BSN Frequently Asked Questions

What is a competitive entry major?

For many majors with a clinical component, the number of spaces is limited in relation to the number of students who are interested in completing the major. Due to the clinical nature of nursing, we fall under this category. Therefore, beyond declaring a major, a student must also apply and be accepted before taking certain course work for the major.

How many times a year does MSU accept applications and what is the deadline?

Applications are accepted twice a year. The deadline is 5 p.m. on Jan. 31 and/or July 31.

No late applications are accepted. If you are currently enrolled in courses at MSU or another program, please refrain from applying until you have submitted your final grades to the MSU admissions office. If you plan to take courses, please do not submit your application materials until you can include an unofficial schedule showing courses in which you are enrolled.

How many students can be admitted each year?

48 students are accepted to each cohort. The number of applicants fluctuates from one application period to another.

What is the minimum cumulative GPA to apply?

A cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale for all college course work, including transfer credits and high school dual enrollment, is required.

The average GPA for applicants is around a 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Students who meet the minimum GPA requirement above are encouraged to apply as the average could change.

Does the admissions, promotions and graduation committee who evaluates the applications consider letters of reference or interviews in the selection process?

No. Admission selection is based primarily on cumulative college GPA. Additional preference will be given to current MSU students; those individuals with health care, community service, and leadership experience; and those with high first-attempt grades in chemistry, anatomy and university math requirements (college algebra).

When will I know if I have been accepted?

Applicants in January will be notified of their acceptance status by late February or early March. July applicants will be notified by late August or early September.

Does the school of nursing maintain a waiting list and can students re-apply?

Yes and yes. The school does keep a waiting list of eligible students who rank just below students selected for admission in any given admission period. Students with a completed application portfolio who are not offered admission (including those on the waiting list) may re-apply the following admission period. However, the waiting list is not carried over from one application period to the next so there is no advanced standing and no guarantee of admission is offered to those who re-apply.

What happens if I am not accepted into the program?

A waiting list is kept as described above as well as the student’s option to re-apply in a following admission period. However, to avoid this situation, the school of nursing recommends that all students, regardless of GPA and resume factors, apply at more than one nursing program or school to increase their chances of acceptance. Due to a shortage of space in nursing schools nationwide compared to the number of interested students, we encourage everyone to have a backup plan. At MSU, we want to support students' academic goals and their desire to become a nurse. Students are encouraged to meet with other programs and learn how their admissions policies and prerequisite course work may differ from that at MSU. The academic advisor in the McQueary College of Health and Human Services Advisement Center is happy to discuss these options with students and advise them on how to get requirements for other programs while studying at MSU.

Are there any automatic admission programs for nursing?

No, but we offer one provisional admission program for students in the MSU Honors College. Pre-nursing Honors College students, Missouri State University ROTC students, and/or active-duty military in certain programs will be offered conditional/provisional admission into the four-year BSN nursing program provided the following criteria are met by the application deadline.

  1. Maintain an overall GPA of 3.70 or higher.
  2. Be an officially declared pre-nursing major at least one year prior to their application deadline. This will allow the school to adequately prepare for the next application year. Those who declare pre-nursing as their major less than one year in advance are not eligible for provisional admission but may apply as a general applicant.
  3. Maintain consistent advisement in the School of Nursing for a minimum of one year prior to their application deadline.
  4. Have all but one of the required Honor’s College courses completed by the start of the first semester of the nursing program. There is time to complete only one honor’s-level course during the program. Any more incomplete courses will delay graduation and, therefore, RN licensure eligibility.
  5. Completed application form and a letter of commitment signed by the School of Nursing Director, by the deadline.
  6. Meet the minimum four-year BSN program admission criteria for final acceptance.

What types of activities or experiences should I be working toward prior to submitting an application?

Several activities are recommended, including but not limited to the following: job shadowing of nurses and health care providers, community service, holding leadership positions in groups or clubs including sports teams, researching additional programs of nursing to make sure MSU is the right fit for you, and researching other health careers to make sure nursing is the best fit as well. A great way to attain many of these experiences is by joining the MSU student nurse organization (SNO).

Can I apply to the nursing program at MSU if I have never taken a class at MSU?

Yes, MSU accepts transfer credits from accredited institutions across the country. Please visit with a representative of the MSU admissions office at 417-836-5517 or 1-800-492-7900 for more information and explore the transfer credit website prior to application. The advisors in the McQueary College of Health and Human Services Advisement Center are happy to set up a visit or discuss your questions over the phone at 417-836-3065.

Where do I send or hand in my BSN application and materials?

BSN applications are submitted online through NursingCAS.

You can find the link to NursingCAS on the application tab on our website.

Do I have to start classes the summer after I am accepted?

No, the nursing program begins in the Fall and/or Spring. During the second summer of the program, students will stay and complete one week of pediatric clinical rotation. The rest of that summer they can use for a nursing internship or additional coursework needed for graduation.

When do students typically apply to nursing?

Students are eligible to apply once all pre-nursing coursework is completed or in progress by the time of application to the four-year BSN program. Students must have all general education courses completed, with the exception of Writing II, prior to beginning BSN coursework. 

Can I take additional course work not listed on the BSN curriculum page?

Yes, the page only lists the minimum course work to apply.

Where do students complete their clinical hours while in the nursing program at MSU?

During the BSN program at MSU, students complete a total of 624 clinical hours in Springfield and surrounding communities. The clinical focus at MSU is 40 percent acute care in hospitals, including Mercy, Cox, and Select Specialty Hospital. The remaining 60 percent of clinical hours are spent in community settings such as nursing homes, clinics for underserved populations, and non-profit organizations such as The Kitchen Inc. and Camp Barnabas. Having varied experiences at the BSN level allows students to explore their interest areas and determine different settings and populations in which they would eventually like to work or specialize.

I have some questions about the 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Whom should I contact?

Please contact the McQueary College of Health and Human Services Advisement Center 417-863-3065 to make an appointment to speak with an adviser.