General Comments

Initial jurisdiction over grade grievances lies within academic departments, which make recommendations to the Committee on Course of Instruction (COCI), which determines the final resolution. COCI considers grades to be a matter of academic judgment and subject to challenge only on the basis of Berkeley Division Regulation A207.A. (Grade Appeals: Appeal Process), which states that the grounds for grievance are:

  • application of non-academic criteria, such as: considerations of race, politics, religion, sex, or other criteria not directly reflective of performance related to course requirements;
  • sexual harassment;
  • improper academic procedures that unfairly affect a student’s grade5

COCI encourages students and departments to contact the student Ombudsperson, who can assist in mediating conflicts related to grade grievances.  Should any disputes arise regarding the grade grievance process, COCI should be contacted for assistance. Please contact the Student Ombuds Office for more information at 510-642-5754.


5COCI interprets the meaning of "improper” academic procedures to be those which are not consistent with "proper” academic procedures. "Proper” academic procedures for evaluation require that the grading is based solely on the instructor's evaluation of how well a student's performance (project, paper, exam question, or student participation) addresses a specific requirement. This evaluation can involve elements of recall of factual information, integration of material and concepts covered (in class, readings, or assignments), and application of material and concepts to new situations. As long as the evaluation is based on the relevance of the answer (project, paper, exam question, or student participation) to the question asked (assignment given), there is no basis for considering any such evaluations improper. Inherent in this interpretation is that equivalent answers or work get equivalent grades