If students have questions about a final course grade, exam grade, or the grading process, BCM strongly encourages them to first verify the grade before pursuing a formal Appeal. Grade verification is an informal process during which the affected student meets with the course and/or clerkship directors to review the final grade and discuss any lingering questions. After grade verification, the student may choose to proceed with a formal grade appeal. However, appeals must have merit in order to proceed. Appeals must satisfy criteria described below to trigger reconsideration of the final grade, and appeals based on mere disagreement are not valid.
Grade Appeal Criteria
A grade appeal must be submitted in writing through the Integrity Hotline website. A grade appeal must be based on new information (that was either unavailable or not considered in the original decision) or an assertion that a violation of due process occurred in reaching that decision.
The burden of proof rests with the student. A grade appeal cannot advance on its merits unless the student includes proof to support all assertions. The proof may include relevant new information or a demonstration that due process was violated. Any Appeal that fails to meet these standards is considered invalid, without merit, and will not result in reconsideration of the contested official decision or an alternative outcome. The student will be informed that the final grade appeal is without merit.
Students are limited to one grade appeal per course, which should describe all relevant grounds and circumstances.
Grade Appeal Scope
The purpose of the grade appeal process is to protect the rights of both the student who earns a grade and the faculty member who assigns the grade. Faculty members have the right to use their professional judgment, both subjectively and objectively, in determining a student’s grade based on academic performance. They also have the responsibility to award grades in a uniform manner based on established expectations and criteria for academic (including clinical) performance. Students have the right to appeal a grade that they feel has been awarded in an arbitrary and capricious manner. They also have the responsibility to accept the faculty member’s professional judgment about their performance.
Grades assigned as a result of a violation of the Code of Conduct cannot be appealed through this process. Rather, the appeal is through the process delineated in the Code of Conduct. The grade appeal process is not intended to deal with concerns about the general conduct or instruction of the course.
Grade Appeal Application
Consistent with relevant provisions of school handbooks, students may pursue grade appeals under only the following circumstances:
1. Mistreatment. To prevail on this basis, the grade appeal must allege, and investigatory findings must demonstrate, that the grade was awarded based on factors other than academic or clinical performance, as outlined in the syllabus, or based on Mistreatment, such as discrimination.
2. Deviation from Established Criteria or Guidelines. To prevail on this basis, the grade appeal must allege, and investigatory findings must demonstrate, that the grade awarded was not calculated according to prior established guidelines set forth by the faculty and distributed to students.
3. Calculation Error. To prevail on this basis, the grade appeal must allege, and investigatory findings must demonstrate, that the grade awarded was calculated using false or erroneous information.
The burden of proof rests with the student to demonstrate that the final grade was awarded inappropriately.
Falsification or fabrication of information to support an appeal is subject to disciplinary action under the Code of Conduct.
Additional information: Grievance Policies and Procedures (Baylor login required)