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Undergraduate Program

Accelerated Second Degree

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.

  • 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. Cohort size is determined by the amount 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 B- 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 C+ or below in the final prerequisite will not meet the conditions of their admission and have their admission rescinded.
        • Please Note: Due to the recent change in the admission requirements, we will still consider a C grade or better on the nursing prerequisites for the Summer and Fall 2024 cycle, however, applicants who earn a B- or better on the nursing prerequisites will be considered more competitive.
        • The minimum overall nursing prerequisite GPA to be considered for admission is 3.0. All 8 state-mandated nursing prerequisite courses will be used to calculate the overall nursing prerequisite GPA. Applicants will be permitted to submit their best attempt for each nursing prerequisite. AP/CLEP exam scores, S/U grades, and Pass/Fail grades will be factored in as a B (3.0) if the student successfully earned credit. Students that have all 8 nursing prerequisites completed (with final grades posted) prior to the nursing application deadline and took all prerequisite courses within the last 5 years will have an added competitive edge in the admissions review process. 
      • 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.

    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

    In addition to USF Student Health Requirements students should be aware that additional vaccines or screenings may be required after matriculation by clinical partners based upon federal mandate. Any exemptions related to immunizations are granted at the discretion of our clinical partners. The College cannot guarantee an exemption will be granted. Failure to be in compliance with clinical partner requirements will jeopardize the start of clinical coursework and successful program completion.

    Additionally, students are required to complete a background check, drug screening, and more. Candidates for admission must meet all legal requirements to be licensed to practice nursing in the State of Florida. As such, candidates for admission must disclose any conviction or plea of guilty, nolo contendere, or no contest to a misdemeanor or felony in any jurisdiction (other than minor traffic offenses). All misdemeanors and felonies must be disclosed, even if adjudication was withheld. Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI) are not minor traffic offenses for purposes of this disclosure.

    Technical Standards for Admission and Progression 

    Students will also 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. Please feel free to include a personal statement/cover letter in addition to the institution’s statement of good standing to describe the details surrounding the situation.

    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!

  • 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.

  • 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.
      • Submit military joint service transcripts, if applicable. 
      • 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 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:

    • Military applicants who are also applying for a commissioning program will receive all supporting documentation for their packets after the College of Nursing has made final admission decisions and the intent to enroll process is complete. Please note that some of our nursing pathways may not qualify under certain commissioning program guidelines. Please contact your commissioning program military representative to inquire about the possibility of a waiver if you would like to attend a USF BSN pathway that does not meet the commissioning program requirements. The USF College of Nursing is not responsible for maintaining commissioning program application requirements or guidelines; therefore, we recommend doing research prior to submitting a nursing application to confirm eligibility. We can defer admission up to one year for students admitted to the USF College of Nursing awaiting their commissioning program committee to meet and make decisions. Please let one of our nursing admissions advisors know that you would like to be considered for a future term after submitting the NursingCAS application and we will make a note with your application. 

    • NECP Applicants: After submitting your Form 48, it may take up to 5 business days for the nursing advising team to review and obtain signatures. Students will also receive a tuition and fees statement and signed program plan with their signed Form 48 once the review is complete. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they are meeting both military and nursing deadlines. Form 48s that are not submitted to the appropriate advisor at least 5 business days before the NECP deadline are not guaranteed to receive their signed documents back in time.

    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

    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

    USF Tampa Campus - Summer Entry Only
    August 1 USF application becomes available
    December 1 USF application priority deadline
    December 1 NursingCAS application opens
    January 10 Official transcript submission priority deadline*
    February 1 USF transfer application completion deadline
    February 1 NursingCAS application closes
    February 15 NursingCAS application “verified” status deadline
    March 1 Admission to USF deadline**
    USF St Petersburg Campus - Fall Entry Only
    August 1 USF application becomes available
    February 1 USF application priority deadline
    April 1 NursingCAS application opens
    May 15 Official transcript submission priority deadline*
    May15 USF transfer application completion deadline
    June 1 NursingCAS application closes 
    June 15 NursingCAS application “verified” status deadline
    July 1 Admission to USF deadline**
    USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus - Spring Entry Only
    March 1 USF application becomes available
    July 1 USF application priority deadline
    July 1 NursingCAS application opens
    August 15 Official transcript submission priority deadline*
    September 1 USF transfer application completion deadline
    September 1 NursingCAS application closes
    September 15 NursingCAS application “verified” status deadline
    October 1 Admission to USF deadline

    *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. Nursing Orientation dates will be sent to students upon admission.

    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. The 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!

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

    Learn More

  • Q: How can I make myself a more competitive applicant to this nursing pathway?

    A: During the evaluation of your NursingCAS application we will be taking note of some experiences and attributes that align with our USF College of Nursing mission, vision, and values. Applicants that have certain healthcare experiences, student involvement in college, and served in leadership positions within those organizations will have space in NursingCAS to provide details about those experiences which could strengthen their application. Additionally, it is critical to perform well in all college level courses, including the state-mandated nursing prerequisites. The overall undergraduate GPA and overall nursing prerequisite GPA will be largely factored into the admissions decision. Applicants will be considered more competitive if they complete all 8 nursing prerequisites prior to the NursingCAS application deadline, with final grades posted, and have completed them within the last 5 years. Taking the preferred course numbers listed with the nursing prerequisites is another way to be considered more competitive in the admissions process.  

    Q: Will I be required to interview for the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway?

    A: No, we no longer interview applicants to the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway. Four short essay prompts have been incorporated into the NursingCAS application for you to answer. These short essays will provide the program with a well-rounded representation of your personal experiences and attributes that make you who you are. Applicants are encouraged to provide personal examples while answering the prompts. Please pay special attention to character limits, grammar/spelling, and be sure to answer the questions directly. Your essay responses will be de-identified prior to evaluation so that we can eliminate any potential implicit bias.

    Q: Would it be possible to submit additional documents with my application such as a personal statement, letters of recommendation, resume, or TEAS/HESI scores?

    A: No, the USF College of Nursing does not currently accept or review any of those supplementary materials in our admission process. We will delete or remove any of these additional files from the application if they are sent. Applicants that follow directions and read through the entire webpage for their intended pathway and review the NursingCAS application carefully are more likely to be successful in the admissions process. Please reach out to one of our nursing admission advisors if you have questions about the application process and what is required for admission.

    Q: Are admitted students permitted to request deferment to a future start date for the program?

    A: The only students that are permitted to request a deferred admission are military students who are attempting to submit for a commissioning program. We will reach out to applicants individually if a deferment opportunity becomes available, however, it is not guaranteed to be an option. Applicants should apply to USF and NursingCAS directly for the semester they plan to start the nursing program unless otherwise instructed by their academic advisor or nursing admissions advisor.

    Q: I earned college credit through AP/CLEP exams or S/U, Pass/Fail grades. Are these acceptable to satisfy the state-mandated nursing prerequisites?

    A: Yes, the USF College of Nursing factors all AP/CLEP exams that were successfully passed as a B (3.0) grade when calculating the overall nursing prerequisite GPA. The same rule applies for S/U and Pass/Fail graded courses. Applicants who submit a course graded as “pass” or S for “satisfactory” in NursingCAS as their best attempt on a nursing prerequisite will be assigned a B grade for that course. This does not apply to how your overall undergraduate GPA is calculated.

  • Alaina Boudreau Alaina Boudreau
    Alaina Boudreau
    Admissions Recruiter Advisor