Deadlines and Important Dates
Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
- February 15 for summer/fall semester admission
- September 15 for spring semester admission
For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.
Specifically, as an applicant to Penn State's online MSN program, you must have a bachelor's degree in nursing from a program accredited by a national accrediting agency for nursing and hold a current license to practice professional nursing in the United States.
- GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale
- Grades of B or better in all sciences and nursing courses
- College chemistry and statistics (NOTE: Chemistry is not required for those applying to the Nurse Administrator option.)
Start Your Application
You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.
- Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
- Choose "Nursing" as the major
- Choose "Master of Science Nursing (MSN) as the degree
- Then, be sure to choose either "Nurse Administrator" or "Nurse Educator" as the option
Online Application Materials
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee.
You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:
Education — A copy of an official transcript from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. Upon admission and your acceptance of admission, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.
GPA & Test Scores — postsecondary (undergraduate), junior/senior (last two years) GPA is required. The program prefers an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.3.
GRE or GMAT scores are not required for admission to the Master of Science in Nursing program. However, if you have already taken the GRE and submit scores to Penn State, they will be reviewed as part of your application.
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with some exceptions. Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page.
Please note that for entrance into a Penn State College of Nursing graduate-level program, the minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 580 for the paper-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 25 on the speaking section for the Internet-based test (iBT). The minimum composite score for the IELTS is 7.0.
References — You will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering names and email addresses of two references. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to each recommender requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment for success in an online program. Please inform all recommenders they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete. It is recommended that you obtain letters from academic and professional perspectives. If you completed college-level courses over the last five years, an academic reference is required. Other references should be from a nursing supervisor, preferably holding a degree higher than yours.
Personal Statement — In order for the admissions committee to evaluate your potential, please write a narrative addressing these bulleted items (single spaced and no more than 300 words):
- your relevant work experience
- your goals for graduate study and for future career development
- clearly articulated reasons for applying to the selected option at Penn State
- any other information you would consider pertinent to your application
The Graduate Admissions Committee considers the Goal Statement very seriously. Your Goal Statement reflects your ability to express yourself clearly and concisely in writing and indicates the fit of your goals with the College of Nursing graduate program.