2nd Bachelors with 1 test? Am I reading this correctly?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by friendorfoe, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member


    I was browsing this site and noticed the above link, get a 2nd Bachelors degree with one test...is this correct? Does your first Bachelors have to be a RA one? What all schools will this work at?
  2. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    That appears to be what Lawrie Miller is saying.

    Most of the answers to your questions can be found on the bain4weeks website.

    Sure, you COULD receive 30 credits in transfer, BUT (and someone correct me if I'm wrong), I think Exelsior is the only college which grants that much credit anymore, and you have to achieve a high score on the GRE to receive that much credit. Lower scores mean fewer credits, if I remember correctly.

    You first degree would have to be RA. Excelsior does not take NA degrees in transfer.
  3. Papa Georgia

    Papa Georgia New Member

    You can get 30 credits for the Gre if you rank in the 80th percentile or above but you may not get a degree with just that test.
    You may have to take some other courses, such as, Information Literacy to meet Excelsior's requirements
  4. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Thanks guys. I thought it sounded a little too good to be true.:D
  5. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    GRE Subject tests are really broad and designed to test student's college-level knowledge in what amounts to a major. They are NOT like a CLEP tests.
  6. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Yeah...I'm not planning on doing it, just wondering if it could be done and what the limitations were.

    As for test taking...I'm pretty good at it for some reason.
  7. CoachTurner

    CoachTurner Member

    I wouldn't call it "too good to be true" -- it's very true, it can be done.

    It's just that most of us don't have the knowledge sitting in reserve to do it.

    The GRE subject is a demanding exam indeed -- not something to be undertaken lightly. It requires far more than good test taking skills, it requires knowledge of the exam content.
  8. jagmct1

    jagmct1 New Member

    Actually, Excelsior will start accepting NA degree tranfers/credits within the next few months. They are in the process of drafting the NA tranfer policy at this time.
  9. bing

    bing New Member

    Wow! I may have to turn my USNY degree back in then. Either they are going downhill or the NA's are climbing the hill.

  10. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    I would say it is probably due to the improvement of NA programs, and the fact that there has been a call by some in Congress to give more weight to degrees that are NA and recognized by CHEA. After all, the federal government recognizes NA degees, so why not RA schools?

    This is actually good news to me, considering I am currently studying through a NA DL school. I may have to add Excelsior to my list of possible schools from which to get my BS in Marketing. My courses are ACE reviewed, but acceptance of NA makes transfer even more certain.
  11. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Jeez bing...you have a thing with NA degrees?
  12. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    No, not a little too good to be true. The information presented in BA in 4 Weeks is precise. Below are extracts from BA in 4 Weeks "Fast Major", and "Second Degree".

    Consider that had you read the relevant pages in BA in 4 Weeks and taken time to digest their content, you would not have reached the erroneous conclusion you voice above.


    Excelsior College awards credit for GRE subject exams on a sliding scale. A score above the 80th percentile will net you 30 semester hours credits. A score above the 35th percentile will net you 3 semester hours. In between, credits are accumulated in 3 credits per 5 percentile point increments.

    Charter Oak State College (COSC) Awards 18 or 24 credits for GRE subject exams for any score above the 40th percentile. 24 credits are awarded for quantitative exams, 18 credits are awarded for non quantitative exams.

    Thomas Edison State College (TESC) does not award credit for GRE subject exams.

    In addition to the above, it should be noted that Excelsior awards the first 12 credits as lower division (LD) credits. That is, a pass above the 50th percentile will yield 12 LD credits. All additional credits awarded are upper division credits (UD). So, a score above the 80th percentile yields 12 LD and 18 UD semester hour credits, for a total of 30 credit hours.

    COSC awards 15 LD credits + 9 UD credits in the quantitative GREs, and 15 LD credits + 3 UD credits in the non quantitative GREs, for a total of 24 and 18 credit hours respectively.

