Academic Appeals

The College of Engineering understands that students may face academic and personal challenges that could result in them being in violation of college policies or needing to remove themselves from courses in current or prior terms. The college Academic Appeals Subcommittee (coordinated by the Director of Enrollment Operations, Elle Straatmann, reviews student appeals on an ongoing basis throughout the academic year. Below are the summaries, processes, and forms for the different types of appeals a student may choose to submit. We highly encourage students to speak with their Academic Advisor about their options and if appealing is right for them. If you are unsure who your Academic Advisor is please email

Late Withdrawal Appeal

Summary of Appeal Type:

Students may withdraw from all classes, regardless of circumstance, from the first day of classes through the 3/4 point of the term or length of class whichever is shorter. Any withdrawal from classes after the 3/4 point of the term or class must be for extraordinary circumstances and will be granted only by appeal. Grounds for extraordinary withdrawals may include but are not limited to:

  • Serious medical conditions (both physical as well as psychological) which prevent the student from completing the term and where grades of “Incomplete” are not appropriate; 
  • Death in the immediate household of the student which requires the extended absence of the student and where “Incomplete” grades are not appropriate; 
  • A sudden and unexpected change of employment duties or hours which prevents the student from completing the course and where an “Incomplete” is not appropriate; 
  • A complete absence from all courses for the term without having officially withdrawn.

For more information on withdrawal deadlines, please refer to the academic calendar.

Note: This process in no way affects your tuition and fee liability for the term. The result of this appeal process (If granted) will be to post a grade of “W” on the course or courses you are appealing. Courses cannot be removed from an academic record by this procedure.


  • Meet with your Academic Advisor to discuss the appeal process.
  • Write a personal statement on why you are requesting a late withdrawal.
  • Gather any supporting documents.
  • Fill out the form linked below and email to Elle Straatmann at; please attach the appropriate documents listed above.


Once the form below and supporting materials are submitted the Academic Appeals Subcommittee has five business days to review and determine a decision.

Late Withdrawal Appeal Form

Grade Appeal
This document outlines the steps and responsible parties for instances of disputed grades by undergraduate students. Graduate student procedures are found here.

The Grade Appeal process is under the authority of the College Curriculum & Academic Standards Committee rather than the Appeals Subcommittee. This appeal process differs from the process followed for petitions for late withdrawal, appeals to change grading options, reinstatement to the College or University, or maximum repeat/withdrawal overrides. This is necessary due to the nature of appealing a faculty member’s grading decision.

I. Mandate
The College Curriculum & Academic Standards Committee (referred to as the College Committee in this document) of the College of Engineering hears grading appeals for final course grades in accordance with the Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska and draws its mandate from Chapter V, Section 5.3, which reads:
“Each college or school shall provide for a faculty-student appeals committee for students who believe that evaluation of their academic progress has been prejudiced or capricious. Such procedure shall provide for changing of a student's evaluation upon the committee's finding that an academic evaluation by a member of a faculty has been improper.”

II. The College Committee and the Units
The procedures of each unit’s grading appeals committee should ideally reflect those of the college committee. Students should attempt to reconcile the grade with the instructor within 10 business days before the start of the regular academic year semester following the semester in which they received the disputed final grade. It is incumbent upon the instructor to render a decision regarding the grade during this 10-business-day period. Students who are dissatisfied with the decision should seek to resolve the matter with the unit chair or director within the first 20 business days of the semester. Students who are still dissatisfied may appeal the grade to the unit committee, if one exists, within the first 30 business days of the semester. Units are not obligated to hear appeals during the summer terms, although they may.  Each unit’s grading appeals committee should hear both the student and the faculty member concerned in a timely manner and gather documentary evidence that will be of relevance in arriving at a decision. It is strongly suggested that the unit committee, if one exists, should render its decision to the student and the faculty member in writing no longer than 30 business days after the student files an appeal with the unit committee, provided that the appeal is made during a regular academic semester. The unit committee should keep a record of its deliberations as well as copies of all documents concerned with the case. The Dean’s office should solicit information from units about pending appeals four weeks after the start of each semester, so that the Dean may be apprised of any appeals that might reach the level of the College Committee.

III. Policies and Procedures

The College Committee consists of all elected or appointed voting members, which includes representatives of the full-time teaching faculty for each undergraduate degree program, the associate dean assigned to the committee, and two undergraduate students.

In cases involving a member of one of the units represented on the Committee, that individual will be recused from the deliberations, although they may appear to provide evidence. In the case of the recusing of a faculty member, the Dean of the College may appoint a replacement from another unit for the duration of that case. In the case of the recusing of a student member, a replacement will be provided by the Engineering Student Advisory Board or the Nebraska Engineering Student Council at Omaha.

