Grades Awarded and Accepted by Excelsior College

Statement of Policy

Individual School and Program Requirements

The following grading policies apply to all Excelsior College schools and programs. There are some variations in grading policies between Excelsior College sources of credit, and Excelsior’s acceptance of transfer credits; thus, these issues are addressed individually in terms of the undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.

Grading System

Excelsior College uses a grading system in which the numerical equivalents of grades are as follows:

A = 4.0
B = 3.0
C = 2.0
D = 1.0
F = 0.0

Excelsior College® Examinations, Nursing Theory Conference Examinations (NTCX), and UExcel® Exams adhere to guidelines established by the American Council on Education College Credit Recommendation Service, and credit is not awarded for grades of D and F. The College uses the following grading system for Excelsior College Examinations, Nursing Theory Conference Examinations, and UExcel Examinations:

A = 4.0
B = 3.0
C = 2.0
D = 0.0
F = 0.0
P = Pass (no numerical equivalent)

Note: Letter grades are assigned for Excelsior College courses that are based on percentage equivalents. The course grade equivalents are as follows:

A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69%
F = 59% or below

The College uses the following grading system for the Focused Clinical Competencies Assessment and the Clinical Performance in Nursing Examination:

Pass/Fail

Plus and minus grades are not listed on the Excelsior College undergraduate and graduate My Academic Plan documents or transcripts; consequently, A+ and A- are both recorded as A.

Unit of Credit

Excelsior College operates on a trimester calendar. One unit of credit is equivalent to one semester credit. A unit of credit earned at colleges on the quarter-hour system will be multiplied by two-thirds to produce the semester credit equivalent (i.e., one quarter-hour equals two-thirds of a semester credit). All other credit-hour systems listed on other college transcripts will be researched and converted to semester credit equivalents.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Excelsior College requires an overall 2.0 GPA for completion of an undergraduate degree and an overall 3.0 GPA for completion of a graduate degree.

Excelsior College maintains one transcript for each student. There are some exceptions to this policy if a student is an Excelsior College graduate.

A record of all Excelsior College sources of credit is maintained in the student information system (SIS). All grades received for Excelsior College sources of credit appear on the My Academic Plan document and transcript.

Computing the GPA

Each student will have two GPAs calculated:

  1. The Excelsior College GPA (EC GPA) is based on grades recorded for all Excelsior College sources of credit taken after matriculation.  The EC GPA cannot be modified by removing grades earned or by repeating for a higher grade from Excelsior College sources of credit.
  2. The Overall GPA is based on letter grades (other than P for passing) for all courses and exams and other sources of credit that are entered on the student’s transcript.

Prior to matriculation, the student and advisor will work together to develop a document listing the credits previously earned that will be applied toward the student’s degree program.  The student has 30 days to request any changes to the initial evaluation. After 30 days no changes can be made to the initial evaluation and the student is officially matriculated. Credits earned for Excelsior College sources of credit prior to matriculation, and applied toward the student’s degree program, will be calculated into the Overall and EC GPAs. These credits will be factored into the credit attempted/credits earned.

The letter grades (other than P for passing) of all work qualifying for credit toward an Excelsior College degree are converted to this system for purposes of computing the Excelsior College and the Overall GPAs. Grade Point Averages will not be rounded. For example, a 1.92 GPA will not be rounded to 2.0.

Undergraduate Policies

1. Excelsior College Course Grades

a. Repetition of an Excelsior College course

Enrolled undergraduate students are allowed three attempts of an Excelsior College course for which they have received an F (or D grade in a core or professional component requirement).  A student who fails a required capstone or a nursing theory requirement three times cannot complete the program. The College offers the student the opportunity to transfer to an appropriate degree program within 60 days.  Failure to transfer will result in academic dismissal from the program and administrative withdrawal from the College.

Associate Degree in Nursing students who earn a total of 6 “D” and/or “F” grades in the nursing theory series (courses, examinations, nursing theory conference examinations) will be academically dismissed from the program.  Effective for all new and re-enrollments on or after January 1, 2016.

Students may withdraw from the same Excelsior College course a maximum of three times. However, Military Withdrawals (MW) are exempt. After the third withdrawal, the student is not allowed to register for the course without seeking permission from the academic advisor.

A student may not repeat an Excelsior College source of credit in order to improve his or her grade point average where a grade of “C” or higher has been earned. Failing grades (or D grades in a core or professional component requirement can be repeated. All grades for repeated Excelsior College sources of credit will be listed on the My Academic Plan document and transcript.

b. Replacing an Excelsior College source of credit from an outside source of credit.

