2017-2018 Graduate Catalog


Grade Appeals

In the event a student questions the appropriateness of a grade assigned for a course or the results of another critical component of a degree requirement (e.g., oral exam, juried exhibition, thesis, etc.), the student must first discuss the matter with the faculty member(s). These discussions between the faculty member and student should be initiated by the student as soon as possible after the grade is assigned, but no later than five academic days into the next long semester. The faculty member is expected to respond within five academic days of the initiation. If there is no response from the faculty member, the student may present the issue directly to the department chair. In the event that the faculty member(s) agrees to change the grade/decision, the normal process for changing a grade shall be followed. If the student wishes to appeal the faculty's decision after these discussions, he/she must follow the formal grade appeals process outlined below.

Note: An academic day is defined as a school day on which TCU classes are meeting. Initiation of the discussion is any attempt to contact the faculty of record, or chair of examination committee in the case of a candidacy exam or thesis/dissertation defense, about the grade. This includes email or other written correspondence (recommended), personal meeting, and telephone call or message.

Formal Grade Appeal

Appeal to the Department Chair or Appropriate Administrator

The student may appeal the faculty decision in writing to the department chair/appropriate administrator within 15 academic days of the first day of the next long semester if a satisfactory resolution is not reached in the initial discussion with the faculty (see exceptions in this appeal level). Exceptions to deadlines set forth herein for students in unusual circumstances (e.g., studying abroad) may be granted in writing by the dean of the college/school in which the course (or critical component) was offered. An exception may also be granted by the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs.

The department chair/appropriate administrator will become familiar with the facts of the case by communicating with the student and the faculty member(s). The parties have a right to meet with the chair without the other party present. The faculty member or examination committee chair will respond in writing to the department chair concerning the student's appeal.

The department chair/appropriate administrator may either accept or deny the student's appeal. The chair will notify the student and faculty member(s) of his/her decision in writing within 10 academic days of receiving the appeal. In the event that the department chair accepts the student's appeal and no further appeals occur, he/she will initiate a grade change through the dean of the college.

Exceptions: If the department chair is involved in the appeal as the faculty member (one of the faculty members), the chair of the department advisory committee will assume the department's role in the appeal process. If the department does not have a department advisory committee, the chair of the school/college advisory committee will assume the department chair's role in the appeal process.

Appeal to the Academic Dean

The chair's position may be appealed in writing by the student or faculty member(s) to the appropriate dean within 10 academic days of the department chair's decision (see exceptions in this appeal level).

The dean will become familiar with the facts of the case by reading the prior appeal documents and communicating with the student, faculty member(s) and department chair. The parties have the right to meet with the dean without the other party present.

The academic dean will notify the student, faculty member(s) and department chair of his/her decision in writing within 10 academic days of receiving the appeal. In the event the dean upholds the student's appeal and no further appeals occur, the change of grade shall be reported by the dean to the registrar's office.

Exceptions: If the dean of the college/school is involved in the appeal as the faculty member, the appropriate associate dean will assume the dean's role in the appeal process.

Appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee

The dean's decision may be appealed in writing by the student, faculty member(s) or department chair to the Academic Appeals Committee within 10 academic days of the dean's decision.

The appeal by the student, faculty member(s) or department chair will be sent to the Academic Appeals Committee chair in writing. The material corresponding to the appeal should include a letter to the committee discussing the reason for the appeal and all pertinent documents that support the appeal. When the appeal is received, the committee chair will ask the appropriate dean for all written documents pertaining to the appeal. Once the chair receives the documents, they will be distributed to the appropriate committee members for review. During the review of the material, the chair may request other documents pertaining to the appeal. The chair will set a date for a hearing that will include the appropriate committee members, the student and faculty member(s). The chair will request that the dean or a designee be present to represent the college/school.

At the scheduled hearing, all parties will have an opportunity to discuss their case, and committee members will ask questions to better understand the appeal.

The committee will confer and come to a decision on whether to support the appeal or not. All parties will be notified in writing of the committee's decision within 10 academic days of the hearing. In the event the committee upholds the student's appeal and no further appeals occur, the chair will advise the appropriate dean to report the change of grade to the registrar's office.

The student, faculty member(s) or department chair may appeal the committee's decision to the University provost in writing within 10 academic days of the committee's decision.

All questions pertaining to the appeals policy and procedures should be addressed to the chair of the Academic Appeals Committee or the Office of the Provost.