The College Committee attempts to protect students against arbitrary, capricious, or prejudiced evaluation by the instructor. It cannot undertake to resolve disputes about a student's knowledge of a particular subject matter, and its responsibility is to ensure due process in grading procedure. In accepting an appeal for consideration, the Committee must be satisfied that there is reason to suspect that the awarding of the grade may have involved a denial of due process, through arbitrary, capricious, or prejudiced action on the part of the instructor or elsewhere in the unit.

The College Committee will not settle appeals involving violation of law, violation of university rules or regulations, disruptive or insubordinate behavior or cheating on examinations, although students may appeal the grade assigned in such cases.  (For further information on student conduct violations, please contact Student Affairs or the Academic Senate Office.) As stated in the UNL Faculty Senate syllabus policy, changes to syllabus policies or violations of the UNL Faculty Senate syllabus policy, including changes to grading policies, shall not be the basis for any grade appeal. (

A student wishing to appeal to the College Committee shall present to the Dean a written statement of the grounds of their appeal within 5 business days of receiving the decision of the unit chair/director or unit committee. This statement should be sent to the Director of Enrollment Operations for the College (Elle Straatmann Except under extraordinary circumstances, the committee will not hear appeals during the summer. The statement should provide the following information:
  1. An account of the facts surrounding the awarding of the grade.
  2. Evidence that the student has sought to resolve the case in consultation with the other party.
  3. Evidence that the student, failing to resolve the case, has attempted to resolve it by recourse to the unit chair or director.
  4. Evidence that the student, failing to resolve the case, has attempted to resolve by recourse to the unit grading appeals committee, if one exists.
  5. Evidence that the student has carried through the appeal with the greatest expedition possible under the circumstances. The College Committee will normally only accept appeals which have been initiated in the semester following the awarding of the grade.
The student wishing to appeal shall be as specific as possible in the evidence introduced, giving dates, places, and times, and supplying documentary evidence when this is available (e.g., e-mail communications). The statement is intended as a source of information for the Dean, members of the College Committee, and the other party concerned, and shall not be a vehicle for unsubstantiated charges.

  1. Upon receiving the appealing student’s application, the Dean or Associate Dean or their designee shall forward it to the College Committee Chair for distribution to the College Committee members.
  2. When an appeal is received, the Committee Chair shall request from the unit committee and/or unit chair all records of deliberations, including documentary evidence gathered in the case.
  3. The instructor or unit representative against whom the appeal is being filed will be notified of the appeal, and informed that they have a right to examine a copy of the appeal.
  4. This notification shall inform both parties of their right to speak before the College Committee if the appeal is accepted.
  5. Upon examination of the case, the College Committee shall take one of the following courses of action:
    1. It may reject the case, giving written reasons for its refusal to hear it.
    2. It may refer the case back to the instructor or unit, or to the student, suggesting that a resolution lies within the power of the student and faculty member or the student and the unit.
    3. It may accept the case for consideration unconditionally. The College Committee shall:
      (i) Solicit additional information from the faculty member, student and/or the unit in written form to address those questions and issues identified by the College Committee as in need of further clarification. If clarification of unit-level material is necessary, the College Committee must request it from both the student and the faculty member. (ii) If necessary, supplement this information with interviews with the chair of the unit’s committee or all its members, with the faculty member and the student, and any other parties whose testimony is relevant to the case. Both parties may request a hearing. If one party requests a hearing, the same courtesy will be extended to the other party. (iii) Consider the full body of evidence. (iv) If it is decided there is a clear preponderance of evidence in favor of either the student or the faculty member, render its decision accordingly.
The decision of the College Committee shall be rendered within 45 business days. The decision will be communicated in a written letter to the Dean, with copies to the student, the faculty member, and the party whose position was rejected, giving appropriate reasons and justification for the decision. The letter will be sent before the end of the last week of classes of the semester following that in which the disputed grade was received.

The charge of the College Committee is to stand as the final appeals committee. It recognizes the possibility of a mistaken or misinformed decision and will advise each student or faculty member ruled against that they may petition in a timely manner to re-open the case. The basis for re-opening the case will be the submission of significant new evidence or interpretation of evidence that was not considered in the earlier appeal.

College Committee decisions which result in a change of grade will be communicated in writing to the Dean of the College of Engineering. It will be the responsibility of the Dean to make the change of grade.

  1. Arbitrary – based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.
  2. Capricious – given to sudden and unaccountable changes in mood or behavior.
Grade Option Appeal

Summary of appeal type:

Appeals to change the grade option in a course after the deadline may be granted for one of the reasons below: 

  • You have taken the course as Pass/No Pass or Credit/No Credit but discover that a letter grade is needed for major requirements to maintain a scholarship or for admittance into professional school.
  • You have a documented medical situation. A statement from a physician who treated you must be included.
  • You were taking the course for D/F removal or were on academic probation.

