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Undergraduate Program

Upper Division

Upper Division

Designed for first-time in college (FTIC) and transfer students, the Upper Division nursing pathway is the traditional baccalaureate nursing pathway for students who do not have a prior bachelor’s degree.

About This Degree

Like all our pre-licensure pathways, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing through the Upper Division 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.

This program has been certified as a Global Pathway. A Global Pathway is an undergraduate pathway or degree program that has significant global content and aligns with the goals of USF's Quality Enhancement Plan, the Global Citizens Project. Global Pathways provide students with the opportunity to practice and apply global competencies through the pathway or degree program. Students in Global Pathway programs are well positioned to earn the Global Citizen Award and become eligible to apply for a study abroad scholarship offered by the Global Citizens Project.

Accreditations - Visit our Accreditation page to learn more.

  • The Upper Division nursing pathway is our traditional nursing pathway for students who have completed nursing prerequisite courses and university general education requirements. This is a full-time, limited-access nursing pathway and is structured sequentially. Admission is competitive. Cohort size is determined by the basis of the amount of qualified faculty, laboratory and classroom facilities, and clinical teaching resources. To view our competitive undergraduate nursing pathway statistics, please click here.

    Criteria for Admission

    • Admission to the University of South Florida by March 1st.
      • 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 cancelled for non-enrollment by the Office of Admissions.
      • Choose Nursing as your major and select Tampa as your campus as a degree seeking student if you are applying directly to the fall semester when the Upper Division nursing pathway begins.
    • “Verified” NursingCAS application by February 15th.
      • Please use this guide to understand each status in NursingCAS and how to become verified.
    • 3.6 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 past the application deadline for the Upper Division 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 spring 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.
        • 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.
    • ENC 1101 English Composition I (3 credits) and ENC 1102 English Composition II (3 credits) completed with a C grade or better.
      • Applicants with a FL AA degree from a school that is part of the Florida College System will automatically satisfy this requirement.
      • These courses cannot be in progress during the application cycle.
      • Students who are not certain if their course will satisfy this requirement can submit an evaluation request directly to the USF English Department.
    • State Computation Math (3 credits) completed with a C grade or better.
      • Applicants with an AA degree from a school that is part of the Florida College System will automatically satisfy this requirement.
      • MAC 1105 College Algebra preferred.
      • This course cannot be in progress during the application cycle.
      • Students who are not certain if their course will satisfy this requirement can submit an evaluation request directly to the USF Math Department.
    • Completion of the university’s foreign language entrance requirement (FLENT), general education requirements, and Civics Literacy exam before the intended term of entry.
      • Transfer applicants who have obtained an Associate of Arts degree (AA) from a Florida College System institution automatically meet the general education requirements. FLENT and the Civics Literacy exam are not satisfied by the FL AA degree and must be completed separately.

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

    Important Notification:

    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 Upper Division nursing pathway is only available to students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree. Please consider the Accelerated Second Degree nursing pathway if you are about to graduate with or currently hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

    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 Upper Division nursing pathway or sign up for a nursing admissions advising session with one of our nursing admissions advisors!

  • The Upper Division nursing pathway is 5 consecutive semesters and admits once a year to the fall semester only.

    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.

  • Applicants who meet the admission requirements should complete the steps below to apply:

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

    Transfer Applicants Only:

    • 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.
    • 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

    All Applicants:

    • 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.
      • Students who have taken courses at USF are required to submit official transcripts from the institution in addition to other universities attended.

    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 Upper Division 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 Upper Division nursing pathway or sign up for a nursing admissions advising session with one of our nursing admissions advisors!

  • 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 NursingCAS application closes
    February 1 USF transfer application completion deadline
    February 15 NursingCAS application “verified” status deadline
    March 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.

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

    Note: Please read the Admission Requirements and Application Process sections carefully. Applicants will be deemed ineligible for admission to the Upper Division 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 Upper Division nursing pathway or sign up for a nursing admissions advising session with one of our nursing admissions advisors!

  • 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 Upper Division nursing pathway?

    A: No, we no longer interview applicants to the Upper Division 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.

    Q: Does the College of Nursing Require the COVID-19 vaccination?

    A: At this time, we do not require the COVID vaccination for students to enroll in our programs. However, our clinical partners may have their own vaccine requirements based on applicable federal, state, and local laws. 

  • Tina Dinh Tina Dinh
    Tina Dinh
    Admissions Recruiter Advisor