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Grievance Process

Raising questions or concerns about a grade at the Darla Moore School of Business

When a student has questions about a grade for an assignment or the course, they should begin by contacting the instructor.  All such questions should be presented clearly and professionally so that they can be addressed effectively by the instructor.  

Please note that the instructor retains authority over the assignment of grades and the faculty member’s judgment about the quality of a student’s work or grading standards is not grievable. However, students may appeal concerns about whether actions were taken that are inconsistent with the course syllabus or university policies and guidelines. As noted above, such concerns must first be addressed with the instructor.

If a student is not satisfied with the instructor’s response, the chair of the faculty member’s department should be contacted via email. The student should clearly and professionally explain what action or decision is being appealed and why. The student needs to explain what policies in the syllabus were violated or what university policy was violated. The student should also indicate when they communicated with the faculty member and the response that was received.

The department chair will review the student's message and, as appropriate, share the issues raised with the faculty member to get his or her response. The department chair is not permitted to change a grade that has been assigned. They are permitted to recommend that a faculty member reconsider how the grade was assigned.

If a student is not satisfied with the outcome after communicating with the department chair, the Senior Associate Dean for Academics and Research at the Moore School should be contacted via email. The student should include all prior email messages regarding the grade grievance. The message should also explain why there is concern with the outcome achieved to this point in the process. As appropriate, the faculty member and department chair will be contacted in order to receive their input. A grade cannot be overturned, but a recommendation can be made that the grade be reconsidered. If the student remains concerned after this point, a request can be made that the grievance be reviewed by a faculty and student grievance committee. The committee will be convened if it can be established that the grievance relates to an alleged violation of the syllabus or university policy. The committee is not authorized to change the grade. It is only authorized to recommend grade changes.  

Students should be aware that violations of USC’s honor code (e.g., lying or misrepresentation) when making statements within the grievance process will be reported to the Office of Academic Integrity.