Deferred Grade (DF)

If, for reasons beyond a student's control, he/she is prevented from completing a course within the prescribed time, the student may ask the instructor for a deferred grade. If the instructor agrees to this action, the instructor reports the student's grade as a DF at the end of the semester to delay issuing a grade and to allow the student more time to complete course work.

Request Deadline

A student should request a deferred grade before the beginning of the final examination period in the semester/session the course was offered. In an emergency, an instructor can approve a deferred grade after the final exam period has started.

Deadline for Course Completion

When an instructor defers a student's grade by submitting a DF, the deadline is ten weeks following the end date of the course (as it appears in the Schedule of Courses). After the end of a semester or session, when the Schedule of Courses is no longer available, a course's end date is available to authorized advisers on ISIS. Use ARUAC to access the official course end date by entering the semester/session, the DF course number, and section. (The section number is available on ARIRS.)

The deadline is calculated in calendar weeks; breaks and holidays have no effect on the calculation.

Deadlines for full-semester/session courses:
(If a course is offered in a different time frame, the Registrar's office can assist in determining this deadline.)

Deadlines for full semester / session courses.
Time Frame Deadline
Spring 2015 July 10, 2015
Maymester 2015 (University Park) August 17, 2015
Summer Session 1, 2015 (University Park) September 4, 2015
Summer Session 2, 2015 (University Park) October 21, 2015
Fall 2015 February 19, 2016
Spring 2016 July 8, 2016

The deferred grade deadline does not change if a student is on a leave of absence or chooses not to enroll for the subsequent semester or session.

Two weeks prior to the deadline, the Registrar's office sends a reminder of the DF expiration date to the student and instructor. If a grade is not entered by the deadline, the DF will be changed to a grade of F. The Registrar's office sends email notifications to the instructor and the student that an F was recorded.


Extension beyond ten weeks may be granted for extenuating circumstances only. The course instructor must approve the extension. A deferred grade form (available from appropriate deans' offices) indicating the date the deferral expires must be processed. Deferred grades should not be extended beyond the end of the semester following the semester when the DF was granted.

Impact on the Student's Record

Degree Audit

If a student has a deferred grade, his/her degree audit will include a section titled Incomplete Courses and will list any DF courses. (See section 6 of this sample degree audit.)

Transcript and Grade Reports

When a student receives a deferred grade, DF will appear on the student's transcript and grade reports instead of a grade. The student's grade-point average for that semester will be calculated without the deferred-grade credits. The letter "I," signifying "incomplete," is printed next to the student's grade-point average on his/her transcript. A student with a DF on his/her transcript will not be allowed to graduate, even if the course in which the DF was recorded is not required for graduation in the student's degree program.

When the instructor submits a grade, it immediately replaces the DF on the student's record. If a grade is not submitted prior to the deferred grade deadline, a grade of F is assigned. When the grade is recorded, the student's grade-point average is recalculated, the "I" will be removed, and, if appropriate, the student will be named to the Dean's List. When the student's record is changed, he/she is notified by email to check eLion for the corrected grade.

Impact on the Student's Financial Aid

Credits from a course in which a student is assigned a deferred grade are not counted toward the student's satisfactory academic progress until a letter grade is recorded. Students receiving aid should investigate the impact a DF could have with the Office of Student Aid.

Advising Recommendation

To ensure clarity, the instructor who has approved a deferred-grade request should provide the student with a written statement detailing the agreed upon plan for completing work. For example:

I have agreed to give John Doe a deferred grade for PHIL 321, spring 2012. He must hand in two book reviews and take the final exam in order to complete course requirements. This work must be turned in by July 1 to allow time for grading prior to the deferred-grade deadline. Dr. George Jones, 04/26/12

Student Action

  1. Obtain approval for a deferred grade from the course instructor. If the course instructor is not available, contact the student's appropriate dean's office.
  2. Request a written statement from the instructor for your records (see advising recommendation above) or, if necessary (see below), request the instructor's signature on a deferred grade form (available from the student's appropriate college dean) and have it submitted to the Registrar's office.

A deferred grade form (available from appropriate deans' offices) is only required if the instructor

  1. wants to extend the deadline for completing the required work or
  2. is not available and the deferred grade is approved by the student's appropriate college dean.

Students follow the same procedures to defer a grade in a Continuing Education or World Campus course as in a resident instruction course.

The World Campus offers information about deferring a grade in the courses that they offer.

Advising Note

It is important to consider the impact that the completion of course work required to remove the DF will have on the student's workload during the next semester. A student deferring 6 credits of work and registering for 19 credits could be carrying an effective credit load of 25 credits until the deferred course work is complete. The student should be advised that this is an extreme overload.

Last Update: July 2015

Reference(s): Senate Policy 48-40