Academic Appeals

Questioning Grades Received on Assignments or Exams

Students may on occasion dispute grades on assignments or examinations. Procedures are outlined below:

STEP ONE: Informal discussion

  1. With instructor: The first step is always to discuss the issue with your instructor or the person whose ruling is in question. This must be done within two weeks of notification of your grade. It is usually a good idea to submit your request in writing and to keep a copy for yourself for future reference.
The course coordinator (if applicable) can be involved either by the student or the instructor at this point.
  2. With the Associate Dean, Academic: If the matter cannot be settled informally through discussions with the instructor and/or course coordinator, and the student believes that the grade received was unfair due to a procedural error or bias, the student may submit a written statement to the Associate Dean, Academic. This statement should clearly document the concerns and supporting evidence.

STEP TWO: Initiating a formal Appeal

If the matter cannot be settled through STEP 1 the student has the option of proceeding to the Faculty of Social Work Student Appeals Committee, referred by SGS as the Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee (GDAAC). This must be done within 8 weeks of receiving the grade. Formal academic appeals by students are subject to the policies and procedures established by the School of Graduate Studies of the University of Toronto. In order to initiate an appeal to the Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee, students must complete a Notice of Appeal Form

The purpose of the Student Appeals Committee is to establish Appeal Panels to receive, hear, and decide on all student appeals in the Faculty.

The Committee will be composed of the following persons:

  • A total membership of five: four graduate faculty members and one graduate student. One of the faculty members will serve as Chair of the committee and will be appointed by the Chair of the Department/Associate Dean, Academic. The Chair of the Department/Associate Dean, Academic should not normally be a member of the GDAAC.
  • Quorum for the Committee is three members, including the Chair.
  • If the issue relates to practicum, one of the three faculty members will be adjunct faculty involved in field education.
  • Alternate members: Alternate Committee members and an alternate Chair of the Committee shall be appointed by the Chair of the Department/Associate Dean, Academic each academic year. These alternate members may be called upon by the Chair in an individual appeal to replace a regular GDAAC member where a conflict of interest has been identified, or where a regular member is unable to serve.
  • Secretary: The Chair of the Department/Associate Dean, Academic may assign a Secretary to the GDAAC, as required.

The Practicum Manual describes the review process for students’ performance in the practicum and conduct in the practicum is guided by the University of Toronto (UT) Standards of Professional Practice Behaviour for all Health Professional Students and the UT Code of Student Conduct.

For information on Academic Appeals, please refer to the SGS web site.


A decision of the SGS Graduate Academic Appeals Board (GAAB) may subsequently be appealed by a student to the Governing Council’s Academic Appeals Committee, in accordance with its guidelines and procedures. An appeal to this committee shall be commenced by filing a Notice of Appeal with its Secretary no later than 90 days after the date of the GAAB decision under appeal. The Notice of Appeal form is available