At the University of Toronto, graduate students may appeal substantive or procedural academic matters, including grades, evaluation of comprehensive examinations and other program requirements. Detailed information on graduate level appeals can be found in the School of Graduate Studies’ (SGS) Academic Appeals Policy, available in the SGS Calendar.
As per SGS regulations, the appeals process in the Department of Leadership, Higher & Adult Education (LHAE), begins with informal resolution as outlined in Steps 1 and 2 below.
Step 1: Informal resolution with the Decision Maker
In the case of dispute, students must first attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor or other person whose ruling is in question (the “decision maker”).
This discussion should take place within 10 days after the date of the matter at issue.
When communicating with the decision maker, students should be clear about the rationale for disputing the decision/grade and any proposed remedy for resolving the matter.
Should the matter not be resolved with the decision maker, and should the student wish to pursue the matter, the student can proceed to Step 2.
Step 2: Informal resolution with the Program
If the matter is not resolved with the decision maker, students have the option of submitting their concern in writing to the Program Coordinator of the appropriate academic program (i.e. Adult Education; Educational Leadership and Policy; or Higher Education). Alternatively, students can submit their concern in writing to the CLGP (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will submit the student’s concerns to the appropriate Program Coordinator on the student’s behalf.
Step 2 should be initiated within 10 days after the date of the last interaction with the decision maker.
When making their written request to the Program Coordinator, students should specify the rationale for disputing the decision/grade, the outcome of the attempted informational resolution with the decision maker, and the student’s suggested remedy for resolving the matter.
In most cases, these informal steps with the decision maker and/or with the Program Coordinator should suffice to resolve the matter. Should informal resolution fail to resolve the dispute, the student may file a formal written appeal to the Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee (GDAAC) in the Department of Leadership, Higher & Adult Education.
Step 3: Initiating a Formal Appeal with the Department
To initiate a formal appeal with the GDAAC, students must file a formal Notice of Appeal with its secretary, the Coordinator of LHAE Graduate Programs, Karolina Szymanski, within the specified timeline of 8 weeks from the date the student became aware of the matter which is under appeal.*
Once a formal appeal has been filed with the Department, the GDAAC will proceed as per the SGS Academic Appeals Policy.
The chair of the GDAAC will determine, at their sole discretion, whether the appeal will proceed by way of an oral hearing and/or written submissions. In either case, at the conclusion of the hearing and/or review of the written submissions, the GDAAC will make a recommendation to the Chair of the Department of Leadership, Higher & Adult Education regarding the merits of the appeal. The Chair will then render the department-level appeal decision.
Step 4: Initiating a Formal Appeal with SGS
The student may further appeal the decision of the Chair of LHAE by filing a Notice of Appeal to the SGS Graduate Academic Appeals Board (GAAB) within 8 weeks of the decision of the Chair, in accordance with its guidelines and procedures.
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.
*Extensions may be considered and granted if the justice of the circumstances requires.