before the end of the 6th week of instruction in the quarter following the issuing of an incomplete grade. In any case, per University policy, if the coursework is not completed within one calendar year, the incomplete grade will automatically revert to a Fail (F) or Unsatisfactory (U).

Failure to complete coursework in a timely manner can severely hamper a student's progress toward the degree and will reflect unfavorably on his/her performance during scheduled periodic reviews. For example:

  • The current status of incomplete grades is a factor in reviewing a student's first year dossier and a favorable review and recommendation for continuance in the program by the first year review committee is conditional upon the timely completion of all outstanding coursework.
  • No student is allowed to advance to candidacy with outstanding incomplete grades on his/her transcript.
  • Any student who allows an incomplete grade to revert to an F or a U is subject to immediate review by the Department. Receiving an F or a U in a Visual Studies course is considered potential grounds for dismissal from the program.