Student complaints about grades are treated in the University Policies and Procedures section of the New Brunswick Undergraduate Catalog, in Student Complaints About Grades. It reads as follows:
Students wishing to file a complaint about a course grade, or a grade received for a particular piece of work in a course, should first attempt to resolve the matter through discussion with the instructor. If the issue cannot be satisfactorily resolved between student and instructor, the student may specify in writing the basis for the complaint and request a review by the departmental chair [SAS Undergraduate Director, see below]. A written complaint about a grade for work completed while the course is in progress must be submitted to the departmental chair no later than two weeks after notification of the grade. A student must submit a written complaint about a final course grade to the departmental chair [SAS Undergraduate Director, see below] no later than four weeks after the end of the exam period for that semester.
A student who wishes to appeal the decision of the department should appeal in writing to the office of the dean of the faculty offering the course. Written notification of the action taken by either the chair or by the dean will be sent to the student within four weeks of the filing of the appeal, excluding those weeks in which classes are not in regular session.
* Please note: Some academic programs have special procedures for grade appeals.
Students, please note the following:
Only Rutgers – New Brunswick SAS courses (those beginning with the "01:" code) follow the steps on this page and are eligible for review by the Rutgers – New Brunswick SAS Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE).
If your course begins with another code (e.g., 07:, 11:, 30:) or is a Rutgers – Newark or is a Rutgers-Camden course, do NOT proceed with the steps on this page. Instead, please contact the corresponding school or campus in which the course was offered.
In most cases, the situation can be resolved within the department. The Dean’s office should not be the starting point for the Grade Appeals process. You must follow the steps below in order for your grade appeal to be considered.
GRADE APPEAL PROCESS STEPS
Please complete the following steps in order. The SAS Office of Undergraduate Education will only review Grade Appeals after these steps have been followed.
- Contact the Instructor. This discussion may also include the Teaching Assistant (TA). For appeals on assignments completed while the course is in progress, the student must approach the Instructor no later than two weeks after notification of the grade to discuss the situation. A student must submit a written appeal about a final course grade to the departmental chair no later than four weeks after the end of the exam period for that semester.
- If the issue cannot be resolved between the student and the Instructor, the student should then write to the Undergraduate Director of the department or program, and outline their concerns, providing the Undergraduate Director with complete information to allow them to attempt to resolve the issue.* If the issue cannot be resolved with the Instructor or Undergraduate Director, the student may choose to contact the Department Chair or proceed to the next step.
- Only when the situation remains unresolved after department-internal consultation with the Instructor, and then the Undergraduate Director, and a student wishes to appeal the decision of the department, should the student then proceed with an appeal to the Deans in the SAS Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) using the link below.
Students who proceed straight to step 3 and contact the SAS OUE Dean's office before following steps 1-2 within the department will be referred back to the Instructor and/or Undergraduate Director in the department.
*Please note: the following programs/departments have specific procedures to follow.
For a Chemistry course please visit the Department of Chemistry grade appeals page for more information.
For grade appeals for Writing Program (01:355:XXX and 01:356:XXX) courses, please visit the Writing Program website for more information on the process and the grade appeal form.
For grade appeals for Mathematics courses (01:640:###), please contact the Math Department ombudsperson. For more information, see: http://www.math.rutgers.edu/academics/undergraduate/grade-appeals
Only after following the department-internal steps above, if a student in an SAS course still wishes to proceed with a grade appeal, may they then submit a grade appeal to an SAS OUE Dean using the on-line form via the following link. Please note that this appeal MUST include complete information as outlined in the bullet points below in order for the appeal to be considered.
ALL appeals MUST contain the following information:
- The course number and section (e.g., 01:100:101:01), semester and year (e.g., Fall 2022), and the instructor’s first and last name
- A clear explanation of the grounds for the appeal
- A copy of the course syllabus
- The course materials at issue (e.g., the graded exam or assignment, including the student’s responses, grades/points marked or deducted, and comments, which may also include screenshots from the comments section in Canvas (e.g., Speedgrader)
- Any other relevant course information on the assignment or grading in question
- Clear description of any meetings between the student and the Instructor and/or Undergraduate Chair that may have taken place in person, virtually, or in office/student support hours
- Any and all written exchange between the student and instructor, TA, and/or department about the issue. This should include the complete unedited correspondence and the written decision of the department official who reviewed the appeal (e.g., the Undergraduate Director, Department Chair, or in the case of Mathematics, the Ombudsperson).
Within the SAS OUE, grade appeals are reviewed by one of the Deans:
Susan Lawrence, Vice Dean for Undergraduate Education, SAS
Sharon Bzostek, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, SAS
Student claims that the assignment of the grade was, in part or in full, attributable to discrimination should be directed to the Office of Employment Equity (OEE) at or (848) 932-3973. More information about OEE’s policies and complaint process can be found on their website. Students may also write directly to Susan Lawrence, Vice Dean for Undergraduate Education, who can assist with referring the student to the Office of Employment Equity.
Student assertions or complaints that a grade or other academic decision was the result of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, are not reviewed as part of a school’s grade grievance process, even if asserted at a later stage during a pending grade appeal. OEE is responsible for enforcing the University’s policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, which extend to adverse academic decisions, such as the issuance of a negative grade in an assignment or course. If the assertion is made after the grade appeal process has begun, action on the grade appeal will be suspended until OEE completes its investigation concerning the discrimination allegation.
Additional information about the policies and procedures enforced by OEE can be found on their website. You may contact OEE directly at or (848) 932-3973.