Grade Appeals

Grade Appeals

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 appeal 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 error, or that the method of assigning the grade is inconsistent with the method of assigning grades to other students.


The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) is responsible for determining the requirements and standards of performance for courses and for qualifying examinations. CUNY SPS course instructors retain considerable discretion in these matters. The instructor is under obligation, however, to ensure that his/her course syllabus is consistent with the goals of the curriculum of the certificate program or course. The grading standards in a given course shall reflect levels of difficulty related to the educational objectives of the program.

Instructors have an obligation to students to make clear the basis of evaluation (e.g., reading assignments, student's written submissions, contributions to class discussions, and presentations) at the start of each course so that students are not surprised by unexpected or untimely demands. Grades on examinations or for work in a course are the responsibility of the instructor.

Grade Appeal Procedures

A student who wishes to appeal a grade must initiate the process in the full semester following the semester in which the contested grade was received. Spring and Summer Session courses must be appealed during the following Fall semester, while Fall and Winter session courses must be appealed during the following Spring semester before the last day to withdraw and receive a “W” grade. Generally, appeals that are not initiated by these deadlines will not be considered, though the committee may hear appeals received after the deadlines under special circumstances.

If a student believes that an error was made in the assignment of a grade, he or she should engage in Level 1 of the grade appeal process: speaking with the instructor of the course within 30 days following the posting of the grade. An email message or note requesting an appointment and explaining the problem will give the faculty member an opportunity to gather the appropriate course materials, papers, exams or other submissions so that the ensuing conversation can be meaningful. As a result of this conversation, a faculty member may correct an error and change the grade. If the problem is not resolved between the student and faculty member, the student may then elevate the communication to include the department’s academic director, which constitutes Level 2 of the grade appeal process.

If, after communicating with the faculty member and the academic director of the program, the issue remains unresolved, the student may initiate a formal grade appeal by completing and submitting an Appeal to the Academic Standing Committee (PDF) within 30 days of the communication with the academic director. The Appeal will be heard at the next scheduled meeting of the Academic Standing Committee, and the decision of the Academic Standing Committee is final.

Please submit all grade appeal inquiries to