Will Excelsior award the full 30 credits for the GRE Psychology
(80th+ percentile) even if one already has psychology credits e.g. for
Introductory Psychology and Abnormal Psychology from getting a business
degree? Or will some be considered duplicate and not awarded?
Well, first the
general case: you can consider that they award the 30 semester hour credit,
then as part of a separate process they check for duplication of credit,
and upon finding it, they remove the offending pre-existing credit or the
offending new credit.
Say you have
Psych credit letter graded "C", and you would prefer
"pass" to appear on your transcript to help inflate GPA. In such
circumstances the pre-existing letter graded credit should be removed and
replaced by the new, non-letter-graded (pass) credit.
Put it another
way - you score above the 80th percentile in the Psych GRE and, as is your
right, you contact your advisor and request that existing Psych credit be
removed from your transcript. Into the vacuum thus created, rushes that
portion of the GRE-generated Psych credit that would otherwise be deemed
In the special
case of the second degree, remember that you must earn as new credit at
least one quarter of that degree�s credit requirements. In the case of most
degrees offered in the Liberal Arts program, that equates to 30 semester
hours of new credit. If it is the case that the Psych GRE-generated credit
is the ONLY new credit submitted in consideration of degree requirements,
then they would have to discount pre-existing credit in favor of the new
credit, in order to comply with the 30 credit hour rule. That is to say,
you would not have the option to preserve the pre-existing credit if it
duplicated some portion of the new credit.
A FLY IN THE
potential hurdle arises here with respect to the special case of credit
submitted in consideration of a second degree. Excelsior might take the
position that the 30 semester hour new-credit rule has not been met since you
have some pre-existing psych credit used in your first degree, that has now
been deemed duplicate. I�m not talking here of the standard duplicate
credit rule, but the 30 hour new-credit rule, specific to the award of a
second degree. In that circumstance, you could still choose which credit to
keep and which to discard, but you would nevertheless be in deficit of
requirements of the second degree, regardless of which credit you retain,
to the tune of whatever credit hours Excelsior deems not to be �new�.
In the example
you cite, the Intro to Psych and Abnormal Psych credit WOULD be judged
duplicate, and although you would have earned 30 hours credit, all of which
you could elect to have appear on your transcript (by abandoning the
pre-existing Intro to Psych and Abnormal Psych credit), Excelsior may
nevertheless require you cough-up another six semester hours in order to
meet the 30-hour requirement in the second degree (actually the
one-quarter-of-the-degree requirement, which, as noted, translates to 30
semester hours in most cases applicable in the liberal arts program).
In your case I
suspect you would require only three semester hours of additional credit,
than you would otherwise require, since you will have to meet the Psych
Research Methods requirement in any and all cases. I doubt you will have
earned that in the course of a Business degree. So, the requirement for the
Psych major would (for you) in practice be 33 credit hours in any and all cases,
with an additional 3 credit hours needed to comply with the second degree
30-credit hour rule.
I am by no
means certain Excelsior will interpret the rules as strictly as I�ve
described and stick you with this latter requirement, but they may. Should
they do so, the real-world effect in terms of additional credit required
will likely be minimal.