College of Nursing

Graduate Program FAQs


No, you could be offered a conditional admission without an RN license, contingent upon obtaining your RN license for the MS and BS-DNP programs. The terms of the conditional admission will vary depending on when you earned your prior nursing degree. A Florida RN license is required prior to the start of any clinical course for all programs.

If you have already graduated with your BS in nursing, or will graduate at least 2 terms before matriculation (e.g., a student who will graduate in Spring 2016 and enter the DNP program in Fall 2016), then you will be required to obtain your Florida RN license prior to matriculation. If you will graduate the term prior to matriculation (e.g., graduate in Summer 2016 and matriculate in Fall 2016), then you will need to wait for the following admission cycle as the CRNA, MS and DNP programs require a current license as a registered nurse.

You could submit an additional recommendation from one of the other populations (clinical supervisor or other appropriate nursing professional; if possible, that professional should have attained a level of education equal to if not greater than the level to which you aspire). It is to your benefit if you are able to submit recommendations from all 3 populations, so the faculty will be able to consider your application based on your academic and professional abilities.

You could enter the MS program without a Bachelor of Science in nursing and complete 15-18 credit hours of "bridge" prerequisite coursework. A Bachelor of Science is not awarded, and the 15-18 credit hours serve as a prerequisite requirement. The CRNA, PhD and DNP programs, however, all require students to have earned a BS in nursing prior to matriculation.

Applications are eligible for review when they are complete and in verified status in the NursingCAS application system by the priority deadline. Graduate programs do not have rolling admission, but applications can be reviewed and interviews can be conducted prior to the priority deadline. Decisions may be issued as early as the priority deadline. All communication will be sent to the applicant’s email address provided with the NursingCAS application.

You may apply to only one concentration/specialty for a given term.

It is highly recommended to apply to only one degree program (e.g., MS or DNP) for a given term.

Applicants should fully understand the scope of practice for the degree level and concentration to which they apply. Applying to multiple degree programs is often an indicator that an applicant does not fully understand the scope of practice, academic objectives or professional goals. Take time to review employment information, labor market research, and geographic work preferences, including AACN resources. Also, speak with nurse practitioners, nurse educators or our concentration directors to help guide you through your career options and reach a decision that is right for you.

  • GRE is not required for the Master’s or DNP programs.

  • GRE is required for the PhD and DNP in Nurse Anesthesia programs.

Competitive scores would be a total of 297 or better (combination of Verbal and Quantitative sections), and a 3.5 or better for the Analytical Writing. These are limited-access programs, so meeting the minimum standards does not in any way guarantee admission. For the DNP program, the GRE is recommended, but not required. If you're applying for the DNP program, and have already taken the GRE, we encourage you to submit your scores. If you have not taken the GRE, you may choose to do so depending on the time remaining before the priority deadline has passed.

  • BS to MS and BS to DNP: Although some of the core classes in the first 2-3 semesters may be potentially completed online, students are required to come to campus for all didactics, labs, clinicals, etc. Our programs are not distance-learning programs, but they are designed for working professionals with flexible schedules. Most students come to campus about 1-2 times per week when enrolled in a live or blended course.

  • MS to DNP: Most of the six didactic courses may be completed online, but your physical presence may be required for the practicum and the project. This is not an online-only or distance-learning program.

  • Seats in a particular type of delivery method are not guaranteed, but students who adhere to their program plan will be guaranteed a seat in the courses they need for completion.

MS programs do not require a personal statement. 

DNP, CRNA, and PhD programs require a personal statement. When you reach this area of the NursingCAS application, you will download a document which provides specific questions to answer in your personal statement. Any formatting or word count instructions will be explained on the document, if applicable. Generally, your personal statement is your opportunity to tell the faculty how you plan to use the graduate degree in your career. Before writing your statement, you should become familiar with the USF College of Nursing and your concentration/specialty of interest, so that you clearly indicate how you are well-suited for the program.

The transfer credit policy is listed on the Graduate School website. Credits from other institutions are considered and evaluated after admission. We do not provide any pre-admission transfer credit evaluation.

Students sit for different exams, see your program/concentration of interest for details.