Grade Appeals

Although faculty members are generally the best judges of student performance, there may be times when a student believes a grade is unfair. In such cases, the student should ask the faculty member to reconsider the grade. If the student is not satisfied, an appeal may be made to the Department Chair of the unit offering the course. The Department Chair should ask the student to return to the faculty member who assigned the grade for further consultation.

If the faculty member is no longer associated with the university, the Department Chair will appoint a faculty surrogate, who will assume the authority of the instructor of record.

If a mutually satisfactory agreement is not reached, the student may request that the Department Chair form a review committee of three faculty peers of the faculty member who assigned the grade. If the Department Chair believes the student's appeal does not have merit, this conclusion is reported to the CHSS Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs. If the Associate Dean concludes the student's appeal does not have merit, no review is conducted.

  • The faculty member or the student may challenge and have replaced one of the three members of the committee without giving a reason for the challenge. The committee meets separately with the faculty member and the student to explore the full particulars of the case. A nonparticipating observer of the student's choice may attend the meeting. Every effort is made to avoid an adversarial relationship.

After the committee has reviewed the case thoroughly, it issues to the Department Chair (with a copy to the faculty member) a written recommendation that includes the reasons for its findings. At this time, the faculty member has an opportunity to take the recommended action, if any. If the matter is not resolved at this point, the Department Chair considers the committee recommendation and makes a recommendation to the Associate Dean. If the Associate Dean decides that the recommendation to change the grade is appropriate and the faculty member refuses to make the change, then the Associate Dean may direct the Office of the University Registrar to do so. The decision of the Associate Dean is not subject to further appeal.


Grade appeals are not accepted after the last day of classes of the following semester (spring for fall grades, fall for spring and summer grades).

The Provost's Office does not consider grade appeals, nor does the University Academic Appeals Committee.