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100105

Grade Appeals, All Students

Type: Appeals
Effective Date: 3/27/2017

The procedure outlined below applies to a situation where a student initiates a grade appeal request.

Please be aware that in every case, the decision being appealed is in force and considered final unless or until it is reversed or modified through this process.

Only the faculty member who assigned the original grade has the authority to change that grade unless the grade is appealed and the appeal is successful. In the event the faculty member is no longer with the university, the authority to change the grade, including the authority to make up an incomplete, is delegated to the academic unit’s Chair or Director or Dean. (Faculty Handbook – Section 5.3.9) The Grade Appeal Policy below is based upon this section of the NAU Faculty Handbook.

A grade assigned by an instructor may be appealed only by 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, 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/Department Academic Policy Manual;
  • The instructor applied established classroom policies unevenly across students enrolled in the class;
  • The instructor applied established academic assessment methods unevenly across students enrolled in the class.

In every case, the burden of proof rests upon the student to demonstrate why the grade should be changed. In all instances, the instructor(s) involved must be given full opportunity to present his/her position before any action is taken.

If the grade appeal is based on an allegation or finding of an academic integrity violation, then the appeal must follow the Academic Integrity Policy procedures and is not considered a grade appeal.

Initiation of Grade Appeal Process

A written communication by the student to the instructor indicating a desire to review the grade is considered initiation of the appeal process. This written communication may be in the form of an email or a letter. 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 be conducted only during the fall and spring academic terms. In rare 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 in any step of this policy, or fails to 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 or result from the immediate previous step 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. An appellant or respondent may request an extension of time for this process due to extenuating circumstances. Those requests may be submitted to the designated administrator for the grade appeal which is typically the academic Chair/Director or Assistant/Associate Dean.

Group grade appeals are not permitted unless approved by the Provost or designee.

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