MS-MEPN Prerequisites & Admissions

It is full-time program with a highly demanding schedule. As a student, you will start coursework in May and end in August of the following year. It is strongly recommended that you avoid working while in the program as the full-time, master's level coursework and clinical rotations often require more than 40 hours a week to complete. Both a pre-licensure and master's generalist program, graduates earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree and are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

  • Prerequisite Grade Point Average (GPA) for Nursing
    • A combined minimum GPA of 3.0 is required
    • A grade of ‘C’ or better is required in all prerequisites
    • All prerequisite courses must be complete at the time of application
  • Last 60 Grade Point Average (GPA)
    • A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required – for all graded postsecondary coursework
  • A Non-Nursing Bachelor-Level (or Higher) Degree
    • Must be complete by May 17, 2021 (first day of summer term)
    • Students may complete both the College of Nursing & GradApp Applications while the degree is in progress
  • HESI Admissions Assessment Exam (HESI A2)
    • Minimum score of 75 is required
    • Required sections for 2022 cohort and beyond:  Math, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Biology 
  • Behavioral Interview
    • Minimum score of 70% is required

Students applying for professional admission to the Master of Science for Entry to the Profession of Nursing (MS-MEPN) program must first have taken a number of Prerequisite Courses.

  • General Chemistry – lectures (2 semesters) and lab (1 lab minimum)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology – lectures (2 semesters) and labs (2 semesters)
  • Microbiology – lecture (1 semester)
  • Statistics (1 semester)
  • Lifespan Development (1 semester)
  • Nutrition (1 semester)

Descriptions of these courses can be found in the UA Academic Catalog.

In-State Coursework from Public Institutions
For courses taken at a public institution in Arizona (state university or community college), students may download the Arizona Course Equivalency Chart, which includes the exact courses that are acceptable for prerequisite transferability.

Out-of-State Coursework and In-State Private Institutions
Pre-established equivalencies can be searched and viewed on the University of Arizona's Transfer Credit Guide.  If a course does not appear in this guide students will need to submit a course equivalency request to the Office of Transfer Credit & Articulation

Prior Nursing Program Disclosure

If you have attend, but not graduated, from another nursing professional program a letter from the Nursing program administration must be included in the application via NursingCAS. This includes attendance at any associates, nursing assistant, licensed profession nursing, bachelor’s or master’s pre-licensure programs. The letter must include all of the following information: institution, program name/type, dates of attendance, reason for non-completion and a statement indicating if there were any behavioral or clinical safe practice concerns.


It is your responsibility to verify that all required documentation is received by the appropriate deadlines. Please contact the NursingCAS directly to update any changes in your information. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Nursing Competitive Admission Process
The College of Nursing recommends candidates for admission to MS-MEPN by competitive ranking based on the combined scores of the Nursing Admission Criteria. As an applicant, you will be scored on the four elements for admission and ranked among all other applicants. We will recommend the top candidates to the Graduate College for admission to MS-MEPN based on program capacity and offer a few students alternate positions. Alternates are not guaranteed a spot, however they are eligible to be admitted if a space should become available.  

HESI Admissions Assessment
Your highest score earned for the combined four sections taken in a single attempt will be utilized. The test must be taken by the date of application and any scores are valid for one year. Look above under Eligibility Requirements for up-to-date info on process and testing. 

GPA Calculations
All attempts at courses you take are calculated into cumulative GPA calculations unless they are removed through an official grade replacement process. For Prerequisite GPA calculation we utilize the highest grade earned. All courses must be from regionally accredited institutions of higher education.

Last 60 GPA Calculations
The last 60 units taken is based on the grades earned in your most recent 60 semester-equivalent units of college or graduate level coursework taken at regionally accredited institutions. To calculate this, start with your most recent coursework and count backwards to the equivalent of 60 semester units of graded coursework (A, B, C, D, E, or F); if 60 units are in the middle of a term, include the entire term in which you reached 60 units. Withdrawal, pass/fail, and other non-graded coursework does not count in the GPA calculation.

