Grades: Complaints at End of Term


It is the obligation of your instructors to evaluate your course work and to submit a grade for you at the end of the academic semester. You, in turn, have a right to know at the beginning of the semester the basis on which you will be evaluated in a course and to expect to be graded fairly, i.e., in the same way that all other students in a course are graded.

If you have concerns or complaints about a course in which you are enrolled, you should try to resolve the matter with the instructor. If your concern is not resolved to your satisfaction in this way, you can bring it to the attention of the director of undergraduate studies in accordance with the procedure below which details the formal grade review and appeal process to be followed by undergraduates.

You may also find it helpful to speak with your academic dean about your rights and responsibilities.


A student who questions a final grade received in a course should first discuss the matter with the instructor within thirty days of receiving the grade. After meeting with the instructor, if the student still believes the instructor has assigned an inaccurate or unjustified grade, the student should discuss the matter with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the instructor's department.  If no satisfactory resolution is reached, the student may make a formal complaint to the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the department or program concerned.

The DUS will present the case to the Chair of the department or to the Program Director, and the two of them will review the case with the instructor involved. The review will focus on whether the grade assigned by the instructor was arrived at in accordance with the course grading policy as articulated in the syllabus and/or as discussed with the students in class and calculated in the same way that the grades other students received in the course were calculated.  Generally speaking the review will not focus on how individual pieces of work in a course were graded, as it is the responsibilty solely of the instructor to evaluate the quality of students' work within the context of his/her course.  If the Chair or the DUS agrees with the instructor that there are no legitimate grounds for which to change the grade, the grade stands as recorded. If the DUS and Chair believe there are grounds to consider a change and the instructor is unwilling to change the grade, the DUS will notify the student that he or she may request a review of the case by writing to the Dean of Arts and Sciences or the Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering, depending on which college or school offered the course in question. A written request must be submitted before the end of the drop-add period of the semester following that for which the instructor recorded the grade.

The Dean will review the case and decide whether there are grounds to convene an ad hoc Committee for Review of Grade. If the Dean decides there are no grounds then the grade is not changed.

If the Dean decides that there are grounds to proceed, the Dean will charge and convene an ad hoc Committee for Review of Grade. The committee shall consist of the Dean and two regular rank faculty members from the same division but not the same department (or from different departments in Pratt School of Engineering). The two faculty members of the committee are to be nominated by the appropriate faculty council, either the Executive Committee of the Arts and Sciences Council or the Engineering Faculty Council. This committee will then evaluate and review the case, and the Dean may initiate a grade change if that is the recommendation of the committee.