Pre-Licensure BSN Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the Pre-Licensure BSN degree program and the BSN Completion degree program?
The Pre-Licensure BSN degree program is for students who do not already have an associates degree (ADN) or a diploma in nursing, and do not already have an RN license. The BSN Completion program is for students who do have an associates degree (ADN) or a diploma in nursing, already have an RN license, and would like to complete their BSN degree. The BSN Completion program is also known as RN to BSN, or FLEX.
What is the difference between pre-clinical and clinical?
Pre-clinical refers to the portion of the nursing major when students are taking their general education/prerequisite courses. Clinical refers to the portion of the nursing major when students are taking the actual nursing coursework.
Pre-clinicals are not competitive; meaning, we have no cap on the number of pre-clinical students we can admit. As long as students meet our minimum admission criteria, they can attend UMSL as a pre-clinical student. Clinicals, however, are competitive; meaning, we have a limited number of students we can admit, and meeting the minimum clinical admission criteria does not guarantee that a student will earn a space. Clinical applicants are ranked against one another; the applicants with the highest GPAs are offered clinical spaces.
Admission as a pre-clinical student does not guarantee admission into clinicals; unless a student is admitted to the Traditional Option as a first-time freshman under the guaranteed clinical admission criteria for freshmen.
What is the difference between the various Pre-Licensure BSN Options?
The main difference between the different Pre-Licensure BSN Options is the amount of time in which it will take you to complete the nursing coursework after your general education/prerequisite coursework is completed.
The clinical track of the Traditional Option is a full-time plan of study that encompasses 5 full academic semesters (Spring and Fall only, with no clinical coursework over the Summer term) for a total of approximately 2.5 years.
The clinical track of the Accelerated Option is a full-time plan of study that includes 2 Summer terms and 2 full academic semesters, for a total of 15 months.
The clinical track of the Part-Time Option offers evening and weekend nursing coursework at a part-time pace. It includes 7 full academic semesters, as well as 3 Summer terms, for a total of 3.5 years.
In addition to the length of time that each option takes, the admission criteria, the number of students we admit, and how often we admit students to each option also varies slightly.
What are the minimum admission criteria for your Pre-Licensure BSN Options?
The admission criteria varies, according to which Option you are interested in (i.e. Traditional vs. Accelerated vs. Part-Time), as well as whether you are seeking admission as a first-time-freshman or a transfer student. The minimum admission criteria for each program may be found at the following portions of our website:
Do you require applicants to take a Dosage Calculation Test before being admitted?
No, we do not require applicants to take a Dosage Calculation Test before being admitted. Instead, students who earn a clinical space in any of our Pre-Licensure BSN Options will learn dosage calculations as part of their clinical coursework in Fundamentals and Pharmacology.
What are the prerequisite courses for the Pre-Licensure BSN degree program? Do the prerequisites differ across the 3 different Options?
The general education/prerequisite requirements do vary slightly for the 3 Pre-Licensure BSN Options. You may find a listing of the current requirements at the following portions of our website (please note that prerequisite courses and curriculum are subject to change):
Do I have to take my prerequisite coursework at UMSL?
No, you do not have to take the prerequisite coursework at UMSL. However, first-time freshmen who take their prerequisite coursework at UMSL will not have to compete for a clinical space in the Traditional Option if they are admitted to the university with at least a 22 ACT score and at least a 2.9 core high school GPA. So there is an incentive for these students to take their prerequisite coursework at UMSL, since all other students must compete for a clinical space.
Students who are competing for a clinical space may take their prerequisite coursework either at UMSL or at another institution, if they so choose. It is highly recommended that students who choose to take their prerequisite coursework elsewhere meet with an academic advisor at UMSL's College of Nursing to confirm that they are taking courses that will properly transfer to fulfill our requirements.
During what semesters do you admit students to each Pre-Licensure BSN Option?
We admit students to the Traditional Option every Spring and Fall; to the Accelerated Option every Summer; and to the Part-Time Option every Fall.
What is the deadline to apply?
