Grade Challenges/Appeals

Challenge Grade on Assignment

Students who wish to challenge a grade on a particular assignment must follow the following process:

  • First the student must discuss the grade with the faculty.
    • If the grade is deemed to be correct (no miscalculation occurred), then the grade stands as final for that assignment. The faculty who assigned the grade must notify the student of the decision in writing within five business days.
    • If the grade issued was in error (a miscalculation occurred), then the faculty must correct the grade and notify the student of the grade change within five business days.
  • If the student is not in agreement with the grade on a particular assignment after discussing it with the faculty, then the student may request that another faculty member conducts a second, independent, blinded evaluation of the assignment.
    • The student seeking a second evaluation must make the request to the faculty facilitating the assignment within five days of the graded assignment being returned for the second time.
  • After the second faculty member grades the assignment, the faculty facilitating the assignment and the second evaluator will review and discuss the scores and reconcile the assignment grade. If the two faculty members cannot reach a consensus, the average of the two scores is used as the final assignment grade.

Timelines related to challenging a grade on a particular assignment may be altered by the dean in consideration of extenuating circumstances.

Course Final Grade Appeal

A grade can be formally appealed only when there is demonstrable evidence that prejudice, arbitrary, or capricious actions on the part of the course direct and/or faculty have influenced the final grade. The burden of proof that such an unfair influence has affected a grade rests with the student who appeals the grade.

Students who wish to challenge a grade on a particular assignment must follow the following process:

  • First the student must complete a final grade form from the Office of Student Affairs. The complete form must be submitted to the dean within five business days after the final grade was posted.
  • The dean meets with the course director and/or faculty involved and the student separately to review all material pertinent to the grade appeal.
    • If multiple students are involved, the dean may meet with the students either separately or jointly at the dean’s discretion.
  • The dean has five business days from the receipt of the grade appeal to meet with the parties involved. After the meeting(s) take place, the dean has five business days to render a decision which is notified to the parties involved in writing.
  • A copy of the decision is forwarded to the GSBS administration and the Student Affairs Office so that the Registrar’s office can change the final grade if needed.
  • If the student is not satisfied with the dean’s decision, a student hearing committee is then formed according to the following guidelines:
    • Five individuals, three faculty and two students, are selected for the appeals committee by the dean.
    • The committee elects one of the faculty members to serve as chair.
    • The committee is provided with all materials pertinent to the appeal.
    • The GSBS reserves the right to provide the committee with copies of all materials pertinent to the appeal prior to the date of the hearing.
    • The GSBS reserves the right to record the hearing.
  • After deliberations, the student hearing committee makes its final recommendations to the GSBS.
  • The GSBS forwards the committee’s written recommendation to the dean.
  • The dean, as the chief academic officers, reserves the right to approve or reject the recommendation.
  • The dean has five days from receiving the committee’s recommendation to make a final decision.
    • Reasons for disapproval shall be communicated to the parties involved before further actions are taken.
  • A copy of the decision is forwarded to the GSBS administration and the Student Affairs Office so that the Registrar’s office can change the final grade if needed.

The challenge grade/appeals processes described above is not applicable when it is the faculty’s judgment that the quality of the student’s work is an issue.

The assessment of the quality of the student’s academic performance is one of the major responsibilities of GSBS faculty. It is unacceptable for faculty to award passing grades to students who have not demonstrated mastery of the course material.

Faculty members are vested with the authority to establish course requirements, learning objectives, and standards of performance. It is the responsibility of faculty to articulate and communicate course requirements, learning objectives, grading policies, and standards of performance in the course syllabus and apply all grading criteria uniformly and in a timely manner.