Grade Disputes and Course Complaints

Students who wish to challenge a grade given in an Economics course must first refer to the course syllabus provided at the start of the semester and review the grading scale/system outlined.  If a discrepancy still exists, you must contact the Instructor as soon as possible and try to have all questions resolved.  If, after meeting with the Instructor, the situation has not been resolved the student should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Cindy Clement, via email (clement [at] econ [dot] umd [dot] edu).  Please include in the body of the email your name, ID#, course title, grade received, along with the nature of the dispute.  In general, grade changes are made only when a clerical error in the scoring of the exam/final grade can be proved.  All complaints should be filed in a timely manner.  A student should not file a complaint for a course taken several semesters ago.  

For more information regarding the University's Policy on arbitrary and capricious grading, please visit:

Students who have any complaints about a course or have complaints about an instructor should also contact Dr. Cindy Clement (clement [at] econ [dot] umd [dot] edu).  Please include in your email, your name, ID#, the course title, and the instructor's name in addition to your complaint.   


Extra Credit

Extra credit assignments for individual students are not permitted in any Economics course. An instructor may choose to make extra credit opportunities available to every student in the class before the last day of classes, but this possibility is entirely up to the discretion of the instructor, and students have no basis for expecting such opportunities.  A student may not request extra credit assignments for any reason (i.e. excessive absences, entrance into an LEP major, etc).  Instructors are required to adhere to the grading scale/criteria stated on the course syllabus.  If a student feels that they need additional help in a course, they should seek the help of a tutor, form a study group, or attend office hours with questions.  



A grade of an "Incomplete" will only be granted under extenuating circumstances and when the majority of the course requirements are completed.  For more information please visit the section on Incompletes in the Undergraduate Catalog.



Economics is one of the largest majors on campus. The department offers some of the largest lectures on campus.  While attendance may not be taken in class regularly, the University in addition to the Economics Department, expects students to attend class regularly. Several critically important concepts are explained during lectures as well as information regarding exams (content, format, tips, etc). Irregular attendance could make the difference between a "C-" and a "D+".  


Absences from Midterms and Final Exams

In most instances midterms and final exams are predetermined at the start of the semester.  Dates are clearly stated on syllabi distributed on the first day of classes.  Therefore, students who are unable to take an exam due to religious observations must inform the instructor during the first two weeks of classes (a.k.a schedule adjustment) to make appropriate accommodations.  In cases where an exam is announced during the course of the semester (i.e. after schedule adjustment) a student must inform the instructor as soon as possible of any religious obligations etc.   

Students who are absent from a midterm for reasons acknowledged by the University as excused absences are eligible to request a make-up.  However, documentation must be provided to the instructor as soon as the student becomes aware of the situation.  Excused absences approved by the University are absences due to illness, religious observations, participation in University activities at the request of University authorities, or compelling circumstances beyond the student's control.  This is in accordance to University Policy as stated in the Undergraduate Catalog (see section on Midterm Grades).

If a student is absent from a midterm exam due to an illness, the student must provide the instructor with written documentation from the health center or another health care official.  Documentation must be presented to the instructor as soon as the student returns to class.  Accommodations for a make-up exam will then be made.    

Since midterm examinations are conducted throughout the semester, accommodations for midterms are easier to make due to the luxury of time.  However, the same is not true for final exams.  A student should NOT be absent from an exam unless an extreme emergency has occurred. 


Academic Integrity and the Honor Code

The Economics Department abides by the University's Code of Academic Integrity.  Student's who commit any act of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.

Academic Dishonesty is defined by the Office of Student Conduct as the following:

  • Cheating: "intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise".
  • Fabricating: "intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in any academic exercise".
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty: "intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate any provision of the honor code".
  • Plagiarism: "intentionally of knowingly repeating the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic exercise". 

The above is taken from the Office of Student Conduct's website.  For more information regarding the Honor Code and Academic Integrity please click here.