Grades and Appeals
The regulations for grades and appeals are published in the Calendar of the School of Graduate Studies.
Grades: Courses are graded according to this scale: A+, A, A‑, B+, B, B‑, FZ, and INC. Satisfactory performance at the Department requires the completion of every course taken for graduate credit with a grade of at least a B. A grade of FZ (inadequate) cannot be counted for degree credit. A student receiving FZ in a course may petition the Department’s Committee on Appeals for consent to repeat the course or to substitute another in its place. Consent may be granted if the student’s work in other courses is well above the minimum required. A student is not likely to receive such consent more than once.
Incompletes: Courses are expected to be completed within the time limit for grade reports for courses, as stated in the SGS Calendar. In general, completed grades for Fall Half courses are due in January, and for Spring Half courses or Full Year courses in May. For significant medical, personal, or other appropriate reasons, a student may petition for an extension of the time limit of a particular course until the end of the next grading period. Petition forms are available online at the SGS website and must be signed by the student and supported in writing by the professor concerned. The petition may be granted or denied by the Graduate Director, or, if need be, by the Committee on Curriculum and Graduate Study. If the course is not completed by the new time limit, the report of INC (Incomplete) is recorded and is permanent.
Audit: Subject to SGS policy, the Department permits auditing of Department courses by both registered graduate students and non‑registered persons. Non‑registered persons pay an auditing fee. The final decision to permit someone to audit a course rests with the course instructor.
Plagiarism and Academic Offences: At the graduate level, a plagiarism offence is treated with utmost severity, as graduate students should know well the standards of scholarship they are to uphold. Students are responsible for reading the SGS Handbook to learn about the SGS policy on plagiarism (and other academic offences).
Right to appeal: As a matter of policy the Department expects that all its members will be treated fairly, and supports all appropriate efforts to ensure that this is achieved. Students may appeal decisions within the Department about any academic matters, including papers, courses, language requirements, thesis proposal, grades, examinations, Advisory or Supervisory Committees, and supervisors. Appeals concerning academic matters in other academic units must be presented to the unit in question. Appeals about non-academic matters are taken to the appropriate officials or bodies within the University. For information about appeals, students should consult, in this order, the SGS Calendar, the Graduate Director, the Chair of the Department for the Study of Religion, the Associate Dean of Humanities of SGS, or the University Ombudsperson.
Academic appeal: As outlined in the SGS Calendar, several steps are possible in pursuing an academic appeal pertaining to the Department. A student considering making an academic appeal is advised to discuss the matter with the Graduate Director. As a first step, the Graduate Director will ask the student to raise the matter of the appeal directly with the person or persons concerned, in an attempt to settle the appeal informally. If necessary, the Graduate Director may seek to resolve the matter by appropriate means, which may include a meeting with the student and the person(s) concerned. As a second step, if necessary, the appeal is made in writing to the Department’s Committee on Appeals, chaired by the Chair of the Department. The Committee may consider the appeal with or without an oral hearing. Where necessary, the opinion of an independent assessor or evaluator will be sought. The Committee makes a recommendation to the Chair, who then decides the matter. As a third step, appeals may be taken to the Associate Dean of Humanities in the School of Graduate Studies for mediation. As possible fourth and fifth steps, the appeal may be taken to the Graduate Academic Appeals Board of SGS, and then to the Academic Appeals Committee of the Governing Council of the University.