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Student Services

Academic Appeals

An academic appeal may be made in accordance with university policy when a student believes that an academic decision (e.g., a course grade, admission to a program or major, etc.) involving that student is unfair or erroneous. The Office of the Associate Provost is the last step in the appeal process for undergraduate students. For instructions about the entire process, see Academic Appeals in the Undergraduate Student Handbook. For graduate students, the dean is the last step in the appeal process. Instructions can be found in Academic Appeals in the Graduate Student Handbook.

If an undergraduate student has already made the earlier steps in the process (e.g., appeal to the faculty member and department chair; or appeal to the Registrar’s Office) and is not satisfied that the situation has been dealt with appropriately, appeal to the associate provost is the last step. In other words, the associate provost will make the final decision for the University.

Guidelines for Writing an Appeal to the Associate Provost

  1. A letter of appeal should be written in a professional letter format and submitted by email to the Associate Provost office at associateprovostacademicadmin@biola.edu.
  2. Address the appeal to Dr. Cunningham.
  3. In the opening paragraph, provide your contact information, include your full name and ID#. Also list any pertinent details connected to the appeal such as course number and name, semester, professor of record, etc.
  4. Avoid common errors (typographical, grammatical, spelling) and avoid the use of slang.
  5. Be factual, detailed, and succinct.
  6. Explain that you are writing to appeal a particular decision, be specific.
  7. Summarize the events that took place.
    1. Describe the circumstances that led up to your request (e.g., family or life hardships, health, disability, etc.). Explain how these circumstances had a direct impact on your academic performance and/or why you think the decision made by faculty or by the department was incorrect; why it should be changed.
    2. Describe any action you took to address your situation (sought medical treatment, support on or off campus, academic advising, etc.). If you are appealing a Registrar decision, a faculty member’s decision, or a department decision, describe what appeal steps you have already tried.
    3. Include documentation if available (e.g., doctor’s note, documentation from Health Center, Campus Safety; copies of appeals already attempted with Registrar, faculty, or academic department).
  8. State your desired outcome and how this outcome will help with your continued success at Biola.

Dr. Cunningham will give you the opportunity to discuss your petition with her in person. Please contact Ruth Rorem to schedule an appointment at associateprovostacademicadmin@biola.edu. Please note, Dr. Cunningham should have your written appeal before you come in for your meeting. If you are out of the area, or coming to campus for a meeting is difficult, we can schedule a Zoom meeting or phone call.

Grade Changes

Students should review the web transcript of their grades after each semester. If the grade in a course is unexpected, it is appropriate for the student to ask the instructor of that course for information on how the grade was derived. If a calculation error was made (e.g., a submitted assignment was not included in the calculation), the professor may request a change of grade using the appropriate process.

For undergraduate students, the instructor must submit the change of grade form to the Office of the Associate Provost. For graduate students, the instructor must submit the change of grade form to the dean of the school. The student cannot submit the form. If the student believes the grade is unfair or in some other way inappropriate, and the instructor will not submit a change of grade, the student may engage the academic appeals process indicated above.

According to the catalog, grade changes should be made within 90 days following the date grades were due for the relevant term.


Requesting an Incomplete (IN) Grade

The purpose of the Incomplete (IN) Grade process is to meet the needs of a student facing unforeseeable emergencies beyond his/her control and are serious enough to prevent completion of course assignments before the semester ends (e.g., extended illness, mental health crisis, significant injury, critical family emergency).

More information about policies related to Incomplete (IN) Grade may be found in the Student Handbook.

Graduate students should work with the Dean of the School to process an Incomplete (IN) Grade.

Undergraduate students should work with the Office of the Associate Provost.

Incomplete (IN) Grade Procedure

Requests for an Incomplete (IN) Grade will be accepted starting the 4th week of the 7-week semester, and the 12th week of the 15-week semester.

Graduate Students

  • Graduate students will fill out the Incomplete (IN) Grade Request form and return it electronically to the Dean of the School. Submit a form for each class that an IN is being requested. Follow up and approval will be issued from the Dean of the School.

Undergraduate Students

  • Undergraduate students will schedule an appointment with the Associate Provost Office to determine if they qualify for an Incomplete (IN) Grade at associateprovostacademicadmin@biola.edu.
  • If eligible, students complete an IN form during the appointment. The form is routed automatically to the professor of record and the Associate Provost for approval. It is the responsibility of the student to make sure the paperwork is processed.
  • Once the request is approved, the student receives a confirmation email, and the Registrar's office enters an Incomplete (IN) Grade on the student's transcript that serves as a placeholder. The professor will issue a final letter grade when the pending coursework is completed.