Students are allowed three attempts of a required source of credit that can only be taken at Excelsior College (e.g., capstone course, nursing requirements). A grade of C is required (or pass where appropriate). These courses cannot be replaced by sources of credit from another institution (see Repeating Excelsior College Source of Credit).

Students are allowed three attempts of an Excelsior College course that is not required to be taken at Excelsior College and for which they received an F (or D grade in core or professional component requirement). Students must receive course approval from their advisor to take a comparable course at another institution to replace a course for which they received an unacceptable grade. If a student successfully completes the replacement course at another institution after matriculation, the grade will appear on the My Academic Plan document and transcript.  The Excelsior College course will be flagged with a symbol designating that the course has been replaced by another course. All attempts will be factored into the credits attempted/credits earned ratio. The replaced Excelsior College course will no longer be computed into either GPA. The replacement course from the outside institution will be factored into the overall GPA. If the student is unsuccessful in the replacement course, it will not be added to the My Academic Plan document, factored into the attempted/earned credit ratio, or factored into either GPA because Excelsior College does not accept D grades in transfer.

Example: A business degree student wants to replace the D grade received for Excelsior College’s BUS 323 Business Ethics with a comparable course from another institution. Business Ethics is a professional component requirement. The student gets course approval for a business ethics course from the University at Albany. The student takes the course and receives a higher grade. The credits from University at Albany will apply toward the student’s degree, toward credits attempted/credits earned ratio, and will be calculated into the overall GPA. Excelsior College’s BUS 323 will be flagged as a repeated course and the credits will not apply to the degree. Excelsior College’s BUS 323 will count toward credits attempted/credits earned ratio but will not be factored into either GPA. Both will be listed on the My Academic Plan document and transcript, i.e., Excelsior College’s BUS 323 and the University at Albany course.

c. Courses taken through a federal financial aid consortium agreement

All courses taken through a federal financial aid consortium agreement will be counted into the overall GPA and credits attempted/credits earned ratio. This includes all possible grading outcomes including D or F grades. Courses taken through a federal financial aid consortium will not apply toward the EC GPA. All grades earned through a federal financial aid consortium will be listed on the My Academic Plan document and transcript.

d. Comments on specific grades for Excelsior College courses

Grade of D

Course grades of D will be accepted toward an Excelsior College undergraduate degree as long as they are balanced by enough grades of B or better to produce a 2.0 average upon graduation. Course grades of D will not be accepted to satisfy the Written English Requirement or other core requirements and other degree specific requirements within the business, health sciences, liberal arts, nursing, public service, and technology degrees.

Grade of F

Failing grades received after matriculation for an Excelsior College sources of credit are listed on the Excelsior College My Academic Plan document and transcript and are factored into both GPAs.

Students receiving three F grades in Excelsior College source of credit will be not be allowed to register for further Excelsior College source of credit without advisor approval.

Grade of I

The grade of I indicates that a student has been granted an extension of time to complete the work in an Excelsior College course or NTCX. All extensions are granted at the discretion of the instructor (see Course Extensions). Grades of I will convert to F if not completed within the time the extension has been granted.

Students with two or more I grades in Excelsior College courses and/or NTCX will not be allowed to register for any additional EC sources of credit.

Students with I grades will not be approved for graduation.

Grade of P (Pass)

Grades of P denote Pass and these grades will be listed on the student’s Excelsior College undergraduate My Academic Plan document and transcript. A P grade is equivalent to a C or better. A Pass grade does not affect a student’s GPA. A P grade will be factored into the credits attempted/credits earned ratio but not into the GPAs.

Grade of W

The grade of W indicates withdrawal without academic penalty from an Excelsior College undergraduate course. It is not calculated in overall and EC GPAs, but will appear on a student’s undergraduate My Academic Plan document and transcript. Refer to the Courses and Nursing Theory Conference Examinations Withdrawal and Refund policy for details. A W grade will be factored into the credits attempted/credits earned ratio.

Students who fail an Excelsior College Examination in nursing theory cannot request a withdrawal from that examination.  Should a withdrawal be requested and an examination score report is reported to Excelsior College validating that the examination was completed prior to the withdrawal request date, the grade of W will convert to the letter grade received on the examination.

Grade of MW

The grade of MW indicates withdrawal without academic penalty from an Excelsior College undergraduate course. It is not calculated in the overall and EC GPAs but will appear on the student’s undergraduate My Academic Plan document and transcript. Refer to the Courses and Nursing Theory Conference Examinations Withdrawal and Refund Policy for details. An MW grade will not be factored into the credits attempted/credits earned ratio.

