FAQ for Grievances and Appeals

Grade Appeals

Frequently asked questions


Frequently asked questions

How can my Advisor help me in this process?

Your IAS advisor is available to support you and provide information about university and School policies relating to grade appeals and grievances. Meeting with an advisor can help you clarify the nature of your concern, determine desired outcomes, and explore next steps. Advisors will listen to your concerns without judgement, and will maintain confidentiality in their work to organize an orderly process related to your concern. Information related to your concern is provided only to those who have a business need to know, except where there is a risk to the safety of any persons or where there is a legal requirement.

Please be aware that IAS advisors cannot provide advice on the merit of your grievance, or guarantee any specific outcomes. Advisors cannot require an instructor to change your grade, or review any assignments.

Why do I have to meet with my instructor in person?

Each consultation with your advisor will include a strong recommendation for you to meet with your instructor in a face-to-face meeting, either during office hours or by scheduling an appointment. In most cases, meeting with your instructor is the first required step for academic disputes in IAS because many complaints are the result of a misunderstanding between the student and faculty; meeting in person helps both parties gain a full understanding of the situation. It is important to make every effort to understand the instructor’s reasons for assigning the grade that you received so that you can write an effective appeal, if you decide to file one.

Interactions with faculty can teach students to self-advocate, employ effective communication skills, and engage in reflective practice. We recognize that students may feel nervous about addressing the issue directly but in our experience, raising your concern over email does not provide an adequate opportunity to engage in conversation or fully address the issue. Students can work with their IAS advisor to minimize the level of stress this meeting may cause, and identify resources that encourage personal responsibility in a supportive learning environment.

Can I meet directly with the Dean of IAS instead?

The School of IAS upholds the UW policy for grade appeals, and it is important to facilitate a review process with that relationship in mind. Students are invited to discuss their grade appeal with the Dean after meeting with their instructor face-to-face. Please contact an IAS advisor for help scheduling an appointment.

I tried to contact my instructor for a meeting but did not receive a response. What do I do now?

If you made multiple attempts to contact your instructor and cannot get a response, please email an IAS advisor for assistance. The advisor will pass this information along to your instructor. If one week has passed and you still did not receive a response from your instructor, please contact the advisor again for additional support.

What if I have a complaint about a grading issue near the end of the quarter, or after grades post?

It is always best to discuss concerns about assignments and grades as they come up, not at the end of the quarter. As soon as you receive a grade that you do not understand, discuss it with the instructor directly. If the grading issue continues and your concern results in a successful grade appeal, IAS will have the opportunity to change your grade after the quarter ends.

Graduating Seniors, please let their instructor and/or IAS advisor know if they are raising a complaint about grades in their final quarter before graduation. IAS will consult with the University Registrar about this issue and inform the student of any important deadlines specific to graduating seniors.

I submitted a Grievance Form to IAS but have not received a response yet. What do I do next?

If appropriate to the issue, please allow the IAS team three days to review and organize information related to your concern (not including weekends). Contact an IAS advisor if you still do not receive a response after that time period.

Issues that need a faster response should be submitted directly to the UW Bothell CARE Team using their online form.

Will IAS review the concerns submitted on Course Evaluations?

Please submit your concerns on the IAS Academic Grievance Form to ensure a timely and thorough review.

Will I hear back from IAS about the outcome of my concern?

Please rest assured that your concern will be reviewed by the appropriate IAS team member(s). For reasons of confidentiality in personnel processes, students may not always be informed of the outcome or results, but that is not an indicator that your concern was left unheard. Although responses to student concerns will vary depending on the nature of the issue, IAS will engage in a meaningful way to support a positive learning environment.

Why was my concern referred to the Associate Dean?

Based on the circumstances and nature of the issue, your concern may have been referred to an Associate Dean in IAS for further review. The Associate Deans provide oversight for the School of IAS and may examine your concern in one or more of the following ways:

  • Facilitate information exchange across students, advisors, faculty, administrators, and other staff with a business need to know
  • Offer support and mentoring to faculty, staff, and students regarding available resources relevant to the issue.
  • Inform and consult with the IAS Dean regarding a possible organizational response.
  • Coordinate educational outreach and training around the principles of diversity, equity, and social justice.
  • Review student concerns, analyze patterns or unique but noteworthy issues, and identify ways to enhance student success in IAS learning environments.

What if my complaint also involves a bias incident?

Bias related incidents are those involving language and/or behavior which demonstrate bias against persons because of their actual or perceived color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, national origin, race, religion, and/ or sexual orientation. Bias incidents should be exclusively submitted on the university’s Bias Incident Report Form.

How can I share a concern with IAS if I’m not an IAS student and not taking an IAS class?

UW Bothell campus and community partners may use the IAS Academic Grievance Form to share their concerns.