Appeals will not be granted for the following reasons:

  • Graded material was returned after the deadline.
  • You did not understand the instructors grading procedures in the course.
  • You performed or are performing either better or worse than expected in the course and want to change your grade option.


  • Meet with your Academic Advisor to discuss the appeal process
  • Write a personal statement on why you are requesting a change of grade option
  • Gather any supporting documents. In addition to the personal statement, other documents must include:
    • Your course instructor’s statement of their position on the appeal.
    • A statement of support from your official Academic Advisor.
    • A letter from the office of scholarship and financial aid if the basis of your appeal is to switch to the letter grade option to maintain your scholarship.
    • Supporting letter from a physician or other documentation of medical treatment when appropriate.
  • Fill out the form linked below and email it to Elle Straatmann at; please attach the appropriate documents listed above.


Once the form below and supporting materials are submitted the Academic Appeals Subcommittee has five business days to review and determine a decision.

Grade Option Appeal Form

Academic Suspension Appeal (Scott Campus Only)
Summary of appeal type:
Students who are on probation will be suspended at the end of the spring semester when their semester grade point average is lower than 2.0 and the cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) falls below the following standards:

Hour Attempted Cumulative GPA
0-12 No Suspension
13-45 1.75
46 or more 2.00

Suspensions under these conditions will be automatic. Academic suspension will be for a minimum period of one year. Students will be notified by the College of Engineering of their suspension and given instruction on how to appeal, should they choose to do so, and any appropriate deadlines associated with an appeal. More information can be found here.

For City Campus Students, the university manages Academic Dismissal Appeals. More information on the City Campus process can be found here.

  • Meet with your Academic Advisor to discuss the appeal process
  • Write a personal statement on why you are requesting to be reinstated
    • Note: be sure to provide a clear and concise explanation of circumstances that had a negative impact on your academic performance. In addition, explain your plans for ensuring future satisfactory academic performance and what campus resources you will utilize to be academic successful, if reinstated.
  • Gather any supporting documents
  • Fill out the form below, please be prepared to attach the documents listed above
Timeline: Once the form below and supporting materials are submitted the Academic Appeals Subcommittee has five business days to review and determine a decision.

Medical Appeal

If students need to drop or withdraw from courses due to injury, illness, medical condition, or death in the family, we encourage students to speak to their Academic Advisors and follow the university processes.

  • City Campus: information found here.
  • Scott Campus: information found here.
Tips for Writing an Appeal Personal Statement

Please keep the following in mind when your write your letter of appeal:

  • Format it in a formal letter style
  • Address letters of appeal to the College of Engineering Academic Appeals Subcommittee
  • Please make sure to include your name, NUID, and major
  • The letter should be around a page in length, but please use more space if you feel that it is needed to explain your circumstances
  • In the opening of the letter, please clearly state what you wish to appeal
  • In the body of the letter, please provide some rationale to what you are appealing
    • Rationale could include, but not limited to:
      • Repeated classes that have shown improvement
      • Action plan on how you plan to be successful
      • Circumstances that caused a lower academic performance

Supporting documents to your appeal could include, but not limited to:

  • If you were ill and saw a medical practitioner, submit a signed dated statement from your doctor in support of your appeal.
  • If your work hours changed and they now conflict with your class schedule for this term, submit an employer’s signed and dated statement supporting your appeal. 
  • If you had a death in your immediate family, submit a copy of the death certificate or the remembrance from the funeral and clear documentation of your relationship with the deceased. 
  • If you were absent from all your courses but did not withdraw from class, include statements from course instructors on letterhead verifying your non-attendance.
Academic Bankruptcy/Amnesty
Students in the College of Engineering are allowed to apply for academic bankruptcy or amnesty by meeting the eligibility requirements outlined by the UNL Office of Undergraduate Registration

Students may only file for Amnesty/Bankruptcy once during their educational career.  A student may request up to 2 semesters to be removed through this process.


Academic Amnesty/Bankruptcy of Scott Campus semester/s
  1. Visit with your academic advisor and learn about the impacts and consequences of requesting academic amnesty.
  2. Complete the form linked at Academic Amnesty/Bankruptcy Form
  3. Submit your signed form to your academic advisor.  They will forward to the Director of Enrollment Operations for processing.

Academic Amnesty/Bankruptcy of Lincoln Campus semester/s
  1. Visit with your academic advisor and learn about the impacts and consequences of requesting academic amnesty.
  2. Complete and sign the Form linked at UNL Academic Bankruptcy Form.
  3. Submit the form to your academic advisor for signature.  They will submit the completed form to the Office of Undergraduate Registration for processing.