Skip to main content
Sign In

University of Colorado College of Nursing

College of Nursing

MS-PhD Program

Program Overview

MS-PhD Program

The master’s portion of the pathway is the completion of a 30 credit special studies in nursing MS option that includes core coursework and additional advanced practice nursing coursework selected by the student and advisor. Nurses pursuing preparation for advanced practice nursing will need to take additional coursework in a selected specialty, including clinical practice, to be eligible for certification in a specific advanced practice specialty.

Credit for past course work is evaluated on a case by case basis. Review the specialty options to learn the courses required for each MS specialty. You will only need to complete the courses you have not been given credit for.


The University of Colorado College of Nursing has had more than a century to establish its reputation as one of the best in the country. We are known for our pioneering initiatives, including being the birthplace of the first nurse practitioner program in the world and offering online education many years before other schools. Our master's program is ranked 15th in the U.S. in the 2011 rankings of graduate schools by U.S. News & World Report.

Also ranked by the U.S. News & World Report, is our Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) specialty ranking 5th in the nation.



Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist  

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

The adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist (CNS) option prepares nurses to become evidence-based and theory-guided advanced practice nurses providing quality care to acutely and critically ill patients, medical-surgical patients, and older adults.

Adult Gerontological Nurse Practitioner  

Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

Adult-gerontology nurse practitioners provide primary care to older adolescents and adults. Nurse practitioner students are prepared to provide safe, competent and satisfying care to their patients within the specialty.

Family Nurse Practitioner 

Family Nurse Practitioner

Family nurse practitioners provide primary care to infants, children, adults and geriatric patients. Entry into practice as a primary care nurse practitioner demands educational preparation at a minimum of a master’s degree in nursing.

Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner  

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The FPMHNP program provides course work that focuses on complex psychiatric nursing assessment and interventions in children, adolescents, adults and older adults.

Health Care Informatics 

Health Care Informatics

The field of informatics provides opportunities for health care professionals to become leaders in the forefront of health care transformation through the use of provider and patient care technologies. Our online programs prepare you to plan, select, design and implement emerging technologies that advance consumer engagement, support clinical decision making, promote safety and drive quality care.

Nurse Midwifery  


The nurse-midwifery option prepares the graduate to provide safe, competent and satisfying care to women and their families during the childbearing years, as well as primary care health issues across the lifespan.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner  

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

The pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) specialty focuses on the delivery of primary health care to infants, children and adolescents.

Pediatric Nursing Leadership & Special Needs   

Pediatric Nursing Leadership and Special Needs

Pediatric nursing leadership and special needs (PNL) is a program that prepares nurses for advanced practice in leadership positions working with children and youth, especially those with special needs.

Special Studies   

Special Studies

The purpose of the special studies option is to create a pathway to obtain the MS degree for students who may already have certification in an advanced practice area.

Women's Health 

Women's Health

The women's health nurse practitioner option focuses on the primary health care needs of women from adolescence through the older adulthood.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner  

i-LEAD Nursing Leadership and Health Care Systems

The i-LEAD (innovation in leadership and administration in nursing and health care systems) program will prepare advanced practice nurses with the expertise to provide leadership for high quality health care in rural and medically under-served urban areas.