Tip Sheet on Grade or Graduation Appeals

Tips relating to grade or graduation appeals

    1. There is a role for the Chair/Program Director in the grade appeal process, as outlined for students in the Student Handbook and for TUG faculty in the Faculty Handbook(Each graduate program has its own handbook that governs the process for that program.)

      • The first step in the process is to refer the student to the teacher of the course for direct conversation.  Sometimes there is a grade error that can be corrected easily at this step.  Other times there is a disagreement between the instructor and the student about what grade has been “earned” and is “deserved.”
      • If the student is not satisfied after speaking directly with the teacher, the student is required to go to the Chair/Program Director.  At this point you may choose to conduct your own inquiry (sometimes being a referee can help; sometimes it is not appropriate), or, having confirmed that the teacher is unwilling to change the grade, you are free to send the student on to the third step, meeting with the Dean for Academic Development.  Either way, contact with you is a necessary second step.
      • At the final step, the Dean for Academic Development (after confirming that the student has met with the teacher and contacted the Chair/Program Director) convenes the Academic Appeals Committee (three faculty, two students) to hear the request for a grade change.  At that time, the faculty member is represented by another faculty member, usually from the same department; the student is also represented by a faculty member.  The student and faculty member involved do not, at this step, appear before the Committee, which attempts to resolve the dispute and determine an appropriate outcome.


  1. There is also a role for the Chair/Program Director in another kind of academic appeal, regarding graduation requirements.  Occasionally the Committee receives requests from students to have a graduation requirement waived or altered.  When that requirement involves the major or minor, the Chair/Program Director gets involved.  If the student’s formal request (via the Registrar’s Office petition for special action) has already been turned down by you, and the student take it to the Academic Appeals Committee, you will have to choose a faculty “representative” to present before the Committee the department/program’s reasons for denying the appeal.


Revised on August 3, 2006