Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

Grade Grievance

It is not uncommon for students to disagree with their instructors about grading; whether it be an individual assignment, an exam, or an overall course grade.  The Ohio State University has a specific process for grade grievances outlined in the University Rules and detailed below.  If you believe there has been a grading error, you should first speak directly with your instructor to try and resolve the issue.  If no resolution is reached, you should then contact the department chair or course manage to discuss the grade grievance.  The final step is to request that a faculty committee be appointed to review the grievance.

The Student Advocacy Center assists students with grade grievances in several ways.  Advocates may provide feedback on a student's written communication or statement to the department chair, or in instances where the student believes they have been unfairly treated, an advocate can help determine the best course of action.  Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns about these processes.

From the OSU Board of Trustees website: 

3335-8-23  Alteration of marks.

(A)  A mark filed in the office of the university registrar is a part of the official records of the university. It is subject to change only when a procedural error has been discovered in evaluation or recording of a grade. Action to change a grade must be initiated before the end of the second succeeding semester or summer term. In no case will a grade be revised in accordance with criteria other than those applied to all students in the class. If the instructor agrees that an error in the mark was made, the mark will be changed upon written authorization of:

(1)  The instructor of the course, and

(2)  The instructional unit's dean, director, or college secretary.

If a student believes that a procedural error in grading was made, the student should meet with the instructor. If the instructor does not agree that a procedural error was made, the student may meet with the department chair to discuss the grade grievance. The chair shall respond to the student no later than thirty days after the student has requested a review by the chair. Upon receipt of the chair's response, if the issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student, the student may within two weeks request in writing by duplicate submission to the dean or director of the instruction unit and the department chair the procedures in paragraph (B) of this rule. Unresolved cases of grade grievance due to grading procedures are subject to paragraph (B) of this rule; unresolved cases of grade grievance due to other causes are not subject to paragraph (B) of this rule.

(B)  Unresolved cases of grade grievance due to grading procedures shall be reviewed by a faculty departmental committee appointed by the department chair.

(1)  In cases of instructors still affiliated with the university, the review committee shall consult both the student and the instructor and shall determine the validity of the grade grievance due to grading procedures. The review committee shall make its findings known in writing to both the student and the instructor within thirty days of the student's request to the chair.

If the committee finds that a procedural error has occurred and if the instructor declines to accept the findings of the review committee, the committee shall consider the reasons for not authorizing a grade change given by the instructor and may, upon consideration of these reasons, authorize in writing a grade change to be instituted by the department chair.

(2)  In cases of instructors no longer affiliated with the university, the findings of the committee shall be reported to both the student and the instructor. If the instructor chooses not to respond, the judgment of the committee shall prevail. If the instructor responds and declines to accept the findings of the committee that a procedural error has occurred, the committee shall consider the reasons for not authorizing a change given by the instructor. In either case, the committee may, upon due consideration, authorize in writing a grade change (if such can be determined) to be instituted by the department chair.

If a department committee can find no academic basis upon which to recommend an appropriate grade for the course, the student shall be given the option of having the course stricken from the student's record and, if so desired, to retake that course without prejudice or penalty.

(C)  If charges of grave academic misconduct against an instructor are made and substantiated under rule 3335-5-04 of the Administrative Code, the department chair shall be authorized to appoint a department grade grievance committee to consider grading errors that are alleged to be related to the misconduct. The committee shall consider all evidence and present, in writing, a report to the chair indicating any recommended grade changes. The department chair shall be authorized to institute grade changes in accordance with the recommendations of the committee.

If a department committee can find no academic basis upon which to recommend an appropriate grade for the course, the student shall be given the option of having the course stricken from the student's record and, if so desired, to retake that course without prejudice or penalty.

(D)  The graduate school and graduate professional colleges may formulate appropriate modifications of this rule, subject to the approval of the council on academic affairs, and publish this rule in their bulletins.

(Board approval dates: 7/9/2004, 6/22/2012)