Academic Catalog

2019-2020 Edition

Grade Appeal

Grade appeals can occur for the following three reasons: computational error; arbitrariness or capriciousness; unlawful discrimination. Students who believe that they have the basis to appeal a final grade must follow the grade appeal procedures and deadlines outlined below.

A grade appeal must be submitted by Friday, Week 2 of the following session.

Grounds for Appeal 

1. Computational error. 

The instructor is alleged to have made a mistake in the computation of the course grade. An instructor who discovers an error in calculating a student’s grade will submit a Change of Grade form to the Registrar’s office. The instructor will notify the student of the error and resulting change; the student has the right to question or appeal this grade following the procedures outlined below. When a student believes that a grade calculation error has been made, they must first speak with the instructor. If the instructor agrees, the instructor will complete a "Change of Grade" form. If the instructor does not agree, the student may then follow the procedures and deadlines outlined below. 

2. Arbitrariness or Capricious Grading Practices 

The student alleges that the grade was based on something other than performance in a course (i.e. non-academic criteria); or the grade reflects standards different from those applied to other students in the course; or the grade departs from the standards of evaluation set forth in the syllabi in a substantial, unreasonable, and unannounced way. In this case, the student may then follow the procedures and deadlines outlined below. 

3. Discrimination. 

The student alleges that the grade reflects a violation of the University's non-discrimination policy as stated in the university catalog. In this case, the student may then follow the "grievance procedures" for bringing a claim of unlawful discrimination as outlined in the university catalog. 

Grade Appeal Procedures and Deadlines 

1. First Step: Informal Resolution with Course instructor. 

If the student believes they have received an incorrect course grade, they must first attempt to resolve the matter directly with the instructor who assigned the grade. The instructor will confer with the student to consider the student’s reasons for believing the final grade to be incorrect. If the instructor does not believe there is merit for a grade change, the instructor will notify the student. The student may then proceed to the second step below. If the instructor believes there is reason to change the grade, the instructor will complete the "Change of Grade" form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office. 

2. Second Step: Informal Resolution with Assistant Dean. 

If the student continues to believe that the grade was unfairly assigned, the student may meet with the assistant dean who oversees the course that was taken. The student should provide all supporting course materials. The assistant dean will confer with the instructor. If the instructor, after discussion with the assistant dean, agrees that the grade should be changed, the instructor will complete a "Change of Grade" form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office.

3. Third Step: Academic Dean's Review. 

If, after seeking informal resolution with the assistant dean, the student continues to believe that the assigned grade is unfair and wishes to pursue the appeal, the student may submit a formal written grievance and "Grade Appeal" form to the Registrar’s Office. The written statement includes the student's reasons for appealing the grade and any supporting materials. The Academic Dean shall confer with the student and the instructor and may ask for a written statement from the instructor. Additionally, the Academic Dean will confer with the assistant dean. If the Academic Dean's review determines that there is no merit to the grade appeal, the Dean will inform the student that the final grade stands. The grade appeal process concludes at this point. 

4. Fourth Step: Faculty Grade Appeal Committee. 

If the Academic Dean's review determines that there is merit to the grade appeal, the Academic Dean will refer the appeal to the Faculty Grade Appeal Committee. 

Please note that although individual assignments become part of a course grade appeal, only the final grade in a course is open to appeal under this process. As a result of the grade appeal process, the final grade may be raised, lowered, or stay the same.