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My Arnold School

Student Grievances, Appeals and Petitions

Approved June 8, 2016


The policies and regulations of the University of South Carolina serve as purposeful guidelines and standards for students as they pursue degree objectives. Occasionally, individual students may feel they have grounds to seek exception from the uniform application of such regulations and policies. Undergraduate students may file written grievances, appeals or petitions to the Office of Undergraduate Student Services. Graduate students may file written grievances, appeals or petitions to the Office of Faculty Affairs and Curriculum seeking to reverse or modify decisions made at a lower level of authority. Resolution of any written grievance must follow the procedures outlined in policies maintained by the USC Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support (STAF 6.27 Student Grievance Policy – NonAcademic [pdf]) and STAF 6.30 Academic Grievance Policy [pdf]). As described in STAF 6.27, student ombudsmen are also available to help students resolve grievances and maintain policy compliance.

Types of Grievances, Appeals and Petitions

  • The basis of an academic grievance shall be a violation of Teaching Responsibility policies contained in the Faculty Manual or a violation of policies on Protection of Freedom of Expression, or Protection Against Improper Disclosure (see STAF 6.28 Academic Freedom [pdf]).

  • A non‐academic grievance is a complaint by a student about an alleged action by a University employee which adversely affects the status, rights or privileges of the student.

  • Grievances relating to discrimination by reason of age, color, gender, disability, national origin, genetics, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status will be referred to the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs. In addition, the director of Student Disability Services will assist students with disabilities with University grievance procedures. For purposes of this policy, harassment is considered to be a type of discrimination.

  • Student petitions request waiver of or exception to school, department, or program regulations and/or requirements (e.g., waive residency requirement or request course substitution).

  • Student appeals request decisions made at a lower level of authority (e.g., program suspension or dismissal) to be reversed or modified.

  • A student’s disagreement with the mark or grade placed on a work is not the basis for a grievance, petition or appeal. This should be discussed by the student and instructor, with final authority remaining with the instructor.

Procedures for Undergraduate Students for Petitions and Appeals

 The student must complete the Undergraduate Student Academic Petition form.

  1. The student must request the form from the academic advisor or the Office of Undergraduate Student Services.

  2. This form must be completed in its entirety for the petition to be reviewed by the ASPH Undergraduate Review Committee (an ad hoc sub‐committee of the Scholastic Standards and Petitions Committee). It is the petitioner’s responsibility to obtain all necessary signatures before submitting the form. INCOMPLETE AND UNSIGNED FORMS WILL NOT BE REVIEWED.

  3. Provide a detailed yet concise explanation of and reasons for the petition. Additional sheets may be attached if necessary. (Please type and include name, date and page numbers X of Y.)

  4. Attach any supporting documentation as needed.

  5. If petitioner is applying for readmission to the Arnold School after missing a fall or spring semester, he/she must contact USC’s Undergraduate Admission’s Office to submit an additional application for admission consideration ( 803‐777‐7700).

Procedures for Graduate Students for Petitions and Appeals and for All Grievances

  1. A student who wishes to submit a grievance, petition or appeal within the Arnold School should first seek resolution with the faculty or staff member in question. If no satisfactory resolution is achieved, the student may pursue the matter further with the department chair. The student must follow any additional procedures established by the program or department for this level of review; these procedures are not specified in this school policy and may require a written statement or other documentation from the student.

  2. If not satisfied with the resolution at the program/department level, the student may seek resolution through the Arnold School Office of Faculty Affairs and Curriculum. The designated associate dean will meet with the student and try to facilitate an informal resolution, if appropriate.

  3. If not satisfied with the informal resolution at the school level, the student may submit the grievance, appeal or petition in writing to the Office of Faculty Affairs and Curriculum. Grievances, petitions and appeals are heard by the Scholastic Standards and Petitions Committee. This committee includes faculty members from each department and student representation; the dean cannot be a member of this committee. This committee will hear the complaint only after the procedures outlined above have been exhausted and upon request of the student or faculty member concerned.

  4. The student should provide any documentation relevant to the grievance, appeal or petition. The Scholastic Standards and Petitions Committee may request additional documentation from the student and from the program/department.

  5. The committee may schedule a meeting with the student if needed to discuss the grievance, appeal or petition and to clarify the documentation provided.

  6. All parties are bound by the committee’s decisions unless either chooses to appeal the grievance further (e.g., appeal to Graduate Council).

  7. Committee findings will be distributed in writing to all concerned and a copy filed with the Office of Faculty Affairs and Curriculum within seven (7) calendar days of the meeting.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.