    COSC breaks LD credits into basic level and advanced level, but to all intents and purposes they are LD credits so far as I can establish. COSC graduates may know better


    Majors in some subjects can be completed by Excelsior College students by scoring above the 80th percentile in an appropriate GRE subject examination.

    As noted, in the case of Excelsior College, credit is awarded on a sliding scale, from 3 credits for a score above the 35th percentile to 30 credits for a score above the 80th percentile.

    The minimum requirement for a major is 30 credits with a minimum of 15 in the upper division. Therefore, passing a GRE subject exam above the 80th percentile satisfies the degree major requirements, except where the discipline requires a laboratory component (in Biology, Chemistry or Physics).

    Special lab requirements for the certain Science majors

    Biology : 2 courses, at least one upper division

    Chemistry : 4 courses, at least one upper division

    Physics : 2 courses, at least one upper division

    or, where the major’s requirements include a subject deemed to have inadequate coverage in the GRE subject exam. For example, the Psychology major requires, among other things, a course in “Research Methods in Psychology”. While the Psych GRE satisfies most concentration requirements, it does not fulfill this one.

    Coincidentally, Excelsior offer their own proprietory exam in exactly that subject! Sitting this ECE exam will cost an additional $155.

    Here is a snippet of Excelsior College’s take on the issue of credit accumulation and the concentrations/majors:

    You may demonstrate knowledge in a specific area of concentration in one or a combination of three ways:

    1. Submission of appropriate and sufficient college course credits and sucessful performance on proficiency examinations in the sybject area

    2. Sucessful performance on an Excelsior College Special Assignment examination

    3. Successful completion of an appropriate Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Subject Test

    Excelsior College Liberal Arts program catalog, Page 20

    A list of acceptable GRE subject exams and their current required scaled scores can be found at Excelsior.edu. Detailed specification of individual concentration requirements can be found in the Liberal Arts Catalog


    You can earn two degrees from any of the three assessment institutions, Charter Oak State College (COSC), Excelsior College, or Thomas Edison State College (TESC).

    Excelsior College does not let their Liberal Arts program graduates earn a second BS or BA in that program, but will allow Liberal Arts graduates of other schools to earn a second Liberal Arts BS or BA with major.

    Excelsior will allow their Liberal Arts program graduates to earn a second bachelor degree in an Excelsior program other than Liberal Arts - i.e., in, the Business program, the Technology program, or the Nursing program.

    COSC will allow a second degree, but it will be in General Studies with a specialization or concentration (COSC degrees are all General Studies by major).

    TESC will allow a second degree BA with general concentrations, designated - BA in Humanities; BA in Math/Science; BA in Social Science/History. They also allow a BA with a specialization (“major area of study” - much like the Excelsior concentration/major) in a variety of subjects. Additionally, they offer degrees with majors - BS Applied Science and Technology, BS Business, and BS Human Services.

    This guide details how a second degree can be earned in the Excelsior College Liberal Arts program in under three hours of testing, exclusively by way of the GRE subjects exams.


    Graduate Record Subject Examinations are offered in a variety of disciplines. Their primary purpose is to test the readiness of candidates for graduate study in a particular field. Most examinees writing these exams are bachelor graduates in the specific field or in a related discipline. . Excelsior College is the only assessment institution to award enough credit for a score in the GRE subject exam, to meet all requirements of a major or to trigger conferral of a second degree based solely on one's performance in that exam. Empire State College (not an assessment college – requires that 30+ credits be earned “in-house”) will award up to 36 semester hours credit for a suitable performance in the GRE subject exam.

    GRE subject exams are not the same animal as the GRE General exam. They are a different species. Knowledge of basic algebra, geometry, or synonums and antynoms, will not be enough to cut it in these tests. However, with that said, although the majority of GRE subject test examinees may be graduates in the field, this does not mean examinees who are neither graduates in the discipline or indeed graduates at all, cannot pass these tests at the required level. They can and frequently do. I used the GRE subject test in Political Science to provided all the necessary concentration credit for my first Excelsior College degree. I wrote another GRE subject exam in Psychology, garnering an additional 30 semester hours credit.


