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MSN Nurse Practitioner Programs

Apply Now | MSN Nurse Practitioner Options

Applications for 2025 will open in August, please check back later for more information.

The steps below will walk you through our application process for entry into the BSN–MSN Nurse Practitioner programs. If you have questions after reviewing the instructions, please contact us at

Please read and follow the instructions carefully to ensure the success of your application!

Basis for Decisions +

Admission to the MSN program is necessarily a selective process. Meeting the posted criteria does not ensure admission. The Admissions Committee considers a myriad of factors including the quality of performance in previous undergraduate and graduate study (as applicable), success in previous employment and related experiences, and personal qualifications including suitability for advanced study. The Committee weighs each applicant’s accomplishments and potential for success in the program. Diversity in scholarly interests is desired. Using an objective review procedure, the Admissions Committee recommends selected candidates to the Dean of The Graduate School.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing is committed to equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, national origin, age, religion, sexual preference, or handicap.

Starting Your Application +

After establishing your NursingCAS account, please be sure to select the correct application for your program of interest. Students may apply to only one program and one specialty per application cycle at UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing. We’ve outlined below which application you should select in NursingCAS based on your program of interest.

  • 2023 Fall BSN-MSN Nurse Practitioner Options
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP
    • Family NP
    • Pediatric NP-Primary Care
    • Psychiatric Mental Health NP

Transcripts +

Official transcripts are required for the NursingCAS application. It can take several weeks for transcripts to be received, posted and verified by NursingCAS, so we recommend you request your undergraduate and graduate transcripts as soon as you begin the application process. Contact NursingCAS at 617.612.2880 if you have questions about the status of your transcripts.

NOTE: If you will be completing a course or a degree after you apply, please upload the final transcript for the course or degree into the UNC supplemental application portal. A link to the portal will be sent to you by email once your NursingCAS application is submitted.

Readmissability +

  • All applicants must be admissible to all previously attended colleges/universities.
  • If you have been declared academically ineligible and as such are unable to return to any previous institutions, you must contact that institution and seek documentation that reinstates your eligibility or your application cannot undergo review. Copies of all correspondence regarding your reinstatement request must be submitted in the application.
  • If your final institutional cumulative GPA is below 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale), please upload documentation of your eligibility to return to that institution to NursingCAS under Program Documents as “Other.”

Letters of Recommendation +

Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required. After providing information for your recommender, they will receive an email request for recommendation and must upload the letter into the application by the application deadline. If they have difficulty uploading the letter, recommenders may email their letter to

Three current letters of recommendation from persons qualified to evaluate your academic and professional qualifications are required.

• One letter must be from your current immediate supervisor in a healthcare setting who can speak to your professional, academic and leadership qualifications.
• Two additional recommendations are required from individuals who are familiar with your academic achievement and who can address your potential for success in this particular academic setting. If you attended a nursing program in the past five years, one letter from a faculty member with an earned graduate degree (master’s or doctorate) whose class you have taken and who can speak to your professional, academic and leadership qualifications and strengths is preferred. If you have been out of school for more than 5 years, letters from other individuals who can address your achievement and potential are required. Letters from relatives, family friends, clients/patients, or religious/spiritual leaders will not be accepted.

International Applicants: In addition to the three current letters of recommendation meeting the specifications outlined above, applicants for whom English is a second language (non-native language), must submit at least one additional letter of reference that addresses your ability to communicate fluently in the English language.

Professional Statement +

The Professional Statement offers the Admission Committee insight into your professional goals and graduate school expectations and helps us get to know you. We also consider your writing skills and ability to clearly express ideas. Your statement should be 3-5 pages, double-spaced and uploaded as a single document. Discuss prompt below, creating a topic-specific heading for each. Note: Please respond to ALL 8 numbered prompts. 

1a. Explain why you have chosen the specific advanced practice area in the MSN program.

1b. Discuss how your work experience (both paid and voluntary) aligns with the advanced practice area you are pursuing and your readiness for the advanced practice role.

  • Refer to the specific APA in which you are applying.

    AGPCNP: The population in adult primary care practice includes adolescents and young, middle, and older adults. Describe how an AGPCNP impacts care in this population that focuses on wellness, preventative care, or chronic disease management.

    FNP: The population in primary care family practice includes newborns, infants, children, adolescents, adults, pregnant and postpartum women, and older adults. Describe how an FNP impacts care in this population that focuses on wellness, preventative care, or chronic disease management. If you are lacking nursing experience in lifespan (for instance, if you do not have pediatric nursing experience), please address how you plan to gain experience in preparation for the FNP program, or how your life/work/volunteer experience has provided you with proficiency in these areas.

