MSN Admission Requirements

Ways to Study

  • Hybrid
  •  | Online

Successful applicants to the MSN program at Carolina will meet the following:

Academic Criteria

for the BSN to MSN +

  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a AECN or CCNE accredited program by matriculation.
  • An active unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in North Carolina or compact state prior to entering the program.
  • A BSN GPA of at least 2.75. Priority is given to those with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. If your GPA falls between 2.75 and 3.0, please address this in your Professional Statement.
  • Eligible to return to any institutions of higher learning previously attended.
  • Have completed an introductory-level statistics course with an earned grade of C or better within ten years of applying and prior to matriculation.
  • Within three years of applying and prior to matriculation, at least one year of paid clinical work experience as a Registered Nurse.
    • Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: You must have direct care experience in community, hospital or ambulatory settings that serve adult or geriatric patients. Experience limited to the intra-operative setting is insufficient.
    • Family Nurse Practitioner: You should have experience as an RN in a public health/community, hospital, or ambulatory setting that provides care for patients of all ages.
    • Health Care Leadership and Administration (HCLA): You should have leadership experience within a health care setting, such as serving as a committee member or leading a service project.
    • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care: Within three years of applying and prior to matriculation, you must have the equivalent of 6 months of full-time clinical work experience as an RN in a neonatal or pediatric setting, or community setting dealing with children and families.
    • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: Within three years of applying and prior to matriculation, you must have the equivalent of 6 months of full-time clinical work experience as an RN in an acute or community setting dealing with psychiatric illness/substance abuse. Preference is given to applicants with work experience in a clinical psychiatric setting.

PLEASE NOTE: Effective fall 2020, BSN to MSN NP students at Carolina are required to enroll full-time (at least nine credit hours per semester). BSN to MSN HCLA students may enroll full-time or part-time.

for the RN to MSN +

PLEASE NOTE: Applications to the RN–MSN program have been suspended, effective April 1, 2021. Learn more about other online program options here.

Non-Academic Criteria

Obtaining a degree from Carolina Nursing requires students to engage in diverse and complex experiences directed at acquiring and practicing skills and functions essential to the profession of nursing. Candidates for Carolina Nursing degrees must be able to meet the following minimum standards:

Professional Risk +

The practice of nursing involves the care of individuals who are ill or injured. Communicable diseases are common in health care delivery settings and may be a threat to nursing students. During the performance of clinical practice/research activities, a student may have contact with patients/subjects with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and other infections. Such contact, although rare when proper preventive measures are used, may result in a student’s being exposed to infectious agents and/or transmitting an infectious disease to other students, faculty, patients, family members, and subjects. During pregnancy, the fetus may be at risk. As a student enrolled in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, students are expected to provide care to patients who may have known or unknown communicable diseases. Application to and acceptance of an offer from the School of Nursing indicates a student’s understanding of related professional risks.

Fitness for Practice +

All students admitted to the School of Nursing are required by the North Carolina Board of Nursing to provide documentation of their fitness to provide safe nursing care to the public. Failure to provide requisite documentation will result in the withdrawal of the admission offer. Additionally, North Carolina law requires incoming students to present to the University, before the first day of enrollment, evidence verifying that the student has received all required immunizations.

Further, federal and state statutory regulations and clinical affiliate contractual mandates require that nursing students demonstrate particular cognitive and clinical competencies consistent with their minimum professional practice standards. As such, students must attain and maintain full compliance with all requirements. The school also requires students to undergo a criminal history database check following admission acceptance at the student’s expense. The check covers all addresses in which the student has lived, worked or attended an educational institution in the past seven years or since the 16th birthday, whichever is less. Database checks will address all criminal charges, felony and misdemeanor level convictions (except minor traffic related violations), and the Sexual Offender/Predator Registry for all states in which the student has lived. Reports are shared with clinical agencies who require all charges be resolved prior to the start of clinical practice. Questions about these requirements may be directed to the Office of Student Affairs at 919-966-4260.

Multiple clinical agencies now require students undergo drug testing prior to the start of clinical practice at their sites. A 12-panel urine screen to test for drugs is required per contract specifications and conducted at student’s expense.

Disability Statement +

Students who seek reasonable accommodations for disabilities must contact the Office of Accessibility Resources & Service (919-962-8300). Staff in this office will determine a student’s eligibility for, and recommend, appropriate accommodations and services. Also see the School of Nursing’s policy.

Consistent with its mission and philosophy, the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to providing educational opportunities to students with disabilities. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the school provides reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified students with disabilities. The decision regarding appropriate accommodations will be based on the specifics of each case.

Computer Requirements +

All School of Nursing students are required to use e-mail for conveying course/clinical/research/other School related business. All e-mail communication regarding School of Nursing matters must utilize the student’s University MS-Exchange e-mail address only. The use of external email services is not permitted. Most School of Nursing courses use the Canvas Learning Management Systems which requires frequent reliable access to Internet resources. For both these reasons easy access to personal computers and the Web are imperative.

Vehicular Requirements +

Because of the broad scope of clinical facilities and locations, graduate nursing students must have access to a car. For information about the North Carolina requirements for automobile liability insurance, vehicle registration, and operator’s license, write to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Raleigh, NC 27602. Students and/or parents are responsible for maintaining appropriate insurance coverage. Some insurance companies may consider such travel as “business driving.” Expenses for travel are the responsibility of the student.

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