There is no application deadline for pre-clinical admission. Clinical application deadlines for all of our nursing programs may be found on our Application Deadlines Page.
Do I need to have all of my prerequisite coursework complete before I can apply to the clinical portion of any of the Pre-Licensure BSN Options?
Your prerequisite courses do not need to be finished before you can apply; however, they must be completed before you may enroll (if you are offered a clinical space). Most students apply to clinicals while they are in their final semester of pre-clinical coursework. In other words, prerequisite courses may be in progress at the time of application; if we do offer you a clinical space, though, it is contingent upon you completing the rest of the prerequisite courses (with a satisfactory grade) before you would start in the clinical portion of the program.
Please note that, while it is acceptable for students to have prerequisite courses in progress at the time of application, applicants must meet the minimum GPA requirements at the time of application in order to be considered for clinical admission. Additionally, students who are applying to either the Traditional Option or the Part-Time Option who do not have all four of their major science courses (Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology I, Anatomy & Physiology II and Microbiology) completed before the application deadline may have a lesser chance of earning a clinical space. Please contact an advisor at the College of Nursing for details.
How many clinical students do you admit each semester?
We admit 80 students every Spring and 48 students every Fall into the Traditional Option. For the Accelerated Option, we admit 48 students every Summer. We admit 32 students to the Part-Time Option every Fall.
Do you have a wait list?
We do not use a wait list the way that some other nursing schools do. Instead, we have competitive admission. This means that there are minimum criteria that students must meet simply to apply to clinicals. However, meeting these criteria does not necessarily guarantee that you will earn a space (unless you are admitted to the Traditional Option as a first-time freshman with a guaranteed clinical space). We offer spaces to the top applicants for each admit term according to their GPAs; the higher GPA a student has, the better chance he/she has of earning a space. However, there are no guarantees that a student will earn a space, even if he/she meets our minimum admission criteria, since it all depends upon how they compare to the rest of the applicant pool.
We do use a wait list for each admit term, since we always have more applicants than we do spaces, and since not all of the top applicants will end up accepting their space for one reason or another. If one of the top applicants declines his/her space, we offer it to the first person on the wait list. We continue to work our way down the list until all of the spaces have been accepted. Once that happens, and the semester begins, the wait list goes away; we do not carry it over to the next semester. Therefore, it is possible for a student to meet our minimum qualifications, but not be offered a space in our program.
One of the most appealing things about our admission process is that we always have spaces available for the upcoming term; the downside, though, is that there is no guarantee of admission.
What are my chances of earning a space in the Pre-Licensure BSN program?
The one and only way for a student to guarantee that he/she will earn a space in our program is to come to UMSL as a first-time freshman with at least a 22 ACT and a 2.9 core high school GPA. These students will earn a guaranteed clinical space in the Traditional BSN Option. All other applicants to the Traditional Option, and all applicants to the Accelerated and Part-Time Options, must compete for a space. We have no way of predicting how an applicant will compare to the rest of the applicant pool for the semester in which they are applying. However, we do know that clinicals are very competitive, and that we generally have between 3-5 qualified applicants per space each semester.
Can I apply to multiple Pre-Licensure BSN Options?
Yes, applicants may apply to multiple Pre-Licensure BSN Options (and are often encouraged to do so). Students who choose to apply to multiple Options must be aware, though, of the differences between each Option with regards to admit terms, general education course requirements, and GPA requirements. Just because an applicant meets the minimum admissions criteria for one Option, this does not mean that the applicant automatically qualifies for the other Options as well.
If an applicant chooses to apply to multiple Pre-Licensure BSN Options, he/she must submit a separate clinical application for each Option. Just because an applicant submits a clinical application for one Option, this does not mean that he/she will automatically be considered for admission to the other Options as well.