You will be invited to a Behavioral Interview if your combined score from the Prerequisite GPA, Cumulative GPA and HESI Admissions Assessment places you in the top ranked candidates. Interviews are conducted via online video. Final admission recommendations are determined by ranking candidate total scores in all requirements.

Coursework and Degree
Completion All required courses must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better and students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in both the last 60 and prerequisite areas by the time of application. No in-progress prerequisite coursework will be accepted. A bachelor level degree or higher must be complete by May 16, 2022  (first day of summer term).

Official Transcripts

  • All applicants are required to request official transcripts from each former/current institution attended.  You will need to order all official transcripts to be sent directly to NursingCAS for verification (regardless of the year(s) attended or previous coursework completed).  For information about submitting official transcripts, click here.  
  • Transcripts for institutions outside the United States must be reviewed by a foreign credentials evaluation agency.  An official detailed course-by-course credential evaluation, in English, is required to be completed by a foreign credentials evaluation agency of all university transcripts.  Further instructions can be found here. The College of Nursing & NursingCAS strongly recommend using World Education Services (WES)for the evaluation of coursework taken outside of the U.S.

International Transcripts: Official transcripts from any international institution you attended must be available for the Graduate College to view. An unofficial copy will be uploaded to your Graduate College application but you must also be able to show the physical official transcript if requested. It will be returned to you once their review is complete, more information can be found on their Transcripts and Degree page.

Holistic Admission Criteria 

  • Healthcare Experience
    • Licensed healthcare experience (CNA, EMT, etc.)
    • Family caregiver
    • Direct patient care
  • Service
    • Military
    • Peace Corps
  • Scholarship
    • Graduate with honors (Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, etc.)
    • Honors College student
    • Health related project or internship
  • Volunteer
    • Community
    • Education
    • Hospital/Clinic Volunteer
  • Leadership
    • Sports
    • Clubs
    • Residence Life
    • Student Government
    • Greek Organizations
    • SI Leader
    • Preceptor
    • Employment

Letters of recommendation are not necessary for holistic admission but random audits will be performed on the experiences reported. The College of Nursing will collect the information from transcripts, employers, and short statements included in the application.

Transfer Courses and Evaluations
When transferring from another institution, you must have semester equivalent coursework from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.  In addition, there are a few parameters to consider regarding transfer credit evaluations:

  • To view applicable transfer courses, please visit the University of Arizona's Transfer Credit Guide.  If a course does not appear in this guide, students will need to submit a course equivalency request to the Office of Transfer Credit & Articulation.

In addition, there are a few parameters to consider regarding transfer credit evaluations:

  • Courses more than 10 years old are difficult to evaluate – please reach out to a nursing advisor about the course(s) specifically to examine eligibility for application use.
  • A full syllabus, dated within 2-3 years of when you took the course, is necessary for evaluation. International syllabi must also be translated.
  • Both the College of Nursing and the larger UA Articulation office cannot waive or override the need for a course equivalency evaluation.
  • Please review the nursing prerequisite page for your program to review additional requirements for prerequisite coursework.

Quarter System Courses
If you attended an institution on the quarter system, you will need to multiply the quarter hours by .667 to convert to semester hours.

  • 5 Quarter Hours = 3.33 Semester Hours – acceptable for any 4 Semester Hour course
  • 4 Quarter Hours = 2.66 Semester Hours – acceptable for any 3 Semester Hour course

International Admission
When applying to the university as an international student, you will need to review the admission requirements and obtain admission through the Graduate College.

International Coursework Evaluation
Coursework taken outside the United States must be evaluated and translated by a NACES member. Please see the International Admissionspage for additional details. As the course evaluation process can take additional time, we recommend you begin the evaluation process and secure international transcripts as early as possible.  International coursework can also be searched and viewed on the University of Arizona's Transfer Credit Guide.  If coursework does not appear in the guide, it can be submitted for review to the Office of Transfer Credit & Articulation.

Fingerprint Clearance Card
An Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card (FCC) will be required. In order to interview, a copy of your completed application or a physical card will be required. FCC cards can be obtained from the Arizona Department of Public Safety. If you do not currently have a FCC, we highly recommend applying for a card immediately.