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Masters in Nursing Admission Policy

General Statement

The faculty of the University of New Mexico, College of Nursing, is committed to excellence and diversity in its student body. Our admission policy for the baccalaureate, master, and doctoral degree programs is congruent with the mission statement of the College of Nursing and the Health Sciences Center. We believe that diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives among the student body help to insure a dynamic, productive, and positive learning experience. In seeking to achieve diversity, the admissions committees for each degree program may consider a wide range of factors in evaluating applicants for admission. Competency in the English language is required.

Since this college is a publicly funded institution, New Mexico residents are given preference. Geographical distribution from within the state also may be a factor in selecting the entering class as part of our search for diversity.
It has been our experience that a large percentage of the applicant pool is qualified to be admitted, and if admitted would succeed in the course of studies. Given limited clinical space and faculty and classroom space resources, however, admissions may be capped at a specified number each year to match resources. Many qualified applicants are regrettably denied admission.

The College of Nursing Admission Policy shall be subject to periodic review by the faculty and as requested by the Dean. Each admissions committee (i.e., baccalaureate, master, doctoral) operates within guidelines specific to that degree and/or concentration, as follows:

Master’s Degree Program

Because applicants are seeking admission to graduate studies at the University level, they must complete the UNM application for graduate studies and meet the minimum entry requirements set forth by the University. They must hold a bachelor’s degree, and in general must present a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (B) in their last two undergraduate years and in their major field. Graduate units may establish additional requirements for applicants to their programs.

Applicants to the master’s degree program in nursing with less than a 3.0 GPA for both the bachelor’s cumulative and nursing major must specifically petition the College of Nursing Admissions Committee to review their materials for admission. The petition must accompany the application. It should address the reasons for the low grade point average and provide evidence of potential for academic success, which the Admissions Committee will consider when making admission decisions. Such applicants may benefit from additional coursework in non-degree status prior to consideration for admission to the graduate program.


Applicants to the master’s degree program in nursing are evaluated for their potential to meet program goals as well as for success in their desired concentration within the College of Nursing. Their applications are therefore reviewed within the context of both degree (i.e., MSN) and concentration

There are different application deadlines for the concentrations within the MSN degree program. All required application materials must be received by the application deadline. These include (but are not limited to) the application, transcripts, petition (if GPA less than 3.0), three letters of reference, letter of intent (must specify the concentration and should address the “Other Factors” included under the admission criteria), and evidence of passing the Community Health test (non-BSN applicants).

All concentrations admit a limited number of new students annually. Faculty from the Practice and Education teams establish screening criteria and review applications for admission to their programs. Screening criteria are reviewed annually by each team. Final admission decisions are approved by the appropriate team which functions as the Admission Committee. All admission decisions are final.

Note: The screening criteria used by individual concentrations are reviewed annually by either the Education Team or the Practice Team.