Academic Policies and Procedures
The Bloustein School’s general information and academic policies and procedures are listed in the current undergraduate catalog and the Bloustein School Academic Policies Handbook. Course listings are subject to change. Please contact your advisor or firstname.lastname@example.org for current course information.
Academic Standing (Direct Admit Students)
Each term, outstanding students are honored by inclusion on the Dean’s List. In order to qualify, the student must meet the following requirements at the time the Dean’s List is prepared: a) be matriculated, b) have passed 6 or more degree credits with letter grades (Pass/No Credit and E credits are excluded), and c) have attained a term grade-point average of 3.500 or above.
The Committee on Scholastic Standing, in concert with administrators and appointed faculty fellows of the undergraduate professional school, reviews the records of all direct admit students at the end of each academic term.
Probation and Dismissal
Students whose cumulative grade-point average is less than 2.000 at the end of an academic term may be placed on probation and may continue under limitations specified by the Committee on Scholastic Standing.
The student will receive written notification of probationary status within four weeks of the term grade report. Students on probation who have not raised their cumulative grade-point average to 2.000 at the end of the academic term will ordinarily be dismissed. Students whose cumulative grade-point average is less than 1.200 at the end of any academic term will be dismissed without necessarily being placed on academic probation first.
A student dismissed from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy is not considered for readmission to the school unless the former student has completed at least 12 credits at another accredited college or university and/or the Rutgers University Summer Session with a cumulative grade-point average of 2.500 or better and at least one term, not including summer session, has elapsed since the date of the student’s dismissal.
Probationary status may not be appealed, although students may request a review of the limitations imposed by the committee if those limitations appear inappropriate for the individual’s circumstances. A request for review may be made at any time during the probationary period and should be made to the undergraduate professional schools’ Office of Academic Student Services.
Students dismissed from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy by the Committee on Scholastic Standing may appeal to the Assistant Dean of Academic and Student Services of the school within twenty calendar days after the date of the dismissal notice. Grounds for appeal include technical error, extenuating circumstances, additional information not previously available to the committee, and/or other factors the student considers appropriate to support his or her challenge of the dismissal decision. Students must present their appeal in writing.
Letters of appeal must state the reasons for appeal and, when possible, should be accompanied by appropriate documentation. The letter must be written exclusively by the student, although advice in formulating the appeal may be sought from a faculty advisor or academic counselor. Appeals are reviewed by the Committee on Scholastic Standing. Written notice of the appeal decision is sent to the student at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the next term. The decision of the committee is final.
Students may request withdrawal from courses at any time up to, but not including, the last two weeks of instruction in the term. Terminating class attendance does not constitute withdrawal from courses. Students can withdraw from individual courses on their own, but must contact the dean’s office to withdraw fully from all classes. A student must refer to the student services online forms to complete, in writing, their intention to withdraw.
See the University Policies and Procedures section for details of the drop/add policy. Withdrawal from a class may have implications for housing, financial aid and other student services. Therefore, withdrawal should always be discussed with an academic advisor before action is taken.
Undergraduate students wishing to file a complaint about a course grade, or a grade received for a particular piece of work in a course, must attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor of the course no later than two weeks after notification of the grade.
If the issue cannot be satisfactorily resolved between the student and the instructor, the student may request a Grade Appeal Review by the Executive Director of Undergraduate Programs. Only in the rarest circumstance will a grade assigned by the instructor of record be reviewed or amended. A student’s subjective belief that their work is of higher quality than the instructor’s assessment of that work is not a valid basis for appeal.
Examples of appropriate bases on which a Grade Appeal Review may move forward include:
- a computational or clerical error in calculating a course grade, or a grade received for a particular piece of work in a course, which, after written request, the course instructor refuses to acknowledge and/or correct; or
- that the course grade, or a grade received for a particular piece of work in a course, was arbitrary, which, in this context, means “existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance.” The terms of the course syllabus determine the conditions against which a claim of arbitrariness shall be reviewed.
- capricious grading, which constitutes either or both of the following: (a) the assignment of a grade to a particular student on some basis other than his or her performance in the course; and/or (b) the assignment of a grade to a particular student by resort to more exacting or demanding standards than were applied to other students in that course.
- extenuating circumstances and/or new relevant information, for e.g., documented, severe medical problems, or a family crisis.
Note: Student assertions or complaints that a grade or other academic decision was the result of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, are not reviewed as part of a school’s grade appeal process, even if asserted at a later stage during a pending grade appeal. The Office of Employment Equity (OEE) is responsible for enforcing the University’s policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment and retaliation (including Policies 60.1.12 and 60.1.28), which extend to adverse academic decisions, such as the issuance of a negative grade in an assignment or course. If the assertion is made before the grade appeal process has begun, the grade appeal review will be stayed, and all action on the grade appeal will be suspended until the OEE completes its investigation concerning the discrimination allegation; if the assertion is after the grade appeal process has begun, action on the grade appeal will be immediately suspended until the OEE completes its investigation concerning the discrimination allegation.
Grade Appeal Process
Written complaints about a grade for work completed while the course is in progress must be submitted to the Executive Director of Undergraduate Programs, Dr. Marc Weiner (at the following email address only: email@example.com), no later than two weeks after final determination by the instructor. A student must submit a written complaint about a final course grade to the Executive Director of Undergraduate Programs no later than four weeks after final determination by the instructor.
All written complaints shall be made on the Grade Appeal Review Request form: click here for Grade Appeal Review Request form.
A student who wishes to appeal the decision of the Executive Director of Undergraduate Programs shall appeal once again in writing to the Office of the Dean, through the Assistant Dean for Student and Academic Services. Students shall make that request, by email, together with a copy of the original Grade Appeal Review Request Form with attachments and the Grade Appeal Outcome Statement to Stephen Weston, Assistant Dean for Student and Academic Services, Bloustein School Deans Office, 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, CAC (firstname.lastname@example.org). That second level appeal must be filed within two weeks of the date of the receipt of the initial Grade Appeal Outcome Statement.
Written notification of the action taken by either the Executive Director of Undergraduate Programs or by the Assistant Dean will be sent to the student no later than four weeks of the filing of the appeal, excluding those weeks in which classes are not in regular session.
With reference to the actions above, the Executive Director or Assistant Dean may consult with the course instructor, as well as other faculty, directors, department chairs, et al., who may be relevant to a student’s complaint.
Students who contact the Dean’s office without following the above procedure will be referred back to the instructor or Executive Director of Undergraduate Programs, in order to preserve the integrity of the process.
Some practical considerations to keep in mind when appealing a grade include:
- Watch grade appeal timeframes; being busy is not a legitimate excuse.
- Raise issues when they happen, not at the end of the term.
- Stick to the facts of the situation; discuss your appeal formally and remain professional.
- Avoid emotional language and personal attacks.
- When asking for a second chance, admit where you have been culpable.
- Unless the course syllabus specifies otherwise, students are not entitled “rounding up” of a course grade or the grade for a piece of work in the course.
- Your grades in your other classes are not relevant.
- Be leery of end of semester/year grade appeals as they may impact graduation deadlines.
For questions about the Grade Appeal Review Process, students, faculty and/or others are encouraged to speak to their instructor, the Executive Director of Undergraduate Programs, or the Assistant Dean of the school for clarification.