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Information for Students about the Academic Appeals Process

The Academic Appeal Procedure provides an orderly process of appeals for decisions related to grades, and program and graduation requirements. (University Regulation: Procedure #300)

If you feel you were evaluated unfairly by an instructor, you have the right to appeal the grade you were given in a particular course. Please note that there are specific procedures and regulations that govern the appeals process, and you are responsible for knowing these procedures. If you do decide to initiate an academic appeal, please read this document carefully.


Steps in the Academic Appeals Process:

1. Instructor Level: Communicate with your instructor about the grade you were given. Either email or call the instructor, explain your concerns, and ask for specific information as to why you received this grade. It is the instructor's responsibility to provide you with a detailed accounting of how your grade was determined, including grades/marks given for specific assignments, how those assignments were weighted, and how your final grade was calculated. If you do communicate via email, it is a good idea to keep copies of all the emails that pass between you and the instructor.

2. Department Chair Level: If the answer you receive from the instructor is still not satisfactory, you can choose to take your concerns to the Department Chair. The Department Chair is another faculty member who is in charge of a particular academic department, like Literature, Human Services, or Marketing. (See attached list of current Department Chairs, Executive Directors, and Deans.)

Note: At this level, your appeal should be in writing, and you should request that the Department Chair respond to your appeal in writing. Keep a copy of all correspondence related to your appeal.

3. Executive Director/Dean Level: If your appeal is denied at the Department Chair level, you may send your appeal to the Dean of the college where your appeal originated. Please note that appeals originating in the School of Nursing or the School of Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice and Public Safety should be submitted to the Executive Directors of those Schools. (See attached list of current Department Chairs, Executive Directors, and Deans.)

Note: At the Executive Director/ Dean level, you should submit the same letter you submitted to the Department Chair, along with the Department Chair's written response. Continue to keep a copy of all correspondence related to your appeal.

If your appeal is denied by the Executive Director or Dean and you decide to pursue your appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee, you must contact the Ombudsperson as soon as you receive your written denial from the Executive Director or Dean. The Ombudsperson can guide you through the formal appeals process. Complete the Academic Appeal / Request for Ombudsperson Assistance, and contact the Ombudsperson via phone or email using the contact information to the right.

4. Academic Appeals Committee: If your appeal is denied at the Executive Director/Dean's level, you have the right to a formal appeal hearing before the Academic Appeals Committee. This committee is comprised of faculty representatives from the different colleges, academic advisors and students. It meets approximately once a month during the academic year (Sept - May). The Academic Appeals Committee hears from both the student and faculty member (at separate times) and makes a recommendation to the Provost. Within two weeks of the appeal hearing, the Provost makes a final decision, which is conveyed to the student in writing. There is no appeal process beyond the Provost.


Important Timelines:

Students have 60 working days (Monday-Friday) from the date their final grade was posted to file a formal academic appeal. An academic appeal is considered filed when a dated letter or email is sent to a Department Chair.

Once received, the Department Chair has 10 working days to respond to the student's formal appeal. If the Department Chair does not respond within 10 working days, the appeal is considered denied, and the student may move on to the next level of the appeal process (the Dean/Executive Director). If the Department Chair does deny the appeal in writing, the student may also move on to the next level of the appeal process (the Dean/Executive Director).

Once the appeal letter is received by the Dean/Executive Director, the Dean/Executive Director has 10 working days to respond to the student's formal appeal. If the Dean/Executive Director does not respond within 10 working days, the appeal is considered denied, and the student may move on to the next level of the appeal process (the Academic Appeals Committee). If the Dean/Executive Director does deny the appeal in writing, the student may also move on to the next level of the appeal process (the Academic Appeals Committee).



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