Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

About the program

SPU’s Master of Science in Nursing programs offers you an unrivaled combination of clinical expertise, training, and hands-on experience to equip and prepare you to take your career to the next level. 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 has a pathway for you to earn your MSN.

MSN concentrations

The MSN program offers the following specialty concentrations:

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.

Entry options

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.


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

Requirements vary by specialty practice and your educational background. GRE scores are not required for admission.

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). BSN degrees from competency-based programs will be evaluated  on a case by case basis.
  • Active, unencumbered Washington state RN license.
  • A minimum of 12 months of active RN experience* by September 1st.
  • 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)
  • Proof of English language proficiency if your native language is not English.  (Please reference the language proficiency requirement for graduate nursing programs.)

*The SHS graduate program defines active nursing practice to include those activities that require RN licensure, employment, and utilize the nursing process to deliver or direct care.

Admission requirements

Applicants who meet minimum requirements are not guaranteed admission. Completed applications are screened and reviewed by Graduate Admissions and Graduate Admissions Committee. 

To apply, submit the following items to be considered:

  • Online application and processing fee.
  • Official transcript(s) from each college or university attended.
  • 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.

Your active, unencumbered RN license will be confirmed during the application review process.

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 talk with Graduate Admissions early in the application process in order to ensure a smooth transition into the program.

Application deadline

January 15

Enrollment policy

The general requirements for a master’s degree are consistent with those listed for the University. Additionally, the School of Health Sciences requires the following for master’s students:

  • All courses must be completed as designated on your individual curriculum plan.
  • 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.