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Grade Appeal/Grade Amnesty Policy

Grade Appeal Policy


Students and faculty should make every effort to resolve questions about grades without seeking a formal grade appeal. Grade appeal is a last resort. A grade appeal will be pursued only if there is a valid basis and evidence. The responsibility for developing and presenting the case for changing a grade rests with the student making the appeal. The process is non-judicial and the same for all UMass Dartmouth students in all courses.

The official university Grade Appeal Policy (updated in May 2004) is available here.

Grade Appeal Officer

If you have questions about the grade appeal process, please contact professor Grant O'Rielly, Faculty Senate President,  via email.

Grades Amnesty Policy

Grades amnesty can be described as a means of conferring on our own students the benefits that transfer students receive. Grades amnesty is intended to permit the readmission of formerly unsuccessful students who present evidence of motivation and ability to succeed if readmitted to the university. When such a student requests readmission, s/he declares an intention to invoke the amnesty policy. In addition to permitting readmission when a student’s prior performance might not merit it, grades amnesty allows previous poor grades to be removed from the cumulative grade point average later, if certain conditions are met.

Students interested in readmission under this policy must first contact the Academic Advising Center to begin the process. Grade amnesty is invoked at the time of readmission and approved by the readmitted student’s advisor, chairperson, and dean. With the advisor’s assistance, the student must set academic goals carefully not only ultimately to achieve grades amnesty but to avoid or minimize probation and prevent future academic dismissal.

Requirements for a student to be considered for readmission under grades amnesty, and conditions for initial semesters:

  • The student must have been matriculated in an undergraduate degree program at UMass Dartmouth or a predecessor institution.
  • The student must have left the university at least 5 years previously with a cumulative grade point average below 2.500.
  • The student must present evidence of motivation and ability to succeed if readmitted to the university; for example, the student could show good grades earned in some subsequent college courses.
  • The student will be subject to graduation requirements in effect at the time of readmission.
  • Once a student has accepted readmission under grades amnesty, s/he may not reverse that decision and is subject to its conditions.
  • With two exceptions, all the usual probation and dismissal rules will apply to the readmitted grades amnesty student. Exceptions:
    • Academic dismissal will not occur after the student’s first semester back.
    • Readmitted grades amnesty students may not, during their first semester back, serve on university committees, hold leadership positions, or represent the university in intercollegiate athletics. Beyond their first semester, all regular probation and dismissal rules apply. Thus, if probation is earned after the first semester back, it shall be so noted and will again prevent the student from engaging in activities as above. A readmitted grades amnesty student can be subject to dismissal after the second semester back.

Requirements for previous grades to be removed from the cumulative grade point average under grades amnesty:

  • The student must have been readmitted to matriculated degree status and be still a matriculated degree-seeking student.
  • The student must have completed at least 45 credits since returning, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.500.
  • All courses and grades attempted and earned in the prior period of enrollment will remain a part of the student’s permanent record along with academic notations. However, none will be calculated into the student’s cumulative grade record and will be so annotated on the record.
  • Courses passed in the prior period of enrollment with grades below C- will not be accepted toward satisfaction of any degree requirements following readmission, nor will the credits previously earned in them be credited toward the degree.
  • Courses passed in the prior period of enrollment with grades of C- or better may be accepted towards satisfaction of major requirements if so approved by the department, but still are not calculated in the cumulative or major grade point