Online Bachelor Students

  • Online bachelor students may apply for an Incomplete (IN) Grade following the procedures above.

Additional Information

Extensions

Incomplete (IN) Grades must meet with the approval of the professor of record and the associate provost or dean. An extension of up to 5-weeks beyond the Friday of finals week is standard. However, it is the professor of record who determines the official deadline. Incomplete (IN) Grades may be requested throughout the academic year, including summer sessions.

Impact on transcripts

When a student is approved for an Incomplete (IN) Grade, an ‘IN’ will appear on the student’s transcript and the grade deferred. When the professor submits a grade, it will immediately replace the IN. If a student does not complete the coursework by the established deadline date, the grade defaults to the grade earned at the end of term.

Withdrawal Requests

Do not request an Incomplete (IN) Grade in order to withdraw from a course or to withdraw from all courses for the semester. During the first half of the term, students may withdraw from courses via their registration page in MyAccount. After that deadline, students are expected to finish the semester courses for which they registered. However, the student may petition the associate provost for course withdrawal under unusual and unexpected circumstances.

For withdrawal from all courses during a particular semester, see the relevant section of the Registrar’s webpage: Withdrawals.

Impact on Financial Aid

Receiving a withdrawal from class(es) could possibly drop a student’s enrollment status below full-time (12 credits for undergraduate students).

Dropping below full-time status may impact a student’s financial aid eligibility. Please meet with a financial aid counselor if you have any questions.

Impact on Graduating Seniors

Students who have pending Incomplete (IN) Grade(s) in their final semester should make an advising appointment with the Office of the Associate Provost at associateprovostacademicadmin@biola.edu to determine if they can participate in the graduation ceremony.

Impact on Degree Conferral

Degrees cannot be posted with IN(s) in place. All coursework must be completed and IN(s) removed before a degree can be posted. Conferral date will correspond with the term for which the IN was granted.

Dean's List

The Dean’s List is a significant accomplishment that is awarded to students who have earned a semester grade point average (GPA) of 3.60 or higher, while enrolled in 12 or more credit units and who have maintained a cumulative GPA of at least 3.20. This honor is a valuable addition to a resume or portfolio.

A “Dean's List” notification will appear on a student’s transcript every semester that they earn this standing. Students will receive an email notification following the semester that they are awarded, and they may also request a physical copy of their letter.

Questions may be directed to the Office of the Associate Provost.

Epsilon Kappa Epsilon

Biola’s Epsilon Kappa Epsilon (EKE) Honor Society is a significant honor bestowed upon extremely high performing undergraduate students. Only five percent of graduating students each semester are selected for induction to EKE. Students are selected for this achievement based upon academic achievements, Christian character, and leadership and service. The Office of the Associate Provost manages the application invitation and induction process.

Questions may be directed to the Office of the Associate Provost.

FAQs

Why should I apply for membership?

If inducted into the Epsilon Kappa Epsilon honors society, you will join the ranks of the top Biola alumni before you. It is an excellent achievement to list on your resume or graduate school application to highlight your aptitude and character. 

What does membership entail? 

If inducted, you will be honored with a special ceremony and gold cords to wear at graduation. Membership does not require any fees or meetings.

Who is invited to apply?

If a student has completed at least 60 credits at Biola, has a gpa over 3.75, and has met all of their graduation requirements, they are emailed an application invitation at the beginning of their graduating semester.

What does the application entail?

To apply, invited students must complete an application form and letter, as well as request a recommendation letter from a faculty member.

How are applicants selected for induction?

A committee, consisting of faculty members from each school, evaluates anonymous candidates by the overall strength of their application, based on the student application and faculty recommendation. They judge the strength of the candidate based on their academic achievements, Christian character, and leadership and service.

Submit a Prayer Request

The Office of the Associate Provost regularly prays for Biola students. We know that we cannot provide resolution for all difficulties faced by our many students. However, we are also confident that God brought each of our students to Biola for this time. We therefore desire to bring the students before God’s throne in gratitude, prayer, and supplication.

If you would like to submit a specific prayer request, please send your message to our Prayer Request Dropbox. Every morning starting at 9:00 am, prayers will be lifted on your behalf by the Office of the Associate Provost staff. All prayer requests will be kept confidential.