    GRE subject examinations are an endangered species, and it seems that with every passing exam diet there are fewer from which to choose. So if you're toying with the idea of doing this, don't hang about too long. Remember, you can earn such a degree by taking just one exam for about $130.




    Majors in numerous subjects can be completed by Excelsior College students by scoring above the 80th percentile in an appropriate GRE subject examination.

    Credit is awarded on a sliding scale, from 3 credits for a score above the 35th percentile to 30 credits for a score above the 80th percentile. Increment rate is 3 credit hours per 5 percentile increase in score. The first 12 credits are awarded as lower division credits, and the rest as upper division credits. Thus a score above the 80th percentile yields 12 lower division credits and 18 upper division credits, for a total of 30 credits. The minimum requirements for a major is 30 credits with a minimum of 15 in the upper division. Therefore, passing a GRE subject exam above the 80th percentile satisfies the major’ requirements, and all requirements for award of a second degree.

    A list of acceptable GRE subject exams and their required scaled scores can be found at Excelsior.edu
  13. Papa Georgia

    Papa Georgia New Member

    I certainly didn't mean to imply that it is too good to be true. It just doesn't work that way for everybody.
    I completed a BS from COSC and am thinking about taking the GRE in Psychology. In order to obtain a second degree in Psychology, Excelsior is telling me that I will have to complete Written English since I used the CLEP exam at COSC. I will also need Information Literacy and twenty one upper level credits.
    All things considered. it is still a good deal even if you only pick up fifteen or eighteen credits from one exam.
  14. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    Correct. Only point with which I disagree is that not some, but ALL of the answers to his questions can be found in BA in 4 Weeks. :)

    Additionally, it is stated clearly in BA in 4 Weeks that Excelsior college is the only college that will award enough credit with the required UL/LL credit distribution for the award of a major or second degree, in some subjects. Those subjects that require additional credit are noted in the text.

    It is not the case that the claim of earning a major or second degree on the basis of the GRE sounds appealing at first blush, but that when you get to the detail it is near impossible, too difficult, or unlikely. On the contrary, it is eminently doable.

    Excelsior grants 30 semester hours for a pass above the 80th percentile. This is noted several times in several places in BA in 4 Weeks. No other college at any time awarded 30 semester hours other than Excelsior. No other college awards 12 lower division and 18 upper division for a score above 80 percentile other than Excelsior. Again, this is stated more that once and more than twice in BA in 4 Weeks.

    Excelsior is not now, nor has it ever been the only college to award credit for the GRE subject exam. Charter Oak College awards credit for the subject GRE, up to 24 semester hour. Details can be found on the COSC website, or dare I say it, in BA in 4 Weeks.

    Empire State College awards 36 semester hours for an appropriate score in the GRE subject exams. There are restrictions on eligibility for the award of this credit. See the ESC website or BA in 4 Weeks for more detail.

    Not only COULD you (theoretically) receive 30 semester hours for a pass above the 80th percentile, people do it all the time. It is, in the vernacular, a daily occurrence.

    As to the restrictions on earning a major or second degree on the basis of a suitable pass in the subject GRE, these are enumerated in the text of BA in for Weeks. See my previous post, this thread. Note that reference to any restrictions is also discussed elsewhere in the body of the text of BA in 4 Weeks. There should be zero mystery remaining, vis-a-vis this issue after a thorough reading of that work.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I did it (almost).

    After I finished my first bachelor's with USNY Regents, I took the GRE in Sociology, along with a CLEP test, and earned a 2nd bachelor's (a BA concentrating in Sociology). A second bachelor's for taking two tests.
  16. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    To be clear, you will need 21 upper division credits not in addition to the GRE full credit but rather, 21 in the upper division, 18 of which will be met by the full award of GRE credit. That is to say, you may require 3 credit hours in the upper division, in addition to a score in the Psychology GRE above the 80th percentile.

