Filing a Complaint or Grievance

Students - Students may file a grievance based on alleged violations of university policy or campus regulations regarding student privacy rights or discrimination based on protected categories like disability and medical conditions. 

This option can apply to both your concerns regarding your experience in your program AND your experience with the DRC. 

For additional information on this process, please review the Student Grievance Workflow Infographic and the Student Grievance Checklist, Timeline, and Policy Reference document. 

If you would like to file a student grievance, please contact Maddie Cairns at

Graduate Students - Appeals of Academic Judgments -

Graduate students have the right to appeal various institutional judgments concerning their academic standing at UC Santa Cruz including dismissal from graduate standing, placement on probationary status, narrative evaluation or grade notation, and their academic progress.

This appeal procedure applies only to enrolled graduate students at UC Santa Cruz and is not available to appeal denial of admission or readmission to any program. The scope of this procedure is limited to the matters listed above, and excludes complaints regarding student employment as a Teaching Assistant, student discipline, auxiliary student services (such as housing, child care, etc.), and sexual harassment, which are covered by other policies and procedures.

There are four levels of complaint resolution available to graduate students at UC Santa Cruz: Instructor appeal, Departmental appeal, Graduate Dean appeal, and Graduate Council appeal. Please see The Academic Senate’s Appendix D for more information.

Academic, staff, and student employees (and applicants for employment at UCSC) should refer to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion's page on complaint investigation/problem resolution. Staff employees may also file disability-related grievances with Employee and Labor Relations (831-459-2017). Academic employees may also file disability-related grievances with the Academic Personnel Office (831-459-4300, or

Facility concerns should be directed to the ADA Facilities Access Coordinator (831-459-3759).


Visitors/Community Members should contact the campus ADA Compliance Officer:

Please note: Using campus complaint procedures does not preclude the right to file a complaint with the appropriate state or federal agency, or to take legal action.


Information related to discrimination consultations and complaints is shared only on a business need-to-know basis. Confidentiality is maintained whenever possible with regard to consultations and complaints. However, complete confidentiality is not possible in cases where illegality or gross malfeasance are alleged.


Retaliation against persons who request reasonable employment accommodations, file complaints of discrimination, participate in an investigation of such a complaint, or oppose unlawful employment practices is prohibited by federal and state law and university policy. Employees and applicants for employment who believe they have been retaliated against are encouraged to report the retaliatory actions to the Office of Equity & Equal Protection.