Student Information

Appeals Procedures

For the Philosophy Department's explanation of appeals processes, see below and the corresponding process flowchart. For the Registrar's Calendar information on Academic Rights and Responsibilities, including Appeals, see Academic Rights and Responsibilities found on the Registrar website.

Departmental Appeals

The appeal procedure within the department is separated into the following steps:

  1. Meeting with Instructor: The student must first discuss the disputed mark with the instructor. It is expected that at this discussion the student and the instructor would have a full and frank exchange of their views on the merits and deficiencies of the work in question.

  2. Meeting with Chair: If the student still believes there to be good grounds to believe that the grade is inappropriate, the student may appeal to the Department Chair. Appeals at this level will normally be entertained only after all course work has been completed, a final grade for the course has been submitted, and the student has discussed the entire semester’s work with the instructor. In the normal case, appeals will not be entertained unless more than 4% of the student’s final grade at stake.


An appeal to the Chair must cite substantive reasons for thinking that the work in dispute merited a higher grade. It must enclose:

  1. The disputed piece or pieces of work as marked by instructor, including any additional written comments the instructor might have supplied

  2. A copy of the course outline and of any written instructions the instructor may have provided when giving the assignment

  3. A brief report on the student’s discussion with the instructor and the student’s reasons for disagreeing with the instructor’s assessment.

The student should also request a remedy. Among the remedies that might be requested are: reassessment of the work by a third party, reweighing of the work, or exemption from a portion of course requirements.

If the Chair decides that the grounds for appeal are plausible, the instructor shall be shown the student's written appeal and offered the opportunity to make a written response to it. 

A committee shall be struck, comprising at least two members of the Department who are competent in the area in question and who were not involved in the assignment of the original mark. Copies of the disputed pieces of work together with identification of the course and the pertinent assignments and directions, shall be given to each member of the committee. Committee members will also be given copies of the student's written statement of grounds for appeal and the instructor's response. The committee members will independently evaluate the student's work in light of all the relevant evidence and submit individual recommendations to the Chair as quickly as possible. 

The Chair will make the final decision on how the case is to be resolved. The Chair may solicit the opinion of a third adjudicator in cases where there is significant disagreement among the committee members. Students should be aware that changes could be made in the downward as well as the upward direction. The student and the instructor will be notified promptly and in writing by the Chair of the decision and of the change in grade, if any. The Chair’s decision may be appealed to the Dean. A three week deadline from the date the decision is delivered applies.

Meeting with the Dean
If the student feels there is still validity to their claim, she would contact her home faculty counselling office to discuss the procedures and required documentation for appealing a Chair's decision.

Meeting with SRBA (Senate Review Board Academic)
For the policies involving a hearing with the SRBA, please refer to the Academic Calendar.

Letters of Permission/Credits from Other Universities

Students who wish to have courses at other universities credited to their UWO record are advised to email the Undergraduate Chair Devin Henry at with the following information:

  • Student name
  • Student number
  • Name of the university at which you will take the course(s)
  • Numbers of the courses you wish to take at that university (If you have an Internet link for the the course descriptions in question, please include that.)

If you provide the above information, then the Undergraduate Chair will review the proposed courses online, send you the Western equivalences and arrange a convenient time to sign your Letter of Permission form. In a minority of cases, we will have to review paper catalogues to establish the equivalences.


If you are a current or prospective Western student in need of counselling regarding philosophy courses and/or programs, please contact Devin Henry by email ( to make an appointment. Be sure to include your name and student number!

Counselling by Faculties

The Department of Philosophy is unable to consider certain requests for consideration or special permissions. For example, we cannot give you permission to register in courses at Affiliate Colleges, to carry overloads, to have SPC or INC grades entered on your record. For those sorts of consideration, you should discuss your situation with an Academic Counsellor from your home faculty. Faculty of Arts and Humanities students may contact the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Counsellor; students from other Faculties should consult their own faculty counsellors.

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