Grades Awarded and Accepted by Excelsior College

Statement of Policy

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; these issues are addressed individually in the undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.

Excelsior College sources of credit include Excelsior College courses, Excelsior College Examinations, UExcel Examinations, Focused Clinical Competencies Assessment and the Clinical Performance in Nursing Examination.

Grading System: Numerical Equivalents

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

For Excelsior College® Examinations, and UExcel® Exams, credit is not awarded for grades of D. The College uses the following numerical equivalents of grades for Excelsior College® Examinations, and UExcel® Examinations:

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

Grading System: Courses
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

Grading System: Excelsior College® Examinations and UExcel® Exams
Following standards established by the American Psychological Association, American Educational Research Association, and National Council on Measurement in Education, letter grades for Excelsior College® Examinations and UExcel® Exams are based on standard-setting and equating processes that generate unique minimum percentage scores required for each letter grade awarded, based on the characteristics of the items on each form of the exam. There is no one percentage equivalents table that applies to all exams. A grade of “C” represents a level of proficiency equivalent to that of someone earning a grade of C in a corresponding college-level course. See the Exam Technical Handbook for details on these processes.

Grading System: FCCA
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. If an Excelsior College source of credit is repeated, the most recent grade earned for the source of credit will be used in all GPA calculations.

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 that are applied to the student’s degree program, whether taken before or after matriculation. The EC GPA cannot be modified by removing grades earned.
  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 Academic Evaluator develops a document listing the credits the student previously earned that will be applied toward the student’s degree program, based on transcripts submitted by the student. 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 ratio.

The letter grades (other than P for passing) of all work qualifying for credit toward an Excelsior College degree are converted to the numerical equivalents system listed above 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. Repetition of an Excelsior College source of credit
All grades for repeated Excelsior College sources of credit will be listed on the My Academic Plan document and transcript. The most recent grade will be computed into both GPAs.

2. Replacing an Excelsior College source of credit using an outside source of credit
Some sources of credit can only be taken at Excelsior College (e.g., capstone course, nursing requirements). A grade of C is required (or pass where appropriate). These sources of credit cannot be replaced by sources of credit from another institution.

For sources of credit that may be taken elsewhere, students must receive course approval from their advisor to take a comparable source of credit at another institution to replace an Excelsior College source of credit on their transcript. If a student successfully completes the replacement source of credit at another institution after matriculation, the grade will appear on the My Academic Plan document and transcript. The Excelsior College source of credit will be flagged with a symbol designating that the source of credit has been replaced by another source of credit. All attempts will be factored into the credits attempted/credits earned ratio. The replaced Excelsior College source of credit 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. 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 Excelsior College’s BUS 323 and the University at Albany course will be listed on the My Academic Plan document and transcript.

3. 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.

4. Comments on specific grades for Excelsior College sources of credit
Grade of D
Course grades of D will generally 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 certain other requirements (see Policy 005 General Education Curriculum Requirements and degree-specific requirements). Grades of D on UExcel Exams are not accepted for credit toward an Excelsior College undergraduate degree.

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

A student who fails a required capstone or a nursing 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.

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 Excelsior College Examination. All extensions are granted at the discretion of the instructor (see Policy 133 Course Extensions). Grades of I will convert to F if not completed within the time the extension has been granted. Extensions for UExcel Exams do not result in a grade of I. Failure to complete a UExcel Exam does not result in any grade on the transcript.

Students with two or more I grades for Excelsior sources of credit will not be allowed to register for any additional Excelsior 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 Policy 107 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 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 Policy 107 Courses and Nursing 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 (W or AW) from the same Excelsior College course a maximum of three times. After the third withdrawal, the student is not allowed to register for the course without seeking permission from the dean or designee. Military Withdrawals (MW) are exempt from this restriction.

5.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. For such transfer grades to apply to the nursing component requirements of the School of Nursing degree programs, the % must be equivalent to a 75 percent or higher to be considered equivalent to a C.

Exception – In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the College will accept in transfer P graded undergraduate coursework from regionally and non-regionally accredited schools taken during the Spring 2020 semester for ALL degree requirements, even if the external school equates P grades to a D or higher, and even if the Excelsior College requirement indicates the student must have earned a letter grade of B/C or higher.

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 or repeating of Transfer Credit Grades
Transfer credit cannot be deleted from a student’s My Academic Plan document or transcript once the student has matriculated. For information on repeating transfer credit, see Policy 075, Repeating Sources of Credit.

Graduate Policies

1. Excelsior College Graduate Course Grades

a. Repetition of an Excelsior College Course
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 most recent grade will be calculated into both GPAs.

b. Comments on Specific Grades
Grade of D
A final course grade of D or lower does not meet graduate degree requirements.

Grade of C
Grades of C will generally be accepted toward an Excelsior College graduate degree as long as they are balanced by enough grades of B or better to maintain a 3.0 average. 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, the student will be placed on academic probation (see Policy 7 Satisfactory Academic Progress). Exception: The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program requires students to earn a grade of B or higher in the capstone class in order to be eligible for graduation.

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. If a student’s overall GPA falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation (see Policy 7 Satisfactory Academic Progress).

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 Policy 133 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 Policy 120 Administrative Withdrawal from the College and Academic Dismissal from a Program and Policy 107 Courses and Nursing Theory Conference Examinations Withdrawal and Refund Policy) 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 Policy 120 Administrative Withdrawal from the College and Academic Dismissal from a Program.) 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 (W/AW) 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 the Dean or designee. Military Withdrawals (MW) are exempt from this restriction.

2. Transfer Grades Credit

a. Grade of B and above
Only grades of B and above are accepted in 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.

Exception – In response to the COVID-19 crisis, students with P grades for graduate coursework from regionally and non-regionally accredited schools taken in the Spring 2020 semester, which the external institution equates to a D or C and higher can appeal to the Dean of their school to have the credit accepted. Such appeals may include the submission of the instructor recommendation, copies of completed assignments, and/or a letter from the transfer institution providing the student’s P grade equivalency.

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 or repeating of transfer credit grades
Transfer credit cannot be deleted from a student’s My Academic Plan document or transcript once the student has matriculated. For information on repeating transfer credit, see Policy 075, Repeating Sources of Credit.

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.