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Master of Science in Nursing

Overview and Admission

The Master of Science degree in nursing program enlarges the focus of nursing, using as its foundation the basic baccalaureate nursing program. The master’s program curriculum includes the following components:

Common Core: Nursing courses that provide the core knowledge and skills essential to the nurse practicing in any advanced area of nursing.

Leadership Core: Courses provide the theoretical basis for the Leadership specialty areas.

Research Core: Research courses focus on the ability of the nurse to understand and use research and participate in development of new knowledge in nursing and health care.

Functional Specialty Core: Courses provide the information necessary for advanced practice. Specializations are available in the following areas:

Program details and requirements

Course Descriptions  |  Tuition and Fees  |   Enrollment Requirements for Graduate Nursing Students

Program Objectives

  1. Synthesize advanced knowledge of concepts, theories, principles, and research from nursing, the liberal arts, and the natural and behavioral sciences as it relates to a specialized area of nursing.
  2. Apply nursing therapeutics based on standards of practice to meet the health care needs of client systems in relation to changes in their internal and external environments.
  3. Integrate ethical, legal, economic and cultural considerations and personal, professional, and client system values in the application of the art and science of nursing.
  4. Demonstrate professional values in advanced nursing roles.
  5. Collaborate with colleagues in nursing and other disciplines to meet the health needs of client systems in varied health care delivery systems.
  6. Generate research questions from theory and practice and evaluate research findings for use in nursing.
  7. Influence health policy and the delivery of health care that is responsive to societal trends and to changing client system needs by evaluating and proposing alternatives.
    Adopted 12/16/94, Revised 11-25-02

Master of Science in Nursing Admission Criteria

The University of Kansas School of Nursing selects applicants who, in the judgment of the Student Admission and Progression Committee, demonstrate the academic achievement, integrity and motivation necessary for successful advanced practice or functional area leadership in nursing. In addition, the Committee looks for applicants who will contribute academic, nonacademic and socioeconomic diversity to the class. The Committee is interested in evidence of capacity for mature and independent scholarship.

General Criteria for Admission:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from a nationally accredited program  (NLNAC or CCNE)
  • Current registered nurse licensure in at least one state in the United States
  • Minimum of one year of clinical work experience as a registered nurse
  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Undergraduate level physical/health assessment course
  • Graduate level statistics course (may be completed prior to admission or during first semester of enrollment)
  • Satisfactory criminal background check (completed once an offer of admission has been extended to applicant)

All applicants are considered on an individual basis. Space in the School of Nursing graduate programs is limited, and admission is competitive.

English Language Requirements: All applicants for study at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) whose native language is not English must demonstrate an established level of English language proficiency through either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the academic format of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The test must have been taken within two years of the first semester of enrollment. When submitting test scores to KUMC, please submit only original scores sent directly from the testing agency. Photocopies will not be accepted. For testing purposes, the ETS school code is 6895. Contact the Office of International Programs for more information.

Master of Science in Nursing Application Process

The following materials are required for application to the Master of Science in Nursing degree program. Prospective students can apply to the Master’s program using the KU Medical Center Online Application.  All applications must be received by the following deadlines: April 1 for Fall semester and September 1 for Spring semester.  Late applications are not accepted.

  • Graduate application to the School of Nursing, online at
  • $60 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Official transcript(s) of all college coursework  (must show conferral of undergraduate degree).
  • Letter clearly stating applicant's detailed personal objectives and specific career goals.
  • Three letters of reference
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae, describing the applicant’s educational and experiential background. Include information about the following:  education, certification/licensure, work experience, clinical leadership, community/organizational involvement, scholarship/research, and honors/awards.
  • Evidence of current registered nurse licensure in at least one state of the United States. Upon admission, students will need to meet additional licensure and participation requirements. Please see the section regarding enrollment in nursing courses for more information.
  • An informational on-campus or telephone interview with a School of Nursing representative. To schedule an appointment, call (913) 588-1619.

Admission decisions for each semester are finalized approximately 6 weeks after the application deadline.  All applicants are then notified of their admission status with mailed letters from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

Special Student Non-Degree Admission

Under certain limited circumstances, students may enroll as non-degree seeking graduate students. Non-degree admission is for the specific course only, not admission to the MS, DNP or PhD degree programs. Enrollment is allowed on a space available basis after all degree-seeking students are accommodated.  In order to confirm course availability, please contact the School of Nursing Graduate Advisor before completing a non-degree application. Non-degree application deadlines are July 1 for fall semester, November 1 for spring semester, and April 1 for summer session. Application forms and transcripts are submitted using the online application.

The following materials are required for non-degree admission:

  • Graduate non-degree application to the School of Nursing, online at 
  • $60 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Official transcript(s) of all college coursework (must show conferral of undergraduate degree).
  • Space available in the course. Please check with the School of Nursing Graduate Advisor.
  • Applicants should have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.

Background Check Requirement

For KU programs to maintain accreditation status, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations requires that all persons, employees, volunteers and students involved in patient care activities to have background checks. This status is very important to healthcare organizations to demonstrate to patients and professionals that they meet the highest of standards for patient care.

This background check will be done at the applicant’s expense after provisional acceptance has been granted. The information from this report is held in confidence by the school. More information regarding background checks for students

Questions? Contact Us!

The University of Kansas School of Nursing
Office of Student Affairs
Mail Stop 2029
3901 Rainbow Blvd. 
Kansas City, KS 66160

toll-free: 1-888-588-1619
TTY 711

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