In the academic community, grades are a measure of student achievement toward fulfillment of course objectives. The responsibility for assessing student achievement and assigning grades rests with the faculty, and, except for unusual circumstances, the course grade given is final. The grade appeals system affords recourse to a student who has evidence or believes that evidence exists to show that an inappropriate grade has been assigned as a result of prejudice, caprice, or other improper conditions such as mechanical error, or assignment of a grade inconsistent with those assigned other students. Students should consult with their advisors to discuss their concerns, weigh their options, and review the appeals process. A student who believes she or he has reason to challenge a grade penalty assigned for an alleged violation of academic integrity shall use the Academic Integrity Appeal procedures.
Grade Appeals Process
Students who have concerns about a course grade should first consult with their instructor in a Level 1 step of the appeal process. This should occur within the first 30 days following the posting of the grade. Students should contact their faculty member directly. The student must explain the grounds for the grade appeal to the instructor and attempt to understand the instructor’s reasons for assigning the grade. The purpose of the meeting is to reach a mutual understanding of the instructor’s rationale for the grade and to resolve differences in an informal and cooperative manner.
If this does not resolve the issue, the student may file a Level 2 grade. A student who decides to pursue a Level 2 grade appeal after communicating with the course instructor must submit all of the following:
- Statement in writing confirming that the student contacted the instructor to ensure that miscalculations have not occurred and describing the results of those contacts/communications.
- Copies of those communications.
- Statement in writing clearly describing the way(s) in which the course instructor failed to follow announced or written standards of grading or failed to apply grade standards consistently.
- All class exams, assignments, papers, quizzes, etc., that may serve as evidence in support of (3).
- Current contact information.
No appeal will be considered without all of the above materials, and all materials for the appeal must be emailed to the Department Chair.
- Urban Studies: Dr. Steven London, Interim Department Chair of Urban Studies, at Steven.London@cuny.edu.
- Labor Studies: Dr. Stephanie Luce, Department Chair of Labor Studies, at Stephanie.Luce@CUNY.edu
The Department Chair may reach out to either the student or the instructor for more information. The Department Chair will assess the situation and render a decision in writing within 14 business days of receipt of the Level 2 appeal.
If, after Levels 1 and 2 of the grade appeal process, the issue remains unresolved, the student may initiate a formal grade appeal by completing and submitting a Level 3 Grade Appeal Form to firstname.lastname@example.org. This written Level 3 appeal must be received within 30 days of the student’s attempt to resolve the issue with the instructor and the Department Chair, and will initiate a process by which the director of student services will work to resolve the issue with the student, the faculty member, and the Department Chair. The student will receive the details of the Level 3 resolution in writing within 10 business days from the director of student services.
If the student feels that the resolution is unsatisfactory, (s)he may initiate a Level 4 Grade Appeal within 30 days of the receipt of the Level 3 Resolution Letter, which should be sent to email@example.com. The Level 4 appeal will be heard by the Academic Appeals Committee. The decision by the Academic Appeals Committee is final.
Time Limits for Appeal
A student who wishes to appeal a grade must initiate the process in the full semester following the one in which the contested grade was received. Spring and Summer Session courses must be appealed during the following Fall semester while Fall and Intersession courses must be appealed during the following Spring semester. Appeals that are not initiated by these deadlines will not be considered.