12. Appeals

Students should first attempt to resolve their concerns informally with the person(s) who made the decision in question. For guidance as to how to proceed with an appeal, students should consult with FGS before initiating the formal process

The Faculty of Graduate Studies Student Appeals Committee hears appeals from decisions (or the refusal to make decisions) regarding academic standards or the application of the Faculty of Graduate Studies academic regulations.

A student may request an appeal where they believe there has been unfairness, including bias or irregularity in decision making, in a decision or the refusal to make a decision. The burden rests on the student to prove that there are sufficient grounds to alter the decision.

12.1 Appeal Procedures

If the concern cannot be resolved informally, a student may appeal the decision in writing to the chair of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Student Appeals Committee (graduate.studies@dal.ca) within 20 working days of the decision being conveyed to the student. The student must deliver a Notice of Appeal to the chair that includes the following information:

  • description of the exact nature of the appeal including a summary of events and chronology, as well as any supporting arguments and evidence that the decision in question was unfair;
  • names of witnesses, if any, to be called at the hearing;
  • any other relevant considerations;
  • supporting letters, if applicable and;
  • the requested resolution.

The student has the right to be accompanied at the hearing by a support person or advocate.

12.2 Appeal of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Student Appeals Committee Decision

The student may appeal the decision of the committee to the Senate Appeals Committee.

12.3 Jurisdiction

The jurisdiction of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Student Appeals Committee does not extend to the following, each of which may be addressed through home Faculty student appeals committees or processes administered by other administrative units within the university:

  • decisions made by faculty members and/or academic administrators in home Faculties. These could include: decisions related to coursework (including grade reassessments); course examinations; qualifying and preliminary exams; comprehensive exams; thesis proposal defences and Master’s theses defences; refusal to waive an academic regulation on a compassionate basis; allegations of discrimination (including failure to provide reasonable accommodation); funding decisions by the academic unit.
  • grade reassessments (these should be directed to the Registrar’s Office);
  • allegations of scholarly misconduct (these should be directed to the Associate Vice-President Research);
  • allegations of non-academic misconduct;
  • allegations of professional unsuitability. 

Please note that admissions decisions, as well as scholarship, award, and bursary decisions cannot be appealed.