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Last Revision: January 30, 2024

Appealing a Final Grade

If you believe that a final grade does not accurately reflect your performance in a course, you must first contact your course instructor for possible resolution.

Only your final grade in a course or project may be appealed; appeals for individual assignments during an active course are not permitted. A grade appeal should be limited to specific charges of unfair action towards you and may not involve a challenge of your instructor’s grading standard. You have the right to expect thoughtful and clearly defined approaches to course grading, but you must recognize that varied standards and individual approaches to grading are valid. A grade appeal considers whether a grade was determined in a fair and appropriate manner; it does not attempt to grade or re-grade your individual assignments or projects.

In your appeal, you will need to substantiate your claim that your final grade represents unfair treatment compared to the standard applied to other students. In the absence of compelling reasons, such as clerical error, prejudice, or capriciousness, the grade assigned by your instructor is to be considered final. In a grade appeal, only arbitrariness, prejudice, and/or error will be considered as legitimate grounds for an appeal.

If you still wish to appeal your final grade, you may appeal your instructor's decision by initiating a request with your Department Chair and should include the written correspondence between you and your instructor regarding your initial request for a review of your grade. An Academic Affairs Specialist will notify you of all decisions delivered regarding your grade appeal.

  • No grade appeals will be considered for individual assignments
  • No grade appeals will be considered for courses whose final grade was posted more than 90 days ago
  • No grade appeals will be considered that are not submitted in writing, either by email or letter
  • No grade appeals will be considered for students whose degrees have been conferred

Grade Appeal Process Walkthrough:

  • Review your final grade with your instructor
  • Send a written grade appeal to your Department Chair
  • The appropriate Chair(s) in your school will review the appeal and send a decision within 30 days. Be aware that continuation in a subsequent doctoral term may be impacted by the outcome of the appeal. Financial ramifications of withdrawing from a term are the student’s responsibility
  • If your appeal is denied:
  • Second Level of Appeal: You must ask that your appeal be reviewed by your school dean's office
  • Your school dean will review the appeal and send a decision within 30 days
  • At the doctoral level, the school dean’s office is the final level of review, and the decision is considered final