Grade of AW

The College assigns the grade of AW when a student has been administratively withdrawn from an Excelsior College course or NTCX because of excessive absenteeism. An AW grade is not calculated in the overall and EC GPAs, but will appear on the student’s undergraduate My Academic Plan document and transcript. An AW grade will be factored into the credits attempted/credits earned ratio.

A student may withdraw from the same Excelsior College course or NTCX for a maximum of three times. After the third withdrawal, the student is not allowed to register for the course without seeking permission from academic advisor the dean or designee.

2. Excelsior College® Examinations and UExcel® Exam Grades

a. Minimum passing grade

For undergraduate examinations using letter grades, a grade of C represents a score equal to or exceeding the average earned by students completing a corresponding college-level course (or courses) with a grade of C; credit will be awarded to students earning examination grades of A, B, and C. Unlike courses where student grades are based on a number of assessments administered throughout the term, grades obtained on Excelsior College Examinations and UExcel Exams are based on a single measure administered on one occasion. To promote the rigor of credit gained through examinations and remain consistent with policies established by the American Council on Education College Credit Recommendation Service, credit will not be awarded to students earning examination grades of D and F. All Excelsior College Examination and UExcel Exam grades will be computed in the Excelsior College and overall GPA. Credits count toward credits attempted/credits earned ratio.

 b. Grade of P

For examinations using pass/fail grades, credit will be awarded to students earning grades of Pass. P grades are equivalent to a C or better and will be listed on the student’s Excelsior College undergraduate My Academic Plan document and transcript. A Pass grade is not computed in the Excelsior College or overall GPA. Credits count toward credits attempted/credits earned ratio.

c. Repeating an Excelsior College® Examination or UExcel® Exam

If an undergraduate student retakes an Excelsior College Examination or UExcel exam, all grades will be listed on the My Academic Plan document and transcript.

Students may take an Excelsior College Examinations in nursing theory, competencies assessment or performance examination a total of three attempts and/or a UExcel exams a total of four attempts,  The Excelsior College Examinations and UExcel exams cannot be taken more than three times in a given year.

Associate Degree in Nursing students who earn a total of 6 “D” and/or “F” grades in the nursing theory series (courses, examinations, nursing theory conference examinations) will be academically dismissed from the program.  Effective for all new and re-enrollments on or after January 1, 2016.

All attempts count toward the limit on failed exams. The original exam grade(s) will be flagged with a symbol designating it as a repeated examination. A Excelsior College student may not repeat an Excelsior College Examination or UExcel examination in order to improve his or her grade point average where a grade of “C” or higher has been earned. Failing grades (or D grades in a core or professional component requirement can be repeated.

d. Repeating an Excelsior College course or an Excelsior College Examination that covers the same content

Students who take a combination of nursing theory courses, Excelsior College Examinations in nursing theory, and/or Nursing Theory Conference Examinations with the same title will have a maximum of three attempts between them. (See Repeating Excelsior College Source of Credit.)

Associate Degree in Nursing students who earn a total of 6 “D” and/or “F” grades in the nursing theory series (courses, examinations, nursing theory conference examinations) will be academically dismissed from the program.  Effective for all new and re-enrollments on or after January 1, 2016.

3. Transfer Credit Grades

a. Grade of C and above

Grades of C and above are accepted in transfer toward undergraduate degrees.

b. Course grades of D

Grades of D will not be accepted in transfer toward an Excelsior College undergraduate degree and do not count toward the overall GPA or credits attempted/credits earned ratio.

c. Course grades of F, I, W, and other grades indicating no credit awarded

F, I, W, or other grades indicating no credit awarded, do not transfer and do not count toward overall GPA or credits attempted/credits earned ratio.

d. Satisfactory and Pass P grades

The originating institution must verify that the passing P grade is equivalent to a C or better for all transfer credit.

In the case of numerical grades the originating institution must verify that passing grades are equivalent to a C or better. In cases when the institution does not provide a letter grade equivalent but does state the percent (%), 70 percent or higher will be considered equivalent to a C.

Courses and examinations reported on a Pass/Fail or standard score system are not included in computing the overall GPA. Students whose Excelsior College degree programs are composed entirely of Pass grades will be considered as meeting the required 2.0 average for the undergraduate degree.

Passing numerical grades and others such as S for satisfactory and H for honors will be shown as Pass on Excelsior College My Academic Plan documents and transcripts.

