Grade Review, Challenge, and Appeal Process – Staff Resources


the Grade Review, Challenge & Appeal process is a 3-tired system put in place with guidance from the University of Washington and the LCME that a medical school ensures that the medical education program has a single standard for the advancement and graduation of medical students across all locations and a fair and formal process for taking any action that may affect the status of a medical student, including timely notice of the impending action, disclosure of the evidence on which the action would be based, an opportunity for the medical student to respond, and an opportunity to appeal any adverse decision related to advancement, graduation, or dismissal. UW states that this process should conclude by the end of the next academic quarter that the course takes place in (12 weeks after grade has been posted). Official dates can be found here. The Grade Review and Challenge involve the student and clerkship department. Both processes must follow the guidelines listed below. Students who appeal their grade will submit a completed form with their case discussed upon by the Grade Appeal Committee.

The purpose and scope of the Grade Appeal Committee is to determine the processes leading to decision-making are based on open discussion, transparency, shared governance, and iterative consensus development. If the Grade Appeal Committee determines that the grade and/or evaluative summative comments were made *arbitrarily or **capriciously then the committee will assign the student and appropriately grade for the course in question

Bylaws for the committee can be found here.

*Arbitrary is defined as “an unreasonable or unpredictable use of one’s authority in accordance with one’s will or desire

**Capricious is defined as “implying an instability or irregularity that seems to be the product of whim or erratic impulse

  • All students are permitted under FERPA (Family, Education, Rights and Privacy act) to review educational records (e.g., exams and evaluations) upon request and any time after grade submission.
  • Typically, a student will meet with a department representative (administrator or director) to review de-identified evaluations, summative comments and/or final examination score.
  • Some departments have their own internal processes for students who review their grade, please make sure that process is known to the student prior to meeting.
  • If after the grade review, the student is unsatisfied, they may initiate the grade challenge process.

  • Students who initiate a Grade Challenge must have completed a Grade Review
  • Students submit the grade challenge form within 4-eweeks of the grade being posted to the Clerkship department
  • The Clerkship Director will obtain all documentation related to the creation of the grade, solicit names/level of contact of evaluators (if applicable), gather additional data (if appropriate) based on student challenge documentation and will do fact-finding to ensure all of students questions & concerns are addressed
  • After fact-finding, the clerkship direct will meet with the student (in-person/phone/zoom) to review student concerns and areas of uncertainty, review additional data gathered prior to meeting and will communicate decision. The Clerkship Director should also contact the student with the decision in writing.

Please note: conducting the grade challenge over email will not fulfill the Grade Challenge. Students who send in Grade Appeal forms without prior Grade Challenge meeting will be sent back to the department.

The Grade Appeal Committee serves as a mediator and arbitrary between the faculty member/department and student. Per the M.D. Program Handbook, the decisions and outcomes of the committee are binding upon all parties.

All students who are appealing their grade MUST have correctly completed the grade review and challenge prior to sending in the form to

  • Students who still feel unresolved about their grade may submit a grade appeal within 8 weeks of the grade being posted.
  • Students fill out the Grade Appeal form (listed on our website) and send in to
  • The Grade Appeal Committee administrator will confirm that all steps and forms have been completed and forward materials to the Executive and Academic co-chairs of the committee.
  • The Committee will discuss and determine the adequacy on the grading process, and date used to determine grade/MSPE comments and adequacy of fact finding process and documentation
  • The committee’s decision will be sent to student with the clerkship director and Student Affairs Dean cc’d
  • The committee will also send a decision letter including recommendations to the clerkship director with the Student Affairs Dean cc’d


  • To find updated forms and timelines for each quarter, please check out our webpage and FAQ
  • Please use this same link to direct students who have questions or want to initiate this process.
  • The Academic Grievance policy can be found here.

If you have questions, please contact