Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

About the program

If you would like to take your nursing career to the next level, SPU’s Master of Science in Nursing programs offer an unrivaled combination of clinical expertise, training, and hands-on experience to equip and prepare you. Whether you hold an associate degree in nursing, are a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in another field, or hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing, SPU offers a pathway for you to earn your MSN.

MSN concentrations

The MSN program offers the following specialty concentrations:

  • Clinical Leadership in Practice
  • Clinical Leadership in Practice, Nurse Educator Specialization

Note:  As of September 2017, no additional students will be admitted to the MSN program under the Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist pathways. See Doctor of Nursing Practice for Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist offerings.


The Graduate Nursing program operates on a cohort model beginning with foundational coursework that focuses on quality clinical practice, evidence-based practice, and leadership. On a full-time schedule, the MSN Program is seven quarters in length.

Your coursework is separated into specialty areas, and your clinical internship experiences begin only after the completion of all prerequisite courses. All graduate coursework must adhere to specified levels of scholarship before progression can occur.

Application requirements

The graduate nursing enrollment counselor ( is available to assist you with your application. Requirements vary by specialty practice and your educational background. GRE scores are not required for admission.

Our ADN to MSN entry option allows practicing associate degree-prepared nurses to accelerate their education and seamlessly complete a MSN degree on a full-time or part-time plan.

Entry options are also available for nurses with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing or with a BSN. For admission to the Clinical Leadership in Practice Program — with or without the Nurse Educator Specialization — the following are required:

  • An associate or a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited program. Applicants may be required to complete additional coursework (pending approved transfer of credits).
  • Active, unencumbered Washington state RN license.
  • A minimum of 12 months of active RN experience* by January 15, 2018.
  • A minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 in your associate OR bachelor’s program. The following prerequisite coursework is required with a minimum of 2.0 in any individual course before matriculation.  Failure to successfully complete these courses means you will not be able to enroll in the program:
    • General (Inorganic) Chemistry (equivalent to CHM 1310 or 1211)
    • Biological (Organic) Chemistry (equivalent to CHM 1360 or 1330)
    • Anatomy (equivalent to BIO 2129)
    • Physiology (equivalent to BIO 2130)
    • English Composition (similar to WRI 1000)
    • General Microbiology (equivalent to BIO 3351)
    • General Psychology (equivalent to PSY 1180)
    • Developmental Psychology (equivalent to PSY 2470)
    • Statistics (equivalent to MAT 2360)
    • Art (similar to WKA)
    • Humanities (similar to WKH)

*A gap analysis will be completed for every applicant to determine fulfillment of prerequisites and potential substitution for courses in the SPU curriculum.

Admission requirements

Applicants who meet minimum requirements are not guaranteed admission. Completed applications are screened and reviewed by Graduate Admissions and Graduate Admissions Committee. Graduate Admissions Committee consists of members of the Graduate Nursing Council (GNC) and other SHS community members.

To apply, submit the following items to Graduate Admissions to be considered:

  • Online application and $50 processing fee.
  • Official transcript(s) from each college or university attended.
  • Two professional recommendations. (Prompt is found in the online application.)
  • Personal reflection statement. (Prompt is found in the online application.)
  • Résumé.
  • Additional documentation may be required for international applicants.

Graduate Admissions will confirm your active, unencumbered RN license.

After the review of your application, you may be invited to have an in-person interview as part of the admissions process.

It is recommended that you begin the process by submitting an application, although you may send other admissions documents at any time. It is also recommended that you talk with Graduate Admissions early in the application process in order to ensure a smooth transition into the program.

Application deadline

January 15 by 5 p.m.

Enrollment policy

The general requirements for a master’s degree are consistent with those listed for the University.

  • All courses must be completed as designated on your individual curriculum plan.
  • If you elect to complete a thesis, you must register for additional thesis credits. 
  • The University requires that all master’s degree coursework be completed within a six-year limit.
  • To graduate, you must demonstrate beginning proficiency within your professional role as put forth by professional standards for practice, as well as fulfill all requirements as stated by the University.