University of Georgia students have the right to appeal certain academic decisions. The appeals process starts at the unit responsible for the decision (ex. grades will start with the department that offered the course). For most appeals, an unfavorable ruling at one level can be appealed to the successive level. All appeals are heard by the Appeals Committee of the Graduate Council. The appellant must submit a letter of appeal. Appellants are also allowed to submit up to 10 pages of supporting documentation beyond the appeal letter. Appellants do not need to submit any documentation that is already in their file at the Graduate School. Appeal letters, supporting documentation, and questions about the appeals process should be submitted to gradassociatedean@uga.edu.

The Appeals Committee shall hear appeals from (a) applicants denied admission to graduate study, (b) students denied a change of degree objective by the Graduate School, (c) students dismissed by the academic unit and/or the Graduate School, (d) students denied an extension of time, (e) students who have violated the Continuous Enrollment Policy, and (f) students contesting a course grade. The committee shall make recommendations to the dean and report its activities to the Council.

During the appeals hearing, each party (appellant and respondent) has a maximum of 10 minutes to present their case. The Appeals Committee then meets to discuss the case and renders a decision.

Below are the most common types of appeals heard by the Committee.

Admission Decision Appeals

Appeals of admissions decisions must first be made to the applicant’s intended department. After the department has rendered a decision, the student has 30 days to initiate their appeal at the Graduate School. Decisions made by the Appeals Committee regarding admissions decision are final. There is no higher level the applicant can submit an appeal to.

Dismissal Decision

There are two types of dismissal appeals:  departmental dismissals and Graduate School dismissals. Students wishing to appeal a departmental dismissal must first appeal to their department and then their college. After an unfavorable decision at the college level, the student has 30 days to contact the Graduate School to initiate their appeal. Students dismissed by the Graduate School must appeal to the Graduate School first. Dismissal appeals decisions made by the Appeals Committee can be appealed to the Educational Affairs Committee of the University Council.

Students subject to Graduate School dismissal may, with the support of their department/program, take advantage of an expedited review of their dismissal. Within two business days of the release of grades, the Graduate School will contact the program of each student subject to dismissal, giving the program two days to request an expedited review. (Any later review requests would go through the normal appeals process.)

The program will work with the student to develop supporting documents that must be submitted by four days prior to Registration Day of the next semester. These documents should include a letter of support from the program (including a development plan outlining how the student will come into compliance and make satisfactory progress toward graduation with appropriate GPA) and a letter from the student (describing any mitigating or extenuating circumstances for consideration by the Appeals Committee). All documentation should total no more than five pages. The student’s transcript will also be available for review.

An Expedited Review Committee will be composed of at least five members of the Graduate Council. This committee will be populated from the Appeals Committee, with additional volunteers solicited from Graduate Council as needed. The chair of the Expedited Review Committee will ordinarily be the chair of the Appeals Committee. Committee meetings (in-person or remote) will be scheduled up to three times per year on Registration Day prior to each semester.

The Expedited Review Committee will review the requests each semester. As in the traditional appeals process, the student may appear on their own behalf. The department/program is encouraged to send (in-person or virtually) a faculty or staff member to serve as an advocate for the student. Each involved party will be granted no more than ten minutes to present their case.

Any Expedited Review Committee decision to reinstate a dismissed student will be available in time for the student to register for classes during the semester following dismissal. If the dismissal is upheld, the standard appeals process is still available to the student. A student may only request an expedited dismissal review one time.

Grade Appeals

Students appealing grades must first contact the instructor of a course to appeal a final course grade. If the student receives an unfavorable decision, the student can then appeal to the department in which the course is housed, using procedures established by the requisite school or college. Please note that students can only appeal final course grades. If the student is given an unfavorable decision from the department, the student can then appeal to the college. After the decision at the college level, the student has 30 days to initiate their appeal to the Graduate School. Grade appeal decisions made by the Appeals Committee can be appealed to the Educational Affairs Committee. The Appeals Committee of the Graduate Council does not hear grade appeals from professional programs. Appeals involving hardship withdraws and Incompletes (I’s) converting to F’s are heard by the Educational Affairs Committee, not the Appeals Committee. To contact the Educational Affairs Committee, please email ovpiappeals@uga.edu. For questions regarding appeals heard by the Educational Affairs Committee, please visit their website.

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