Dalhousie Final Grade Appeals

Do you think your DAL final course grade is wrong?

At Dalhousie Law University, there is a system in place to appeal your final grade. The process is fairly straight forward and can be summarized in 6 steps:

Step 1: speak to the course instructor.

You’ll want to explain why you fair your grade should be different. Provide specifics. Refer the instructor to tests or assignments which you feel deserved a higher grade. If your efforts to change your grade are unsuccessful, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: speak to the Dean and the Chairperson of the Department.

Express the reasons for your position as you did with the instructor. Offer the dean or chairperson the reasons provided to you by the professor. This is your opportunity to offer a reply to the professor’s position. The Dean or Chairperson did not teach you the course, so his or her perspective may be of help to you (and the professor). Ultimately, if the grade does not change, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3:  File a Request for Reassessment of Final Grade

Informal discussions at the department level have been unsuccessful. You are now going to file an appeal with the Committee on Academic Appeals. The appeal must be filed with the Registrar within a defined period of time following the end of the semester in which the course was taken. The deadline to appeal a request for reassessment of final grade are:

  • Fall classes: March 1st
  • Winter classes: July 1st
  • Summer session ending in June: September 1st
  • Summer session ending in August: November 1st

The appeal form is available from the Registrar, or here.

You will note that the form has a Grounds for Reassessment section. This is your opportunity to express in writing why you believe the grade should be reconsidered. This may be because of calculation error, options in the syllabus for alternative marking, unfair marking, etc. Be sure to include the $50.00 fee and get confirmation that the Registrar has received your Reassessment. Once your reassessment has been filed, it will be forwarded to the head of the appropriate Dean or Director. The reassessment is then provided to the appropriate Department Chair for reassessment. The reassessment is conducted and the results are communicated to the Chair. The Chair provides the result to the Registrar. The Registrar communicated the result to the student.

Step 4: Consider filing an Appeal

You will receive a written reply from the Registrar stating whether or not the reassessment was successful. A successful reassessment will result in a grade change. If so, you will have your $50.00 reassessment fee returned. If you remain unsatisfied with your grade, you have the right to appeal the decision to the Faculty through which the course was offered. The Faculties at Dalhousie are:

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture and Planning
  • Arts and Social Science
  • Computer Science
  • Dentistry
  • Engineering
  • Graduate Studies
  • Health Professions
  • Law
  • Management
  • Medicine
  • Science

Step 5: Attend the Appeal Meeting

Prepare the Notice of Appeal form. The Notice of Appeal must be completed within a specific time period – normally 20 working days of the decision. In practice, the date of decision is generally the date on which you received notice from the registrar that the grade was not changed as a result of the reassessment. Be sure to request or be directed to the Notice of Appeal form for your faculty immediately. The appeal will require you to provide evidence to support your appeal. In general, you will be required to provide the following:

  • the reason for your appeal
  • explain what rules/regulations were not followed (breached)
  • list of witnesses
  • evidence to support your position

Step 6: Attend the Appeal Meeting

You are entitled to attend and be heard before the hearing of your appeal. It is generally a good idea to be there in person and to explain to the Appeals Committee verbally why you believe your appeal should succeed. Students often have an easier time expressing the unfairness of a process or procedure verbally. Also, you will have an opportunity to reply to the evidence presented by the others party (ie. the course professor), or others who have an interest in the hearing. Once the hearing is concluded the Appeals Committee will deliberate and provide an outcome to the parties. The appeal is final and no other process can occur. Need help? We have experience with student academic appeals. Should you need assistance please contact Jeff Mitchell for information and advice. Call toll-free: 1-855-670-1345 or 902-702-3452. We wish you every success with your studies.