Online MSN Admissions Requirements by Program

Completing a master’s of science in nursing takes dedication and hard work, which starts with the application process. Each school will have its own admission requirements, however, there are some standard qualifications most programs look for.

Every program will require candidates to complete an application and pay an application fee or have a waiver. Also, applicants must provide official transcripts from all previous institutions attended. Many programs have a minimum GPA requirement, although there are few that do not. Few programs require GRE scores, although some programs may ask for them if an applicant’s GPA is below the minimum requirement. Other common requirements include letters of recommendation, personal statements, writing samples, and work experience. 

The one qualification that all MSN programs require is that applicants have already completed a registered nursing education program at the associate’s or bachelor’s level and hold an unencumbered and current registered nurse license in the state where they will be attending school. The licensing state is often the student’s home state, although that can vary for online programs, and applicants should contact their prospective school for specific requirements.  

Earning an MSN degree can offer nurses several benefits, including higher potential wages, more opportunities for advancement, better employability, specialization options, and personal growth and satisfaction in their careers.  MSN degree programs will lead to distinct career paths, such as leadership or education, with specializations such as nurse administrator or executive, nurse educator, nurse informaticist, or clinical nurse leader. The other option is to complete an MSN to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). This can include family practice (FNP), adult-gerontology (AGACNP, AGPCNP), psychiatry (PMHNP), pediatrics (PNP-AC, PNP-PC), women’s health (WHNP), neonatal (NNP), and certified nurse midwife (CNM). 

Here is a list of 30 schools that offer online MSN degrees along with their admission requirements: 

