Is it possible for an L&S undergraduate student to appeal a grade?

The following sections address the process for handling student appeals of grading for undergraduate students earning their degrees in the College of Letters & Science (L&S).

On occasion, a student may feel that she/he has been assigned a grade unfairly.  Each department within Letters & Science should have a standard procedure for reviewing such a disputed grade.  Students should also be informed of the appeals process established by the department (e.g., posting a notice of the procedure on the department bulletin board, providing notice in written materials, etc.).   The following are recommendations for departments/units on how to handle a grade appeal:

  1. A student with concerns about a grade should always be referred first to the instructor who assigned the grade.
  2. A process should be available at the departmental level for a student who is not satisfied with the results after appealing to the instructor.
  3. Although an appeal may be either written or oral, it is very helpful to have a student focus the complaint and the issues by putting the appeal in writing.
  4. The student's appeal should then be reviewed by the department.  The different types of departmental appeals structures that may be possible are: a) the department  chair; b) a small group of members of the executive committee, with or without the Chair as a member; c) a standing committee of the department (e.g., a curriculum committee or an appeals committee); or d) the entire executive committee.
  5. Appeal of final grades must be initiated within the semester/term immediately following the term in which the course is taken.  For more information, see what is the process for appealing a grade for an L&S undergraduate student?
The hearing body should request relevant information from the instructor in response to the complaint, including grading criteria.
  • Instructors should only consider changing a student's final grade if there has been some error in tabulating the final score for the course.
  • To maintain fairness and consistency in the grading process, an instructor should not take into consideration a student's past performance in previous classes or the amount of energy a student has put into mastering a subject matter when determining whether or not to alter a student's grade for a class.
  • If the chair of a department supports the instructor's decision not to alter the grade, the student's last recourse is to appeal to one of the L&S Associate Deans in the College of Letters & Science based on the discipline of the course in question.  For example, if a student is appealing a grade earned in a natural science course (e.g., biology, chemistry, mathematics, statistics, etc.), the student will need to present his/her case to the Associate Dean for Mathematical & Natural Sciences in L&S Administration.
  • The decision rendered at the Associate Dean level is final.  There are no exceptions to this policy.

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Keywords:appealing grade,grade appeal, student appeals of grading, grade dispute   Doc ID:21896
Owner:Tori R.Group:College of Letters & Science
Created:2011-12-21 12:27 CDTUpdated:2018-06-29 15:04 CDT
Sites:College of Letters & Science
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