Although applicants must submit separate clinical applications for each Pre-Licensure BSN Option to which they choose to apply, they do not necessarily need to apply to the university multiple times. An applicant's admission to the University of Missouri-St. Louis is good for 3 consecutive terms (Fall, Spring and Summer). So, for example, if a student applies for and is admitted to a Spring semester, his/her admission to the university is good for that Spring and the following Summer and Fall. If the student does not enroll in the Spring semester, but wants to then enroll for either the Summer term or Fall semester, he/she would not need to reapply to the university (they would, however, need to submit another clinical application for the appropriate BSN Option by the appropriate clinical application deadline). If more than 3 terms passes between the applicant's original admission to the university, and his/her planned term of enrollment, then he/she would have to apply for readmission to the university. Using the same example, if a student applies for and is admitted to a Spring semester, but does not enroll at UMSL that Spring, Summer or Fall, he/she would then have to apply for readmission to the university if he/she plans to enroll in classes the next Spring or later.
If, during this time, the applicant is still pursuing coursework at an institution other than the University of Missouri-St. Louis, he/she must continue to send official updated transcripts to UMSL's Office of Admissions, so that we have an updated, official account of their academic records.
If I'm admitted to the clinical track of one Pre-Licensure BSN Option, can I later switch to a different Option?
No. Although a student may apply to multiple Pre-Licensure BSN Options, once he/she starts taking clinical coursework in one Option, he/she cannot switch to another Option.
I'm interested in pursuing a BSN degree from UMSL, but I'm not sure whether or not I qualify. Is there a way for me to find out whether or not I even qualify for any of your Pre-Licensure BSN Options before I actually apply?
Whenever possible, we encourage prospective students to set up a meeting with an advisor within the College of Nursing before starting the application process. That way, we can make sure you understand the minimum admission criteria for our various Pre-Licensure BSN Options, and help you decide which Option is best for you. Students usually understand the admission process much better when it is explained to them in person.
You may set up an informational appointment by calling the main office of the College of Nursing at 314-516-6066. Tell our receptionist that you would like to set up an information appointment to learn about our Pre-Licensure BSN Options, and he/she can set that up for you.
If you are a transfer student, we recommend that you bring copies of your transcripts with you to the meeting, so that we can determine: 1) which prerequisite courses (if any) you may still need to take for our program, and 2) whether or not your transferable GPA meets our minimum requirements. Bring with you to the meeting separate copies of your transcripts from each undergraduate institution you have attended thus far. You do not need to bring official transcripts; unofficial transcripts or copies of your official transcripts will do for the purpose of this meeting.
If you do not live in the St. Louis area, and cannot attend an in-person meeting, you may arrange for an advisor to review your transcripts and communicate back-and-forth via email regarding your eligibility. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, saying that you would like to have your transcripts evaluated by an advisor, but are unable to attend an in-person meeting. Your email will be forwarded to our Admissions Representative or one of our Academic Advisors, who will then contact you with further instructions.
What is the cost of your program?
The cost of the 3 Pre-Licensure BSN Options varies. You may find estimated costs for each Option at the following portions of our website:
Please note that the estimated costs found on our website are based on current tuition and fees, which are subject to change in the future.
What kind of scholarships/financial aid is available?
Scholarships that are offered through UMSL's College of Nursing are restricted to undergraduate students who have already been admitted to the clinical portion of one of our BSN Options, or graduate students. Information can be found on the Scholarships section of our website.
Additional scholarship and financial aid information can be found on the website for UMSL's Office of Financial Aid.
What is the NCLEX pass-rate of your nursing graduates?
Our graduates have passed the NCLEX (on their first attempts) at a rate of over 90% every year, for the past 12 years in a row. This is higher than both the state and national averages.
How do I apply?
All students must be admitted to the University of Missouri- St. Louis before they can be considered for admission into the College of Nursing.
First-time freshmen and pre-clinical transfer students need only to apply to the university (the clinical application will come later for these students). You may apply to the university online through the Office of Admissions. Follow the instructions on that website regarding the university application fee and transcripts. Once you are admitted to the university, and begin taking pre-clinical coursework, your academic advisor will make sure you are aware of how to proceed with applying to clinicals when the time comes.
