2023-2024 Catalog

Grade Appeals

This policy refers to procedures related to the dispute of a final grade in a course. Individual grades within a class may not be appealed and grade changes for additional work done after the semester has ended will not be approved. For grade disputes involving a claim of harassment or discrimination on the basis of disability, instead follow the Disability Services grievance policy described here.

A final grade in a class must be appealed by the end of the fourth week of the subsequent semester in which the grade was issued. No grade may be appealed after this period. Students are responsible for reviewing their grades at the conclusion of a semester.

The presumption at Occidental College is that the instructor alone is qualified to evaluate the academic work of students in their courses and to assign grades to that work. Consequently, grades are not normally subject to appeal. However, when a student believes that a particular grade was assigned unfairly or in error, the student may appeal the assigned grade as follows:

  1. The first step in the appeal is for the student to discuss any concerns with the instructor. 
  2. If discussion between the faculty member and the student does not resolve the matter, the student should meet with the department/program chair and provide the chair with a written explanation of their concern. The chair will attempt to solve the problem. If the instructor is also the chair, the student should meet with the associate dean for faculty affairs.
  3. If the department/program chair is unable to resolve the situation, the student may present the appeal to the associate dean for faculty affairs. The associate dean for faculty affairs will bring the matter to the Student Progress Committee, which will review the appeal and make a recommendation to the associate dean for faculty affairs. The associate dean for faculty affairs, who will confer with both the student and the instructor, shall review the appeal and the recommendation by the Student Progress Committee. The associate dean for faculty affairs shall determine the final resolution. No further appeals are possible after the associate dean has issued a decision.