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Northwestern University

Changing Grades

If you receive permission for an incomplete in a course and then complete the remaining work for the course, the instructor can change the X or Y to a regular course grade. The instructor will receive notification from the Office of Undergraduate Studies and Advising indicating that an X or Y has been approved, and he or she can enter the new grade through CAESAR.

The only other situation in which a grade change is permitted is to correct a clerical or computational error.

Grade changes requested for the following reasons are not allowed:


All students deserve to be graded fairly and equitably. As a student, you have the right to see your graded work and to receive an explanation of any grade based on the published grading policy in a class. According to long-standing tradition and the values of academic freedom, faculty members have the exclusive responsibility of grading academic work in their classes. Your first step is always to discuss your grade directly with your professor.

Your professor may only request a change to a submitted final grade to correct a clerical or computational error. Faculty cannot make changes to final grades in the following incidences: the revision of an assignment previously graded; or the submission of extra work completed after the end of the quarter; the regrading of work after other students’ grades have been submitted; or in response to student lobbying (without the presence of an error); the Office of Undergraduate Studies and Advising will not grant such requests. You should address any questions about grades directly to your instructor first. You should know that neither the department chair nor the administration has the authority to alter an instructor’s grade.

If you can show, however, that the grade you received is in error or a result of capricious or prejudiced grading, you may petition the department chair for a change of grade. If the department chair declines to recommend a change of grade, you may appeal the decision to the Weinberg College Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

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