Group of students sitting around a table

Grade Appeal Process

As a general principle, the instructor has sole authority to establish standards of performance and to exercise judgments on the quality of student performance, but in a manner that reflects reasonable and generally acceptable academic requirements. Grades assigned in this fashion are final except as the instructor may wish to review them. No faculty member, administrator, or other individual may substitute his or her judgment of the student’s performance for the reasonable judgment of the instructor.

Students who believe that a final grade received in a course was not determined in a manner consistent with the principle described above may challenge that grade by first arranging, within a reasonable period of time (approximately 10 school days from the time that the student knew or should have known of the final course grade), to meet informally with the instructor to establish a clear understanding of the method by which the grade was determined. Every effort should be made to resolve the matter at the level of the instructor and the student. Students who have difficulty arranging a meeting with the instructor should consult the department chairperson.

If after meeting with the instructor, the student wishes to continue the grade challenge, the student may appeal in writing (with copies to the instructor and the dean of the school) within a reasonable period of time to the chairperson of the department that offers the course in question. The statement should clearly state the basis for questioning the grade received in the course. It should be noted that if the chairperson is the instructor, the appeal is to the dean of the school.

The chairperson’s decision to have a grade reviewed or not is final. If the chairperson decides that the method by which the student’s grade was determined was not proper, the chairperson will apprise the instructor of the basis for questioning the grade and request that the instructor review the grade. If the instructor, for any reason, does not review the grade, the chairperson will request that at least one other faculty member qualified to teach the course in question review the grade. In the process of such a review, the faculty member(s) is (are) authorized to assign a grade change and may, if necessary, require additional examination of the student’s performance as a basis for the grade change.

Students may, at any point in this appeal process, solicit the advice and assistance of an individual faculty or staff member. This individual’s authority in these matters is limited to mediating the relationship between the student and the instructor and/or chairperson.