Admission to Graduate and Professional Studies and Eligibility for Competitive Fellowships
General Academic Regulations & Requirements
Graduate Student Assistantships
Grievance Policy and Procedure
for Graduate, Professional, and
Note: While the Academic Honesty Policy is under revision, all Academic Honesty Policy issues are being handled through the Grievance Policy.
To ensure that students understand how to pursue a grievance at the University
of Houston, students are encouraged to seek clarification regarding procedures
and information for individual grievance policies through their respective
college before initiating a grievance. Please refer to the college Web
site grievance policy links below.
Bauer College of Business
College of Education
of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
College of Natural
Sciences & Mathematics
College of Optometry
Conrad N. Hilton College
College of Engineering
D. Hines College of Architecture
College of Social Work
The following university-wide policy and procedure, for graduate, professional,
and post- baccalaureate (PB) students, apply to the redress of grievances
concerning academic and instructional matters and other issues for which
there are no other existing grievance procedures.
- Every effort shall be made by the graduate/professional/PB student
and the members involved to settle their differences amicably and informally
to redress grievance. If appropriate or necessary, the department chair
shall participate in this informal effort to resolve the grievance.
Students in colleges and schools where graduate programs are not
administered by a department shall have an alternative person (i.e.
Associate Dean, program director or an appropriate designee) to resolve
- In the event that an informal resolution is not possible, the graduate/
professional/PB student may petition the department chair or the alternative
(Associate Dean, program director or an appropriate designee) by filing
a formal written complaint within 10 working days after the decision
is mutually made that the grievance cannot be settled informally. The
letter should provide details regarding the complaint and redress sought.
After receipt of the letter, the department chair or alternative
must respond in writing within the time specified according to the department’s
or program’s established procedures for dealing with such
- In the event that either the grievant or the respondent is unsatisfied
with the outcome of the departmental level process or alternative (items
1 and 2 above), that party may petition the dean of the college against
which the grievance is held or the dean’s designee by filing
a formal written petition. The dean of the college must respond in writing
within the specified time according to the college’s established
procedures for dealing with such matters. The dean’s response
must include an explanation for his/her decision.
- If either the grievant or the respondent is unsatisfied with the
outcome of the college level process, that party may file an appeal
seeking university level review by the Graduate and Professional Studies
Grievance Committee (GPSGC) which is under the purview of the Dean of
Graduate and Professional Studies. This appeal must be in writing explaining
the party’s position, and filed with the Dean of Graduate and
Professional Studies within 30 calendar days of the final disposition
at the college level. The appeal may designate as respondents any of
the following persons: (i) the college dean or designee who issued the
decision at the college level; (ii) the departmental chair who issued
the department’s decision or the alternative; and (iii)
the original faculty member or committee members giving rise to the
grievance. In the absence of a designation, only the faculty member
or committee members will be respondents. The appeal must include a
concise statement of the outcome desired by the appellant.
Review at the university appeal level shall be for the purpose
(i) Whether the appealing party was given a reasonable opportunity
to be heard at the departmental and college levels and (ii) whether
the college’s decision was reasonably reached. Procedural violations
which would not affect the substantive result or are not substantially
prejudicial to either party are not grounds for appeal.
Upon receiving a written appeal, the Dean of Graduate and Professional
Studies will review the reports from the department and college grievance
processes and will, within 10 working days, determine whether to return
the grievance to the department or college, reject the appeal, or
refer the appeal to a committee. If the dean decides to refer the
appeal to a committee, the dean will notify the chairperson of the
Graduate and Professional Studies Council (GPSC), who will appoint
a committee (GPSGC) within 10 working days of receiving such notification.
The GPSGC will consist of two graduate/professional students and
three faculty members, none of whom will be from any respondent’s
department or program or from the department or program in which the
grievant is enrolled. The faculty members will be appointed by the
chair of GPSC on an ad hoc basis. The chair of GPSC will also select
the student members from a pool of graduate students provided by each
of the colleges. The chair of the committee will be elected by the
committee members. All members of the committee will have voting privileges.
The GPSGC will review the appeal file and may also request other documents
as it sees fit.
Within 30 calendar days of being formed, the GPSGC should schedule
an appeal hearing with the interested parties. This deadline may be
extended at the GPSGC’s discretion upon written request of a
party or upon stipulation of all parties. No record of the hearing
will be required and the deliberations will be completed with reasonable
speed. If a recording is made (at the discretion of the committee),
it should be made available to all parties. Counsel for each of the
parties involved may be present with that person, but will not be
allowed to speak at the hearing. Expert resources should be available
to the committee in an advisory capacity as needed. The GPSGC will
report its recommendations in writing to the Dean of Graduate and
Professional Studies within 10 working days of the hearing, who will
make a decision within 10 working days following their receipt. The
Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies will forward a copy &
this decision in writing to the parties, to the dean of the college
in the event she is not a party, and to the GPSGC. Any party may file,
within 10 working days of notification, a written appeal of the decision
to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. The
Provost may conduct a plenary review. The Provost’s decision,
presented within 30 working days, will be final.
- A graduate or professional student with a pending grievance regarding
academic issues, if employed in a graduate student appointment, will
retain privileges and salary, subject to a review of the individual
situation by the department or college.
*In cases where the college does not have departments, the college level
grievance policy and procedure replaces that of the department or program.
Guidelines for Graduate/Professional/PB
- The GPSGC may set time limits for each party to present its position.
- The GPSGC may request a representative from the university’s
General Counsel’s office to attend as an observer.
- Notification of the hearing schedule to all parties must be done
in writing. Either hand delivery or certified mail with return receipt
requested will be used. The hearing schedule may be revised by the chairperson
in her discretion, upon motion of a party or on the committee’s
- Any information provided to the GPSGC by a party will be provided
by that party to all other parties prior to or simultaneously with providing
it to the GPSGC.