    PMHNP: The PMHNP focuses on individuals (infancy through old age), families, and populations across the lifespan at risk for developing and/or having a diagnosis of psychiatric disorders or mental health problems. The PMHNP provides primary mental health care to patients seeking mental health services in a wide range of settings. Please discuss how your psychiatric mental health experience, if not in a traditional setting, relates to your career goals. If you do not have nursing experience in a psych-mental health setting, please address how you plan to gain experience in preparation for the PMHNP program, or how your life/work/volunteer experience has provided you with proficiency in these areas.

    PNP-PC: The population in pediatric primary care practice includes newborns, infants, children, adolescents, and their families. Describe how a PNP impacts care in this population including screening, wellness care, preventative care, specialty care, or chronic disease management.

2. List and describe your professional goals and how this graduate nursing program will contribute to you achieving them.

3. Describe your academic performance in detail, including your academic strengths and areas in need of improvement.

  • Only if applicable, identify any aspect of the UNC-CH graduate nursing program’s admission criteria for which you do not meet minimum requirements. Provide an explanation for your situation. (For example, an explanation is required if your BSN Nursing GPA falls between 2.75 and 3.0).

4. Describe your clinical performance in detail, including your clinical strengths and areas in need of improvement.

5. Describe any volunteer service you have provided in the past 5 years that was not connected to an academic course. Include the number of hours you contributed as a volunteer.

6. Describe your leadership capabilities and provide examples of your service as a leader. This can be a formal leadership position or informal leadership opportunity (e.g., charge nurse, preceptor, committee chair, leading strategic initiative, etc.).

7. Provide a description of your involvement in research or evidence-based projects, including work towards a doctoral degree (e.g.,DNP, PhD), if applicable. Activities might include, but are not limited to, managing, or implementing quality improvement projects or original research and/or disseminating findings through publication in professional journals, podium or panel presentations, and poster presentations.

8. Please share any other information you feel is unique to your life experience that you wish the admissions committee to know (e.g., overcoming personal and/or professional adversity, fluency in multiple languages, etc.).

Curriculum Vitae or Resume +

Upload a copy of your current Curriculum Vitae or Resume. This document should detail your career path, explaining any gap in employment greater than one year. Full disclosure of your complete education background including a list of all colleges and universities you’ve attended is required. See resume guidelines for more information.

Professional Nursing Licensure +

Documentation substantiating you hold a current unrestricted/unencumbered license as a registered nurse must be uploaded into the application. An “unencumbered license” means neither the license, the licensee’s practice, nor the licensee is associated with any type of restriction, encumbrance, or probationary limitations imposed by the applicable Board of Nursing or any judicial entity. NC License or compact state equivalent is needed by matriculation. The Information provided by the Board of Nursing website of your state is sufficient. Print and scan or save a screenshot to upload into the application.

Interview +

  • We don’t interview every applicant, but if we seek clarification on any part of your application, we may contact you for an interview.
  • If you’re an international applicant and English is your second language, you will be interviewed.

International Applicants +

We welcome international applicants to our MSN program. We strongly recommend that international applicants have clinical experience in the United States and have a thorough understanding of the APRN role in the United States. It is essential that you be fluent in English. Presently, the University (including the School of Nursing) does not offer English as a Second Language programs or an English language institute.

For this reason, candidates interested in attending the School of Nursing must be able to understand rapid, idiomatic English as spoken in lectures, group discussions, and clinical settings by individuals of widely varying accents. Students from non-English-speaking countries must be able to communicate quickly and clearly in spoken and written English.


  • International students must provide a full credit evaluation of all courses completed at a foreign institution through World Education Services, Inc. (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
    • NOTE: As part of the transcript submission, degree credentials are also reviewed by the Graduate School. Assessment of a foreign degree, including those conferred from institutions participating in the Bologna Accord, is based upon the characteristics of a national system of education, the type of institution attended, its accreditation and the level of studies completed. The following guidelines indicate the level of study expected of international applicants prior to graduate enrollment:
      • British patterned education bachelor’s degree with honours
      • French patterned education degree of diplme requiring four years of post baccalauréat study
      • Germany university Diplom Applicants with very strong academic records may be considered if they have completed the Staatsexamen, a bachelor’s degree after a 13-year Abitur, or at least one year of full-time study beyond VorprfungZwichenprfungVordiplom, or any other bachelor’s degree
      • Other European countries: university degree requiring a minimum of four years of study
      • Canada university degree requiring a minimum of four years of study
      • Latin America university degree requiring a minimum of four years of study
      • India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal bachelor’s degree in engineering or medicine; master’s degree in all other fields
      • Philippines five-year bachelor’s degree or four-year bachelor’s degree plus one year of graduate course work
      • Other Asian countries: university degree requiring a minimum of four years of study


