Graduate Policies

Grade Appeal Protocol

The grade appeal policy and procedure affords recourse to a student who has evidence that an inaccurate final grade has been awarded under the following circumstances:  

  • Grade awarded does not align with criteria established in the course syllabus, rubrics, or other course documents.
  • Grade awarded has been inaccurately assigned due to clerical or administrative error.  

Please note the grade appeal process described in this policy is for final grades only, not individual assignments. If a student thinks that an inaccurate final grade has been assigned based on the circumstances above, they should discuss the grade with the course instructor. If an agreeable outcome is not reached, the student may begin an official grade appeal.  Before starting an official grade appeal a student is required to meet with a member of Academic or Student Affairs to learn more about the process and timelines. Students on the East Falls campus should discuss with their academic advisor, students on the Center City campus should contact the Associate Provost for Student Affairs.

Official Appeal process:

  1. To appeal a grade for a course, the student should begin with the course instructor by submitting the documents outlined below.  The course instructor will review the appeal and provide a written response to the student.  
  2. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome or does not receive a response, the appeal can be continued in writing to the next designated academic official. This will vary by college or school providing the course, and may include the course coordinator, program director, department chair, or associate dean, who will also respond in writing.   
  3. In the event that the student is not satisfied with the outcome at that level, an appeal may be submitted to the dean of the college or school providing the course. The dean will respond in writing and is the final appeal.

Required documentation:  

For a grade appeal, the burden of proof is on the student. To formally begin the appeal, the student must provide the following documents for review:  

a) a detailed written statement requesting and explaining the basis for the appeal.  

b) a copy of the course materials, including syllabus and assignments; and

c) copies of other pertinent documents, including student’s submitted work, and any other evidence that may have a bearing on the grade in question. These may include, but are not limited to, work done by the student in the course, school/department/university policies, tests, papers, clinical records or evaluations, journals, handouts, correspondence to/from the instructor, course outlines, handouts, logs and any written feedback given by the instructor on written work.

If the appeal is for a prerequisite course for the subsequent semester, or if a student has been dismissed from a program based on a grade being appealed, college or school administration (program director or dean) will notify the student if they may or may not continue in the subsequent course or academic program during the appeal process.


If the course is not a prerequisite for the subsequent semester, the grade appeal should be completed by the end of the following semester or term.

If the course is a prerequisite for the subsequent semester, the following timeline is recommended:

A student must file the initial appeal within 10 business days after the deadline date for grade submittal as found in the Academic Calendar. The entire grade appeal process should take no more than 30 business days. If, due to extenuating circumstances, the student is unable to follow the timeframe, they must submit a written request for an extension from the next person in the process during the specified timeframe. Likewise, a course instructor, course coordinator, program director, department chair, or associate dean must submit a written request for an extension to the dean if there are extenuating circumstances that would not allow the timely completion of their review and decision.

A student whose basis for dissatisfaction with a grade does not fall within this grade appeal policy may wish to review the the Grievance Procedure