Admissions Questions

When is the application deadline?

The deadline for application varies by program. See the “How to Apply” section of each program for specific dates. By that deadline, your application materials should be complete, including all transcripts and reference forms. Once your application is submitted, the references you have provided will automatically be sent an email with instructions on how to proceed. Please allow your references sufficient time to respond by the posted application deadline. 

How much is the application fee? Is it refundable?

Please refer to the Penn State Graduate School website for general application questions or issues.

If I took a course or graduated from Penn State, do I start a new account with the Graduate School?

No. Once a Penn Stater, always a Penn Stater! Please log in with an existing account and use your former Penn State ID number; otherwise, you may receive a second number and your application may be delayed. Dates prior to the year 2000 may not automatically populate. If you cannot find or remember your number, visit the Graduate School website.

Do I need to send an official transcript with my application?

You need to upload a copy of your official transcript as part of your application; unofficial or advising transcripts are not accepted. You will not be able to submit your application without a transcript unless you previously attended Penn State as a student and list Penn State as an educational institution attended. If admitted, you will need to submit an official transcript.

My name has changed since I last attended Penn State. What do I need to do?

Please be sure to use your previous account and original Penn State ID number when you begin the application. Your former name may automatically populate, but you will be able to officially change your name in the system.

I took one summer course at another school. Do I need to send a transcript from that school?

Yes. Please send the front and back pages of a copy of an official transcript from all post-secondary schools you attended.

I earned a bachelor’s degree in another field before I attended my nursing program. Do I need to send a transcript from the first school?

Yes. Please send the front and back pages of a copy of an official transcript from all post-secondary schools you attended.

I attended an online program. Will Penn State recognize that degree?

Your bachelor’s degree must be from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or one that is deemed comparable to a U.S. institution.  See the requirements for graduation admissions for details. Nursing programs must be accredited.

Does Penn State World Campus meet SARA requirements for my state?

See a state-by-state listing.

Tuition/Financial Aid Questions

How much does it cost to attend Penn State?

Visit the "Costs" page for your program to see tuition rates for the current academic year.

Is Financial Aid available?

Students studying online through Penn State World Campus are eligible for student loans. You must meet enrollment and other criteria to qualify. Penn State World Campus has a dedicated financial aid office that can help answer your questions and address your concerns. Visit the Financial Aid page of the Penn State World Campus website for more information. 

Are there scholarships available?

While there are currently no scholarships specifically earmarked for students in these programs, many students receive scholarships or other financial assistance from their employers, professional organizations, or other community agencies.

General Questions 

How long does it take to complete the program?

MSN degree programs are typically completed in two years of full-time study or three years of part-time (two courses/semester) study; clinical/practicum course work often requires more credits. For the most cohesive education, students should be prepared to commit to this time frame.

Will I have an adviser?

Yes, you will be assigned a faculty adviser to help with academic and career discussions and a general adviser to help with registration or administrative issues.

Do online programs require a presence on campus?  

The MSN and Nurse Administrator/Nurse Educator certificate programs are completely online with the exception of the required practicum course work. The practicum course work is completed at a site near your location.  

Do I need to find my own clinical/practicum sites?

Yes. We strongly encourage students to take advantage of their knowledge of appropriate agencies and their local network to identify practicum sites that would be most beneficial in reaching individual goals. Our faculty are willing to give suggestions when necessary.  Penn State must have a site affiliation agreement with any participating agency. Please visit this map of our current affiliations

Is there a designated time I need to be online?

Most courses are asynchronous, meaning you can log on at your convenience. There may be some small group assignments that will require a mutually agreed upon time for those in your group to connect.

Can I work full-time while in school?

Most students do work at least part-time. However, some employer flexibility will be required, especially when students are in practicum courses as those hours depend on the preceptor’s schedule and are usually on weekdays. Some students choose to switch to weekend shifts, work per diem, or take vacation during those periods. In addition, please plan to spend approximately 3 hours studying outside of class for every hour in class; some courses may require more.