Grade Appeals

Students may appeal the final grade earned in a course by following the process outlined in the University’s Catalog (Section AP.3.9). This process is also summarized here:  

  • Students must first contact the instructor in writing (email is acceptable) with a detailed explanation of their concern about the grade. The explanation must deal with the fairness of grading policies or procedures, or the accuracy of the assigned grade. Please note that the purpose of an appeal is not to request a re-grade of work.
    • If the faculty member is not available, contact the appropriate Associate Chair (Undergraduate course: Dr. Erin Murdoch, emurdoch@gmu.edu; Graduate course: Dr. Tyler Shaw, tshaw4@gmu.edu). In the event that the Associate Chair is the instructor who assigned the grade, the Department Chair (Dr. Tim Curby, tcurby@gmu.edu) should be contacted.

 

  • If the faculty member does not agree to adjust the grade, the student can submit a grade appeal along with all relevant evidence to the Associate Chair (Undergraduate course: Dr. Erin Murdoch, emurdoch@gmu.edu; Graduate course: Dr. Tyler Shaw, tshaw4@gmu.edu) for further review and discussion with the Instructor. The Associate chair (or designee) will review the request to determine if there is merit. This includes speaking with both the student and faculty member and requesting from both parties, all relevant documents and evidence related to the appeal. Evidence includes but is not limited to: syllabus, assignment instructions, grading rubrics, copies of student assignments, email communications, Blackboard user reports, and any other documents or reports which provide details about the issue in question.
     
  • If the department chair (or designee) determines the appeal does not have merit it is reported to the Senior Associate Dean for their review. 
  • If the Associate chair (or designee) finds merit, they will form a committee of three Psychology Department faculty members who will review the full appeal and supplemental documents thoroughly. The committee meets separately with the faculty member and the student to explore the full particulars of the case. A nonparticipating observer of the student's choice may attend the meeting. The faculty member or the student may challenge and have replaced one of the three members of the committee without giving a reason for the challenge.  The committee issues a written recommendation which includes the reasons for its findings. The faculty member has an opportunity to take the recommended action, if any. If the matter is not resolved at this point, the grade appeal is reported to Senior Associate Dean for review.


An appeal of the department's decision would be reviewed for procedural irregularity only. The Senior Associate Dean would review this appeal to ensure the proper procedures were followed. If the Senior Associate Dean finds no procedural irregularities, the grade will stand, with no option for further appeal. 


Grade appeals must be submitted before the last day of classes for the following semester (spring for fall classes, fall for spring and summer classes). 
  

Please refer to the University’s Catalog (Section AP.3.9) for a full explanation of the grade appeal process. 

Grade Appeal Flowchart