Nursing, MS: Frequently Asked Questions

Below is an extensive list of questions that prospective students frequently raise. If you do not find your question below, please contact Kristy Chunta, nursing graduate coordinator, at Kchunta@iup.edu or Sherry Kelly, secretary of the Graduate Program in Nursing, at skelly@iup.edu.

What are the admissions criteria?

To be considered for admission, you must have a bachelor's degree, current licensure as an RN, and a minimum QPA of 3.0. If your degree is older than five years, the minimum QPA is 2.6 on a 4.0 scale. You must also show evidence of undergraduate course work in research and statistics. A minimum of one year of clinical practice is recommended.

How do I apply for admission to the program? Can I apply online?

Yes, the application process is fully online through the graduate school website using your Admissions profile. The link to apply online is available at the Graduate Admissions site.

Do I need to have a BSN in Nursing if I have a BS in another area and a RN license?

No, you do not need to have a BSN in Nursing if you have a BS in another area and an RN license.

Do I need to take the GRE?

No, the GRE is not required for admission.

What is the minimum QPA?

The minimum QPA is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, if your degree has been completed in the last five years, or 2.6 on a 4.0 scale if your degree is older than five years.

How many letters of recommendation do I need, and who should write them?

Two letters of recommendation are required. We recommend one letter from your direct supervisor and one from a professor, mentor, or colleague. Learn more about how to submit your letters of recommendation on the Graduate Admissions site.

What are the prerequisites for admission?

A bachelor's degree, current licensure as an RN, and evidence of undergraduate coursework in statistics and research.

Where can I take the statistics and undergraduate nursing research courses?

You may take an undergraduate statistics and research course at any university or community college you choose.

Can I be admitted as a special status student until I complete the prerequisites?

Yes, you can be admitted as a special status student until you have completed your prerequisites

Do I need to have any clinical experience before applying?

It is recommended that you have at least one year of clinical experience before you start your course work.

How many credits do I need to take to earn my master's degree in Nursing?

You will need to earn 36 credits to complete a master's degree in Nursing.

I have taken graduate courses at other institutions. Can I transfer those credits?

Yes, you may transfer up to 12 credits as long as they have been taken within the last five years and you have earned a "B" grade or higher.

How long will it take for the admissions committee to review my application, and how will they inform me of my admission status?

You will be notified of your admission status in writing within one week of completion of your application being received by the Department of Nursing from the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

How often does the program admit new students?

The master's program in nursing has open enrollment. Students can apply in either the fall or the spring. However, it is recommended to start in the fall.

If I have been admitted for the fall semester, can I defer my admission until the following year?

Yes, you may defer admission until the next year. Your admission status is valid for one year.

I have read that students are admitted as a cohort. What does that mean?

A cohort is a group of students that are admitted at the same time and progress through a predetermined set of courses together. One advantage of this model is that it provides strong peer support and networking opportunities. The cohort system allows for students to plan schedules in advance.

How many students are admitted to a cohort?

Each cohort has an average of 12 to 18 students.

What tracks are offered at IUP?

IUP offers tracks in Nursing Administration and Nursing Education.

May I take courses in both tracks?

Yes, under special circumstances and with the approval of your academic advisor and the graduate coordinator.

Can I take the courses for the other tracks after graduation?

Yes, you may take the four courses of the other track after graduate, but you must first apply for admission as a new student.

Can I take classes at sites other than my cohort site?

Yes, under special circumstances and with the approval of your academic advisor and the graduate coordinator.

Do I need to complete any research or write a thesis?

A thesis is optional and is not a requirement for graduation.

It has been a long time since I have been a nursing student. What should I do to prepare myself?

It would probably be helpful to make sure that your computer skills are up to date and that you have access to an Internet connection. You should have a basic understanding of word processing, e-mail, databases or spreadsheets, and presentation software. Additionally, since you will be spending a lot of time using your computer, you will probably want to be sure it is up to date and capable of transferring large files quickly. Recommendations for student hardware and software can be found in the Technology Guide for Students.

When will the courses be offered?

The department offers classes on a schedule that facilitates student progress and guarantees timely graduation.

Will I have to take summer courses?

You are required to take one summer course as part of your cohort study plan in order to guarantee graduation with your cohort group.

Do I need to take comprehensive exams?

No comprehensive exams are required.

What kinds of resources are available on campus to assist students?

The Writing Center at Stapleton Library, the Applied Research Lab, and multiple computer facilities are all available to students.

Does the program require any capstone experience?

Yes, students are expected to complete a practicum experience.

Where can I do my capstone experience? Can I do my practicum at my place of employment?

That depends on your track. You may do it at IUP or any nursing education institution of your choice after consultation with and approval by the course faculty. Students must choose a practicum setting other than their place of employment.

How much will it cost to complete my degree?

The cost per credit for the 2020-2021 school year for in-state graduate students is $516 per credit. There are also several fees associated with part-time enrollment.

Is there any financial assistance available?

It is anticipated that scholarships, traineeships, and other state/federal money may be available. Grants and loans may be available for qualified individuals. Contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance with this inquiry. An Internet search may help you locate additional sources of funding through professional organizations or governmental agencies.

How can I apply for financial aid?

You can apply online. Please visit the Financial Aid application site for more information.

Are there any graduate assistantships available?

Yes, there are full- and part-time graduate assistantships available for full- and part-time students. See the Graduate Nursing Student Handbook for more information.

Who will be my advisor?

You will be assigned an academic advisor upon your admission to the program.

If I have questions, whom should I contact?

You may contact your advisor when you have one. You may also contact Kristy Chunta, the nursing graduate coordinator, by email at Kchunta@iup.edu or Sherry Kelly, secretary of the Graduate Program in Nursing, at skelly@iup.edu.

Do you have an online program?

All courses are offered in a 100 percent online format.

Since the first classes are the same for both tracks, when do I have to decide which track to pursue?

It is required that students choose their track before beginning their coursework. However, in special circumstances, students may change their tracks after taking classes and with departmental approval.