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College of Nursing  > Prospective Student Advising

Graduate Program FAQs

Thank you for your interest in the USF College of Nursing!  We've provided answers to student's frequently asked questions below. 

Students will have an opportunity to ask additional questions during one of our Information Sessions, click here for more information.


Frequently asked questions about our graduate programs:


 (1) Are you required to have your Florida RN license before applying?

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.


 (2) What if I cannot obtain a recommendation from a faculty member familiar with my academic ability?

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.


 (3) Can I enter the program without a Bachelor of Science in nursing?

You could enter the MS program without a Bachelor of Science in nursing and complete 15 credit hours of "bridge" prerequisite coursework.  A Bachelor of Science is not awarded, and the 15 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.


 (4) How much will the program cost?

Please see our Tuition & Financial Assistance Overview page for complete details and other helpful information.


 (5) How soon will I know the decision for my application?

The MS and DNP programs do not have rolling admission, but interviews can be conducted and decisions made prior to the deadline.  Generally, most decisions are made after all applications have been reviewed. After the priority deadline has passed, all of the complete applications (which are eligible for admission) are reviewed, and decisions are made. This may take several weeks after the application deadline. All communication will be sent through the NursingCAS application system.


 (6) How long is the program?

The program lengths vary:

  • BS to DNP program - full-time plans are 7-8 semesters (part-time plans are 10-13 semesters)
  • BS to MS Program - full-time plans are 5-9 semesters (part-time plans are 7-12 semesters)
  • CRNA DNP program - is a lockstep, 9-semester program
  • DNP & PhD program - lengths vary (depends on your entry point either post-BS or post-MS and the focus of your degree)

 (7) What funding is available?

See our Tuition & Financial Assistance Overview page for complete details and other helpful resources.

Note: Students will be notified of current funding opportunities available throughout the year via *Canvas and the College of Nursing graduate student listserv.

*Admitted students utilize Canvas to view their course schedule, access their courses, and contact their instructors.

 (8) Can I apply to more than one concentration/specialty (e.g., Family Health and Adult/Gerontology Acute Care)?

Students are permitted to apply to only one concentration/specialty at a time.

You may apply to more than one degree (e.g., MS and DNP) for a given term, but you could only apply for one specialty for each degree. It is highly recommended that applicants fully understand the scope of practice for the concentration to which they apply.  Often, applying to multiple concentrations is an indicator an that applicant does not fully understand the scope of practice for the concentration(s) he or she is applying to. Do your homework before applying. Reach out to nurse practitioners you may know, nurse educators or our concentration directors to help guide you through your career options.  


 (9) Do I have to take the GRE?
  • GRE is not required for the MS or DNP programs.
  • GRE is required for the PhD and Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) 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.


 (10) Are your programs online?
  • 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.


 (11) There is no specific content template for the PhD Personal Statement. What should I write?

The Personal Statement is your opportunity to tell the faculty how you are planning to use this degree as part of your career. Before writing your statement, please carefully review information about the specialty on our web site so that you clearly indicate to the faculty that you are suited to this specialty. Your Personal Statement must address your selected specialty, should indicate your understanding of the role of the advanced practice nurse (if applicable) and your patient population of interest, and also explain why you chose to apply to USF.


 (12) Can I transfer credit?

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.




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