How To Petition for a Grade Change

Petitioning for a grade change in college can be tricky business: you basically have to convince someone (or several someones) that he or she has made an error of some sort while also being very nice and respectful about it. While the procedure for petitioning for a grade change varies from college to college, there are a few important things to know:

Talk to your professor.

Was the error a clerical error? Or a disagreement about what your final grade should have been? Either way, your professor is going to find out about — and possibly approve or deny — your request sooner or later, so speaking to him or her directly is your best bet for a first step.

Talk to the department chair.

This may only be necessary at some schools and in some situations, so make sure you’re well informed about your school’s procedure before you request a meeting. But a department chair may need to approve any grade changes within the department.

Check with your academic advisor.

How critical is the grade change for you? Is it absolutely necessary for your to graduate? Or is it more of a disagreement between you and a professor that may, ultimately, end up becoming more of a problem than the grade itself? Touching base with your academic adviser can be a great way to stay informed about what the grade change will mean for you during your time at school.

Check with the registrar’s office.

No matter who approves the petition (professor, chair, and/or adviser), the registrar will probably have a final say in the matter. Make sure you have — and can get — everything finalized on your transcript by making sure the registrar’s office has everything it needs by the appropriate deadline.