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MUSC Bulletin | College of Nursing

Graduate Nursing Programs | Graduate Admission Requirements

The admission to the graduate program is a two-step process.

  1. Initially, the Graduate Program Committee (GPC) Admission, Progression, and Graduation (APG) Committee determines which applicants meet all admission requirements and are eligible for admission.
  2. Final admission decisions are completed based upon availability of faculty and College resources in relationship to the applicants’ desired area of specialization and/or focus of DNP practice inquiry project.
  3. The Admission, Progression and Graduate (APG) committee has final review and approval of admissions.

Application Time Frames
All students seeking admission must complete an application for admission and pay a nonrefundable application processing fee to the Office of Enrollment Management and adhere to the established deadlines. Applications received after published deadlines are subject to review only on a space available basis.

Entrance Requirements and Application Process for MSN and DNP Programs
Post-Baccalaureate Entry to the Master’s of Science Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

  1. Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from a nationally accredited program
  2. Nursing grade point average (NSG-GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  3. Cumulative grade point average (CUM-GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework (official transcripts for all post-secondary school coursework are required)
  4. Undergraduate level statistics course
  5. Unencumbered, active registered nurse (RN) license in state where practicums will be conducted
  6. Three references from professionals knowledgeable about the applicant’s academic and nursing leadership potential (Must use university forms)
  7. Current CV or resume
  8. Personal essay
  9. GRE scores are not required

D.N.P. Post-Master’s Option for Advanced Practice Nurses

  1. Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from an accredited program and evidence of credentialing within the applicant’s specialty.
    1. Post-MSN Nurse Educators are not eligible to apply for Post-MSN entry, but can apply for Post-BSN entry.
    2. Post-MSN Nurse Administrators can apply for Post-MSN entry with submission of a professional portfolio documenting evidence of applicant's area of expertise and 500 supervised clinical administrative hours.
    3. Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) can apply for Post-MSN entry if seeking a doctorate degree in their CNS specialty.  A CNS who is interested in becoming a Nurse Practitioner must apply for Post-BSN entry in one of the three focus areas: Adult-Gerontology, Pediatric, or Family.
    4. Post-MSN Nurse Practitioners (NP) can apply for Post-MSN entry if seeking a doctorate degree in their NP specialty.
    5. CRNAs cannot apply for the Post-MSN DNP program.
  2. Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate and graduate coursework (official transcripts for all post-secondary school coursework are required)
  3. Graduates of Nurse Practitioner programs other than MUSC must submit verification of the amount of supervised clinical hours from the applicant's graduate program. Applicants should submit the verification of clinical hours form included in the application materials.
  4. Unencumbered, active advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license in the state where practicums will be conducted.
  5. A copy of current APRN specialty certification must be submitted (Does not apply to Nurse Administrators).  If you are not certified, you are required to provide evidence of completion of graduate level courses in Health/Physical Assessment, Physiology/Pathophysiology (across the lifespan) and Pharmacology (broad categories of drugs) within the past 5 years. These must be 3 separate courses that meet current criteria for content based on the Consensus Model for APRN regulation (AACN, 2008).
  6. Three references from professionals knowledgeable about the applicant's academic and nursing leadership potential. (Must use University forms.)
  7. In 500 words or less, state 2-5 professional goals (in bullet-point format) and provide a description of a process improvement project that you plan to complete in the DNP program.  Clearly identify the current state of the problem in your site with data (patient or system issues and how you know it is a problem), what change you will implement, and how you will measure a change in patient outcomes or the system outcome that you are improving.  If you plan to impact policy, please outline the group you will work with, what the policy issues are, and what the product will be at the end of the program.
  8. Current CV or resume.
  9. GRE Scores are not required.

Additional requirements include:

  1. Submit an official application for admission
  2. Submit a photocopy of current licensure to practice as a registered nurse (RN) in one of the 50 states or U.S. territories and be eligible for licensure in South Carolina. If clinicals are being completed in South Carolina, a SC RN license is required.
  3. Prerequisite coursework must be completed prior to matriculation into the College of Nursing. There is no time limit on previously completed course work.

Admission Classifications
The Student Admission, Progression, and Graduation Committee acts on applications in accordance with the criteria and policies as stated and admits students only as full status. There is no provisional status admission to the Graduate Programs.

Transfer Credit
Selected graduate credits taken at other universities or colleges will be considered for acceptance toward partial fulfillment of the requirements for the MSN or DNP degree. After acceptance to the College of Nursing and no later than the first semester of matriculation, the student must file a written petition to request transfer, including a copy of the syllabus, with the Admission, Progression and Graduation Committee through the Graduate Program Coordinator. The petitions should specify the course number, course title, number of credits, the name of the university/college where the course was taken, the semester and the year, and grade received upon completion. In addition, the petition should specify which degree requirements transfer credits are intended to satisfy. Finally, if the transfer course is intended to replace a MUSC core or cognate course, the petition must provide evidence that the course requested for transfer is equivalent to the College of Nursing required course by a copy of the syllabus.

A maximum of 33% of the MSN or DNP curriculum may be accepted toward the degree. Only courses in which a grade of “B” (3.0) or better has been earned will be accepted for transfer. The courses must have been taken within 5 years of the date of matriculation.

Students must also file a written petition, for any course taken outside the College of Nursing, including the other five colleges that comprise MUSC.

Last Published with Edits:June 3, 2015 11:11 AM
Last Comprehensive Review: June 2015

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