Big Question

there is a big question on my transcript. I have not been able to defend my thesis yet. I am hoping to do it within the next month. Because I was registered in the fall of 2004 I received an incomplete. Makes sense.
the computer automatically changes the grade to an F until the work is complete. The transcript mentions that the F is not a final grade but rather is there pending the completion of the thesis.
My advisor asked for a grade extention and was hoping to change the grade back to an I from the F. Still not done.
Here is the question. Should I still send the transcript? When the grade gets changed can I send a new transcript? I would like to apply on time so this is the dilema.
Thanks for the help

Not really sure exactly how to approach this one… I’m wondering though if you could get the registrar to make a note potentially more prominent on the transcript that that is a temporary note… if it really states so on the transcript then I’d just go ahead and send it as is. If you need to explain it, just state that it’s for your thesis… I would think that would be sufficient.

There is no “on time”–if you don’t apply in the first few weeks that is not as big a problem as a transcript snafu. I think if you’re going to defend in June and can get this changed shortly thereafter it might be worth waiting. The problem is that as I remember it the AMCAS only calculates your GPA once and all corrections of transcripts after that go to the schools. Even with the note I think that they would have little choice but to call it an F. This will then take lots of communicating with schools about something you really don’t want to be the first thing they know and remember about you. I may be too pessimistic here but when it comes to this part of the process it’s helpful to assume the worst.


Hey there,
I would agree with Joe on this. If you think the grade will change before June or July, then I’d definitely wait. August would be harder to say. But AMCAS will only process your application once, as far as I’m aware. If you have to appeal to individual schools to get the F removed, I think you’re asking for trouble. At the early stages of applying, you’ll be lucky to hear back in a timely manner that schools have even received your application materials. Asking them to dig through papers and change something, then correlate it with a new transcript, will be HARD. You will never get confirmation that this was done successfully from most schools.
Having a note in fine print on the transcript is practically no help. Schools won’t see it, and AMCAS may just ignore it. (They ignored numerous notes on my transcripts–but I had a bad run with AMCAS so maybe they’re normally more attentive). Anyway, if you can get it changed to at least an I, I think it’s worth a few weeks of waiting.

Thanks for your help. I have not finished writing yet and I am hoping to get it done by the end of May and then defend in June. But nothing is set and I cannot predict when I will be done.

What if my professor were to send a letter explaining that this F is not a true grade but is the computer protocol for incompletes.

I’m sorry to sound so negative about this, but I don’t think AMCAS will read a letter from your prof. I really think they will demand a transcript and only a transcript. If I were you, I would try to think of AMCAS as a giant, occasionaly malfunctioning computer which from time to time it is your job to feed formulated papers through. Do not think of AMCAS as individuals who would be happy to read letters from professors or administrators on your behalf and then make changes. HOWEVER, it would probably be worth it for you to call AMCAS about this and ask them yourself.
If you are talking about having your prof send a letter to individual schools, then sure, they might read it and note what he says, but is that really the kind of communication you want to be having with them at this point? Believe me, you will have plenty of reasons to bother each admissions department along the way–I wouldn’t want this kind of thing to be your first contact.
Like I said, I’m sorry for sounding so negative! I wish I could say there was an easy way to deal with this. And this is only my one personal view, of course. But can’t you get the F changed to an I by June or July anyway? Why can’t your prof just get that changed? That seems MUCH easier than trying to influence AMCAS. By the way, why does your school have a computer protocol that professors don’t even agree with?

No way would I send it in with an F that will be changed to A, B or what ever. The AMCAS folks crunch it all down into a computerized report - I SERIOUSLY DOUBT there is any accomodation, ability or incentive for them notate the grade issue. I think trying to correct something as monumental as a F on your masters thesis would be a monolithic pain in the ass. Furthermore, with such a large black marr on your record, many schools are liable to simply reject you outright w/o waiting for the update. Then you have the even bigger issue of trying to appeal rejections.
All in all, even though there may be a slight handicap by not getting everything into AMCAS/AACOMAS w/i the first few days, in the long run, I think you’d be far far better off by waiting until it is all 100% correct.
Maybe, once the defense is done & grade determined, you can convince the registrar’s office to process your update post haste. I know that this was “requestable” at UTDallas.

The idea I’m getting from my own opinion and the ones posted here is that you’re putting too much energy into solving the wrong problem.
What stands in the way of your finishing writing in the next week or two? What would you have to do to knock down those obstacles? What stands in the way of defending in June? What can you do about that? If you can get that F changed by July, you’re not really behind in the application process, and you’ve got a LOT better application. Unless there’s more to this picture than we’ve seen here, seriously set your mind to kicking that darn thesis down the block. You’ll feel better and your application will look better.

Sounds (as I read it out loud) like you are getting some good advice. Hold off your app till that grade is changed hopefully to an A or B. Do not, do not, rely on some letter! In this day and age it seems very little is read. We send letters and then they are put in some pile. Listen to Oldman Dave. Hold off til l it’s ready. You only have one chance for a first impression.

Thanks for all your advise. I think I will concentrate on finishing the darn thing and defend it. I will complete the rest of the applications and then have to wait only for the transcript to be sent and received.

All right! Go get 'em, Tiger!!!