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A path to gain entry to nursing school.

At MSU, pre-nursing students have a variety of options available to them in preparation for nursing programs. Our office advises students on admissions processes and the prerequisite course requirements of any nursing program that they plan to apply to. Many of our pre-nursing students are housed in the Department of Biological Sciences under the pre-nursing concentration. This is non-degree route that allows pre-nursing students to complete the prerequisites for BSN programs. However, we also advise degree seeking students in any major that plan to apply to accelerated programs after graduation. Check out the pathways and links below to learn more about these options and what might be the best fit for you. 

Overall, entrance into nursing school is very competitive. A minimum of a 21 ACT is often required, however, accepted students typically have an average of a 24+ ACT score.  A high GPA is also required. A 3.0 cumulative GPA is often the minimum, but a 3.4 – 3.6 GPA will make you a stronger, more competitive applicant.

Questions about Pre-Nursing:


Pathways to Nursing Education

Accelerated Programs

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, accelerated programs offer the quickest route to licensure as a registered nurse (RN) for adults who have already completed a bachelor's or graduate degree in a non-nursing discipline. Students can major in anything on campus and come to the Health Professions Resource Center for advising on prerequisites. 


MSU-Meridian Master of Science in Nursing Program 

The MSU-Meridian Accelerated Master of Science in Nursing program offers a pathway into practice as a Registered Nurse for those with a previous degree in a non-nursing field.

We leverage the skills, knowledge, and life experiences that each student brings as a scaffold for nursing practice. We strive to create a community where every student belongs, questions are welcome, and learning is active.

Students complete 58-semester credit hours of coursework over 12-months. Upon program completion, graduates are eligible for the NCLEX-RN examination and licensure as a Registered Nurse. 

Admissions Requirements 


Accelerated Bachelor's of Science (BSN) in Nursing Programs

This option is for people who have earned a bachelor’s degree in another area of study. It involves additional coursework and clinical practice and can be completed in 11 to 18 months.

University of Mississippi Accelerated BSN Program


Combined ABSN to DNP or Bridge Programs with Nurse Practitioner Licensure 

These programs combine the accelerated bachelors of nursing program with an upper level nursing degree program- either masters (MSN) or doctorate level (DNP) with licensure. These programs typically take 3 to 3.5 years to complete, depending on the type of combination. 


Vanderbilt School of Nursing PreSpecialty Entry 

Emory Master of Nursing Pathway 

Dual Degree Option

The dual-degree program's graduates will have the opportunity to earn both a Bachelor of Science (BS) from Mississippi State University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from one of our partner institutions. Students begin the program working towards their bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Studies from MSU while fulfilling requirements needed for the nursing program.

Affiliated Schools:

Mississippi University for Women 

William Carey University 

University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing 


Freshman Early Entry (FEE) Program with University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing

This Freshman Early-Entry program is an opportunity to gain entry into UMMC’s BSN program as a college freshman, rather than as a junior. FEE students avoid the competitive selection process for admission into the Traditional BSN program following the completion of the pre-nursing courses as long as a minimum of a student maintains a minimum of a 3.0 college GPA and no less than a “C” in all pre-requisite courses.

Admission Criteria

Traditional Route to Bachelors of Science in Nursing Programs (2+2)

This route is often pursued by people who have not previously completed a post-graduate program. It is the most common way to get a BSN. A full-time BSN program requires about four years of schooling total. Students pursuing these programs from MSU generally complete about 2 years of prerequisites with us, then if they are accepted into a traditional route nursing program, they will complete 2 years there. 

*Students wishing to choose this track will want to consider our non-degree seeking nursing concentration housed in the Department of Biological Sciences. 



Nursing Education Pathways at a Glance

Graphic of Nursing School Options


Discover more at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing