Appeals of Academic Decisions
Students may appeal an academic decision or ruling in accordance with the appeal procedures set out below. Students have a right to appeal to their graduate programs, and if unsuccessful, to the Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies). Some decisions may be appealed further to the Senate Review Board Academic. The Vice-Provost’s rulings in academic matters are final unless overturned or modified on appeal to the Senate Review Board Academic (SRBA). A decision or ruling remains in effect unless overturned or modified by the individual or body hearing an appeal of that decision or ruling.
Throughout this page, the word “Vice-Provost” means “Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) or designate”.
Note: Appeals of Scholastic Offence decisions are not covered under this policy. For the appeal procedure for scholastic offence decisions, please see:
Subject Matter of an Appeal
Students may appeal:
- a mark on an examination or on a particular piece of work, or final standing in a course
- a ruling of an instructor, program, or administrator in an academic matter.
Grounds of Appeal
An appeal must be based on one or more of the following grounds:
- medical or compassionate circumstances
- extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control
Ignorance of Senate regulations and policies, program requirements, and policies as set out in the University's Academic Calendars does not constitute grounds for an appeal.
It is incumbent on students to initiate each step at the earliest opportunity, and on the University officers concerned to act as expeditiously as possible.
Note: Legal counsel is not permitted at any stage of the appeal process prior to the level of the Senate Review Board Academic.
A. Appeals at the Course/Program Level
- If the appeal relates to a specific course, a student must first attempt to resolve the matter informally with the course instructor. If the instructor is not available or if the matter is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the student has a right of appeal to the individual(s) or body designated to hear appeals at the graduate program level. Students should contact their graduate program to obtain information on the program’s appeal process. An appeal must be filed within four weeks of the issuance of the mark or ruling.
- For all other appeals, a student must initiate the appeal with the individual(s) or body designated to hear appeals at the graduate program level. Students should contact their graduate program to
obtain information on the program’s appeal process. An appeal must be filed within four weeks of the issuance of the mark or ruling.
- In no circumstances shall the original decision maker(s) whose decision or ruling is under appeal hear an appeal of that decision or ruling at the program level.
- Deadlines for filing appeals may be extended at the discretion of the individual or body hearing student appeals.
- In addition to any other information required by individual graduate programs, appeals submitted by students should include the following information:
- the matter being appealed
- the grounds of appeal
- a clear and detailed explanation of the facts supporting the grounds of appeal
- all supporting documentation
- the desired outcome or remedy.
- The designated decision maker shall issue a written decision (“program decision”), normally within 3 weeks of receipt of the appeal.
B. Appeals at the SGPS level
- A student may appeal the program decision to the Vice-Provost. An appeal application together with all required documentation, including a copy of the previous decision, must be filed with the Office of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies within three weeks of the issuance of the program decision. Students should contact the Office of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for more information. The student must submit the Application for an Appeal to SGPS form. The deadline for filing an appeal may be extended at the discretion of the Vice-Provost.
- In considering an appeal, the Vice-Provost shall review the materials submitted by the student and the program and may obtain such further information as the Vice-Provost deems relevant to the appeal. The Vice-Provost shall give the student a reasonable opportunity to meet with her or him and may meet with such other individuals as she or he deems necessary.
- The Vice-Provost shall issue a written decision, with reasons, normally within four weeks of receipt of the appeal.
- A student may have a further right of appeal to the Senate Review Board Academic (SRBA) if the decision falls within the jurisdiction of SRBA. Appeals to SRBA must be made within six weeks of the date of the Vice-Provost’s decision. The decision of the Vice-Provost or designate remains in full force and effect unless and until overturned or modified by SRBA.
- Additional information and SRBA Appeal Applications can be obtained from the University Secretariat, Room 4101, Stevenson Hall.
For Appeals of Scholastic Offence decisions, please visit Scholastic Offences.