Appeal Panel Guidelines

Please see SCampus for basic information about the appeal option – Disputed Academic Evaluation Procedures

A Graduate School Dismissal Appeal provides the final consideration of a student’s dismissal from a graduate program when the dismissal has been upheld by the dean of the relevant school. This does not include students who have been dismissed for academic integrity violations, students who have not met the conditions of continuing registration, or professional standards violations. The Graduate School will schedule the appeal once the student provides written verification of dismissal and states in writing that they want to proceed with the appeal within 30 days of the dismissal.

The appeal panel has three members: the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs or a designee, who chairs the meeting; and two members who are deans or dean designees drawn from schools other than the school of the dismissed student. The dismissed student and a representative of the student’s program or school are expected to be present at the panel meeting, with the exception of students prevented from being present due to visa issues, who may participate by video conferencing technology. The dismissed student and program or school representative may each be accompanied by an additional 1-2 people if desired. The presence of an attorney is neither necessary nor recommended. However, if the student elects to have an attorney present, an attorney from the USC General Counsel’s Office will also attend. The dismissed student must notify the Graduate School in writing that they intend to bring an attorney at the beginning of the scheduling process. Attorneys may be present only as observers. The presence of attorneys does not change the proceeding.

The format of the appeal meeting is below. The dismissed student may share speaking time with an accompanying person if they desire to do so. The representative of the school or program has the same option. Following the appeal meeting, the panel will deliberate in closed session and the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs will make a final decision on the appeal.


Materials for the appeal must be submitted electronically as PDFs at least 14 days before the scheduled appeal meeting and will be distributed to the panel, the dismissed student, and the program or school representatives.

Provided by the student

Provided by the department or school

For master’s and professional doctoral students:

For PhD Students:

Format of the appeal meeting

If you have questions about the process, or if you would like to request that an appeal panel be convened, please contact