MSN and PMC Admission Requirements

As you prepare your application to Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, we would like to share important details with you. We are looking forward to receiving your application and are available to answer your questions and support you through the process. Just let us know how we can help.


Applicants are encouraged to attend an information session conducted by an Admission Counselor for assistance with the application process. Information Sessions are held on most Tuesdays from 10-11am and on Fridays from 2-3pm. Please call the Admissions Office at 615.322.3800 or 888.333.9192 to schedule yourself for one of these sessions.


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


The School of Nursing begins reviewing applications for admission to its new fall class on November 1st of the previous year, after which admissions are on a rolling basis. Fall 2016 application will be available September 15th, 2015. 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 1st early action date have a greater probability of being admitted. 


After September 15, applicants should submit their online application at to create a file in Vanderbilt's admissions system. Do not wait to submit the online application until all supporting documents have been obtained.


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.


There are 8 requirements for those who seek admission to Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. These requirements vary somewhat depending upon your educational background and whether you are already a Registered Nurse


  1. All applicants must submit an online application which includes a Statement of Purpose and a $50 application fee. The Statement of Purpose should reflect your understanding of the role of the advanced practice nurse and your interest in either a particular patient population, in health care leadership or in nursing informatics. 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.

    Students are offered admission to their selected specialty; it is not possible to enter the program undecided about your specialty area. 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. Students admitted to the School of Nursing have earned an undergraduate grade point average of at least a "B" or a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 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 the 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

  3. A satisfactory Graduate Record Exam score taken within 5 years of the application is required. Please have your GRE scores sent to Institution Code: 1871 & Department Code: 0610. Post-master's certificate applicants are not required to take the GRE.

    • It is recommended that MSN applicants have a verbal and quantitative score in the 50th percentile or above.
    • It is recommended that MSN applicants have a writing score of 4.5.
    • MSN applicants with GRE scores below the suggested minimum will be considered on an individual basis.

  4. All applicants must provide three letters of professional reference. References should be from faculty members, professional colleagues, or work supervisors who can evaluate your potential for success in a graduate program. Recommendations from family, friends, other students or co-workers are NOT appropriate. While only three references are required, the online application system will allow you to provide names of up to 5 recommenders.

  5. All applicants must respond to the six application questions. 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.

  6. All applicants are required to have certain prerequisite courses from an accredited college or university.

    1. If you have earned a BSN, you must have had a 3 semester hour or 4 quarter hour Statistics course.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.<
  7. RN applicants must have graduated from an ACEN or CCNE accredited school and hold an unencumbered RN license. Students admitted contingent upon NCLEX–RN examination results are subject to immediate withdrawal from courses with a clinical component if they aren't successful on the NCLEX-RN.

  8. 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:

    All information submitted in the application process must be the applicant's own work, 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.

    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.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors Rules and Standards require authorization by the state of North Carolina for out-of-state post-secondary degree activity and clinical practica. All specialties in the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing MSN program are authorized. All specialties in the post-master's certificate program are authorized with the exception of the women's health nurse practitioner (WHNP). Authorization for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and the post-master's certificate in women's health nurse practitioner specialty are in progress.


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. Inquires or complaints should be directed to the Opportunity Development Officer, Building E, West Side Row, P.O. Box 1809, Station B, Nashville, Tennessee 37235. Telephone (615) 322.4705.