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  Sep 20, 2020
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Academic Policy - Credit

Credits Among Schools at The Sage Colleges

Undergraduate credit at The Sage Colleges applies equally among Sage College of Albany, Sage After Work and Russell Sage College. Undergraduate credit earned at any of The Sage Colleges is applied toward the completion of baccalaureate degree requirements, the calculation of cumulative grade points, and the determination of eligibility for honors in the respective colleges.

Classification of Students

A student’s academic classification (class standing) is determined by the number of credits earned toward a bachelor’s degree:

Class Standing


First Year/Freshman







87 or more

Substitution/Waiver Policy

In some cases, students may substitute or waive a course required for their degree program. The student must complete a Substitution/Waiver Form, have it signed by the department chairperson/program coordinator for the course that is being substituted, and return the form to the Office of Student Services. For example, substitution of a Math course requires the approval of the Math Department Chair. For general education requirements that are not department-specific (e.g., interdisciplinary seminar), the decision rests with the Dean of the College. This approval may be secured in writing or via e-mail from the Chairperson/Coordinator or Dean and MUST be attached to the Substitution/Waiver Form before it is returned to the Office of Student Services.

In lieu of the Substitution/Waiver Form, substitution/waivers may be requested via e-mail, but must contain the following elements:

  • Chairperson/program coordinator must be copied
  • Student must be copied
  • Required course (Course being waived) including department and title
  • Course being substituted
  • Whether or not the course is a transfer course and from what institution
  • Reason/justification
  • Statement indicating that “Copying the student indicates the student’s awareness of the substitution.”

Fresh Start Program

A student who is seeking readmission to Sage College of Albany and has not attended any of The Sage Colleges in four or more years may choose to have all Sage coursework (from the prior attendance) be exempt from the calculation of the grade point average. In choosing this option, the student would receive credit for courses in which a grade of “C-” or better was earned; the grades however, would not be included in the computation of the grade point average (GPA). In effect, students electing the Fresh Start policy will have old coursework treated as transfer credit in the calculation of credit for courses, GPA and the determination of eligibility for honors in the respective colleges. The decision to declare a “Fresh Start” must be communicated to the Office of Admission at the time of re-enrollment and can be claimed no more than once in a student’s career at The Sage Colleges. All original grades earned (including those below a C-), remain on the student’s transcript for record-keeping purposes, though they are not computed into the student’s grade point average.

Transfer of Credit from Other Institutions

Undergraduate students must complete at least half their major and at least 45 credit hours in residence at Sage or through the Hudson Mohawk Association. Furthermore, at least 30 of the last 45 credits must be completed in residence. Students must satisfy general education as well as major requirements and must maintain satisfactory standards of scholarship to be eligible for graduation.

Generally, the Office of the Registrar evaluates credit earned at other accredited institutions soon after admission. To be eligible for credit consideration at The Sage Colleges, final transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (college, university, technical, proprietary school, etc.) previously attended must be received before students have completed their first semester. For credit earned through traditional classroom work, evaluation is conducted on a course-by-course basis for all work in which grades of “C-” or above have been earned. Up to 9 credit hours may be awarded for courses that are not comparable to courses offered at The Sage Colleges. Please note that course grades from other institutions do not transfer; only credits do.

  1. Up to 66 credits received through standardized examinations (CLEP, ECE, NYUFLP, and DANTES) may be applied toward a bachelor’s degree. Distribution of the credits within the degree plan is determined by the academic advisor in consultation with the student.
  2. Credit by examination does not count toward Sage’s 45-credit graduation residency requirement.
  3. Credit earned by examination at other accredited colleges and universities may be transferred through transcripts to Sage according to the above guidelines. Scores must meet Sage’s current minimum passing levels for the credit to be accepted.
  4. All scores for credit by examination must be received by Sage one semester prior to graduation. This process often takes several weeks as results must be received from testing agencies, so students must complete all standardized testing well before the final semester.
  5. Although students may take examinations prior to or after coming to Sage, the college will not accept the credit indicated until after admission as matriculated student. After matriculation, students should consult with their academic advisors before taking any standardized tests to determine the appropriateness of the credit in their degree programs.