Transfer students who have already completed all of their prerequisite coursework (or are currently in their final semester of prerequisite coursework) and would like to apply to go straight into clinicals must apply to the university as well as the College of Nursing. Follow the same steps listed above for first-time-freshmen and pre-clinical transfer students. In addition, you must submit a clinical application to the College of Nursing. Click here for detailed instructions.
What if I don't want to submit some of my previous college transcripts, because I didn't do very well in those courses?
For our admissions purposes, we calculate applicants' GPAs based on all attempts of all transferable undergraduate courses. Applicants do not have the option to pick and choose which transcripts they would like to submit; they must submit transcripts from all previously attended undergraduate institutions. It is the policy of both the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the College of Nursing to wait until all transcripts have been received until an admission decision can be made. Students who do not list a complete academic history on their university applicationand do not have official transcripts from all previously attended undergraduate institutions sent to UMSL's Office of Admissions can have their admission to both the University and the College of Nursing revoked.
I have college coursework from a country outside of the United States. Do I have to submit these transcripts as well?
Yes, all undergraduate coursework, including foreign coursework, will be taken into consideration for admissions purposes. Since we calculate applicants' GPAs based on all attempts of all transferable courses, we must also evaluate international coursework. We understand that it can be difficult to obtain international transcripts, course descriptions, etc.; however, we are mandated by the MO State Board of Nursing to treat all of our applicants the same, with regards to our admissions process. Therefore, foreign coursework must also be taken into consideration. Please note that the international admission process can be quite time-consuming. It is recommended that applicants with international coursework should start the process at least one semester before their planned enrollment term. Please click here, and follow the instructions for submitting the required documents. If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to contact an Academic Advisor in the College of Nursing.
Do I need to submit a resume or letters of recommendation/references? Will there be an admissions interview?
No, you do not need to submit a resume or any letters of recommendations/references; nor will there be an admissions interview. Applicants' GPAs are the main determinant as to whether or not they will earn a clinical space.
I've heard that there was recently a curriculum change in your Pre-Licensure BSN Program. How will this affect me?
In Spring 2012, the clinical track of the Traditional BSN Option changed from a 4-semester plan of study to a 5-semester plan of study. For students who start at UMSL as first-time freshmen, this just means that you'll get to start clinicals one semester sooner (you will still be at UMSL for a total of 4 years, but instead of 4 semesters of pre-clinical coursework and 4 semesters of clinical coursework, you will now take 3 semesters of pre-clinical coursework and 5 semesters of clinical coursework). For students who plan to take their pre-clinical coursework elsewhere, and transfer to UMSL just for the clinical portion of the program, this means that you will spend 5 semesters at UMSL, rather than 4 semesters.
Additionally, there are 2 courses that used to be considered prerequisites to the Traditional BSN Option which have now become part of the clinical curriculum: Interpersonal Communication and Nutrition. Students no longer take these two courses as prerequisites in advance, as they are now worked into the clinical nursing curriculum.
A similar change has been made to the Part-Time BSN Option, effective for Fall 2013 and later. Students no longer take Interpersonal Communication or Nutrition as prerequisites, as they are now worked into the clinical nursing curriculum. Additionally, the program has changed from a 3-year plan of study to a 3.5-year plan of study.
At this time, there is no plan to change the curriculum and prerequisite requirements for the Accelerated BSN Option. As of now, it will remain a 15-month plan of study, with Interpersonal Communication and Nutrition required before students may enroll in the clinical portion of the program. As always, though, prerequisites and curriculum are subject to change.
How can I schedule a tour?
Campus tours must be arranged through UMSL's Welcome Center. When submitting the online request to arrange a campus visit, you may request to make an appointment with an Academic Department. Simply check that box on the form, and indicate that you would like to meet with the College of Nursing. The Welcome Center will arrange for you to meet with the Admissions Representative or one of the Academic Advisors from the College of Nursing. If time allows, you can also request to tour the nursing facilities.
If you are interested in viewing the nursing facilities without doing a full campus tour, you may arrange such a visit directly through the College of Nursing. Call our main office at 314-516-6066, and tell our receptionist that you would like to schedule an appointment to speak with an advisor and/or tour the nursing facilities, and he/she can set that up for you.