Additional Degree Pursuit at the Same or Lower Academic Level
Excelsior University encourages students to progress to higher degrees whenever possible. However, recognizing that life and career goals change over time, Excelsior University, in accordance with New York State Education Department guidelines, permits students who already hold one degree to earn additional degrees at the same or a lower academic level in a different academic program, within certain parameters. Academic programs are considered different if they represent a significant amount of additional coursework in a separate field. It is at the discretion of Excelsior University to determine if the degrees in question will be considered substantially different academic programs. Degrees that are acceptable may depend on the content and not necessarily the degree program title. For this policy, the academic levels are associate, baccalaureate, and graduate.
Undergraduate Degree Programs
Students holding an associate or baccalaureate degree seeking an additional degree at the same or a lower academic level are permitted to pursue an additional degree in a different academic program. For nursing degree programs, students may only be awarded one undergraduate degree per level (associate and bachelors).
Graduate Degree Programs
Students holding a graduate degree seeking a degree at the same or lower academic level are permitted to pursue an additional graduate degree in a different academic program. They are also permitted to pursue an undergraduate degree in the same academic program as the graduate degree; however, the credits from the completed graduate degree will not apply toward the lower-level degree. (See policy Grade Scale, GPA, and Credit Application for details.) As an exception to this policy, students may pursue more than one Master of Science in Nursing, selecting a different program for each degree.
For all academic levels, if a student's completed degree is in a liberal arts or business discipline, the student is permitted to pursue additional degrees at the same or lower academic level in the same academic program if the degree is in a substantially different concentration or major at Excelsior University. If the completed degree was in liberal arts (i.e., no major) the student must select a specific concentration or major for the additional degree.
The following conditions govern the earning of all additional degrees:
- Under this policy, “completed degrees” are college degrees earned from an institutionally accredited college or university or the foreign equivalent, if the following criterion are met:
- The institution was accredited at the time of the student’s attendance by an accrediting body, the institution is listed in the US Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx), and the institution awarded college-level degrees at the time of the individual student’s attendance.
Exception: Applicants to graduate nursing degree programs must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by one of the following accrediting bodies: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (Senior and Junior Colleges), or the foreign equivalent.
At least one quarter of the credits required for the new degree must be new credits completed after the additional degree academic policy date. These new credits must be unrelated to the academic program of the completed degree.