How and who can appeal their grade?

You’ve written your midterms, submitted your assignments, and now finals are approaching. You’ve looked up your marks on OWL and you see a mark you don’t like. You feel you should have gotten a higher mark.

What can you do?

Most students will go to their professor, teaching assistant, or whoever gave them their mark. This is the right step. In fact, this is the first step of Western’s appeal process. But, what if speaking with your professor or TA doesn’t work out? Well, you would probably try to figure out what you can do next and you’ll find yourself reading through the policies under the Undergraduate Academic Appeals policy.

University can be an intimidating place for some, especially if you are in first year and still trying to figure out what Western is all about.

Western has a three-tiered system set up for students to appeal their grade. The three-tier process is as follows: first, an informal appeal to your professor or TA; then a formal appeal to your Department Chair; and finally, a formal appeal to the Dean of your faculty. A formal appeal means that you have to write an official letter to the appropriate party and submit your appeal application (usually, an appeal letter with documentation(s) for evidence as required). Informal means any form of communication and does not necessarily require an appeal application.

Some Faculties might have a different name for ‘Department Chair,’ but it is the person who oversees the department or program that your course falls under.

If the three-tier system fails to provide a reasonable outcome, there is actually a fourth option; if you meet a certain set of requirements, you may be granted a hearing with the SRBA – Senate Review Board of Academics, though this process is not offered under every circumstance.

Speaking with your professor or TA is very easy to do, but when it comes to submitting an appeal application to your Department Chair and/or Dean, this can seem intimidating for many students. If the process seems daunting, don’t panic! Always remember that there is no such thing as a right or wrong appeal and that you have nothing to lose by starting the appeal process.

If you don’t know where to start, the Student Appeals Support Centre can help you. Contact us and we’ll answer all your questions about the academic appeal process!


You can reach the Student Appeals Support Centre at:

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Jennifer Tin

Student Appeals Support Centre Coordinator.

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9 thoughts on “How and who can appeal their grade?

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