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Washington State University Graduate School

Chapter 12C: Student Rights of Appeal Related to Academic Work

1. Appeal of Course Grades.

Graduate students should refer to the WSU Academic Regulations, Rules 104 and 105 if they have a complaint about instruction or grading. This document can be found athttps://registrar.wsu.edu/academic-regulations/. If the student wishes to appeal a grade that has led to a decision that the student be dismissed from the Graduate School (for academic deficiency or examination failure, for example), the student should make every effort to file the appeal as soon as possible and to work through the grade appeal process in a timely manner. Formal grievances submitted to the Graduate School regarding dismissal due to a failed examination or academic deficiency will not be delayed due to the grade appeal process. Formal grievance decisions made by the dean of the Graduate School will be based on the grades officially listed on the student’s transcript. If the student’s grade is changed due to a grade appeal decision made after the formal grievance process has been completed, then the program chair may request that the dean of the Graduate School review the case based on the grade change and make a determination regarding reinstatement.

2. University Grade Appeals Board

The University Grade Appeals Board, an official committee of the president of the University, functions to review academic grade appeals forwarded by any departmental chair, dean, Graduate School dean, vice chancellor for academic affairs, or university ombudsman.

3. Preliminary and/or Final Examination Committee Decisions

In most cases of examination failure, the student is given an opportunity to take a second and final examination (the exception is discussed below). The Graduate School will send an official representative to preside over the second examination to protect the rights of the student, faculty, and program. The Graduate School has trained a group of willing faculty members (Graduate Mentor Academy) in the appropriate procedures to be followed for a second examination. The Graduate School’s examination procedures must be followed to schedule the second examination. These procedures are outlined in Chapters 7 and 8 of this manual. If the student fails the examination a second time, the student will be dismissed from the Graduate School. The student may appeal the decision by filing a formal grievance with the Graduate School. For details, see Chapter 12.E.3.

A student will not be allowed to take a second and final examination after first examination failure when the following criteria are met:

a. The first examination must have had a representative from the Graduate Mentor Academy (appointed by the Graduate School) present for the oral examination and/or balloting meeting (if no oral examination was given).

b. The representative confirms that the examination process was fair and proceeded according to Graduate School policy.

c. The representative agrees with the faculty committee and program chair that a re-examination is not an appropriate course of action. The student may appeal the decision by filing a formal grievance with the dean of the Graduate School. For details, see Chapter 12.E.3.

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