MSN and PMC Admissions Requirements

As you prepare your application to Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, we are here to support and share important details with you. We are looking forward to receiving your application and are available to answer your questions that you may have. Please contact us at:

MSN and Post-master’s Certificate applicants are encouraged to participate in an information session conducted by an Admission Counselor for assistance with the application process. Information Sessions are held on most Tuesdays from 10-11 am and on Fridays from 10-11am. In consideration of the health and safety of the VU community and visitors to our campus during the outbreak of  COVID-19, all on-campus recruitment events have been cancelled. Therefore, the information session will be conducted online. Please register now if you are interested in participating in an information session.

The School of Nursing hosts campus visits in October and March of each year. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend and learn more about our programs and specialties offered at the School of Nursing.

Open House for MSN, Post-Master’s Certificate and Doctoral programs scheduled for Saturday, October 3, 2020. RSVP will open on September 1, 2020. February Open House Handbook is now available.

The application opens on September 15 for the following fall.  Faculty begin reviewing MSN and post-master's certificate applications on November 1, after which admissions are on a rolling basis. There is no published deadline; however, programs are very competitive and have a limited number of spaces for incoming students. Applicants who meet the November 1 early action date have a greater probability of being admitted. In order to be considered in the November 1 priority review group, the application must be completed (not just submitted) prior to 11:59 PM EST on November 1.

Applicants should start their online application at to create a file in Vanderbilt's admissions system. Start the application BEFORE sending any transcripts or recommendations to Vanderbilt. If you send documents without starting the application, the materials become "orphans" in the system which delays processing your application.

School of Nursing applications are self-managed. We do not routinely contact applicants regarding missing application materials. After submission of the application, applicants are responsible for monitoring the checklist on their application status page for missing transcripts, references and the like.

Admission requirements vary somewhat depending upon your educational background and whether you are already a Registered Nurse. All applicants are holistically reviewed based on the following factors:

  1. All applicants must submit an online application and a $50 application fee. While the online application system will allow you to submit more than one application, the School of Nursing can only consider one application per student per term.
  2. Your Statement of Purpose should reflect your understanding of the role of the advanced practice nurse and your interest in a particular patient population. Before writing your statement of purpose, please carefully review information about the specialty on our web site so that you clearly indicate to the faculty that your career goals are a fit with the specialty. If you are applying to a dual specialty, be sure to address the scope of practice in each specialty area. Students are offered admission to their selected specialty; it is not possible to enter the program undecided about your specialty area.
  3. It is recommended that applicants have earned an undergraduate grade point average of at least a "B" or a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  4. Students are required to report all colleges/universities attended whether or not the student earned academic credits or a degree at the school. 
  5. While the online application accepts unofficial transcripts, the School of Nursing requires official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. Official transcripts should be mailed to:

    • Center for Data Management
      Vanderbilt University
      PMB 407833
      2301 Vanderbilt Place
      Nashville, TN 37240-7833
    If your school uses an electronic transcript service such as Parchment, Naviance, Docufide or Scrip Safe, have your University Registrar send the transcript to

    Applicants who have earned academic credit or a degree from a school outside the United States must satisfy requirements for international transcript evaluation. See

  6. All applicants must provide three letters of academic or professional reference. References should be from faculty members, professional colleagues, or work supervisors who can evaluate your potential for success in a graduate program. It is required that at least one of your recommenders hold a master’s or higher degree. Recommendations from family, friends, other students or co-workers are NOT appropriate. Applicants to the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner specialty are required to have one reference from a neonatologist and one from an NNP who can evaluate the applicant’s clinical practice. While only three references are required, the online application system will allow you to provide names of up to five recommenders.
  7. All applicants must respond to each of the three application essays in 250 words or less. Both the writing style (i.e. grammar, punctuation, spelling, word use) and content of your responses will be used in the overall evaluation of your application to the program.
  8. All applicants are required to have certain prerequisite courses from an accredited college or university. Prerequisite coursework does not need to be completed when you apply to VUSN. However, it is desirable that you have completed some if not all the prerequisite courses. Acceptance into our program, as well as your ability to enroll, will be contingent upon our receipt of documentation acknowledging your successful completion of the prerequisites and the bachelor’s degree prior to the enrollment date. Applicants must earn a grade of C or higher on prerequisite courses.

    • If you have earned a BSN, you must have had a 3-semester hour or 4-quarter hour Statistics course.
    • If you have earned an ASN or a Diploma in Nursing, you must have earned at least 78 accredited semester or 110 accredited quarter hours including the following areas: 11 hours of natural science which must include courses in Microbiology, Human Anatomy, and Human Physiology; 9 hours of Social Science; 6 hours of Humanities; 6 hours of English; 3 hours of Statistics; Nutrition and Developmental Psychology.
    • If you have earned a BA or BS in a discipline other than Nursing, you must have successfully completed 11 hours of natural science including courses in Microbiology, Human Anatomy, and Human Physiology; Statistics; Nutrition and Developmental Psychology. The human anatomy, human physiology and microbiology courses must have been taken within 5 years of application.
    • If you are currently enrolled in a BA or BS program in a field other than nursing, you must be in the final year of your program and have successfully completed or plan to complete prior to enrollment the following courses: 11 hours of natural science including Microbiology, Human Anatomy, and Human Physiology; 3 hours of Statistics; Nutrition and Developmental Psychology. The human anatomy, human physiology and microbiology courses must have been taken within 5 years of application.
  9. RN applicants must have graduated (or will graduate prior to enrolling) from an ACEN or CCNE accredited school. Prior to registration at VUSN, RN applicants must hold an unencumbered RN license in the state(s) in which the student will complete their clinical training. Students admitted contingent upon NCLEX–RN examination results who do not pass the exam will have their admission offer rescinded. The student is eligible to reapply for admission in a subsequent term after RN licensure is obtained.
  10. All applicants must meet the competencies necessary for the professional practice of nursing. RN applicants must be eligible to practice in the state where they will be completing their clinical practica and/or preceptorship. Non-RN applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for nursing licensure in Tennessee. For more information on licensure, visit the Tennessee Department of Health website at:
  11. Applicants applying to complete clinical training outside of the middle Tennessee area (OMTA), should review information regarding professional licensure and out of state requirements found at

    Vanderbilt University is a participating institution in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). North Carolina is a member of SARA, and Vanderbilt is approved to offer programs and courses, such as the MSN, PMC, DNP and PhD programs, that are in compliance with SARA policies and standards.

  12. All information submitted in the application process must be the applicant's own work, complete, factually true, and honestly presented. Applicants providing false information may be subject to a range of possible disciplinary actions, including admission revocation, expulsion or revocation of course credit, grades and degree.

  1. If you are an international student, please view the following requirements.

    The provisions in these Web pages do not constitute a contract, express or implied, between any applicant, student or faculty member and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. The School of Nursing reserves the right to withdraw courses at any time, change fees, calendar, curriculum, graduation procedures, and any other requirement affecting students. Changes will become effective whenever the proper authorities so determine and will apply to both prospective students and those already enrolled.

    In compliance with federal law, including the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Vanderbilt University does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, handicap, or military service in its administration of education policies, programs, or activities; its admission policies; scholarship and loan programs; or employment.

    If you have questions about the admissions requirements, the Admissions Office is available to assist you. Please contact us at or 1-888-333-9192.

Title IX and Student Discrimination
Vanderbilt prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct and discrimination. The University will take prompt and effective action to address all allegations of sexual misconduct and discrimination.

Student Access Services
Vanderbilt University provides reasonable accommodations for qualified students.

For questions regarding admissions to the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, please contact or call 615-322-3800.