SchoolDegree Required to ApplyGPASpeciality/ConcentrationOther Requirements
Western Governors UniversityADN, ASN, BSNN/AASN, ADN, or BSN applicants can complete a degree in leadership and management, nursing informatics, and education. BSN applicants can complete an FNP or PMHNP MSN. Current CV, letters of recommendation, application essay, and a criminal background check
University of South CarolinaBSN3.0AGACNP, PMHNP, FNP, healthcare leadership, nursing education, nursing informatics 2400 hours of nursing experience in the past 24 months, personal statement, current CV, and three letters of recommendation
Duke University School of NursingADN or ASN as well as a bachelor’s in any field or a BSN3.0AGACNP, AGPCNP, FNP, NNP, health informatics, healthcare leadership, education, PNP-AC, PNP-PC, PMHNP, WHNPPrerequisite coursework in statistics, three letters of recommendation, personal statement, and up to date CV
Ohio State UniversityBSN3.0 FNP, NNP, PMHNPCurrent resume, purpose and goals statement, recorded online interview, and three letters of recommendation
University of AlabamaBSN3.0Nurse administratorStatement of purpose, current resume, two references, and an interview
Saint Xavier UniversityBSN or MSN3.0Clinical nurse leadership, FNP, nurse educatorReside in Illinois, NW Indiana, or southern Wisconsin. Must submit a current resume, two letters of recommendation, and personal statement. One year of work as an RN is required. 
The Catholic University of America Conway School of NursingBSN3.0AGPCNP, FNP, PNP-PC, PNP-ACOne year of RN experience is required. Professional resume, one letter of recommendation, and a personal goal statement are recommended but not required
University of Pittsburgh School of NursingBSN3.0Clinical nurse leader, nursing informatics, school nursing 
GRE required if the GPA is below 3.5, prerequisite coursework in statistics, pre-admission interview, three letters of recommendation, and a 500-word essay on personal philosophy of nursing
George Washington University School of NursingBachelor’s degree in any field3.0 AGACNP, AGPCNP, FNP, leadership and management, CNM, PMHNP, Statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and a current resume. 
Stony Brook School of NursingBSN or supply a clinical practice portfolio to demonstrate baccalaureate level nursing competencies3.0AGACNP, AGPCNP, FNP, NNP, PNP-PC, PNP-AC, PMHNP, CNM, education, and leadership. Three letters of recommendation, current resume, and prerequisite coursework in health assessment and statistics 
Boise State UniversityBSN3.0AGACNP, AGPCNPApplicants to the acute care program are required to have one year of acute or ER work experience. Primary care applicants are recommended to have one year of direct patient experience. Other requirements include prerequisite coursework in statistics and research.
Indiana University School of NursingBSN3.0CNS in gerontology of pediatrics, nursing education, leadership in health systems, AGNP, FNP, PNP, PMHNPOne to two years of RN experience for CNS or NP tracks. All programs require prerequisite coursework in statistics. 
Rush University College of NursingBSN3.0Clinical nurse leader 
Answers to personal essay questions, three letters of recommendation, current resume, and personal interview
University of Central Florida College of NursingASN or ADN and a non-nursing bachelor’s or a BSNN/ANurse educator, leadership and managementPrerequisite coursework in statistics
University of Colorado  College of NursingBSN3.0AGACNP, AGPCNP, FNP, PNP-PC, PNP-AC, PMHNP, WHNP, CNM, health care informatics, nursing leadership and healthcare systems, veteran and Military healthcare.Prerequisite coursework in research and statistics, current resume, personal essay, and three letters of recommendation. 
University of Louisiana at LafayetteBSN2.75FNP, nurse education, PMHNPPrerequisite coursework in statistics and health assessment, evidence of immunization, GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation.
University of Nevada, Las VegasBSN3.0FNP, nurse education, PMHNPThree letters of recommendation, a current resume, and a personal statement. 
University of Texas Medical Branch School of NursingBSN3.0AGACNP, AGPCNP, FNP, NNP, education, leadershipA personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and one to two years of recent work experience as an RN depending on specialty
East Carolina University College of NursingBSN2.7CNS in gerontology of neonatal, NNP, CNM, education, health systems leadership, PMHNPA written statement about the applicant’s interest in graduate study, three professional recommendations, a personal interview, prerequisite coursework in statistics, and computer literacy. 
Thomas Jefferson UniversityBSN3.0AGACNP, AGPCNP, FNP, NNO, PNP-PC, PMHNP, WHNP, transformative system leadership, and academic nursingSome specialties require work experience. Other  requirements include a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a current resume. 
University of Connecticut School of NursingBSN3.0AGACNP, AGPCNP, FNP, nurse leader, nurse educator, NNPSome specializations may require up to 2 years of work experience. Other requirements include a written response to essay questions, three letters of recommendation, and a current resume. 
Hawai’i Pacific University BSN3.0AGPCNP, FNP, PMHNPTwo letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, current resume, two years of work experience in the past two years, and an undergraduate course in statistics. 
Virginia Commonwealth University School of NursingBSN3.0AGACNP, FNP, PMHNP, and leadership and organizational science, Prerequisite coursework in statistics
Ball State University School of NursingBSN3.0Nurse educator, nurse administrator, and FNPComplete supplemental applicant forms and provide three letters of recommendation
Georgia College & State University College of Health SciencesBSN2.75FNP, PMHNP, WHNP, nurse educator, CNMThree letters of recommendation, current resume, statement of professional goals, and a writing exercise to be completed at the time of an interview 
Oregon Health and Science UniversityBSN3.0Nursing EducationThree letters of recommendation, essay responses, and an undergraduate basic statistics course. 
The University of Texas at Tyler School of NursingBSN3.0Administration, education, PMHNP, and informatics, quality, and safetyAnswer essay and video prompts, current resume, an undergraduate statistics course, and three letters of recommendation. The PMHNP requires one year of work experience. 
University of Colorado Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health SciencesBSN3.0AGPCNP, FNP, PMHNPA current resume and three letters of recommendation 
University of North Carolina School of NursingBSN3.2Leadership and managementIf applicants have a GPA below 3.2 they can apply with a GRE score. Other requirements include a criminal background check, evidence of immunization, health insurance, a personal statement, and three letters of recommendation. One year of full-time work experience as a registered nurse is recommended
University of Utah College of NursingBSN3.0 Nursing education, nursing informatics, AGNPA current resume, three references, and a professional goal statement 
Kimmy Gustafson

Kimmy Gustafson


Thanks to her experience writing in healthcare, Kimmy Gustafson has delivered in-depth articles on timely topics for since 2022. Her aim is to assist both students and professionals in navigating the intricate process of selecting a nursing program and understanding the ever-evolving realm of nursing education.

Kimmy has been a freelance writer for more than a decade, writing hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics such as startups, nonprofits, healthcare, kiteboarding, the outdoors, and higher education. She is passionate about seeing the world and has traveled to over 27 countries. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. When not working, she can be found outdoors, parenting, kiteboarding, or cooking.