If the originating institution provides the letter grade equivalent (e.g., A=4.0, B= 3.0, etc.) the letter grade will be awarded. When double grades such as AB or BC are earned at other institutions, they will be shown as the lower grade unless documentation from the originating institution is received stating the specific grade equivalent.

e. Deletion of Transfer Credit Grades

Transfer credit cannot be deleted from a student’s My Academic Plan document or transcript once the student has matriculated.

Graduate Policies

1. Excelsior College Graduate Course Grades

a. Repetition of an Excelsior College Course

Graduate students may repeat an Excelsior College course twice, for a maximum of three times. Students receiving a passing grade who wish to raise their grade are allowed to do so. A final course grade of D or lower does not meet degree requirements. All grades for repeated courses will be listed on the My Academic Plan document and transcript. The original course grade will be flagged with a symbol designating it as a repeated course. The highest grade will be calculated into both GPAs.

b. Comments on Specific Grades

Grade of C

Graduate students are allowed to earn grades of C. In Excelsior College graduate programs a student must obtain an overall GPA of 3.0 or greater for graduation. If a student’s overall GPA falls below 3.0 anytime after completion of 12 credits, or if a student fails two courses, the student will be placed on academic probation (see Satisfactory Academic Progress).

Grade of F

Failing grades received after matriculation for an Excelsior College graduate course are listed on the Excelsior College My Academic Plan document and transcript and are factored into both GPAs.

Grade of I

The grade of I indicates that a student has been granted an extension of time to complete the work in an Excelsior College graduate course. All extensions are granted at the discretion of the instructor (see Course Extensions). Grades of I will convert to F if not completed within 60 days unless an additional extension has been granted.

Students with two or more I grades in Excelsior College courses will not be allowed to register for any additional Excelsior College courses.

Grade of P

Grades of P denote Pass and these grades will be listed on the student’s Excelsior College graduate My Academic Plan document and transcript. A P grade is equivalent to a B or better. A Pass grade does not affect a student’s GPA. A P grade will be factored into the credits attempted/credits earned ratio but not into the GPAs.

Grade of W

The grade of W indicates withdrawal without academic penalty from an Excelsior College graduate course. It is not calculated in overall and Excelsior College GPAs but will appear on a student’s graduate My Academic Plan document and transcript. (See Administrative Withdrawal and Academic Dismissal and  Withdrawal from a Course.) A W grade will be factored into the credits attempted/credits earned ratio.

Grade of MW

The grade of MW indicates withdrawal without academic penalty from an Excelsior College graduate course. It is not calculated in overall and EC GPAs, but will appear on a student’s graduate My Academic Plan document and transcript. (See Administrative Withdrawal and Academic Dismissal.) An MW grade will not be factored into the credits attempted/credits earned ratio.

Grade of AW

The grade of AW indicates withdrawal from an Excelsior College course because of excessive absenteeism. It is not calculated in overall and EC GPAs, but will appear on the student’s graduate My Academic Plan document and transcript. An AW grade will be factored into the credits attempted/credits earned ratio.

A student may withdraw from the same Excelsior College course for a maximum of three times. After the third withdrawal, the student is not allowed to register for the course without seeking permission from an academic advisor.

2. Excelsior College® Examinations and UExcel® Exam Grades

There are no graduate-level Excelsior College Examinations.

3. Transfer Grades Credit

a. Grade of B and above

Only grades of B and above are accepted for transfer or to waive a graduate course.

b. Course grades of F, I, W, and other grades indicating no credit awarded

F, I, W, or other grades indicating no credit awarded do not transfer and do not count toward the overall GPA or credits attempted/credits earned ratio.

c. Satisfactory and Pass P grades

The originating institution must verify that the P grade is equivalent to a B or better for all transfer credit.

Courses reported as Pass/Fail are not included in computing the overall GPA. Excelsior College My Academic Plan documents and transcripts composed entirely of Pass grades will be considered as meeting the required 3.0 average for the graduate degree.

Passing numerical grades and other grades such as S for satisfactory and H for honors will be shown as Pass on Excelsior College My Academic Plan documents and transcripts. In the case of numerical grades, the originating institution must verify the equivalent letter grade (e.g., A=4.0, B=3.0, etc.) for the credit to be considered for transfer and the letter grade to be awarded.

When double grades such as AB or BC are earned at other institutions, they will be shown as the lower grade unless documentation from the originating institution is received stating the specific grade equivalent.

d. Deletion of transfer credit grades

Transfer credit cannot be deleted from a student’s My Academic Plan document or transcript once the student has matriculated.

Waiver: Courses waived are not computed in the overall GPA. They are given a P for the course and do not count toward credits attempted/credits earned ratio.