Grade Appeal Policy

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide a mechanism, within the framework of existing University policies and regulations, for the review and consideration of grade disputes.

Grade Appeals

Students have the right to appeal course grades. Drew University’s grade appeal policy is intended to present a process that is fair to both students and faculty. A student must be able to show that the grade in dispute was incorrect or inappropriately awarded. For purposes of this policy, a student must demonstrate that:

a. A demonstrable error was made in the calculation of the grade,

b. The assignment of a final course grade was apparently made on a basis other than the policies described on the course syllabus, or

c. The instructor did not assign or remove an Incomplete or initiate a grade change as agreed upon with the student in writing.


In general, grade appeals proceed according to the following route: 1) the student attempts to resolve the appeal informally with the instructor; 2) if there is no resolution of the dispute with the instructor, the student can file a formal written appeal with the department or program chair; 3) if the instructor and the chair are the same, or if the chair denies the appeal, the student can present his or her appeal in writing to the Associate Dean. When the department chair and instructor are the same individual or a student has cause to first bring the complaint to the Associate Dean, the Dean of the College will serve as the final arbiter on an appeal.

An appeal of a fall semester grade can be initiated no later than January 31st following the semester in which the grade was awarded. An appeal of a spring semester grade can be initiated no later than June 30th following the semester in which the grade was awarded. An appeal of a summer term grade can be initiated no later than August 31st following the semester in which the grade was awarded. Graduating seniors must initiate a grade appeal within three weeks of graduation.

All involved parties should keep the proceedings confidential at all times.

All complainants have the right to a maximum of one appeal related to an incident.

If the appeal is based on student health or personal issues, the student must first contact the Associate Provost for Academic Services who will affirm the validity of such issues with the department chair.

This policy is not applicable to allegations of violations of academic integrity.

Matters involving claims of sexual harassment or misconduct will be handled under the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy and Procedures. 

1. Student-Instructor Contact: Students are expected to first contact their instructor in person or by email. Written records of all communications should be maintained. Students may request, and faculty should provide for review, graded exams (faculty may, however, restrict circulation of an exam), papers, or other submissions used for assessment. If the student has discussed the concern with the instructor and no resolution has been reached, the student may file a formal appeal with the instructor’s department chair. If the instructor and department chair are the same, or the student has demonstrable cause, the student can take the case directly to the Associate Dean for Curriculum.

2. Role of the Department Chair: The appeal to the chair must state succinctly, accurately and completely the cause for the appeal. The student should include a syllabus, relevant course materials, and any correspondence (to and from the instructor) that supports the appeal. A record of the communication should be kept by both the student and the chair. The chair will review the submissions and will consult directly with the instructor. The chair will notify both the student and the instructor of the outcome as soon as possible but within a reasonable period of the submission of the complaint, explaining his/her decision to both instructor and student in person and/or in writing. Written records of all communications should be kept.

  • There are two possible outcomes:

    (a) The chair rejects the appeal as unwarranted and the grade stands.

    (b) The chair deems that the appeal is warranted and refers the grade appeal to the Academic Standing Committee to request that the grade be changed.

3. Appeal to the Associate Dean for Curriculum: Only with demonstrable cause (e.g., the chair and the instructor are the same person), can a student present the grade appeal directly to the Associate Dean for Curriculum. In this case, the decision of the Associate Dean for Curriculum can be appealed to the Dean of the College. Each student is guaranteed the right to one appeal per incident. Once the appeal has been decided by the Associate Dean for Curriculum or the Dean of the College, as the case may be, no further available appeal is available.