Graduate Entry FAQs

Will I receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree?

No, you will not receive a BSN. Upon completion of the program you will receive a Master of Science in nursing. You will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX licensing exam when all required pre-licensure nursing courses are completed, after six quarters of full-time study.

Will I be able to work while going to school?

Although the coursework and clinicals are rigorous, especially in the first and second years, some Graduate Entry students do work part-time, usually no more than 10-15 hours per week. In the third year of study, some students choose to work part-time as registered nurses, though the final year of the program is still full-time requiring about three to four days of clinical and didactic content per week.

Can I apply for more than one specialty area?

No, applicants must pick one specialty area at the time of application. It is also extremely unlikely that students are permitted to switch specialties after admission. If you have an interest in more than one specialty field, consider pursuing a second specialty after graduate through our Post-Master’s Study option.

Can I take courses in this program before I am officially admitted?

No, all coursework required for this degree program must be taken as an admitted, degree-seeking student. 

Can I pursue this degree program at the same time as another graduate or professional degree program at Ohio State?

Students who enroll in two graduate degree-granting programs concurrently are called Dual Degree students. Please review this information on the Graduate School website to learn more about the Dual Degree designation.

Dual Degree students must satisfy the credit hour requirements for each degree program. There may be little overlap between the two sets of coursework, which can result in students being required to fully complete the degree requirements for both programs in order to graduate. This can extend time to graduation. Due to the rigorous nature of some of our graduate clinical programs, prospective students interested in a Dual Degree option with the College of Nursing are advised to closely examine the curriculum requirements of our programs before applying. For degree programs with clinical components, it is important to recognize that adjustments to the standard curriculum plan may not be possible.

To learn more about the process for applying as a Dual Degree student, please visit the Graduate School’s website. After you have reviewed this information, please contact the director of the program in which you are interested for further discussion. The director’s name and contact information can be found by visiting the homepage of the program on the college’s website. This discussion should occur before you begin applying in order to gain a better understanding of program requirements. Applicants interested in applying to a College of Nursing graduate program as a Dual Degree student must follow the application process listed on the program admission webpage and adhere to all deadlines. Please email if you have any questions about how to apply.

Can I complete this program online?

No, the Graduate Entry Master of Science in Nursing has in-person courses on the Ohio State campus included in its curriculum. 

Can I switch specialties once I am in the program?

There is a petition process for students to request to switch to a different specialty. However, the program is not typically able to accommodate changes in specialty due to enrollment capacity, as well as other reasons. Prospective students are encouraged to research the various specialty options prior to applying so that they are confident in their choice of specialty at the time of application. We also offer a graduate nursing specialty quiz to get you started in that research. 

If I complete the first half of the program and pass the NCLEX, am I able to work as an RN?

Yes, you will be considered a nurse and can be employed as one. Some students do pursue employment during the second half of the program, however, please keep in mind that the program does continue to run at a full-time pace through graduation. 

Can I take a break from the program after getting my RN license to work and then come back to finish my master's later?

No, students are expected to complete the program by following the established, three-year graduation plan (or five years for the NNP specialty). 

Am I able to complete the prerequisite courses after the application deadline? Can courses be in-progress at the time of the application deadline?

No, all prerequisite coursework must be completed by the application deadline. If any prerequisite course requirements are not complete or are in progress at that deadline, your application will not be considered for admission.

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Lauren Arnita
Lauren Arnita, current student

“I believe this program goes above and beyond to prepare its students for their chosen careers and future. The combination of hands on learning as well as the dedication to not only professional development, but also interdisciplinary development has been immensely beneficial.”