Grievances: Academic

Academic Complaints

A student who has a complaint about a grade on a single assignment or exam or concerning the faculty member teaching a course should first speak with or email the faculty member.  If the complaint is not resolved, then the student should bring the matter to the attention of the department chair or program director. If the complaint remains unresolved, then the matter should be brought to the attention of the academic dean’s office of the school in which the course is offered.

Grade Grievances

There is a formal process for grieving a final course grade. 

Within two weeks of the grade being assigned, the student should speak with or email the faculty member.

If, after communicating with the faculty member, the student believes that the grade had no basis in fact or was arbitrary, the student may then petition the department chair or program director in writing (or by email).

Students should keep copies of correspondence for their own records.

If the grievance is not addressed or resolved equitably after meeting with the department chair or program director, the student has 10 business days to file a formal grievance with the academic dean (or dean’s designee) of the school in which the course is offered.

The academic dean (or dean’s designee) will inform the student of a decision within 15 business days of receiving the formal grievance. The student may appeal this decision to the provost (or provost’s designee), whose decision shall be final. It is the responsibility of the provost (or provost’s designee) to come to a resolution of the grade dispute within 15 business days of receiving the formal grievance from the student.

A graduating student must initiate the grade grievance process no later than three days prior to commencement by emailing the faculty member and copying the department chair or program director.

Graduating students should be mindful that the grade grievance process may impact the awarding of Latin honors and may delay the date of degree conferral.

Grievances Related to Academic Accommodations for Students Registered with Disability Services

Students with disabilities who believe they have received inappropriate treatment or inadequate service from the University pertaining to their granted accommodations have the right to file a grievance with Director of Disability Services.  The grievance must be submitted in writing to Office of Disability Services and should include a detailed description of the inappropriate or inadequate service and supporting documentation (when appropriate). Students with disabilities must indicate the resolution they are seeking. 

Students with disabilities who are unsatisfied with the response from the Director of Disability Services may submit an appeal within 5 business days to the ADA Coordinator, Dr. Ann Coyne, Dean of Students, Student Affairs Office, 73 Tremont Street 12th floor, Boston, MA 02108, 617-573-8239. Students with disabilities must state the resolution they are seeking. The decision of the appeal by the Dean of Students is final. 

Grievances Related to Students Enrolled in an Online Program

Consistent with 610 CMR 12.00: Operation of Massachusetts Degree-Granting Institutions Under the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), a student residing outside Massachusetts "who receives SARA distance education from an institution approved by the Board to operate under SARA may, after exhausting the institution’s procedures for resolution of grievances, file a written complaint regarding the institution with the Department [of Higher Education]. The Department shall make complaint forms available on its website.