Dean’s Extensions

You can request dean’s extension via Yale College’s Dean’s Extension Form.   After reviewing your form, the dean will reach out to you if he needs more context or clarity. This process allows the residential college dean to authorize the postponement of written work or exams during term-time due to the following exceptional circumstances as stated in the Yale College Programs of Study.

There are three standard extensions–and one quasi-extension–available to students in Yale College. These are the normal extension (which are granted by an instructor or the dean), the Temporary Incomplete (TI), the All but Exam (ABX) accommodation, and the Incomplete. The first three accommodations are available to you through the Saybrook Dean’s Office and require you to submit an online form, and the dean can sometimes help facilitate the last.
Dean’s Extension
The dean is authorized to issue a Dean’s Extension (formerly Dean’s Excuse) for the following reasons:
1. An incapacitating condition of any kind, physical or mental.
2. Death in the family or comparable emergency.
3. Observance of religious holy days.
4. Required participation in intercollegiate varsity athletic events.
If you ever find yourself in one of the exceptional circumstances listed above, go here to make an appointment with the dean.
There is, inevitably, some subjectivity in assessing incapacity, so you are always able to visit the dean’s office or make an appointment to discuss.
For papers whose due dates fall on religious holidays or while an athlete is away, the expectation is that the work can be planned ahead. Take note that overlapping due dates, heavy workload, and stressful or intensive extracurricular and career-related activities are not sufficient grounds for an extension. If your extracurriculars start to kick off, the dean’s advice will be to jettison or moderate those responsibilities rather than your academic ones—you must decide which are more important. Note as well that the dean may reject out of hand an extension request that comes after the initial due date, unless you have been hospitalized or were otherwise unable to contact the dean or the dean’s assistant, or the problem manifested while working on an assignment. Even then, there are limits to how large of a gap between due date and request is tolerable. There are reasons for this.
  • Such requests rob a dean of the ability to offer alternative advice, resources or support.
  • In practice, it robs instructors of the ability to structure their classes and issue due dates according to their own judgment and pedagogical preference.
  • It is profoundly unfair to students who abide by the dates and work to complete their work on time or with a properly requested extension.
  • A fourth is that it is much harder to adjudicate weeks after the fact whether someone was incapacitated—and if they were, whether they should have been granted a few extra days rather than a few extra weeks to complete. That is, such requests essentially permit students to grant themselves an extension of whatever length they desire by delaying the request.
Students with chronic conditions or developing and ongoing problems can either work with their instructors, or if they prefer, with the dean. They should request extensions before the original due date and request subsequent extensions (of the original extension) as necessary. 
DEs may not be issued for absences. An instructor’s request or blessing is neither necessary nor sufficient to be granted a DE. DEs are limited in scope and only cover the postponement of assignments, quizzes, tests and other phenomena with a deadline that is ‘postponable.’ In all other cases of work missed during the term, only the instructor has the authority to decide whether or not the student is permitted to make up the work, so the student should contact the instructor directly. When contacting instructors, remember that you do not have to disclose confidential information if you feel uncomfortable doing so.
Dean’s Extensions are intended not to allow a student to do their best work, or to submit the work that reflects what they could produce under ideal circumstances, but instead are intended to ensure that they are not egregiously disadvantaged due to one of the aforementioned reasons.
Work Incomplete at the End of Term
The rules governing the postponement of work at the end of term are different from those governing the postponement of work during the term. Only residential college deans can authorize extensions for work or make-up examinations after the close of the teaching term (i.e. after the end of reading week).  Without WRITTEN permission from the dean, you will not to be able to postpone a final examination or any other end-of-term project, or regular course work due late in the term itself, regardless of whether the instructor has given you permission.
The Temporary Incomplete is an end-of-term accommodation. All term time work (viz., work due before the end of reading period) requires a TI in order to be extended past the end of reading period. All final projects (generally papers) extended past the end of final examination period require a TI. The dean’s ability to initially grant a TI ends at 5pm on the last day of finals. The dean cannot grant a retroactive TI. Note that instructors are not authorized to issue TIs. Many, nonetheless, will. As with DE’s, the dean cannot retroactively add decanal imprimatur to any TI so arranged, and if any late breaking misunderstandings arise between a student and an instructor about such extensions, the dean will be of no avail.
The ABX is an end-of-term accommodation. Any exam (or special final project) that you cannot sit (or produce) on the initial due date for reasons on the list of criteria for granting a DE is eligible for an ABX. If you receive an ABX, you must independently arrange a date with your instructor to resolve the ABX before the middle of the succeeding term. Any ABX left unresolved by the middle of term will convert to an F.
This accommodation excludes final papers.
The mark of Incomplete is for capstone senior projects, including senior theses. They are typically arranged among a student, an advisor and a DUS. After a decision has been reached among these three, the advisor or DUS write to the registrar, requesting that a mark of INC be inscribed for the course that this assignment falls under. It is labelled a quasi-extension because it is generally granted upon request and consultation, and requires neither the dean’s approval nor any special reason for requesting it. The dean can nonetheless help facilitate the process when an advisor is unsure.