Archived: Extension of coursework beyond the semester: what’s possible?

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Students in a library

We all have plans once the semester is over whether it’s to spend some dutiful time relaxing with friends in the Hub, working for next year’s tuition, or going to a Mexican field school in the spring semester. Whatever your plans, sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you need to re-adjust your plans. If something unplanned happens (car accident/severe illness/emotional distress), call the Student Advocacy office and we can figure out some options together.

Here are a couple of common situations that may get you thinking about an extension of course work beyond the current semester, when it happens in April:

  • I have a family emergency, but I still have assignments due in 3 classes that I won’t be able to get to finishing on time. How might I get an extension on my coursework?

You may want to speak to your instructor (or to the Department Chair if the instructor is not available) as soon as possible once you know the deadline has become problematic for you. The instructor in a course has the discretion to grant what’s called, an “I” grade, which stands for “Incomplete”. You and your instructor can negotiate an “I-grade contract” to set a different due date for an extension of coursework beyond the deadline of the semester. The contract has to be negotiated and signed before the deadline to submit final grades, which generally falls at the end of the month exams are held. Ask the department for details. Know that if you sign an I-grade contract, you cannot apply for a late withdrawal with cause. See the current MRU Academic Calendar for more information on “I-grade contracts”.

  • I was in a car accident and I’m currently in the hospital. I may not be able to come back in time to finish the semester or write my final exams. What are my options?

Sometimes students will be able to negotiate an “I-grade contract” with the instructor before the deadline for final grades are due to be submitted. Check with your instructor first on this. Other times, students decide to apply for a late withdrawal with cause or “WC” grade. This is possible, if you provide some specific documentation from a physician that states exactly why you missed the withdrawal deadline (IE: the car accident happened in April) andwhy it’s not possible for you to finish the semester (IE: you’re still in hospital and when your recovery time is anticipated.) Ask your physician for some help with this. A ‘WC’ does not come with a course refund. If this is what you want, you may request it, but it’s unlikely to be approved. However, sometimes students in severe and exceptional circumstances receive refunds. There are no guarantees, but you can request it if you choose.


These are only a few possible situations that could arise. Your circumstances are unique to you. No matter the situation, feel free to come in for some situation options and policy information.


Contact the Student Advocacy Coordinator >>


By Andrea Davis, Student Advocacy Coordinator, SAMRU