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Academic Appeal Policy and University Graduate Committee Hearing Panel (UGCHP), Graduate

Type: Appeals
Effective Date: 3/25/2016

Appeals may be brought forth by graduate students involving certain academic issues and academic decisions within the purview of the Graduate College and its policies and procedures.  

The graduate student will use this appeal process for situations involving (but not limited to) the following:

  • Dismissal from a program for academic reasons*
  • Procedural matters related to admissions, academic progress, thesis and dissertation, and/or comprehensive exams.
  • Any academic issues not addressed by other university policies or procedures.

* Please see Academic Continuation, Probation, and Dismissal, and Readmission- Graduate (NAU Policy 100319) for procedures and policies specific to program dismissals. 

The graduate student will not use this appeal process for situations related to grievances and violations for which a separate university-wide process exists. These situations include (but are not limited to):

  • Grade appeals.
  • Violations of NAU’s Student Code of Conduct.
  • Violations of NAU’s Academic Integrity policies.
  • Discipline-specific ethical standards.
  • Issues of Research Misconduct.
  • Issues that fall under the purview of NAU’s Office of Equity and Access 

Grounds for Appeal/Burden of Proof

In every appeal, the burden of proof rests upon the student to show reason why an appeal should be heard. These appeals should only be considered in instances where:

  • The faculty, department, school, or other academic unit deviated substantially from accepted and specified standards as established by the University, Graduate College, or academic unit;
  • There was a capricious or arbitrary application of standards towards a student;
  • Proper due process was denied to the student 

Time Limit on Appeal

A graduate student must initiate the appeal process no later than the end of the next regular term (Fall or Spring) following the date in which the appealable issue occurred. In the event that the faculty member(s) involved with the issue is no longer with the university, the chair, director, or dean of the student’s academic unit will assign a proxy in place of the original faculty member.

If the student fails to submit requested materials or notify the designated administrator within the timeline specified in this policy, such failure will constitute a waiver of the student’s right to an appeal, and the original decision, action, or result from the immediate previous decision will remain final.

Extension of Time

If an extension of time is needed during any phase of the process once the appeal process has been initiated, the party requesting the extension shall petition the Graduate College Dean and present reasons why the deadline cannot be met. The Graduate College Dean will notify all involved parties regarding the granting or denial of the request for an extension with the goal of ensuring fairness and a timely resolution of the problem. If an extension of time is needed by the Graduate College, that notification will come to all parties involved, identifying the number of additional days granted with the goal of ensuring fairness and a timely resolution of the problem. 


Throughout this policy, the terms “Graduate College Dean” and “Graduate College Associate Dean” includes their designees.

Fees may apply. See Registrar's Office (Fee appears on the form) for current fees.
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