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Master's Programs FAQs

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Have a question about the College of Nursing graduate programs? Review our frequently asked questions below to find the answer.


General FAQs

 Why should I earn my MS in nursing degree?

The Master of Science degree provides the opportunity for advanced study in selected areas of nursing science, professional foundations and specialized professional nursing practice and leadership.​

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 Why should I consider a nursing program at the Anschutz Medical campus?

The College of Nursing, founded in 1898, created the country’s first school nurse programs and the first nurse practitioner programs in the world. Faculty in the advanced practice specialty options maintain clinical practices and are certified in their specialty areas. The college touts the use of innovative, multi-disciplinary curriculum, numerous national rankings and real-world experience through multiple clinical placements. In addition, the program employs teaching and clinical instruction supplemented with simulation technology.​

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 Do I have to decide on a specialty option when applying?

Yes. Determining what you’re passionate for now will likely bring you a more fulfilling career in the future. Research your particular area of interest, then talk to an advanced practice or leadership nurse in the area to ensure that you truly have a passion for that particular specialty. When applying, cater your essay to appeal to the faculty within your specialty option. Students can apply to multiple programs and specialties, although many choose only one. If you are applying to more than one specialty, make sure each essay caters to that particular scope of work. An application fee is required for each application.​​​

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 How and where do I get my nursing accreditation?

Proof of nursing accreditation from the awarding institution(s) where you received your nursing degree is required. The nursing accreditation information must show accreditation at the time you were awarded the degree.

There are 2 accrediting bodies for nursing programs, the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Educations) and the NLN/NLNAC (National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission). Please access the links to find accreditation information for your appropriate nursing program. If you do not find the information on the web pages, please contact the school directly and have a school official send the College of Nursing an email with the nursing accreditation information.​​

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 Where can I get more information about the nursing programs?

Attend an information session. At the information session, you will be able to meet with faculty and current students, tour the campus, and ask admission and financial aid questions. You may also email a student affairs specialist who can answer questions. More information is located on this page.​

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Financial Questions

 How much does it cost?

A current schedule of tuition and fees is available on the Bursar's Office tuition web page.​​​​

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 How do I establish residency to receive in-state tuition?

Students must live in Colorado 1 year to receive in-state tuition. Please see the registrar’s residency page for more information.​​

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 Can I receive financial assistance?

Yes. Numerous scholarships are awarded to new and continuing students by the College of Nursing and outside organizations. You need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Contact the Financial Aid Office on the Anschutz Medical Campus at 303-724-8039 located in Education 2 North, 3rd Floor.​​

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Admissions and Academic Questions

 How competitive is the admission process?

Depending on the specialty option, the selection process can be competitive. For the advanced practice specialty options we receive about 6 applications for every student seat.​

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 What is the Admissions Process?

The admissions process depends on the degree. Please visit the admissions page for your desired degree for information about the admissions process.​

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 Is the GRE required?

For Doctor of Philosophy applicants

The GRE is only required for those applying without a previous master’s degree. However, if you have completed the GRE, please submit your exam scores.

For Master of Science and Master of Science-Doctor of Nursing Practice Applicants

The GRE and/or (12) credits of graduate level coursework at a 3.0 or higher is required for those applicants (to the MS, MS-DNP programs) who’s undergraduate nursing degree GPA is less than 3.0. The official GRE score and/or graduate coursework must be completed prior to the application deadline.​​​

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 How long will it take to complete the program?

Most students successfully complete the program (MS, MS-DNP, PGC, DNP) in 2 to 3 years, but it depends on your chosen specialty option and your life commitments. However, you will need to complete the programs within 5 years.

Please visit our website regarding completion timeframes for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program

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 Can I work during the program?

Depending on the specialty option, you may be able to work either part time or full time. If you are interested in an advanced practice specialty option, your ability to work may be limited due to the clinical component.​

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 Are classes offered online?

The delivery format for our advanced practice specialties is hybrid. Several courses will be completed exclusively online, while others may require your presence on-campus during intensive dates. For those students who are applying from rural communities in Colorado, or from out of state, we do offer our specialty courses via ITV. This option is only available for students outside the 7-county metro area.​ There are three specialties offered 100% online, Veteran & Military Health Care, iLEAD and Health Care Informatics.​​​

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 Are there clinical requirements?

Yes. All nurse practitioner specialty options have clinical requirements. If you are in the Denver metro area, we will arrange clinicals for you. If you are in a rural area, outside of the metro area or out of state, you are required to find your own clinical placements. Please note that clinical placements are Monday-Friday. We do not offer weekend clinical placements. Students must be flexible with their schedules to accommodate clinical placements. Student should move to Colorado to complete this portion of the program if they are unsuccessful finding an approved clinical placement to complete their program.

There are no clinical requirements for i-LEAD, Veteran & Military Health Care or Health Care Informatics programs, however each have practicum hours to complete.​

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 What are the prerequisite courses for the MS program?

There are two required courses needed for admission: a research course and a statistics course. Both must be completed with a grade of C or better at regionally accredited institution.​

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 Do I need a RN License?

Yes. At the time of application, you will need to submit a copy of your RN license. Depending on the specialty option, once you are accepted, a Colorado RN license will be required for clinical purposes.​

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 Do you have TOEFL and/or TSE (TES of Spoken English) requirements?

Please visit our masters program admissions page for language requirements.

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 How do I apply?

Review the complete admissions information on the College of Nursing website. All applications are processed through the Centralized Application Service for Nursing Programs (NursingCAS). NursingCAS is the online, centralized application service for nursing schools.​

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 When do I apply for the program?

Please check the application deadline page. Please note that the application deadline through NursingCAS is based on Eastern Daylight Time. We strongly suggest that you begin and submit your application as early as possible: at least four to six weeks before the published deadline so that all of your documents can be verified by NursingCAS by the deadline. Applications received by the published deadline will be given full consideration. Incomplete applications will not be considered.​

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 Where do I send my transcripts?

Please check the NursingCAS website for transcript requirements and details. Please note that transcripts sent to the College of Nursing will not be considered. The College of Nursing is not responsible for missing or lost transcripts.

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 How do I know when my application is complete?

Applicants can check the status of their application through their NursingCAS Application Portal.​

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 My recommender is having trouble submitting a recommendation, what should I do?

Master of Science, Master of Science-Doctor of Nursing Practice, Post-Graduate Certificate, and Doctor of Nursing Practice applicants

You will submit requests for references to be uploaded electronically on your behalf by your reference writers in the "Supporting Information" section of the NursingCAS application.

For Doctor of Philosophy applicants

Please visit the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Admissions webpage.​​

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 When will I receive my admission decision?

If you are applying for fall term, you should receive an admission decision in April. If you are applying for spring term, you should receive your admission decision in September.​

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 Regarding letters of recommendation, what is an academic reference?

An academic reference refers to someone (professor, instructor, advisor, mentor) who can speak to your academic readiness, preparation, and achievements. He or she does not need to be in the nursing field.​

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