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Accelerated Second Degree


Designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree, USF’s Accelerated Second Degree pathway offers a nursing degree through a four-semester/16-month program. For those who have the right balance of intellectual ability, time management skills and emotional fortitude, the Accelerated Second Degree can be the ideal entry into practice.  

About This Degree

Like all our pre-licensure pathways, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing through the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway provides graduates with the career opportunities of a registered nurse. The degree enables graduates to take the NCLEX-RN nurse licensure examination, and graduates of our program consistently exceed state and national averages in first-attempt pass rates. Our graduates are making an impact in hospitals in the Tampa Bay region, throughout the state of Florida, and beyond. 

In addition to the hospital setting, career opportunities also exist in research, education, community and public health, government service, international health, and more. The degree also opens doors for the pursuit of graduate studies in nursing – MSN, DNP and PhD.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2013), “graduates of accelerated programs are prized by nurse employers who value the many layers of skill and education these graduates bring to the workplace. Employers report that these graduates are more mature, possess strong clinical skills, and are quick studies on the job.”

Due to federal reporting regulations, international students on an I-20/F-1 visa are not eligible for the Accelerated Second Degree program at St. Petersburg or Sarasota-Manatee. Learn more about the nursing program at St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee.

Accreditations - Visit our Accreditation page to learn more.


  • Admission Requirements

    Prerequisites and More


    The Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway is designed for students who have a baccalaureate degree in another field and wish to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This is a full-time, limited-access nursing pathway and is structured sequentially. Admission is competitive. Admissions are determined on the basis of the availability of sufficient qualified faculty, laboratory and classroom facilities, and clinical teaching resources. To view our competitive undergraduate nursing pathway statistics, please click here.  

    Criteria for Admission

    • Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. 
      • The bachelor’s degree must be earned and conferred before the nursing application deadline. 
    • Admission to the University of South Florida. 
      • Apply directly to the semester you plan to begin classes at the university. Students who do not enroll in classes during the term they were admitted will have their admission to USF canceled for non-enrollment by the Office of Admissions.  
      • Choose Nursing as your major and select Tampa as your campus, regardless of whether your program will be hosted on the St. Petersburg or Sarasota-Manatee campus, as a degree-seeking student if you are applying directly to the semester when the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway begins on your desired campus.  
      • Students preparing to graduate from USF are still required to submit a new USF application as a second baccalaureate, degree-seeking student directly to the semester the nursing program will begin on your desired campus.  
    • “Verified” NursingCAS application. 
      • Please use this guide to understand each status in NursingCAS and how to become verified. 
    • 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA. 
    • Completion of the 8 state-mandated nursing prerequisites with a C grade or better before the nursing application deadline.  
      • Students may have their one, final nursing prerequisite in progress during the semester they apply for the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway, however, they will be offered conditional admission, if selected. These applicants will be required to submit proof of a B grade or better earned in the final prerequisite course at the end of the semester. Students who earn a B- or below in the final prerequisite will not meet the conditions of their admission and have their admission rescinded. 
      • Students that take the nursing prerequisites outside of Florida may be required to provide a course syllabus from the original institution where the course was completed to be reviewed by faculty. The syllabus for each course must be from the correct catalog year when the course was originally taken.  
    • Completion of the Civics Literacy exam before the intended term of entry. 
    • Complete the Bull Nurse Virtual Interview Assessment. 
      • Once a student reaches the “verified” status in NursingCAS, the College of Nursing admissions team will evaluate the application for eligibility.  
      • Students that meet all minimum admission requirements will be given access to the Bull Nurse Virtual Interview Assessment via Canvas. 
      • All eligible applicants will be required to video record themselves answering 5 randomized questions presented by the College of Nursing faculty.  
      • Students must submit the video assessment in Canvas by the deadline listed for each campus. 
      • Detailed instructions and interview resources will be sent to students once they reach the “verified” application status in NursingCAS and have been evaluated for eligibility by the College of Nursing. 
      • Students who do not reach the “verified” status in NursingCAS by the deadline will not have the opportunity to submit a Bull Nurse Virtual Interview Assessment and will not be considered eligible for the current cycle.  

    Each campus has different admission deadlines and important dates to remember. Students can only apply for one campus at a time. Students that are not selected for admission are permitted to apply again for a future cycle. Denied students interested in a future cycle are required to update their term of entry with USF Admissions within one calendar year of the original application and submit a new NursingCAS application when it becomes available. Students cannot switch campuses once admitted to the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway.  

    Visit the online Undergraduate Catalog, select the appropriate catalog year, choose the College of Nursing, and select Admissions Requirements for more information. 

    Important Notifications 

    All admitted nursing students are required to complete a background check, immunization verification, drug screening, and more. Additionally, students will be required to provide proof of current health insurance. Admitted students will be provided with the steps to complete this process. It is important to note that most states require a social security number to take the NCLEX and/or to be issued a registered nurse license. 

    The Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway is only available to students pursuing their second bachelor’s degree. Please consider the Upper Division nursing pathway if you do not currently hold a bachelor’s degree.  

    Applicants who have attended, but not completed, another registered nursing program must provide a letter of good standing from the Dean of Nursing, or their appointed designee, that addresses the potential for success in a BSN program, safety in providing nursing care, interpersonal communication skills, and other information the campus director deems important. This letter should be uploaded to the NursingCAS application before submitting. Prior enrollment in another nursing program and/or nursing course failures may impact your admission decision. 

    Do you still have questions? Please attend an information session to learn more about the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway or sign up for a nursing admission advising session with one of our nursing admissions advisors!  

  • Curriculum

    The Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway is 4 consecutive semesters and admits every semester:

    • Spring – Sarasota-Manatee
    • Summer – Tampa
    • Fall – St. Petersburg

    For information about curriculum, please consult the Undergraduate Catalog.  

    Please review the College of Nursing Student Handbook for details on progression, policies, and standards for admitted nursing students.  

  • Apply

    Application Process

    Please follow these steps to be considered for the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway. Applicants that do not meet all admission requirements and deadlines will not be considered.   

    University Application:  

    • Submit a transfer undergraduate application to USF through the Office of Admissions.
      • Select “Bachelor’s Degree”.
      • Select Nursing as your major.
      • Select the Tampa campus and apply now.
      • Apply directly to the term you plan to start classes at USF.
      • Apply as a second degree-seeking student. 
    • Submit all official transcripts to USF Admissions.
      • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. 
      • Submit official AP, IB, CLEP, etc. test scores from CollegeBoard. 
      • Some applicants may be required to submit additional documents as needed by the USF Office of Admission. 
      • High school transcripts are not required.  

    Nursing Application:  

    • Submit a NursingCAS Application.
      • Students must have their USF ID number (Example: U12345678) before starting the NursingCAS application.
      • Select your intended term of entry. 
      • Create a NursingCAS account and submit the application with fee. 
      • Submit all official transcripts to NursingCAS. 
        • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. 
        • High school transcripts are not required. 
    • For technical questions regarding your NursingCAS account, please contact NursingCAS at 617-612-2880 or nursingcasinfo@nursingcas.org. Please refer to the Application Deadlines tab for reference if you do not see your desired term of entry in NursingCAS. 

    Military Commissioning Program Applicants: 

    • Air Force Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program (NECP) 
      • Accelerated Second Degree is currently eligible under the NECP guidelines.  
      • NECP applicants interested in the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway should apply during the spring or summer cycles. Students that are selected for admission will be granted a deferred admission status for the Fall cycle, hosted on the St. Petersburg campus, only to align with NECP requirements.  
      • Students will receive an official letter of admission after a formal decision has been made by the College of Nursing. A signed program plan, tuition and fees statement, and signed Form 48 will be created for applicants once they have been admitted to USF through the Office of Admissions and reach the verified status in NursingCAS. 
    • Navy Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program (MECP) 
      • Accelerated Second Degree is currently eligible under MECP guidelines.  
      • Students interested in submitting a packet to MECP should apply for the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway a year in advance. Students who go through the formal admission process and are selected will receive a deferred admission decision for the following fall or spring semester. This will allow applicants to receive all required documentation necessary to complete the MECP packet before the military deadlines.  
    • Army Medical Department Enlisted Commissioning Program (AECP) 
      • The USF College of Nursing does not currently meet the online course requirements for this commissioning program. Accelerated Second Degree has 3 courses coded as online in the curriculum. Please connect with your AECP representative to inquire about the possibility of a waiver for this requirement. Students must apply for the pathway a year in advance if a waiver is awarded by AECP.  

    Note: The Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway is a limited-access program and requires both admission to the university and an application to the College of Nursing through NursingCAS. Admission to the university is not a guaranteed admission to the College of Nursing. Applicants must meet all minimum admission criteria, be officially admitted to USF for the correct term of entry and have a “verified” NursingCAS application by the nursing application deadline to be considered for admission to the desired nursing pathway. Any deviation from the posted criteria will cause the applicant to be ineligible for admission.  

    The College of Nursing will evaluate prerequisite coursework after the USF Office of Admissions has determined course transferability to the university and posted the official results in DegreeWorks, which requires all official transcripts to be processed by the USF Office of Admissions. For questions regarding the status of your university application and transcript processing please call (813) 974-3350 or email at admissions@usf.edu.  

    DegreeWorks can be found by logging into your OASIS account and clicking the link under the “Student” tab. Access DegreeWorks using your activated USF NetID. If you do not have a NetID, you will first need to activate it. Please view the Online Tutorial for Activating Your USF Net ID.  

    Do you still have questions? Please attend an information session to learn more about the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway or sign up for a nursing admissions advising session with one of our nursing admissions advisors!   

  • Application Deadlines

    Deadlines & Orientation Dates

    Application Deadlines

    Admission Deadlines 

    *Transcripts submitted to USF Admissions after this date are not guaranteed to be processed before the nursing application deadline passes. This may cause ineligibility.  

    **Students must be fully admitted to USF as a degree-seeking, second baccalaureate students for the correct term of entry by the deadline to be considered eligible. Conferred bachelor’s degrees must be received and processed by the Office of Admissions by this deadline as well.   

    Nursing orientation is mandatory for all undergraduate students. Students who do not complete orientation will forfeit their seats in the program.  

    Note: Please read the Admission Requirements and Application Process sections carefully. Applicants will be deemed ineligible for admission to the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway if any portion of the process is not satisfied by the posted deadlines. Admission to the College of Nursing is not rolling at the undergraduate level. Once the nursing application deadline passes all eligible applicants will be evaluated. Please contact USF Undergraduate Admissions regarding your university application. USF Office of Admissions cannot expedite processing for any student for any reason.   

    Do you still have questions? Please attend an information session to learn more about the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway or sign up for a nursing admissions advising session with one of our nursing admissions advisors!   


  • Peace Corps

    Unique Opportunities Available

    The USF College of Nursing Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program offers students unique opportunities to serve their local community while pursuing their education goals. Click here to learn more.