Graduate Grade Appeal Process
The evaluation of student performance is recorded on the student’s University transcript as part of the student’s permanent record. The grade is determined by the faculty member responsible for the course and is based upon factors related to achievement of the course objectives. The course grade is considered final unless an appropriate appeal is filed by the student. For the student who is dissatisfied with a grade and has a reason to believe the grade issued is incorrect, the following appeal procedure is provided by the Graduate School and the University.
Level 1: Within the following term, the student shall confer with the instructor who issued the grade and outline the reasons why he or she believes the grade is incorrect. (If the faculty member is unavailable, the student is expected to contact the Program Director, Department Chairperson, or the Associate Vice President of the Graduate School within this same time period.) Following the student-faculty conference, the instructor shall advise the student of the outcome of the course grade review within 14 days in writing and shall process a grade change if appropriate.
Level 2: If the student still considers the grade to be incorrect, the student may formally appeal the grade within two weeks after receiving the faculty response letter from Level 1. The student may request in writing that the Program Director and Department Chairperson review all the data from Level 1 and any additional information deemed pertinent by the student and/or faculty member and make a decision regarding the appeal. The Program Director and Department Chairperson must respond in writing to the student involved, the faculty member, and the Associate Vice President of the Graduate School within two weeks regarding the chair’s decision on the appeal.
Level 3: The student may continue the appeals process by requesting in writing that the Associate Vice President of the Graduate School review all data from Levels 1 and 2 and any additional information received from the student, faculty member, Program Director, and Department Chairperson and make a decision on the appeal. This level of appeal must be initiated by the student in writing within two seeks from receiving the chair’s written decision from Level 2. Within two weeks from the initiation of Level 3, the Associate Vice President of the Graduate School must inform the student, faculty member, Program Director, and Department Chairperson of the decision regarding the appeal by letter.
Level 4: If the student is still dissatisfied, he or she may continue the appeal process from Level 3 within 14 days of receiving the decision from the Associate Vice President of the Graduate School by requesting in writing that the Graduate Student Rights Committee hear the appeal. The Graduate Student Rights Committee must call a hearing of issues within 30 days of receiving the written request from the student. The student, faculty member, Program Director, Department Chairperson, and the Associate Vice President of the Graduate School will be informed by letter within five school days of the decision of the Graduate Student Rights Committee. The decision of the Graduate Student Rights Committee shall be considered final.
The above policy applies to grade appeals only for students who have attended class and who have issues with the grades they earned, not for students who do not withdraw from Graduate School or who do not drop a course prior to the first day of finals. In each of those cases, the student must appeal to the Graduate Student Rights Committee for review. Appeals are granted for extenuating circumstances that are related to the term or terms being appealed. Requests to the Graduate Student Rights Committee must be in writing. The student must provide evidence supporting his or her request. The request and supporting materials should be provided to the Graduate School and students should allow two weeks for a decision by the Graduate Student Rights Committee. The decision of the Graduate Student Rights Committee is considered final.