Transfer of Credit after Matriculation

An undergraduate student who intends to transfer credit from another institution after matriculation at Sage must file with the Registrar a statement of approval for the course to be taken, signed by the major advisor. No credit will be transferred without prior approval, nor will credit transfer for coursework with a grade below a “C-”. Please note that course grades from other institutions do not transfer; only credits do. Transfer credit forms are available in the Office of Student Services or the Office of Academic Advisement.

A maximum of 66 transfer credits from a 2-year college (or 75 from a combination of 2- and 4-year colleges) are applicable toward a baccalaureate degree at Sage College of Albany. Students must complete at least 45 credits within The Sage Colleges to earn a Sage degree.

Before registering elsewhere to take a required course normally offered at Sage, the student must obtain consent of his or her academic advisor(s) and verification of course equivalence from the coordinator of the program in which the course would be offered at Sage. Students may petition the Dean of the College for a waiver of any part of this policy. Such a request requires the consent of the academic advisor(s) and verification of course equivalence, if any, from the coordinator of the program in which the course would be offered at Sage.

Advanced Placement Program (AP Credit)

Sage recognizes the achievements of secondary students who participate in the Advanced Placement Program (AP Credit) of The College Board. The following table defines the credit awarded for each of the AP exams.

AP credit  table.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Credit and/or placement is possible for qualifying scores from the College Level Examination Program. At Sage College of Albany, transfer credit is awarded for CLEP scores of 50 or higher. Normally, credit is awarded for acceptable scores in subject examinations and is applied to general education and elective requirements. For information about the CLEP program, visit, or contact the Assistant Director of Transfer Evaluation at (518) 292-1781 with questions. The following table specifies appropriate exams and transfer credit available.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)  table.

Excelsior College Examinations (now ECE, formerly CPE)

Credits from this program, sponsored by Excelsior College , are available in the same manner as for CLEP. A maximum of 60 credits hours toward baccalaureate degrees and 30 toward associate degrees are aggregates for a combination of the two exams. Policies on ECE are as follows:

New York University Foreign Language Proficiency Exams (NYUFLP)

Sage is able to administer more than 50 different foreign language exams to matriculated students. Students may select a 12-point version (up to 12 lower division credits) or a 16-point version (up to 12 lower and 4 upper division credits). For a complete list of test languages and registration information, contact the Office of Academic Advisement and Career Planning. Because of recent changes to NYU foreign language testing program, some foreign language exams are no longer available for undergraduate transfer credit].

Prior Learning Credit

Baccalaureate degree seeking students may be eligible to receive credit for prior college-level learning through such activities as community service, military or employer-sponsored training, work experiences, or self development. The basis for granting credit is a portfolio of documentation prepared by the student under the guidance of an experiential learning mentor. A maximum of 30 undergraduate credits may be granted, with the following limits by category:

Academic Major = 9 credits maximum
General Education = 9 credits maximum
Electives = 30 credits maximum

To be eligible for experiential learning credit, a student must first have completed at least three credit hours with a grade of “C” or better, and be enrolled for an additional three credits. A student transferring more than 60 credits to Sage and entering the experiential learning program will be required to take a minimum of 45 credits in regular classroom work while at Sage. For more information, consult the Coordinator of the Prior Learning Program, Michelle Caminos, Director of Studies, SAW, 518-292-1811, [email protected]

Accredited Proprietary Schools

Students who have achieved a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average (4.0 system) for work done at a proprietary school accredited by the Association of Independent Colleges and Schools can petition for transfer credit according to two-year college guidelines. Most credit awarded will be applicable to electives and general education requirements, with decisions on major field credit resting with the academic department.

Non-Accredited Institutions

Students transferring from non-accredited schools may petition for credit evaluation after they have attended Sage for two consecutive semesters and earned a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (2.2 in the major field).

Armed Services Training

Training on military installations may lead to credit awarded on the basis of guidelines from the “Guide to Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services.”

Non-Collegiate Programs

Credit may be available for courses sponsored by organizations which are recommended in the “Guide to Educational Programs in Non-Collegiate Organizations” of the State University of New York.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

International Baccalaureate diplomas will generally be treated as general elective transfer credit. Final determination is made by individual academic departments.