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Grade Appeals, All Students

Type: Appeals
Effective Date: 2/12/2019

Policy Statement

A final course grade assigned by an instructor may be appealed by a student following the procedures defined below. A grade appeal should be considered only in instances where an instructor demonstrated a substantial deviation from accepted and specified standards as outlined by the instructor, program, college/school/department, or university.

Generally, such deviations are evidenced by, but not limited to, the following:

  • The instructor deviated substantially from the course syllabus;

  • The instructor deviated substantially from accepted and specified standards of proficiency of the University and/or academic department as established by the Faculty Handbook and/or college/school/department Academic Policy Manual;

  • The instructor applied established classroom policies unevenly and/or inequitably across students enrolled in the class;

  • The instructor applied established academic assessment methods unevenly and/or inequitably across students enrolled in the class.

Entities affected by this policy

  • Office of the Provost

  • All colleges/schools/departments and instructional units or programs

  • Office of the Registrar

Who should know this policy

  • All students

  • All faculty, instructors, and academic officials



Designated Administrator: refers to the individual in charge of carrying out the specific step of the process. Generally, this will be the department chair/director of the department/school where the course resides. However, terminology does vary among the academic units.

Meeting: means the presence of all parties to the review or grade appeal hearing, either physically in one location or via electronic means.

Silent Observer: means the individual a student, instructor, or designated administrator chooses to bring to observe any step of the appeal process. This observer is present to serve as a silent witness to the proceedings, and is not a participant. This individual would be able to report on any actions during the steps of the appeal process to a designated administrator.

Statement of Issues: means the written record provided by the student or instructor containing specific reasons as to why the grade or decision to change the grade is being appealed.

Additional Information

Only the faculty member who assigned an original grade has the authority to change that grade, with the exception of grade changes implemented by this policy. In the event the faculty member who assigned the original grade is no longer with the university, the authority to change the grade, including decisions and assessment of outstanding work, is delegated to the academic unit’s designated administrator.

Throughout the appeal process, the original assigned grade remains as the student’s official grade until the point where it may be modified as a result of this process. If the grade appeal is based on an allegation or finding of an academic integrity violation, then the student must follow the Academic Integrity Policy procedures, as this is not considered a grade appeal.

If the faculty member who assigned the original grade is no longer employed by the university, on sabbatical/leave or other kind of assignment, or otherwise cannot participate in the appeal process, the appeal is filed with the appropriate designated administrator. This may progress the appeal to a further step in the process, (e.g. if a faculty member is on sabbatical leave and the unit’s designated administrator handles the grade appeal, the process begins at the Level 2 review.) Upon receiving a written request from the student for the grade appeal, the designated administrator will identify the starting point of the process for which the appeal will occur, and notify the student of where to begin the process.

Timeline for Appeal

The student must initiate the appeal process following the timeline* below:

  • Appeal of a course grade received in a fall or winter session must be initiated within the first 15 business days of the following spring term (for 16-week courses) or session (for courses that run less than 16 weeks);
  •  Appeal of a course grade received in a spring or summer session must be initiated within the first 15 business days of the following fall term (for 16-week courses) or session (for courses that run less than 16 weeks).

*Please Note:
Due to typical academic calendars and faculty workload expectations, the appeal process will generally be conducted only during the fall and spring academic terms. In rare circumstances that are supported by evidence of extenuating circumstances, and with the permission of the Dean (or designee) of the academic unit where the appeal resides, a grade appeal may be initiated in a summer term or winter intersession term.

If the student fails to submit requested materials at any point in the appeal process, or fails to notify the designated administrator within the timeline specified in this policy, the original decision or result from the immediate previous point in the process will remain the final decision. If the student fails to initiate the first step within the timeline above, then the grade the student originally received will remain final. A request for an extension of time for this process due to extenuating circumstances may be submitted to the designated administrator for the grade appeal.

Group grade appeals are generally not permitted. Requests for a group appeal shall be submitted to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, who has the authority to approve or deny such requests.

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