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Each student must submit an application to the USI Office of Graduate Studies. Applications are not reviewed until all materials have been received.  Applicants must be admitted to USI Graduate Studies before their materials can be reviewed by the CNHP Graduate Nursing Admissions and Progression Committee. (See Office of Graduate Studies, Admission to Graduate Studies).    

The USI Department of Graduate Studies section of the graduate e-bulletin outlines several policies that are specific to graduate study. The Academic Information and Policies includes the university’s Progress Toward the Degree and Retention Policies.   

Note: Individual degree programs may have additional/higher requirements, which would be indicated on its academic program page in the bulletin.

USI Online Learning has parameters specific to geographic location and distance education through USI.  Updated information about this subject may be found at:

The minimum criteria to be considered for admission to the Graduate Nursing Program includes:

  • A baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited school.
  • Minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  • Satisfactory completion of a course in undergraduate statistics (grade C or better).
  • Unencumbered RN license (see RN license)
  • Demonstration of a TOEFL score of 525 on the written exam, 197 on the computerized exam or a score of 6 on the IELTS.
  • Successful completion of the application process to the Office of Graduate Studies.

One year full time or 2,000 hours of clinical practice as a Registered Nurse within the last five years is strongly recommended.

All students must complete drug screening and criminal record verification upon entry into the program. See the CNHP handbook located on the CNHP website for specific information. Submission of documentation to the CastleBranch agency is required prior to the enrollment of the first graduate nursing course. Failure to provide Castle Branch, Inc. information, even with negative results, will jeopardize enrollment or progression in graduate nursing courses. 

All students selected for admission to the graduate nursing program must also meet clinical agency requirements, be able to perform essential functions, maintain unencumbered RN licensure, and be capable of fulfilling clinical practice requirements.

Drug screening and criminal background check information regarding the College of Nursing and Health Profession’s Drug Screening and Criminal Background policies are found in the College of Nursing and Health Professions Handbook.

Submission and verification of all required documents is through CastleBranch ( Students are responsible for updating all required documents through the program.

Holding an unencumbered RN license is a prerequisite for being admitted to and remaining in this nursing program. An RN license will not be considered by this program to be unencumbered if action has been taken or is being proposed against the license by any agency of government, or if the RN has entered into or is currently discussing an agreement with any agency of government concerning the license or if any restrictions have been imposed by an agency of government on an RN’s ability to practice the nursing profession or if any restrictions are being proposed by an agency of government. An applicant or student is required to immediately advise the Program Chair in writing if their RN license has been encumbered or if any agency of government is proposing to encumber an RN’s license.

After review by the Program Chair of any action involving the encumbrance (or proposed encumbrance) of a license, the student may not be allowed to participate in clinical experiences of the program. Failure to report an encumbered RN license to the Program Chair, as required above, may result in dismissal from the program, particularly where the encumbrance prevents the student from performing any part of the clinical experience. 

Students who do not meet admission requirements or expected academic skill proficiencies may be conditionally admitted to the Graduate Nursing program. Refer to the USI Graduate Bulletin for specific academic requirements related to conditional admission status. Expectations for full admittance to the Graduate Nursing program will be individually specified. Students with a conditional admittance will work closely with faculty and the graduate advisor to maximize success.

Graduate bulletin: