A grade appeal is your opportunity to appeal a grade in a particular course. You can file multiple grade appeals at the same time if necessary. Remember that you have the right to appeal.
Grade appeals are submitted to the department/program that the course is related to. For example, if it's an Accounting course grade you are appealing, then submit your appeal to the Accounting/Finance Department.
Download the Grade and Standings Appeal Information Package below for a comprehensive guide to filing your grade appeal.
A key element in the policy is that in order to effectively exercise your rights, you must normally act as soon as possible. Failure to do so may jeopardize your appeal.
All students encounter issues during a semester that impact their academic performance and although these issues may be significant to you, they may not apply in the context of Ryerson Policy. Therefore, before you decide to submit an appeal, you must assess if you will qualify under Ryerson University grounds for appeal.
There are five grounds that you can submit a grade appeal on:
Before considering submitting an appeal, you should consider trying to informally resolve the issue with your professor. If you are unable to resolve the situation with your professor, or are unable to reach them, contact the chair or director of the course's home department (ie. HST119 would be the History Department). Informal resolutions can sometimes provide better resolutions that can avoid a formal appeal altogether.
Even if an informal resolution is not possible, by taking these steps you are indicating that you are being proactive in approaching your appeal. By not taking these steps, your appeal may not be as strong. Remember to follow up meetings, discussions and outcomes via email. Keep a paper trail and ensure that you are following up with your professor.
Become aware with the relevant policies. Particularly:
There are three levels of appeals that you can go through.
1. Departmental Level: Your appeal goes to the department that the course is housed in. The chair or director of the program reviews the appeal and investigates the issue before they make a decision. Your appeal includes:
2. Faculty Level: Your appeal goes to the faculty that the department is housed in. The appeal includes:
3. Senate Level: Your appeal goes to the Secretary of Senate to be reviewed by a panel of two faculty members and one student. Upon submitting your Senate level appeal, the faculty will be given an opportunity to develop a response to your appeal. A hearing will be scheduled with at least ten (10) days notice, where you will be able to pick up the complete appeals package (with the Faculty response included), normally five (5) days prior to hearing. The hearing will usually be schedule for two (2) hours to allow for opening and closing statements and a series of questions. Students will be able to ask questions and be asked questions. You will be allowed to have a Student Advocate or Legal Council at a hearing if desired.
Your appeal includes:
Please note that appeals are most successful at the lowest level of appeal. Students should make appeals as strong as possible in each level of appeal. The Student Issues & Advocacy Coordinator is here to help you with your appeals and your understanding of Ryerson policies and procedures.
You can also choose to resolve the issue through informal resolution (prior to the appeal) and contact the Ryerson Ombudsperson if you feel that policy and procedures have not been followed and/or you feel that you have been treated unfairly.
Check out the Downloads & Resources Tab for useful templates.
Ryerson policies that dictate process:
Some information listed may vary for Graduate Students. Check Policy 152 to ensure process is correct.
For more information on the appeals process, check out the FAQ section.
Your grade appeal should indicate what resolution you are ultimately seeking. In other words, if your appeal is successful, what do you hope to achieve. Here are several tips for appropriate resolutions (remember that each appeal is unique and circumstantial, there is no perfect resolution that fits every case).
Determining the appropriate resolution can sometimes be a difficult task. If an informal resolution from the professor or chair is unavailable, they can sometimes provide helpful hints on appropriate resolutions to appeal on. Additionally, the RSU Student Issues & Advocacy Coordinator is here to help guide you through the appeals process to determine the most appropriate resolutions.
Some possible resolutions (not exhaustive):
Be Proactive: Remember that if an issue arises, it is best to deal with it as soon as possible. Talk to your professor(s) and/or department chair sooner so that they can best accommodate you. When you reach the stage of filing an appeal, do it as soon as possible while being mindful of deadlines. This will demonstrate that you are proactive and have taken every measure to fix your situation.
Take Responsibility: As a student, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the guidelines for academic conduct set out by your professors in your course syllabi and the senate policies set out by Ryerson University. These policies can be found at www.ryerson.ca/senate/policies. Visit the Policies Guidance tab [internal link] for more information on policy understanding.
Attend a Workshop: The RSU and CESAR offer a range of workshops that will help you prepare your appeal and understand the process. Attend one of the Letter Writing workshops to prepare your appeals letter, or attend a U201 session to better understand the appeals process, the University and students' union services and the resources you have available. Check the workshops and seminars section [insert internal link] for more information.
Leave a Paper Trail: It is always important to have clear communication with your instructor, and other members of university. You might often trust the people you deal with on a day-to-day basis, but sometimes our memories can get the best of us! Speaking to your instructor and receiving verbal affirmations are good (whether it is to confirm a date to do a make-up exam, or to let them know you will be absent and need accommodations, etc.), and shows that you are a proactive student. However, it is also useful in the long run to have follow-up correspondences over e-mail. The reason for this is that if later something comes up, whether your instructor is being unfair or simply forgot that you have spoken to them, there is the proper documentation to demonstrate what actually took place.
Explain: Be sure to include the following (if it applies to your situation):
Click Download to access the Winter 2021 Grade and Standings Appeal Information Package.
Relevant forms can be found on the Senate Forms page. Remember that each level of appeal has a different appeals form and checklist.