Skip to main content
Sign In

CU College of Nursing - RN to Nursing BS Program, Denver, Colorado

College of Nursing

RN to BS Admissions Requirements

Explore CU College of Nursing Requirements

RN reviewing requirements online

If you are a nurse who has completed an Associate's degree or a diploma nursing program and have your RN license, the RN to BS nursing program at the University of Colorado College of Nursing is for you! 

We strive to provide you with a quality CU education and help you complete the program as quickly as possible, saving you time and money. Most of the prerequisites for the program have already been completed in associates and diploma programs. 

We encourage you to browse through the website carefully to understand additional requirements and the application process.

1. Graduation from a regionally accredited Associate's degree in a Nursing program. Applications from RNs who graduated from a diploma program will be reviewed on an individual basis.
2. A total of at least sixty (60) semester or ninety (90) quarter hours of approved, transferable, non-nursing  prerequisite course work. (This requirement has usually been met upon completion of your previous coursework).
3. Completion of prerequisites.
4. The recommended overall GPA is 3.00 or better. (You may apply with an overall GPA of less than 3.00, if all of the prerequisites/electives are completed before the requested start term.)
5. Two letters of recommendation – preferably one (1) academic and one (1) professional.
6. Copy of current and unencumbered RN license.
7. If an applicant applies more than 3 years after receiving the associate degree in nursing, a minimum of 1000 hours of nursing work experience is required within the last three (3) years OR completion of a CCNE-approved RN refresher course.
8. All entering students are required to possess (lease or own) a personal computer that meets the minimum specifications for the duration of their degree program. Refer to our Student Handbook  for the details of the specifications.
9. If your primary spoken language is not English, you will need to submit TOEFL score as part of the application process. The College of Nursing TOEFL exam code is 3377. Please be sure to use this code when registering for the exam to ensure that we receive the results.

​Prerequisites Courses

Download the RN-BS Prerequisite Self-Evaluation form to view the courses that are required for the program.

Applicants without a bachelor's degree:

All prerequisites listed on the form are required.
Completion of Prerequisites: It is recommended that all sixty (60) prerequisite/elective credits be completed before the requested start date. You may also be admitted with two (2) prerequisite/elective courses that are planned for completion concurrently within the first year of the RN-BS program if your overall GPA is 3.00 or better. However, these two (2) courses cannot be from the first five required courses:
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Statistics
  • Chemistry
Prerequisites often do not total 60 semester credit hours. The remainder of the required sixty (60) semester credit hours may be selected from many academic disciplines. Some exceptions are nursing courses, commercial or vocational courses, doctrinal courses in religion, performance classes and physical education activity courses.

Applicants with a bachelor's degree:

Degrees have no expiration dates but need to be posted on your transcripts the term prior to enrollment. The only prerequisites required of you if you have a previous bachelor degree are as follows:
  • Anatomy (or Anatomy & Physiology I)
  • Physiology (or Anatomy & Physiology II)
  • Microbiology
  • General chemistry
  • Statistics

​Transfer Credit

All of your prerequisite classes will be considered transfer credit. This college level credit may be accepted by the University of Colorado if
  • it has been earned at a regionally accredited college or university.
  • a grade of C (not C-) or better has been attained.
  • it is not vocational-technical course work.
  • it is not remedial course work. 

Pass/Fail Credit

Required Courses found on the Prerequisite Evaluation Sheet taken for pass/fail credit will not be accepted. No more than 6 semester credit hours of pass credit will be considered for the elective course work required to complete the 60 semester credit hours. The grade of P will be accepted provided it is equivalent to C (not C-) or better and is so indicated on the transcript.

Correspondence and Extension

A maximum of 30 semester hours of correspondence and extension credit may count toward the degree. Correspondence and extension credit must meet the guidelines for transfer of college level credit and are subject to review. Please call 303-724-1812 to speak with an admission specialist for more details.

Study Abroad Course Work

Transcripts for study abroad course work from a non-U.S. institution are required.  A course-by-course evaluation is also required.

Additional Types of Credit

Some courses are accepted from advanced placement, CLEP and international baccalaureate programs. Email your admissions specialist with specific questions regarding these types of credits.

Additional Requirements for International Students

If you are an international applicant, you are encouraged to begin the application process one year prior to your requested admission term. In addition to the above admission requirements, you will need to submit:
  1. Financial statement for international applicants. Call 303-315-2230 for more information.
  2. A copy of your passport.
  3. Permanent Residents of the United States are not considered international students. A copy of the your permanent resident card is required.

Language Proficiency

If your primary language is not English, or if you are an International Student, you will need to demonstrate required English language proficiency by meeting one of the following criteria:
1.     You are a citizen of a country whose official language is English including Australia, Belize, Botswana, Canada (except Quebec), Commonwealth Caribbean, Ghana, United Kingdom, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
2.     You have obtained a total score of at least 560 on the paper-based TOEFL and 50 or above on the Test of Spoken English (TSE); a score of 83 on the Internet-based TOEFL with 26 or above on the spoken English section. For other minimum subscores see
The College of Nursing TOEFL Exam Code is 3377. Be sure to use this code when registering for the exam to ensure that we will receive the results
3.     You have obtained a total score of 6.5 on IELTS with minimum subscores as follows:
·       Reading – Minim score of 5.5
·       Writing – Minimum score of 5.5
·       Speaking – Minimum score of 5.5
·       Listening – Minimum score of 5.5
Official IELTS scores must be sent directly to the College of Nursing
4.     You have graduated from the University of Colorado Denver’s ESL Academy.
5.     You have graduated from a US/UK accredited school abroad with English as the medium of instruction.
6.     You have earned an Associate or Bachelor’s degree in the U.S. or you have successfully completed a minimum of 2 semesters of full-time study in a master’s program at an accredited institution in the U.S., or you have completed the GTPathways core at a Colorado Community College where you were deemed to have the required English language proficiency.
7.     You have graduated from and completed one year of secondary school in the US that included at least one unit of college preparatory English.  

English Proficiency

Excellent oral and written English communication skills are necessary prerequisites for admission to the school, success in the program and competent practice in the field of pharmacy. The CU College of Nursing requires all applicants for whom English was not (or is not) the primary spoken language at home to receive an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) by telephone. The interview is conducted by the school’s English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor, who is an American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) certified Oral Proficiency Tester in English, typically prior to the on-campus admissions interview. However, applicants may also be identified at any point and be referred for a subsequent OPI. Any applicant born in a foreign country where English is not the native and primary language, or born/arrived in the US speaking another language at home until entering school, should consider that English is not their primary language and identify this on admission materials in order to receive an OPI. Due to the rigorous communicative demands of the RN-BSN program, the minimum English oral proficiency admission standard is “advanced low” according to the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Guidelines for Speaking. Applicants rated at an oral proficiency level below “advanced low” via the OPI are disqualified from the pool of applicants considered for admission