Incomplete Requests

An instructor may assign a temporary grade of Incomplete “I” to a student(s) in a course. 1

Incompletes are handled in Canvas by opening a special section in the original Canvas course where the student received the Incomplete. For example, if a professor taught a course in the fall and a student has an Incomplete, the Canvas administrators open a section (e.g. Incomplete-ACCT1301-001-1217) in the original fall course (e.g. ACCT1301-001-1217) and gives the professor and student access to that section. This gives the student access to the content, their grades, assignments, etc. and the professor access to the same. This eliminates the student's need to re-do any work and the professor’s need to re-grade any work. The due dates can then be adjusted accordingly by the professor.

Step 1

The instructor enters an “I” and a completion deadline date when finalizing course grades in my.SMU.

Step 2

The instructor submits a help ticket at with the following information: Please set up an incomplete section in a Canvas course for the following:

  • Student name and SMU ID (e.g. John Smith, 12345678)
  • Original course number (e.g. ACCT1301-001-1217)
  • End date for incomplete work (e.g. 12/17/2021)

Step 3

A new section is created in the original Canvas course called “Incomplete-ACCT1301-001-1217” and enrolls the professor and student. The course will automatically close on the end date provided in the help ticket.

Step 4

The instructor changes the due dates on any applicable assignments for the student(s).

  1. Click on any assignment/quiz/discussion.
  2. Click edit
  3. Scroll all the way to bottom.
  4. Click +Add in “Assign To” section.
  5. Type or Select the incomplete section (e.g. Incomplete-ACCT1301-001-121)
  6. Select new due date.
  7. Save.
Incomplete Requests

1A student may temporarily receive a grade of Incomplete “I” if at least 50 percent of the course requirements have been completed with passing grades, but for some justifiable reason acceptable to the instructor, the student has been unable to complete the full requirements of the course. The grade of “I” in a course does not authorize a student to attend or enroll in the course during a later term. For more information, please review SMU's Grade Policies.
Please Note:
 If the previous instructor is no longer at SMU or not working this term, then the new instructor is enrolled in the original Canvas course OR the student is enrolled as observer in the current term’s Canvas course (student cannot participate as observer and will need to email assignments and make other arrangements for any online quizzes).