The School of Nursing MSN program requires a higher level of English proficiency than The Graduate School due to the clinical requirements. Applicants are required to enter their TOEFL/IELTS test information including the date the test was taken and scores under the “Academic History” section within the NursingCAS application. The UNC supplemental application requires official scores reported directly from ETS and/or IELTS. Standardized test scores must be official and are reportable for a period of two years from the date of the exam. Exam results more than two years old cannot be considered. The UNC Graduate School Institution Code is 5816 (no department code). International applicants must achieve a minimum total score of 575 (with a minimum of 50 in each section) on the written version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or minimum of 90 on the internet-based test with the following minimum section requirements: Reading, 21; Listening, 22; Speaking, 25; Writing, 22. Standardized test scores that are submitted to this institution are kept on file for only one year. Refer to The Graduate School for more information.

This is not a requirement of applicants who are residents of a country where English is the sole official language of instruction or if applicants hold a degree from an accredited United States institution of higher education.

Meeting the minimum total score on TOEFL does not guarantee admission to the School of Nursing. Admission decisions are made on the basis of multiple factors including: scholastic performance; English proficiency; essays; letters of recommendation; the appropriateness of the requested advanced practice area to the applicant’s goals and clinical experiences; and verification of financial support to ensure proper visa status. A score of 8 is required on IELTS which is higher than The Graduate School requirement.

Letters of Recommendation: You must submit 3 letters of recommendation with the same requirements as those referenced in the above. If English is your second language, you must also submit an additional letter that addresses your ability to speak English fluently.

Interview: An interview is required of all international applicants who are non-native English speakers. The interview (personal, telephone, Skype) will be conducted by faculty who teach in the candidate’s clinical area of interest. The interview has two distinct foci: part one will focus on information provided in the application materials (for example, essay and future goals); the second part will evaluate the interviewee’s English proficiency.

Additional resources for international applicants:

UNC Global International Student and Scholar Services
North Carolina Board of Nursing

Application Fee +

Two application fees are required. Please carefully read the instructions below for submitting both fees.

  1. $80 to NursingCAS. Follow the instructions in the application to submit your $75 application fee to NursingCAS. Should you wish to request a fee waiver, contact NursingCAS after reading the instructions here.
  2. $95 to UNC Graduate School. A $95 application fee is also required for the UNC supplemental application. Please remit payment via the supplemental application.

Apply Now +

Apply now at NursingCAS

  • A link to your UNC Supplemental Application will be sent to you upon submission of your completed NursingCAS application.
  • You may check the status of your application by logging on to NursingCAS or to your supplemental application to see if any required items are missing. Check carefully, as the Admissions Committee will only review completed applications.
  • If information outside of the application documentation is required, the School will contact you directly.
  • Notification of Decision: The School of Nursing and the Dean of the Graduate school will notify you with a decision as soon as decisions are made. If your address changes during this time, please update it in the “Update Profile” section of the application.
  • After acceptance: If accepted, you’ll be asked to pay a $250 deposit and submit official transcripts to the UNC Graduate School. Instructions on how to do so will be included in your acceptance letter. If you’re seeking residency for tuition purposes, apply at this site.

Questions about the application?

Contact us at

Institutional and Professional Licensure Disclosures for Enrolled and Prospective Students

Institutional and Professional Licensure Disclosures for Enrolled and Prospective Students in one of UNC Chapel Hill’s nursing programs satisfy the professional and/or certification requirements in North Carolina and prepare students to sit for these exams. However, requirements in other states may be different. If you are considering a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program that may, would, or could potentially lead to a MSN professional license and/or certification, please note that at this time UNC may or may not be able to advise whether a program meets requirements outside of North Carolina.

This Disclosure is strictly limited to the University’s determination of whether its educational programs, if successfully completed, would be sufficient to meet the educational licensure or certification requirements. The University cannot provide verification of any individual’s ability to meet licensure or certification requirements unrelated to its educational programming, as individual states may change their requirements for licensure and certification.

Prior to enrolling in an MSN program, please discuss this important topic with your program of interest.