The RN to MSN Pathways

The RN to MSN (Second Degree) option is an alternate pathway into the existing Master’s in Nursing (MSN) degree program for applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing, who are currently licensed registered nurses, and who seek MSN preparation.

  • Students are enrolled in the MSN Program, and upon completion will be awarded the MSN degree.
  • Students are not awarded a BSN degree.

RN to MSN Photo
Learn more about the RN to MSN PathwayAttend a weekly Virtual Information Session
Talk with our faculty and staff.
Next Info Session: Thursday, April 15th, 2021
From 3 to 4 PM Central Time

RN to MSN Admission Requirements

Prospective Students Must Meet the Following Requirements for Admission:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing from a regionally accredited college/university along with a minimum of Associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Possess an unencumbered/unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse in the state where you plan to conduct your clinical practicum.
  • Cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or on the last 60 semester hours.
  • Students with a GPA less than 3.2 are required to complete and submit scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), GMAT, or MAT; only scores completed within the past 5 years are accepted. Minimum required scores are a combined score of 297 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE, or a score of 410 on the MAT or score of 480 on the GMAT. Applicants who have successfully completed a graduate degree from a regionally accredited academic institution may receive a waiver for this requirement if they achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their previous graduate degree program. The following individuals are not eligible for the GRE waiver process: International applicants, non-native English speaking applicants, and Dual degree seeking applicants (e.g., MSN/MPH). For more information on the Test Score Waiver process click here.
  • Submit three letters of professional reference attesting to the applicant’s potential for graduate study.
  • Applicants should submit an official transcript from every college or university they have ever attended (even if for only one semester). Transcripts may be emailed electronically by the issuing institution to the UAB Graduate School at or mailed to:
    • UAB Graduate School
      LHL G03
      1720 2nd Ave. S.
      Birmingham, AL 35294-0013


RN to MSN Prerequisites

Applicants to the RN to MSN Pathway must have successfully completed prerequisite course requirements listed below with a grade of “C” or above prior to matriculation into the pathway.

Prerequisite CoursesCredit Hours
BY 115 Human Anatomy4
BY 116 Human Physiology4
MA 180 Descriptive Statistics3
BY 261 Microbiology4

RN to MSN Bridge Courses

Students admitted to the RN to MSN Pathway are required to complete three courses designed to “bridge” the upper division level undergraduate nursing courses.

Required Bridge CoursesCredit Hours
NRN 501Q Professional Nursing Concepts for RNs4
NRN 508Q Population Health for RNs4
NRN 503Q Leadership Development3

Selection of an MSN Pathway

Selection of an MSN Pathway

Students admitted to the RN to MSN Pathway will select a specialty area from one of two different MSN Pathways:

Application for Admission/Application Deadlines

Application Deadlines

Entry Date: Fall 2021
Deadline: February 19, 2021
Entry Date: Summer 2022
Deadline: October 12, 2021

The UAB Graduate School will be transitioning to a new graduate application system starting summer 2022. We expect the new application to open up between May 15 – June 1, 2021.

To Start the Application Process

Click here to apply for admission to the MSN Program.

Click here for detailed application instructions.

Funding Your Education

UAB Financial Aid and Scholarships

Information on Financial Aid, University Scholarships and other funding opportunities is available at:

UAB Office of Financial AID
Phone: (205) 934-4011

UAB School of Nursing Scholarships

  • The School of Nursing at UAB has an excellent scholarship program that provides financial support to Alabama’s best and brightest nursing students.
  • Currently, the School’s scholarship portfolio consists of 76 endowed scholarships and 3 active sponsored scholarships.
  • The school currently has an $10.1 million endowed fund that supports nursing scholarships annually.
  • Scholarships are awarded twice a year – spring and fall semesters. The scholarship application process is simple. One application is needed to be considered for all undergraduate or graduate scholarships.
  • Application and additional information can be found at

For Information about School of Nursing Scholarships, Contact:

Photo: Stephanie Hamberger
Director of Student Engagement,
Recruitment, and Scholarships
Office of Student Success

Information for International Students

NOTE: Prospective International students must first contact UAB International Admissions to determine eligibility to study in the U.S. and/or submit an application for admission to UAB.

UAB International Admissions
Phone: (205) 934-4686
Fax: (205) 934-8664

The table below provides information on eligibility requirements for the MSN Program.

 MSNPost Masters
F1 or J1 Visa AcceptableNot EligibleNot Eligible
College DegreeX - BSN EquivalentX - MSN Equivalent or higher
Foreign Transcripts EvaluatedXX
English ProficiencyXX
Graduate Record Exam (GRE)XX
Licensure as a Registered Nurse in the U.S.XX
X = Requirement must be completed or condition met

Application Requirements

  • Prospective students must have a bachelors degree in nursing equivalent to that offered by a U.S. regionally accredited educational institution.
  • For Graduate Clinical Programs such as the Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program, prospective students must also be licensed as a registered nurse in the U.S., in the state in which they will reside while completing the program.
  • International applicants must, as part of their application, provide a detailed course by course evaluation of their academic transcripts and verification of their academic credentials. Students may use one of the following firms for transcript evaluation; a report of the evaluation must be submitted directly to the UAB School of Nursing prior to admission decisions.
    • Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
      P.O. Box 514070
      Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470 USA
    • World Education Services
      Bowling Green Station
      P.O. Box 5087
      New York, NY 10274-5087 USA
  • Applicants must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on prior college/university course work.
  • Applicants must complete and submit their scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) as part of the application process. If the GRE was completed prior to application, only scores completed within the previous 5 years are accepted.
  • Completion of a formal admission interview.
  • Meet English language requirements. Students must submit scores on Tests of English Language (TOEFL or IELTS) and achieve the following minimum scores:
    • TOEFL iBT 80 and minimum of 18 in each of the 4 test sections, or
    • IELTS 6.5 and minimum of 6.0 in at least 2 of the 4 test sections.

For More Information Contact:

UAB International Admissions
Phone: (205) 934-4686
Fax: (205) 934-8664