Grade Appeals

Student complaints about grades are addressed in the University Policies and Procedures section of the New Brunswick Undergraduate Catalog, in Grade and Records, Student Complaints About Grades.  It reads as follows:

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 departmental chairperson 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 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. 

  1. 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. 
  2. When a student believes that a course grade has been improperly or unprofessionally assigned, and discussions between the instructor and the student have not led to a resolution, the student shall have the option of making a formal written appeal guided by the Grade Appeal Form to the Undergraduate Director AND the Department Chair for the instructor’s unit. The appeal must detail the basis for the appeal, and should state the specific remedy desired by the student. Any relevant written documentation should be included with the appeal. 
  3. In cases where either Department Chair or the Undergraduate Director is the involved instructor, the other person 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. 
  4. The Chair and Undergraduate Director, or the designee, will meet (together or separately) with the student and with the instructor who taught 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 Associate Dean for Academic Programs (Dean Henrik Pedersen, Weeks Hall, Rm 405), who will make the final decision on the student’s grade appeal within four weeks of receipt. 

If students would like advice about the matter, they can contact with a dean in the Office of Academic Services (Engineering B100). Ultimately, however, the Office of Academic Services is not the arbiter at the School for the grade appeals.  Students who contact a dean before following the procedure of contacting 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.