School of Nursing Graduate Level Programs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Graduate Nursing Program


How long is the program?

MSN program courses are offered in a sequence to allow students to complete the MSN degree in two (2) years. The Nursing Education Certificate can be completed in three (3) semesters. Post masters Nurse Practitioner certificates in Family Nurse and Psy/Mental Health can be completed in as little as 4 semesters. Degree planners are available upon request.

When should I apply? When is the application deadline?

We begin admitting students for Fall by March 15 and accept until full for the MSN non NP tracks. Admission for the MSN NP tracks are in Fall and Spring semesters. You are strongly encouraged to submit all of your materials at least 2 months prior to the deadline. This will give the Recruiter/Advisor time to notify you if any materials are missing, or if there are any issues with any of the materials, and allow you time to rectify the problem.  

Are any of your classes offered on-line?

All of the MSN courses are taught on-line. 

I live outside of Ohio, am I permitted to enroll in this program?

Yes, as long as your state is approved. Please go the E Learning State Authorization page to confirm that your state will approve your enrollment in this program.

What is the cost of the program?

Current graduate tuition rates may be found on the Office of Treasury Services website. Out-of-state students pursuing an online MSN are charged a reduced rate for the Nursing courses, instead of the full out-of-state tuition rate.

Please note that all CSU students, regardless of residency, are charged a $25 per credit hour eLearning fee for all on-line courses. There is a mandatory program fee assessed in the first semester of enrollment ($150).

Text book selection is evaluated by faculty every semester. Esimated textbooks for the MSN program cost approximately $1400.

When would I start if I were accepted?

MSN non NP track sequence begins in the Fall (August) semester each year. Admission to the MSN, NP tracks are for Fall (August) and Spring (January)semesters.

What grade point average (GPA) is required?

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in your BSN is required in order to be eligible to apply for the MSN , and Nursing Education Certificate programs.

Must I take the GRE?

At the present time, the GRE is not required to apply to the MSN program. 

Are there any pre-requisite courses?

You must have completed an undergraduate or graduate-level statistics course with a grade of C or better within ten (10) years of the application deadline for which you are applying. CSU offers and the School of Nursing recommends EDB 572, Statistics for Health & Human Services, which is offered on-line during the Summer semester. This course is also cross-listed is EDB 472.

Students applying to the Nursing Education Certificate are not required to complete the statistics prerequisite.

I do not have a 3.0 cumulative GPA in my BSN. Do I have any other options?

If you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement, you may apply to the College of Graduate Studies as a non-degree student or request permission to be admitted as a Provisional student. Upon completion of 12 credit hours of specific graduate nursing courses, with a grade of at least a B in each, you may apply as a degree-seeking student to the College of Graduate Studies. Successful completion of these 12 credit hours of graduate nursing courses does not guarantee admission to the Graduate Nursing Program. In addition, non-degree student registration in the graduate nursing courses is by departmental permission only, on a space-available basis. Priority is given to degree-seeking MSN students.This option is not available to Nursing Education Certificate applicants.

I won’t complete my BSN before the application deadline, but I will graduate before starting the MSN program. May I still apply?

Yes, you may apply while you are still in the process of completing your BSN. However, you must complete the BSN before starting the MSN program. You also must have a current RN license by end of the first semester of coursework.

I won’t have my RN license before the application deadline, but I will before starting the MSN program. May I still apply?

Yes, you may apply while you are still in the process of obtaining your RN. However, you must have a current RN license by the end of the first semester of coursework.

I have a letter of reference from a previous employer. Is this acceptable?

Yes, 2 professional letters of reference are required. Previous employers are acceptable.

What are the components of a successful Nursing application essay?

A successful application essay clearly covers the following criteria: identifying your population of interest, why you want to earn an MSN, professional and personal goals and skills you hope to develop during the education process

First and foremost, it demonstrates well developed writing skills, indicting an applicant is capable of graduate-level work. The essay should be approximately 2 pages in length. It is type-written, has no misspellings or grammatical errors, and conforms to current APA guidelines for margins, font, spacing, etc. A successful essay is not written hastily, but is well thought out and reflects the applicant’s potential to earn a graduate degree in nursing.

Do you offer an RN to MSN “bridge” program for nurses who do not have their BSN?

No. Students must complete a BSN prior to starting CSU’s MSN program. The School of Nursing offers an RN to BSN program which is entirely online, and may be completed in three (3) consecutive semesters.

I submitted official transcripts to CSU when I was an undergraduate student. Why does Graduate Admissions want another copy? Can they obtain a copy themselves?

You will need to obtain new copies of your official transcripts for Graduate Admissions. Your graduate record is maintained separately from your undergraduate record. It is your responsibility to obtain these transcripts from all of your previous institutions. You do not need to obtain an official CSU undergraduate transcript.

Why do I need to submit transcripts from all of my previous institutions? Some of them have nothing to do with my BSN.

Although your performance in your BSN program is very important in the admissions decision, the Graduate Nursing Admissions Committee considers your overall academic performance, not just your performance in your BSN.

I earned my baccalaureate degree from a foreign institution. What do I do?

When you apply to Cleveland State University, you will need to submit official transcripts to Admissions in order to have them evaluated. It is your responsibility to provide an official/certified translation if your transcripts are not in English. Additional information about the application process for international students may be found on the International Admissions website. Please note; students on an F1 Visa are not permitted to enroll in a on-line program.

May I transfer to Cleveland State University’s School of Nursing from another accredited Nursing program?

Students from other graduate Nursing programs are welcome to apply to CSU’s graduate Nursing programs. After you have been accepted to the College of Graduate Studies and the School of Nursing, you may request that your coursework be evaluated for transfer of credit. Contact the recruiter/advisor for additional instructions.

How are students selected for admission into the program?

Selection of students is based on a number of criteria including past academic performance, references, and their admissions essay. The number of spaces in the program is limited. Students not admitted due to lack of space or who do not accept an admission slot must reapply. There is no ongoing waiting list.

Are there any clinical hours required for the MSN program?

MSN students in the non nurse practitioner track complete a total of 500 clinical hours over the course of the program.  Breakdown on the hours in the MSN: 100 hours for a group project in our epidemiology course (NUR 505); 200 hours in the first practicum course (NUR 605) where you assess your population of interest and in collaboration with your preceptor, identify a problem/project you want to develop.  In this course, you develop the project along with the evaluation instrument.  In NUR 606, you implement and evaluate your project.  You may complete your practicum hours for 605 and 606 in your geographic region after Cleveland State University executes a clinical affiliation agreement with the agency where you want to complete your practicum.

MSN students in the Nurse practitioner track complete a total of 780 clinical hours over the course of the program. 

What courses can I take as a Non Degree Student?

Students admitted as a Non Degree student may only take the following courses with permission of the instructor: NUR 505 (Epidemiology), NUR 511 (Intro to Forensic Nursing), NUR 600 (Information Systems in Healthcare), NUR 602 (Health Care Policy), NUR 603 (Health Care Finance in Nursing). A maximum of 12 credits can be completed as a Non Degree student.