    The other three upper division credit you will require will be in Research Methods in Psychology. This is noted in the text of BA in 4 Weeks, and as also noted there, may be earned by taking one ECE 3-hour exam in that subject. It may provide some comfort to know I and others have completed this exam in an hour, still others in two hours, with an A grade pass.

    With respect to the WER (Written English Requirement), I think Excelsior are doing you dirty. Normally, the fact of possession of a first degree from an accredited “English-speaking” university or college, it deemed as evidence of required competence in English. That’s pretty much the universal norm in my experience. I’d definitely challenge this decision. I think it’s bull. Good grief, how did you get through a full regionally accredited degree without at least freshman competency in written English? You need not argue the CLEP exam is evidence of suitable attainment. As it happens, I wrote a petition for relief, on just this issue for a 2-year COSC degreed applicant to Excelsior’s bachelor degree program. What was true in his case is true in spades in your case. It is available on bain4weeks.com, somewhere. If you can’t find it, I can post it, if you like.

    Sure, there is a one credit Information Literacy requirement that applies to every enrolling Excelsior student, but this may be fulfilled by evidence of competence in the form of existing credit in the subject. Many applicants, especially those with a first degree, already possess, not one, but three credit hours or more that may be used in fulfillment of this requirement. Indeed, it is difficult to graduate any degree program these days without such credit.

    So (to make the general point – not personal) the notion of all these barrier and difficulties is difficult to understand. The implication that, with respect to this major (Psychology), these additional requirement are not detailed in BA in 4 Weeks is untrue. They are detailed up front and center.

    In my view, based on my direct experience, anyone competent in the subject (Psychology) at Bachelor graduate level, WILL be able to pass this exam above the 80th percentile. The whole purpose of credit by examination is after all, validation of competencies. In my view, if one cannot meet the requirements for the major or second degree, it is because one lacks the necessary competencies.

    Note also that, specifically, with respect to the Psychology degree major, there are a number of ECE exams that may be taken to remove any deficit from an underperformance in the subject GRE. These too are detailed in BA in 4 Weeks. Indeed, I try to provide insight and estimates of difficulty for each and every Psychology competency exam available to aspiring graduates in the subject.

    I can do so because I've taken every single proficiency exam available in the subject offered by every qualified provider - ETS (GRE), DANTES, CLEP, ECE. I believe that with preparation, and by judicious application of the available exam opportunities, you will not fail to reach your goal. It’s right there for ya. Grab it!

    Let's recap requirements for a second degree in Psychology.

    1. A pass above the 80th percentile in the Psychology GRE subject exam.

    2. 3 credit hours in Research in Psychology (ECE exam meets requirement)

    3. evidence of 1 credit hour in Information literacy (good chance requirement already fulfilled in first degree).
  17. Felipe C. Abala

    Felipe C. Abala New Member

  18. Jodokk

    Jodokk Member

    Cosc GRE Stuff

    Yeah, I took the Lit and the Psych Gre's for my bach at Cosc. They were tough but fun. I don't think I could get above the 80th on anything but probably psych. They're truly NOT like taking Cleps.
  19. jcummings

    jcummings New Member

    Hi Lawrie

    Thanks for all the info at bain4weeks.com. Great stuff!

    Regarding the GRE in Psych, is there one study book that will contain the info I need to pass the Psych GRE at 80%, or is a combination of books necessary? Are there specific editions of the study materials you would recommend, or will older editions work as well?

    I have taken Intro to Psych some years ago, so my background in Psych is limited.

    Thanks much,
  20. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I must admit, if they still offered the GRE subject exam for Political Science I'd have been tempted, but they don't, and now it seems like another Bachelor's would be heading backwards.


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