MSN Admission Information

Application guidance
MSN admission requirements
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Application guidance

Admission cycle

Some MSN specialty tracks admit students each semester; others admit once annually. For details, see MSN key dates/calendar.  

If you have questions, please

Begin by reviewing the admission requirements below. Then talk to a student services representative before applying. Your representative can:

  • offer guidance based on your MSN specialty track interest and intended plan of study — part time or full time.
  • address your questions and point you to UNMC student resources.
  • walk you through the process — including application, admission, registration and orientation.

Application steps


Application due date


MSN admission requirements

  • Please know that admission is competitive and capacity is limited.
  • Applicants with strong educational backgrounds are considered first.
  • Acceptance is based on the following criteria. 
  1.   Online application
    See Application Steps above for guidance
    Details on items below in online application.
  2.   Official transcripts:
Students must arrange to have official transcripts of all college work sent directly to Nursing CAS as directed in the admissions steps.
  Complete transcripts showing:
    All BSN education — sent directly by your college/university institution(s).
    U.S. students: BSN degree from a school accredited by CCNE or NLNAC.
    International students: Equivalent of BSN degree.
    Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale) — equivalent for international students.
    Expected as part of your BSN curriculum:
    1.   a nursing research course (nurses with research experience may challenge this provision)
    2.   a health assessment course — or equivalent. Fulfillment determined by each MSN specialty track. Not required for Nurse Leader Executive track.
  3.   Three letters of reference
    From, for example: your nursing position manager, faculty member, advanced practice nurse.
  4.   Other documents and provisions
    Personal statement: including goals for your nursing career.
    U.S. students: prior to admission — RN licensure in one of the 50 states.
    International students: prior to admission: eligible to practice nursing in your country of residence — and RN licensure in one of the 50 states in the United States. We suggest the same state in which you will fulfill your MSN clinical/research requirements (see next bullet point below.)

Applicants whose language of nurture is not English must present current (within the last 5 years) scores from instruments that measure listening, structure, reading, writing and oral communication competency in the English Language. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, the Pearson Test of English and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are acceptable examinations to demonstrate English language competency.
  1. The minimum scoring standards are as follows:
    1. Internet Based TOEFL (iBT): minimum score of 22 in the Reading, Listening and Writing sections and a minimum score of 26 in the Speaking section.
    2. Pearson Test of English (PTE): minimum score of 59 in the Reading, Listening and Writing sections and a minimum score of 71 in the Speaking section.
    3. IELTS: Band 6.5 in Reading, Listening, and Writing sections and Band 7 in Speaking as minimum scores.
  2. International applicants who originate from a country whose native language is English will be evaluated individually
  3. Any student who presents with a question of English proficiency upon faculty or student service advisor interview must demonstrate English proficiency according to the standards listed above.
    RN licensure in state(s) where you will satisfy clinical requirements or conduct research, if applicable to your course of study.
  5.   An interview .
    Qualified applicants will be contacted for an interview with a graduate faculty member(s) in your specialty interest. This is an opportunity to talk about your background, career goals, questions — and whether there is a match between your objectives and our program.


Note: The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is NOT required.


Contact a student services representative.

Apply now

LEAD program wins $812,000 grant to help nurses advance into executive roles
Karen Grigsby, RN, PhD
Karen Grigsby, RN, PhD, chair of the Families and Health Systems Department (above), and Lincoln faculty member Kathy Duncan, RN, PhD, were awarded a $812,000 federal grant through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to develop nurse leaders.
Their LEAD program (Nurse Leader Executive Advanced Development) provides convenient distance education for nurses working in rural and small-town settings. Clinical requirements may be satisfied locally. The program also seeks nurses with diverse cultural backgrounds to serve diverse populations in both urban and rural areas.
There are three points of entry:
1. accelerated RN to MSN pathway for nurses with an associate degree (ADN) or diploma in nursing
2. BSN to MSN pathway
3. Postmaster's certificate (PMC)
  "LEAD provides advancement opportunities. Nurses acquire leadership knowledge and skills that improve the work environment and elevate bedside care."