Second Degree

Statement of Policy

Students may earn one degree at each level (associate and baccalaureate degree) in the same academic program at Excelsior College. Excelsior College encourages students to progress to higher degrees whenever possible. However, recognizing that life and career goals change over time, Excelsior College permits students who already hold one degree to earn a second degree at the same level from Excelsior College in a different academic degree program, e.g., first degree is BS in Business and second degree is BA in History (degrees that are acceptable may depend on the content and not necessarily the title).

In addition, if a student's first degree is in liberal arts or business, he or she may pursue a second degree in the same academic program as long as they complete a substantially different area of study (concentration, specialization, program, or major) at Excelsior College, e.g., BA in History and second degree is BS in Natural Science. If the first degree was completed in liberal arts (i.e., no major) the student must select a specific area of study (concentration, specialization, program or major) for the second degree.

Credit from advanced degrees (master's or doctorate) may be applied toward the second degree as appropriate.

For the purpose of this policy, the academic degree programs are: Liberal Arts, Business, Health Sciences, Nursing, Public Service, Electrical Engineering Technology, Information Technology, Bachelor of Science in Technology and Nuclear Engineering Technology, BS in Cyber Operations, MS in Cybersecurity, dual degrees BS Information Technology to MBA, BS Nuclear Engineering Technology to MBA, BS in Information Technology to MS in Cybersecurity, Accounting (NYS CPA Track), Bachelor of Professional Studies in Business and Management, Bachelor of Professional Studies in Technology Management and MS in Management.

For the purpose of this policy, the areas of study are: Nursing, Health Science, and the individual majors and concentrations offered by the Schools of Public Service; Business; Technology; and Liberal Arts, including the liberal arts option.

For the School of Nursing, students may only be awarded one degree in the same academic degree program at the same level. There is no concentration option in the Nursing degree program.

For the School of Health Sciences, students may not pursue a second BS in Health Sciences degree with a different area of emphasis because the areas of emphasis in this program are not substantially different enough however students could pursue the BS in Health Care Management as a second degree as this degree is substantially different from the BS in Health Sciences.

The following conditions govern the earning of all additional degrees:

  1. It is the student's responsibility to inform the College of any degree earned at another institution prior to or during enrollment at Excelsior College; this may affect the student's degree status at Excelsior College. (The Academic Honesty policy applies to this responsibility.)
  2. Enrollment in a second degree program is contingent upon receipt of official transcript showing conferral of first degree.
  3. Three-quarters of the total number of credits required for the second degree may be transferred from the prior degree; one quarter of the credits required for the new degree must be earned as new credits, unrelated to the area of study (concentration, specialization, program, or major) of the first degree and not used to meet requirements of the first degree. Students may need to take more than the minimum number of new credits to complete the degree, depending upon the degree requirements.
  4. Conditions governing the level and subject of the new credit vary from degree to degree.
  5. Enrollment fees will not be refunded if students do not follow this policy. 

There are restrictions on the types and amounts of grants and loans available to students that have already earned a baccalaureate degree or a first professional degree and are pursuing a second degree. Students should refer to the Guide to Federal Student Aid published by the U.S. Department of Education. Second degree students may also wish to consult the Excelsior College Financial Aid Office for further information.