University policy on grade appeals: Students wishing to file a complaint about a course grade, or a grade received for a particular piece of work in a course, should first attempt to resolve the matter through discussion with the instructor. If the issue cannot be satisfactorily resolved between student and instructor, the student may specify in writing the basis for the complaint and request a review by the departmental chairperson. A written complaint about a grade for work completed while the course is in progress must be submitted to the departmental chairperson no later than two weeks after notification of the grade. A student must submit a written complaint about a final course grade to the Department Chair no later than four weeks after the end of the exam period for that term. A student who wishes to appeal the decision of the department should appeal in writing to the office of the dean of the faculty at the school offering the course. Written notification of the action taken by either the chairperson or by the dean will be sent to the student within four weeks of the filing of the appeal, excluding those weeks in which classes are not in regular session.
School of Engineering Grade Appeal Process
The following shall be the official policy of the academic units of the School, unless an academic unit submits an alternative procedure to the School for approval. This policy shall apply to all grade appeals at the undergraduate level.
- Individual faculty members have primary authority and responsibility in all aspects of evaluating student course performance and assigning grades, and are charged with carrying out these responsibilities in a professional manner. The Dean’s office has the authority and responsibility to deal with changes of grades in special and unusual cases such as those that might involve unprofessional faculty conduct in assigning the grade. Students should be aware, however, that neither Chairs nor Deans can require an instructor to change a properly assigned course grade. Issues of disagreement about whether, for example, a given assignment was worth a B or an A are decided solely by the individual instructor in charge.
- When a student believes that a course grade has been improperly assigned, and discussions between the instructor and the student have not led to a resolution, the student has the option of making a formal appeal in writing guided by the Grade Appeal Form to the Department Chair or the Undergraduate Director for the instructor’s unit. The form must provide the basis for your appeal. Any relevant emails or documentation should be included with the appeal.
- In cases where the Department Chair is the involved instructor, the Department Undergraduate Director will perform the duties as called for in this policy. In cases where the Department Chair and the Undergraduate Director are both the involved instructors, the Chair will notify the Associate Dean for Academic Programs, who will appoint a senior faculty member in the same unit to perform the duties as called for in this policy.
- The Department Chair or the designee will meet (together or separately) with the student and with the instructor of the course. The Chair will represent the department and recommend to the instructor a decision by the department. In cases where the instructor or student does not agree with the recommendation, the Chair shall forward the written materials associated with the appeal, together with the recommendation by the department to the SoE Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Prof. Wade Trappe, who will conduct the decanal review and make the final decision on the student’s grade appeal at the School of Engineering.
Students who contact the dean's office before following the procedure of working with the instructor and then the department will be referred back to the instructor or department, where the most informed resolution of such matters is typically available.