Incomplete Course Policy

Western Governors University (WGU) recognizes there may be circumstances and events beyond a student’s control that interrupt or impede measured progress toward course completion. Students may request an additional seven days to finalize a course for which they are registered and have the grade posted to the recently concluded term. The first seven days of the subsequent term are inclusive of the subsequent term and do not reset the new term's start date to the 8th. Students may not request an incomplete course while on term break, and may not start a term break while a course is marked as incomplete. The request must be in the form of an appeal letter to the student’s Program Mentor. The appeal letter must be specific in nature and address the event(s) or circumstance that interrupted or impeded academic progress on a course. In order for the appeal to be considered by the Office of the Registrar, the student must have the support of the Program Mentor. Mentor support does not guarantee the appeal will be granted.
The Office of the Registrar is responsible for denying or granting the student’s appeal for the seven-day grace period. The decision to grant the appeal is predicated upon, but not restricted to:


  • The nature of the event(s)/circumstance – must be unforeseen and unavoidable.
  • When the event(s)/circumstance occurred – generally in the last 4 to 6 weeks of the term.
  • Documented and verifiable academic progress on the course - at least one substantive attempt at an objective assessment, or regular and consistent submissions on a performance assessment are all reviewed (rough drafts may be considered upon appeal).
  • Completion of all other courses – only one outstanding course is considered a reasonable request.
  • Overall academic progress across terms – consistent academic progress and completion of courses in prior terms.
  • Adherence to the Term Registration and Enrollment (opens new window) policy.
  • Adherence to university Communication Protocol (opens new window).

The decision to deny the appeal is predicated upon, but not restricted to:

  • Known or anticipated life events – occupational, vacation, etc.
  • Events and circumstances that occur early or in the middle of a student’s term are generally not considered.
  • Short-term illness and/or minor injuries – cold, flu, cuts, abrasions, etc.
  • Inclement weather and/or temporary power outages – snow, rain, wind, etc.
  • Lack of engagement in the course – attempts, submissions, etc.
  • Failure to schedule an exam or find an available testing option before the end of the term.  
  • Prior and/or multiple appeals for an incomplete course or courses is considered unacceptable.

Appeals must be received by the Office of the Registrar on or before the 25th day of the last month of the student’s term. Appeals received after the 25th are generally not considered unless the event(s)/circumstance prevented the appeal from being made at an earlier date. 
Students denied the additional seven days by the Office of the Registrar may seek redress by asking their Program Mentor to appeal directly to the University Registrar, whose decision is final.



Objective Assessments/Third-Party Assessments 

Students granted the additional seven days for an objective assessment will be eligible to make assessment attempt(s). Time permitting, and in compliance with the WGU Assessment Policies of the Student Handbook (all sections apply), the student may make additional attempts within the seven-day IC period. Extensions of the seven-day IC to accommodate multiple attempts will not be allowed. In rare and unusual circumstances, additional time may be granted and is at the sole discretion of the Records department.   



Performance Assessments 

Students granted the additional seven days for a performance assessment may submit tasks and any necessary revisions through the end of the extension period.

Regarding Incomplete Requests (IC) for Final Courses in Program (Objective and Performance)


  1. The course for which the IC is being considered must be in the students’ initial course registration for the term. If the course is accelerated into the term an IC will not be considered unless it is the result of a substantial breakdown in service on the part of WGU.
    • There may be an opportunity to have the course removed from the term if the student has not sufficiently engaged in the course.
  2. The student must prove that they are actively pursuing the course's completion. This can be done by providing any of the following:
    • A rough draft of a paper to the Program Mentor for submission along with the IC request.
    • Proof of a quality task submission to Taskstream.
    • Proof of a quality objective assessment attempt. Preassessments are not eligible.

Upon submission of these items, the Records department will review the student eligibility for an IC to be granted. This IC, depending on circumstance, may be offered from seven (7) to thirty (30) days from the end of the student’s last term. For all other terms, the seven (7) day IC is the policy. This IC will only be valid for the initial period granted by the Records department. The issuance of an additional IC after the first IC has lapsed will only be granted in extreme circumstances, a 30-day IC will not be automatically renewed. When these occur, the Program Mentor will have to submit an email to records requesting additional time along with senior manager support and supportive documentation from the student, such as a substantially expanded upon rough draft in the case of the capstone, in order to be considered for eligibility for an extension.
We in the Office of the Registrar are aware that from time to time special exceptions to the rules can, and must be reviewed to be as fair and understanding as possible to our student body. In these situations, the Registrar will give their personal attention to items that fall outside the normal scope of the above-mentioned criteria.





Article Number: 20440, 2833